Who Named Fort Worth?
Fort Worth, unlike any other city in the nation, manages to preserve its rich heritage despite dramatic growth. Founded by Maj. Ripley Arnold as a military outpost in 1849, Fort Worth was named after Gen. William Jenkins Worth, commander of the Texas army. Between then and now, many other great men and women are responsible for shaping the city. Their names live on forever through our streets, lakes, museums, buildings, schools, hospitals, sports facilities, performance venues and airports.
Bellaire Drive Warren McKeever was a developer in the TCU neighborhood around 1945. The street is named in honor of his wife Clarebelle.
Bernie Anderson Avenue Bernie Anderson built a golf course in the Ridglea neighborhood, a large portion of which he owned, in 1927 with a team of oxen.
Berry Street From 1941 to 1949, Clay Berry was city councilman.
Bryant Irvin Road The last names of two farmers that owned the property nearby were used.
Burnett Street Samuel Burk Burnett was among the directors of First National Bank and later one of its largest stockholders. He was a North Texas rancher and civic leader as well.
Camp Bowie Boulevard Camp Bowie construction began in 1917. The camp was originally established to give training to the Thirty-Sixth Infantry Division, and Edwin St. John Greble acted as camp commander. After the war, the camp became a demobilization center that prepared soldiers for entry into civilian life before closing in 1920. James Bowie was a Texas revolutionary hero who was killed at the Alamo, and the army camp took his name in 1919. Bowie first came to Texas in 1828, where at Bexar (now known as San Antonio) he became friends with Mexican Vice Governor Juan Martin de Veramendi. After assuming Mexican citizenship, Bowie married Veramendi’s daughter. Later while serving as Colonel in the Texas Army, he joined Col. William Travis in defense of the Alamo. Confined to a cot due to illness, Bowie was executed with the other defenders when the Alamo fell to Mexican forces. Camp Bowie Boulevard, originally called Arlington Heights Boulevard, was the main roadway through the camp. In the 1920s, the boulevard served as a streetcar line and a major transportation route to the West Texas oilfields. It was paved with its characteristic Texas Thurber bricks in 1928. Before the end of the decade, Camp Bowie Boulevard was lined with retail shops, churches, a Masonic lodge and a gas station that facilitated the nearby bungalow neighborhoods. Streetcar service ended in the 30s, and since then there have been ongoing improvement efforts. In addition to beautification projects, the Camp Bowie District hosts special events such as Jazz By The Boulevard and Camp Bowie Crawl.
Chisholm Trail Parkway The Chisholm Trail, a major route out of Texas for livestock, was created in 1865 by Jesse Chisholm.
Daggett Avenue Captain Ephraim Merrill Daggett, once called "The Father of Fort Worth," came to the city in 1849. Daggett donated the land for the Texas and Pacific Railroad tracks and depot.
Elizabeth Boulevard Wife of the developer John C. Ryan, Elizabeth Willing Ryan, is this street’s namesake.
Foch Street Originally named Franklin Street, Foch Street is named after Ferdinand Foch, a WWI French military commander.
Hemphill Street In 1842 John Hemphill was the first Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court.
Houston Street The street was named after Gen. Sam Houston, president of the Republic of Texas and co-signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Hulen Street As commander of the Texas National Guard, Maj. Gen. John A. Hulen was stationed to train his 36th Infantry Division at Camp Bowie before going to Europe during World War I. Later he was vice president of the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad Company.
Jennings Avenue Husband to Sarah Gray Hyde, who gave a land grant to the city for 980 acres, Thomas Jefferson Jennings was Attorney General of Texas from 1852 – 1856.
Jim Wright Freeway Jim Wright was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years and Speaker of the House from 1987 - 1989. His contributions to Fort Worth are vast, including years spent as a professor and mentor at TCU.
Lancaster Street Changed from its original name, North Street, Lancaster was named for the president of the Texas and Pacific Railway Co., J. L. Lancaster.
Lubbock Avenue Governor of Texas from 1861 – 1863, Francis Richard Lubbock resigned to join the Confederate Army.
Merrimac Street Willis McIntosh had a nightclub on the street in 1970. He named it and the street Merrimac (Merry Mac).
