Fort Worth History
The history of Fort Worth begins with the establishment of a small outpost on a bluff overlooking the Trinity River in 1849. The settlement initially served to ward off hostile Native American tribes, and when they stopped attacking it, the military left and other civilian settlers remained. The settlement soon established itself as a cattle trading center and earned its nickname “Cowtown.”
After the Civil War, many Confederates moved to Texas, including Fort Worth. The city grew on cattle trade as the Yankees needed meat and Texas and plenty of it. Around that time the town got its other nickname, “Panther City,” after a newspaper from Dallas reported the town was so drowsy there was a panther sleeping in the middle of the road. The arrival of the railroad in 1876 caused significantly increased the cattle trade but with the boom came the problems, especially crime. Fort Worth as at the time one of the favorite places for all sorts of crooks, gunmen, robbers and adventurers. The community became more stable after by the end of the 19th century. New railroads came and new companies opened. Fort Worth got its free public schools and colleges, newspapers, a fire department, hospitals, social clubs, and gambling was outlawed. In the early 20th century the city became a regional meatpacking center.
Oil was discovered 90 miles from Fort Worth in 1907, which propelled another boom. In the 1920s, the city emerged as a center for oil operators and became richer. During the World War II Fort Worth became a military aviation center. The Dallas/Fort Worth Airport was opened in 1974 and at the time it was the largest airport in the world.
Today, Fort Worth is a vibrant, developing and growing city with rich cultural life. In 2004 it was voted one of America’s Most Livable Large Cities.
Geography and Climate
The city is located in north-central Texas, part of the Cross Timber region, which creates a boundary between more heavily forested areas to the east and the Great Plains. Furthermore, it is part of the Great Prairie region within Cross Timber. Fort Worth is located on the Trinity River. A large dam was built on the west fork of the river, seven miles from the city, creating Lake Worth.
The climate in Fort Worth is humid subtropical. Because of its position in Northern Texas, the city is susceptible to supercell storms, which bring hail and tornadoes. The city can roughly be divided into Central, East, North, Northeast, Far North, West and South Fort Worth. Downtown is located in Central Fort Worth and some of the notable neighborhoods in that part of the city include Upper West Side, Sundance Square, Trinity Bluff and Cultural District.
The architecture in Downtown is predominantly in Art-Deco style, along with several buildings in American Beaux Arts style. Many of the buildings, especially around Sundance Square, still have their original facades.
Fort Worth Population
In 2010, Fort Worth has a population of 741,206, of which 43.4% were non-Hispanic Whites, 33.8% were Hispanics or Latinos of any race, 18% were non-Hispanic Blacks or African Americans, 3.5% Asian, 1% Persian, 0.5% Native American, 13.2% some other race and 1.8% two or more races.
The median household income was $37,074 and the per capita income was $18,800.
Economy of Fort Worth
Once traditionally a center of cattle growing and meatpacking, Fort Worth today has a more diversified economy. Manufacturing is a major sector, although it has been experiencing some slowdown, especially in the early 2000s. Mining, oil and gas production are also important sectors, however they have been having some loses as the oil prices dip.
Major companies based in Fort Worth AMR Corporation with subsidiaries American Airlines and American Eagle Airlines, John Peter Smith Hospital, Pier 1 Imports, RadioShack, BNSF Railway, FUNimation Entertainment, Gallus Cycles and Lockheed Martin.
Culture and Attractions
Culturally, Fort Worth is a city with strong Western heritage. Recently it has been promoting itself as the “City of Cowboys and Culture.” The city has several great museums, such as Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and others.
Fort Worth is home to the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Billy Bob’s, Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Opera and Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
The Fort Worth zoo, with more than 5000 animals, has been ranked top zoo in the United States on several occasions and it is generally considered to be one of the best zoos in the nation.
As for the education, the institutions of higher learning in Fort Worth include Texas Christian University (home of the TCU Horned Frogs), The Art Institute of Fort Worth, Texas Wesleyan University, Tarrant County College, Brite Divinity School, Fisher More University, Southwestern Baptist Theological University, University of North Texas Health Science Center, as well as campuses of University of Texas at Arlington, Remington College, Westwood College and the Culinary School of Fort Worth.
The primary airport for the city is, of course, the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the busiest airport in Texas and the fourth-busiest in the world in terms of aircraft movements. In addition to this, the city also has four smaller airports. As for the railroad, Fort Worth is served by the Trinity Railway Express to Dallas, as well as by Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer and Texas Eagle.