Place:Fort Worth, Tarrant, Texas, United States

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NameFort Worth
Alt namesCamp Worthsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS48051075
TypeCity
Coordinates32.717°N 97.317°W
Located inTarrant, Texas, United States     (1849 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Fort Worth is the 15th-largest city in the United States and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. It is the county seat of Tarrant County, covering nearly into four other counties: Denton, Johnson, Parker and Wise. According to the 2017 census estimates, Fort Worth's population is 874,168.[1] The city is the in the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area, which is the 4th most populous metropolitan area in the United States.

Fort Worth was established in 1849 as an army outpost on a bluff overlooking the Trinity River. Fort Worth has historically been a center of the longhorn cattle trade. It still embraces its Western heritage and traditional architecture and design. is the first ship of the United States Navy named after the city.

Fort Worth is home to the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and several world-class museums designed by internationally known contemporary architects. The Kimbell Art Museum, considered to have one of the best art collections in Texas, is housed in what is widely regarded as one of the outstanding architectural achievements of the modern era. The museum was designed by the American architect Louis Kahn, with an addition designed by world-renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano opening November 2013. Also of note is the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, designed by Tadao Ando. The Amon Carter Museum of American Art, designed by Philip Johnson, houses one of the world's most extensive collections of American art. The Sid Richardson Museum, redesigned by David M. Schwarz, has one of the most focused collections of Western art in the U.S., emphasizing Frederic Remington and Charles Russell. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, designed by famed architect Ricardo Legorreta of Mexico, engages the diverse Fort Worth community through creative, vibrant programs and exhibits.

The city is stimulated by several university communities: Texas Christian University, Texas Wesleyan, University of North Texas Health Science Center, and Texas A&M University School of Law, and many multinational corporations, including Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, American Airlines, BNSF Railway, Pier 1 Imports, XTO Energy and RadioShack.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Treaty of Bird's Fort

The Treaty of Bird's Fort between the Republic of Texas and several Native American tribes was signed in 1843 at Bird's Fort in present-day Arlington, Texas. Article XI of the treaty provided that no one may "pass the line of trading houses" (at the border of the Indians' territory) without permission of the President of Texas, and may not reside or remain in the Indians' territory. These "trading houses" were later established at the junction of the Clear Fork and West Fork of the Trinity River in present-day Fort Worth. At this river junction, the U.S. War Department established Fort Worth in 1849 as the northernmost of a system of 10 forts for protecting the American Frontier following the end of the Mexican–American War. The city of Fort Worth continues to be known as "where the West begins."

Mexican–American War

A line of seven army posts were established in 1848–49 after the Mexican War to protect the settlers of Texas along the western American Frontier and included Fort Worth, Fort Graham, Fort Gates, Fort Croghan, Fort Martin Scott, Fort Lincoln, and Fort Duncan. Originally 10 forts had been proposed by Major General William Jenkins Worth (1794–1849), who commanded the Department of Texas in 1849. In January 1849, Worth proposed a line of 10 forts to mark the western Texas frontier from Eagle Pass to the confluence of the West Fork and Clear Fork of the Trinity River. One month later, Worth died from cholera in South Texas.[2]

General William S. Harney assumed command of the Department of Texas and ordered Major Ripley A. Arnold (Company F, Second United States Dragoons)[2] to find a new fort site near the West Fork and Clear Fork. On June 6, 1849, Arnold, advised by Middleton Tate Johnson, established a camp on the bank of the Trinity River and named the post Camp Worth in honor of the late General Worth. In August 1849, Arnold moved the camp to the north-facing bluff, which overlooked the mouth of the Clear Fork of the Trinity River. The United States War Department officially named the post Fort Worth on November 14, 1849.

Native American attacks were still a threat in the area, as this was their traditional territory and they resented encroachment by European-American settlers, but people from the United States set up homesteads near the fort. E. S. Terrell (1812–1905) from Tennessee claimed to be the first resident of Fort Worth. The fort was flooded the first year and moved to the top of the bluff; the current courthouse was built on this site. The fort was abandoned September 17, 1853.[2] No trace of it remains.