Montgomery Street Once called Ryker Street, Montgomery may have been named for Eli Montgomery, a carpenter in the 1880s, or John H. Montgomery, city secretary in 1902. It could also be named for O.R. Montgomery, police chief and elected commissioner. It’s unclear.
Samuels Avenue One story is that the street is named for an early settler, landowner and contributor to the railroad fund, Baldwin L. Samuels. Another story is of Jacob Samuels, a successful Fort Worth businessman who opened one of the first stores in town.
Terrel Avenue Ed Terrel was a fur trapper and one of the first businessmen in the area. He opened a saloon in the 1860s called the First and Last Chance saloon and was the first marshal after incorporation.
Throckmorton Street Fort Worth physician and lawyer, James Webb Throckmorton, had the nickname Old Leathercoat.
White Settlement Road This road led to the first white settlement among Indians in 1851.
LAKES AND RIVERS
Burger’s Lake Originally developed as Paul Schneider’s Goldfish Hatchery, the lake was utilized for raising minnows and water lilies. In 1902 Schneider dredged the lake with a plow and mule so it could be opened for swimming. A traveling salesman named Hugo Burger bought the property for $50,000 in 1929. Burger added the beaches, diving boards and planted a grove of trees.
Lake Como The Como Lake was built in 1889 and was named after Como, Italy. It was once the heart of the Como neighborhood with regular water carnivals and fish bakes.
Trinity River Discovered by Robert Cavelier de La Salle in 1687, he gave the Trinity River the moniker River of Canoes. Three years later and two days before the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, Alonso De Leon renamed the river La Santisima Trinidad (the Most Holy Trinity). At 710 miles long, the Trinity is the longest river that flows exclusively in the state of Texas. Its four branches include the West Fork, Clear Fork, Elm Fork and East Fork.
Lake Worth It’s obvious why this lake, created in 1914 with the construction of a dam on the West Fork of the Trinity, has its name. Other names suggested were Lake Tonkeway, Panther Lake and Lake Jarvis. Lake Worth was also the focus of a legend about a creature that was described as part goat, part fish, and part man known as the Lake Worth Monster.
Will Rogers Memorial Center Amon G. Carter met humorist Will Rogers during a vaudeville show in 1918, which began a lifelong friendship. As a tribute, the Will Rogers Memorial Center was built in 1936. A mural of Rogers hangs in the lobby of the coliseum, and a bust of Rogers sits in the Landmark Pioneer Tower. Carter commissioned sculptor Electra Waggoner Biggs to create a life-size statue of Rogers on his horse, Soapsuds, called Into the Sunset. It still resides on the lawn. Events at the WRMC, most notably the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, attract more than 2 million visitors annually. The WRMC is comprised of the Will Rogers Coliseum, Will Rogers Auditorium, Will Rogers Equestrian Center, Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall, James L. & Eunice West Arena, John Justin Arena and the W.R. Watt Arena.
Kimbell Art Museum Kay Kimbell was a wealthy businessman from Fort Worth that built a legacy of more than 70 companies across multiple industries. When he married Velma Fuller, she sparked his interest in collecting art by taking him to a Fort Worth art show. In 1935 they established the Kimbell Art Foundation. Upon their deaths, they each left most of their estates to the foundation with the directive to build a museum of the first class.
Sid Richardson Museum Named for lifelong Texas resident and one of the wealthiest men in the country, Sid W. Richardson, the downtown Fort Worth museum features works by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, as well as pieces capturing the American West. The late oilman and philanthropist became interested in Western art in the 1940s. He asked a New York City gallery president to form his collection. Permanently displayed at the museum are 52 works donated by Richardson.
Amon Carter Museum of American Art Amon G. Carter was the creator and publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, as well as a philanthropist. He had long desired to build a public institution to display his impressive collection. After his death, he provided for the establishment of the museum in his will. His daughter, Ruth Carter Stevenson, founded the museum in 1961 and was the first president of the museum’s board of trustees. She was president at the time of her death in 2013.
C.R. Smith Museum Located a few miles south of DFW Airport, the C.R. Smith Museum is named for an aviation pioneer and former president of American Airlines, Cyrus Rowlett Smith. The centerpiece of the museum is a restored 1940 Douglas DC-3, Flagship Knoxville.
