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Fort Worth Flashback: County seat was swiped from Birdville

Posted July 30, 2012

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Birdville was the largest town and the seat of Tarrant County in the 1850s. Many settlers, however, already had moved into the area surrounding the Fort Worth outpost. When the troops left, residents converted the military buildings into schools, stores and churches.

Ambitious Fort Worth residents called a courthouse election, sparking a bitter campaign. As legend has it, Birdville had a barrel of whisky, intended for use on Election Day, but Fort Worth residents learned about it, siphoned off the liquor, took it to their town and gave it to voters.

Fort Worth won the election by a narrow margin, though Birdville supporters asserted that men who did not live in the county had voted for Fort Worth. Jubilant residents rushed to Birdville, loaded the county records on a wagon and proceeded triumphantly to the new county seat.

Trades and business began to thrive in Fort Worth. In 1873, with a population of 500, leaders decided that Fort Worth should incorporate. Dr. W.P. Burts was elected mayor.

This photo shows downtown Fort Worth in the 1880s.

The Fort Worth Library has approximately 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. To learn more, call 817-392-7740 or email the Genealogy, History and Archives Section.

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Canceled Trinity Metro Board of Directors Meeting: 8 a.m. Dec. 16, 2019; Fort Worth Central Station, 1001 Jones Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102.
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Building Standars Commission Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. Dec. 16, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Building Standards Commission Meeting: 9:30 a.m. Dec. 16, 2019; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Southgate Development Infrastructure Improvements Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Dec. 16, 2019; Texas Health Hugley Fitness Center, 11801 S. Freeway.

City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Dec. 17, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Christmas Social at Hillside Community Center: 6 p.m. Dec. 17, 2019; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox Ave.

City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Dec. 17, 2019; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Commercial Board of Adjustment Work Session: 9 a.m. Dec. 18, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Christmas Luncheon at Eugene McCray Community Center: 10 a.m. Dec. 18, 2019; Eugene McCray Community Center, 4932 Wilbarger St.

Commercial Board of Adjustment Public Hearing: 10 a.m. Dec. 18, 2019; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, Citty Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Residential Board of Adjustment Work Session: 12:30 p.m. Dec. 18, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Residential Board of Adjustment Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Dec. 18, 2019; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Number Seven (North Tarrant Parkway TIF): 3 p.m. Dec. 18, 2019; City COuncil Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Community Development Council: 6:15 p.m. Dec. 18, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Urban Design Commission Public Hearing: 10 a.m. Dec. 19, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Halll, 200 Texas St.
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Urban Design Commission Work Session: 10 a.m. Dec. 19, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commissioners Regular Meeting: 5 p.m. Dec. 19, 2019; Fort Worth Housing Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th St.
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Christmas Tamalada at Diamond Hill Community Center: 5 p.m. Dec. 19, 2019; Diamond Hill Community Center, 1701 NE 36th St.

Fort Worh Affordability, Inc.: 5 p.m. Dec. 19, 2019; Fort Worth Housing Solutions Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th St.
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Movie in the Park: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 19, 2019; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox Ave.

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