Town development

As a stop on the legendary Chisholm Trail, Fort Worth was stimulated by the business of the cattle drives and became a brawling, bustling town. Millions of head of cattle were driven north to market along this trail. Fort Worth became the center of the cattle drives, and later, the ranching industry. It was given the nickname of Cowtown.

During the Civil War, Fort Worth suffered from shortages of money, food, and supplies. The population dropped as low as 175, but began to recover during Reconstruction. By 1872, Jacob Samuels, William Jesse Boaz, and William Henry Davis had opened general stores. The next year, Khleber M. Van Zandt established Tidball, Van Zandt, and Company, which became Fort Worth National Bank in 1884.

Panther City and Hell's Half Acre

In 1875, the Dallas Herald published an article by a former Fort Worth lawyer, Robert E. Cowart, who wrote that the decimation of Fort Worth's population, caused by the economic disaster and hard winter of 1873, had dealt a severe blow to the cattle industry. Added to the slowdown due to the railroad's stopping the laying of track outside of Fort Worth, Cowart said that Fort Worth was so slow that he saw a panther asleep in the street by the courthouse. Although an intended insult, the name Panther City was enthusiastically embraced when in 1876 Fort Worth recovered economically. Many businesses and organizations continue to use Panther in their name. A panther is set at the top of the police department badges.

The "Panther City" tradition is also preserved in the names and design of some of the city's geographical/architectural features, such as Panther Island (in the Trinity River), the Flat Iron Building, the Intermodal Transportation Center, and in two or three "Sleeping Panther" statues.

In 1876, the Texas and Pacific Railway finally was completed to Fort Worth, stimulating a boom and transforming the Fort Worth Stockyards into a premier center for the cattle wholesale trade. Migrants from the devastated war-torn South continued to swell the population, and small, community factories and mills yielded to larger businesses. Newly dubbed the "Queen City of the Prairies", Fort Worth supplied a regional market via the growing transportation network.

Fort Worth became the westernmost railhead and a transit point for cattle shipment. Louville Niles, a Boston, Massachusetts-based businessman and main shareholder of the Fort Worth Stockyards Company is credited with bringing the two biggest meat packing firms at the time, Armour and Swift, to the stockyards.

With the boom times came a variety of entertainments and related problems. Fort Worth had a knack for separating cattlemen from their money. Cowboys took full advantage of their last brush with civilization before the long drive on the Chisholm Trail from Fort Worth up north to Kansas. They stocked up on provisions from local merchants, visited saloons for a bit of gambling and carousing, then galloped northward with their cattle only to whoop it up again on their way back. The town soon became home to "Hell's Half-Acre", the biggest collection of saloons, dance halls, and bawdy houses south of Dodge City (the northern terminus of the Chisholm Trail), giving Fort Worth the nickname of "The Paris of the Plains".

Certain sections of town were off-limits for proper citizens. Shootings, knifings, muggings, and brawls became a nightly occurrence. Cowboys were joined by a motley assortment of buffalo hunters, gunmen, adventurers, and crooks. Hell's Half Acre (also known as simply "The Acre") expanded as more people were drawn to the town. Occasionally, the Acre was referred to as "the bloody Third Ward" after it was designated one of the city's three political wards in 1876. By 1900, the Acre covered four of the city's main north-south thoroughfares. Local citizens became alarmed about the activities, electing Timothy Isaiah "Longhair Jim" Courtright in 1876 as city marshal with a mandate to tame it.