LaGrave Field After winning consecutive championships, club owners decided to build a new park replacing Panther Park in 1926. LaGrave Field got its name from Paul LaGrave, the club’s principal owner.
Amon G. Carter Stadium In the late 1920s, the TCU Athletics Committee launched a campaign, headed by Fort Worth Star-Telegram publisher and owner Amon G. Carter, to raise funds for the stadium. Less than a year later, the Frogs defeated the Razorbacks in the new stadium, and several expansions have taken place over the decades. The newest addition had a $13-million price tag and featured six luxury suites, 250 club seats, academic and team meeting space as well as a player lounge area. More renovations would follow, and for the 2012 season, Amon G. Carter unveiled a $164-million renovation completely funded by donors. The total capacity of Amon G. Carter Stadium was increased to 44,358.
Meyer-Martin Athletic Complex Sitting in the John S. Justin Athletic Center overlooking the south end zone of Amon G. Carter Stadium at TCU, the Meyer-Martin Athletic Complex gets its name from Leo “Dutch” Meyer, one of the most successful football coaches in Horned Frog history, and Othol Hershel “Abe” Martin who served as head coach at TCU from 1953-1966 and was also the athletic director from 1963-1975. This multipurpose venue features a club lounge and 40,000 square feet of team meeting space, a players’ lounge and club-level suites for fans.
Farrington Field Completed in 1939, the stadium was named in memory of E.S. Farrington, a long time superintendent of the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD). The stadium, which sits at a prominent corner of University Drive and W. Lancaster Avenue, serves as a football stadium for various FWISD high schools.
Herman Clark Stadium This 12,000-capacity, FWISD multi-use stadium is named for Herman E. Clark, a longtime Fort Worth ISD athletic director.
Lupton Baseball Stadium at Williams-Reilly Field Charlie and Marie Lupton gifted $2 million from the Brown-Lupton Foundation, which was founded by business partners Charles Lupton and T.J. “Tom” Brown in 1944. The two owned the Fort Worth Coca-Cola Bottling franchise. The playing surface within the TCU baseball stadium is named Williams-Reilly Field in honor of former Horned Frog baseball coach Roger Williams and business leader Michael Reilly. Williams led the Frogs as their head coach in 1976, and as owner of the Roger Williams Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep in Weatherford, Williams has made several financial contributions over the years. Reilly is a commercial real estate developer in the Metroplex and served as a minority owner of the Texas Rangers’ Baseball Club from 1974 to 1998. Reilly and Williams are lifelong friends.
Leonard Golf Links This 52-acre golf facility on the west side of town is owned by Marty Leonard, whose family created three cornerstone golf facilities in North Texas: Colonial Country Club, Shady Oaks Country Club and Star Hollow Golf Club.
Bass Performance Hall Perry Richardson Bass, nephew of Sid W. Richardson, and his wife Nancy Lee Bass donated the funds to create Bass Performance Hall in downtown Fort Worth. Family friend Van Cliburn suggested the hall be named after them. The couple donated millions to different Fort Worth institutions over their lifetimes.
Casa Mañana When Dallas was selected as the official site of the Texas Centennial Celebration in 1936, Amon G. Carter started making plans for a celebration in Fort Worth. During this time, Carter also wrangled funds for the city to build Will Rogers Auditorium and Coliseum on the centennial grounds. Broadway Producer Billy Rose was hired by Carter to produce a show like no other with a midway of exhibits, a Wild West presentation and musical circus. Pastureland was quickly transformed into the original site that included a restaurant and could seat 4,000 people for dinner and a show. At the center of the celebration would be a large outdoor theater called Casa Mañana, The House of Tomorrow. Its revolving stage was surrounded by a large moat, and fountains projected a wall of water that acted as the stage curtain. Probably one of the best remembered shows was Rose’s "Frontier Follies," featuring exotic dancer Sally Rand and her Nude Ranch girls. Performing behind big feathers and translucent bubbles, it was rumored to be one of the most-visited performances by Carter. Thanks to its great success, the plan was to bring the show back each summer for the next four years, but due to rising costs and threats of war, eventually the complex was torn down. In 1958 Casa Mañana was given new life thanks to Fort Worth Opera Association President James H. Snowden Jr. and Manager Melvin O. Dacus. After getting the project approved by the city council, construction began on a fully enclosed, air-conditioned aluminum-domed theater-in-the-round. The 1958 season debut show was the Can-Can. Then in 2003, the interior underwent a renovation to create a more traditional proscenium stage configuration. From Broadway musicals to children’s theater, Casa Mañana continues to produce entertaining shows just as it first did in 1936.
Maddox-Muse Center Acting as a recital and rehearsal hall for neighboring Bass Performance Hall, the Maddox-Muse Center houses McDavid Studios and Van Cliburn Recital Hall, named for one of the greatest pianists in the history of music. The center is named after the parents of Nancy Lee Bass, father Ewell Henderson Muse and mother Roberta Maddox.
W.E. Scott Theatre Made possible by one of Tarrant County’s founding family members, William Edrington Scott, the Scott Theatre opened in 1966. Scott left $3 million in a trust to be used to develop Fort Worth’s Cultural District, including this community theater that puts on productions of plays, musicals and holiday events.
Billy Bob’s Texas Billy Bob Barnett knew that the authentic charm of the Stockyards and the size of the space that used to be a department store would be well-suited for a nightclub. Originally the name was set to be Jerry Max’s Texas, capitalizing on the popularity of local musician Jerry Max Lane. Licensing issues caused Barnett to add his namesake to the club. Billy Bob’s Texas opened in 1981 with an opening performance by Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers.
Cook Children’s Today’s Cook Children’s Health Care System can be traced back to 1929, when the W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital opened on Lancaster Street. Originally offering only 55 beds, the hospital was designed in Italian Renaissance architecture. Mrs. Missouri Matilda Nail Cook donated the oil royalties from the Cook Ranch near Albany to build the hospital. In 1952 a special grant was given from the Tom B. Owens Trust, and the hospital changed its mission to care exclusively for the needs of children. The trustees renamed the facility Cook Children’s Hospital.
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Named after Dr. Charles Houston Harris, a surgeon who moved his practice from the West Texas town of Moran to Fort Worth in 1904, the building opened at 1300 W. Cannon St. in 1930 with 146 beds and two floors for patients. Harris also had Fort Worth’s first intensive care unit.
Texas Health Huguley Herbert T. Huguley, D.D.S., was a real estate investor in addition to being a dentist in Dallas for 34 years. During World War II, he was a Lt. Commander in the Navy. Texas Health Huguley was opened in 1977. Huguley left his $6 million estate to the Adventist Church to build a hospital in honor of his parents.
Moncrief Cancer Institute Made possible by multiple generous donations from Fort Worth independent oilman W.A. “Monty” Moncrief and his wife, the Moncrief Cancer Institute has origins back to shortly after World War II. In 2006 the facility changed to the Moncrief Cancer Center. The new building in the 400 block of West Magnolia was opened in 2012 with another new name of the Moncrief Cancer Institute.
John Peter Smith Hospital John Peter Smith was one of the first settlers of Fort Worth. He opened the first school in an abandoned army hospital and went on to become a teacher, Texas Ranger, banker and six-term mayor. Smith donated five acres for a county hospital that later became named after him.
Fort Worth Meacham International Airport Named for former Fort Worth Mayor Henry C. Meacham, the general aviation airport is used for corporate aircraft, commuter flights and student pilot training.
Bell Helicopter Founded in 1935 as Bell Aircraft Corporation by Lawrence Dale Bell in New York, Bell later hired Arthur M. Young for help in helicopter research and development. Textron bought Bell Aerospace, which was composed of three divisions, in 1960. The helicopter was renamed Bell Helicopter Company and because of the Vietnam War, it was the largest division of Textron.
Lockheed Martin After the famous first flight of the Wright brothers in 1903, inventors and mechanics everywhere tried their hands at aviation. Brothers Allan and Malcolm Loughead and Glenn L. Martin were among these new aviation pioneers. In 1912 Glenn Martin set off to break the record for distance by flying across open water to Catalina. Acclaim followed as Martin succeeded, and soon he created the Glenn L. Martin Company in Los Angeles, Calif. That same year, the Loughead brothers were building a seaplane, which they later launched from a boat ramp in the San Francisco Bay. Six months later when they damaged the plane, they were forced to buy it outright from their investors. They repaired the craft in time for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, which was a successful revenue generator. Using their profits and capital from investors, the brothers created Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company in 1916. Sales of its F-1 flying boat were poor, which led to the company’s liquidation in 1921. Five years later, Allan Loughead established the Lockheed Aircraft Company. The spelling of Loughead was changed to match its pronunciation. World War II allowed a close association between Lockheed and the U.S. military, which provided sustained success. After their initial financial triumphs, Loughead and Martin merged their companies, Lockheed Corporation and Martin Marietta in 1995. Today it is known as Lockheed Martin, a global aerospace, security, defense and advanced technologies powerhouse.