Courtright sometimes collected and jailed 30 people on a Saturday night, but allowed the gamblers to operate, as they attracted money to the city. After learning that train and stagecoach robbers, such as the Sam Bass gang, were using the area as a hideout, he intensified law enforcement, but certain businessmen advertised against too many restrictions in the area as having bad effects on the legitimate businesses. Gradually, the cowboys began to avoid the area; as businesses suffered, the city moderated its opposition. Courtright lost his office in 1879.[3]

Despite crusading mayors such as H. S. Broiles and newspaper editors such as B. B. Paddock, the Acre survived because it generated income for the city (all of it illegal) and excitement for visitors. Longtime Fort Worth residents claimed the place was never as wild as its reputation, but during the 1880s, Fort Worth was a regular stop on the "gambler's circuit"[3] by Bat Masterson, Doc Holliday, and the Earp brothers (Wyatt, Morgan, and Virgil). James Earp, the eldest of his brothers, lived with his wife in Fort Worth during this period; their house was at the edge of Hell's Half Acre, at 9th and Calhoun. He often tended bar at the Cattlemen's Exchange saloon in the "uptown" part of the city.

Reforming citizens objected to the dance halls, where men and women mingled; by contrast, the saloons or gambling parlors had primarily male customers.

In the late 1880s, Mayor Broiles and County Attorney R. L. Carlock initiated a reform campaign. In a public shootout on February 8, 1887, Jim Courtright was killed on Main Street by Luke Short, who claimed he was "King of Fort Worth Gamblers."[3] As Courtright had been popular, when Short was jailed for his murder, rumors floated of lynching him. Short's good friend Bat Masterson came armed and spent the night in his cell to protect him.

The first prohibition campaign in Texas was mounted in Fort Worth in 1889, allowing other business and residential development in the area. Another change was the influx of black residents. Excluded by state segregation from the business end of town and the more costly residential areas, the city's black citizens settled into the southern portion of the city. The popularity and profitability of the Acre declined and more derelicts and the homeless were seen on the streets. By 1900, most of the dance halls and gamblers were gone. Cheap variety shows and prostitution became the chief forms of entertainment. Some politicians sought reforms under the Progressive Era.[3]

In 1911, the Reverend J. Frank Norris launched an offensive against racetrack gambling in the Baptist Standard and used the pulpit of the First Baptist Church of Fort Worth to attack vice and prostitution. When he began to link certain Fort Worth businessmen with property in the Acre and announce their names from his pulpit, the battle heated up. On February 4, 1912, Norris's church was burned to the ground; that evening, his enemies tossed a bundle of burning oiled rags onto his porch, but the fire was extinguished and caused minimal damage. A month later, the arsonists succeeded in burning down the parsonage. In a sensational trial lasting a month, Norris was charged with perjury and arson in connection with the two fires. He was acquitted, but his continued attacks on the Acre accomplished little until 1917. A new city administration and the federal government, which was eyeing Fort Worth as a potential site for a major military training camp, joined forces with the Baptist preacher to bring down the final curtain on the Acre.

The police department compiled statistics showing that 50% of the violent crime in Fort Worth occurred in the Acre, which confirmed respectable citizens' opinion of the area. After Camp Bowie (a World War I Army training installation) was located on the outskirts of Fort Worth in 1917, the military used martial law to regulate prostitutes and barkeepers of the Acre. Fines and stiff jail sentences curtailed their activities. By the time Norris held a mock funeral parade to "bury John Barleycorn" in 1919, the Acre had become a part of Fort Worth history. The name continues to be associated with the southern end of Fort Worth.

Late 20th and early 21st centuries

On March 28, 2000, at 6:15 pm, an F3 tornado struck downtown Fort Worth downtown, severely damaging many buildings. One of the hardest-hit structures was the Bank One Tower, which was one of the dominant features of the Fort Worth skyline and which had Reata, a popular restaurant, on its top floor. It has since been converted to upscale condominiums and officially renamed "The Tower". This was the first major tornado to strike Fort Worth proper since the early 1940s.

When oil began to gush in West Texas in the early 20th century, and again in the late 1970s, Fort Worth was at the center of the wheeling and dealing. In July 2007, advances in horizontal drilling technology made vast natural gas reserves in the Barnett Shale available directly under the city, helping many residents receive royalty checks for their mineral rights. Today, the city of Fort Worth and many residents are dealing with the benefits and issues associated with the natural gas reserves under ground.

Fort Worth was the fastest-growing large city in the United States from 2000 to 2006 and was voted one of "America's Most Livable Communities."

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