Lily B. Clayton Elementary School Opening in 1922 in Mistletoe Heights with three teachers and 80 students, Lily B. Clayton was the first woman-led Fort Worth school. The school is named after a teacher whose career lasted for 50 years.
R. L. Paschal High School Briefly known as Central High School, Paschal High School is named for Robert Lee Paschal, an attorney that became the school’s principal in 1906.
Alice Carlson Applied Learning Center In the mid-1920s, the Fort Worth school district hired architect Wiley G. Clarkson to design a school for the TCU neighborhood. Alice E. Carlson, named after the first woman to serve on the Fort Worth School Board, opened in 1927 with four classrooms, a basement cafeteria and a principal’s office.
I.M. Terrell Elementary School What started in 1882 as the city’s first black school, the high school closed in 1973 and reopened as an elementary school in 1998. In 1921 the school was renamed I.M. Terrell in honor of its former principal, Isaiah Milligan Terrell.
Sadler Hall TCU’s administration building, Sadler Hall, was built in 1960. It is named in honor of Chancellor MacGruder Ellis Sadler. From 1941 – 1965, Sadler led the university and its expansion from eight buildings to 29 by the end of his tenure.
Bob Schieffer College of Communication Bob Schieffer received his degree from TCU, where the College of Communication now bears his name. Schieffer has the record for longest running moderator of any public affairs program, CBS’s Face the Nation. His career began as a reporter for the Star-Telegram. Schieffer announced his retirement last year at his alma mater.
Robert Carr Chapel It was the large financial contribution from San Angelo rancher and oilman, Robert G. Carr, that made the addition of the beautiful TCU chapel possible. Incorporating several design elements from American Colonial churches, per the recommendation by the university president’s wife, Frances Sadler, the chapel’s 137-foot spire has become a campus landmark.
Walsh Center for Performing Arts The center is named for the late TCU Trustee F. Howard Walsh, a Fort Worth oilman, businessman and rancher, and his wife, Fort Worth arts patron Mary D. Fleming Walsh.
Ed Landreth Hall Built in Neo-Georgian style, Ed Landreth Hall features rose marble panels and intricate stone carvings. The auditorium is the original home for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. It’s named after E.A. Landreth, a Fort Worth oilman that served as TCU trustee from 1940 – 1960.
Mary Couts Burnett Library Mary Couts married cattle baron Samuel Burk Burnett in 1892. The couple made their home in Fort Worth, and the marriage became contentious when Mary told others that Samuel was planning to murder her. His response was having her committed to a private asylum in Weatherford. Upon her husband’s death, Mary received half of the estate. When Mary died in 1924, she donated the bulk of her wealth to TCU. It was used to establish the campus library.
Kress Building S.H. Kress & Co. was the name of retail department stores established by Samuel Henry Kress from 1896 – 1981. The 1936 Kress Building in downtown Fort Worth was recently renovated for residential, retail and office space leasing.
Sanger Building Originally the Sanger Brothers Department Store, the Sanger Building was the first department store west of the Mississippi River to be air-conditioned. Within a few years after opening, the Depression hit and Sangers closed.
Sundance Square In 1979 the Bass Brothers Enterprises began buying buildings and land downtown, which had started experiencing urban decay. In addition to renovating old buildings, they constructed new ones and transformed downtown. To honor Fort Worth’s past, they named the central district after the Sundance Kid, who with his partner Butch Cassidy, would visit downtown Fort Worth back in the day for a little fun.
The Cassidy Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch were loosely organized outlaws that spent some time in Fort Worth’s Hell’s Half Acre. Cassidy posed in Fort Worth for the now-famous photograph of the gang. The Pinkerton Detective Agency used the photo on its wanted posters. His namesake building, built in 2014, is a 99,000-square-foot, mixed-use facility that sits at the corner of Throckmorton and Third Streets.
City Place (formerly Tandy Center) Tandy Corporation Founder Charles David Tandy was a Fort Worth philanthropist and civic leader. Tandy’s father was partner in the Hinckley Tandy Company, a Fort Worth wholesaler that provided leather to hospitals, army posts, schools and prisons. After graduating from TCU in 1940, Tandy attended Harvard Business School and then served in the Navy. In 1961 Tandy opened the first in a chain of hobby markets in Fort Worth before acquiring Pier 1 Imports, Dillard’s Department Stores, Wolfe Nursery Stores, Alcon Labs and Radio Shack. At the time of his death, the Tandy Corporation was worth billions and employed 20,000. Corporate headquarters were located in downtown Fort Worth’s Tandy Center. The Tandy Center Subway operated from 1963 – 2002 and was the only privately owned subway in the U.S. As an ode to the Subway, a refurbished Leonards M&O Subway Car now sits in the lobby of One City Place.
W.T. Waggoner Building Jutting into the sky on Houston Street, the W.T. Waggoner Building was built in 1918 for William Thomas Waggoner, oilman, philanthropist and owner of the Waggoner Ranch. The 20-story structure was designed by Sanguinet & Staats and was once among the tallest buildings in Texas.
Sinclair Building Possibly one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in Fort Worth, the 16-story Sinclair Building was originally to be named the Dulaney Building after the owner, but when the Sinclair Oil Co. leased seven floors, the building was named after its main tenant. Harry F. Sinclair was a self-made man in the oil business, and at the age of 31 was the richest man in Kansas. By the late 20s, Sinclair Oil Corporation was the seventh largest oil company in the United States. Last year it was announced that the building is being converted into an Autograph Collection Hotel with a restaurant on the lower level and a bar on the rooftop.
The Carnegie Building Built in 2008, The Carnegie Building was named after Fort Worth’s first public library. Wealthy philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated the funds, making the library possible in 1900.
Burnett Plaza Burnett Oil Co., Inc. is headquartered in Fort Worth at Burnett Plaza. The company has a long, rich history in Texas and a strong connection to Fort Worth. Dating back to the mid-1800s with Samuel “Burk” Burnett, one of the first cattlemen in Texas, the Burnett family purchased the 8 Ranch near Guthrie, Texas, and the Dixon Creek Ranch near the Panhandle of Texas around 1900. That’s when the Four Sixes (6666) Ranches began taking shape. Today the company is engaged in the exploration for and production of crude oil and natural gas in the U.S. The land outside the building, known as Burnett Park, was deeded to the city in 1919 by Burk Burnett. The 2010 renovation of the park was made possible with funding from the Burnett Foundation.
Hyde Park Land for Fort Worth’s first park was donated by Sarah Gray Hyde, widow of Thomas Jefferson Jennings, in 1873 in honor of her parents. Today the park is home to the Panther Fountain, a marble statue of a sleeping panther.
North Z Boaz Park William Jesse Boaz was integral in Fort Worth history as one of the first to open a general store in 1872. The southern section of the Z Boaz Golf Course just underwent a renovation and now offers locals a dog park.
Quanah Parker Park Quanah Parker Park is located on the banks of the Trinity River on the east side of town. Known as the last great Comanche Chief, Quanah Parker was a frequent visitor to Fort Worth. The story of the abduction of Cynthia Ann Parker, Quanah’s mother who was assimilated into the tribe, is one of the most interesting of the Wild West days.
Van Zandt Cottage Now owned and operated by Fort Worth’s Log Cabin Village, the Van Zandt Cottage dates back to the 19th century and was once owned by Khleber Miller Van Zandt, a civic leader, lawyer, soldier, merchant and banker. When he moved to Fort Worth in 1865, the town was in rough shape and had a population of only 250 people. Van Zandt began a successful dry-goods business. In 1875 he organized the Tarrant County Construction Company that would go on to build the Texas and Pacific roadbed from Fort Worth to Dallas. He was also responsible for assembling Tidball, Van Zandt and Company, which was a forerunner of the Fort Worth National Bank and was cofounder of the town’s first newspaper.