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Fort Worth Flashback: Belle Burchill tried to tame Hell’s Half Acre

Posted March 25, 2013

In honor of _ _Women’s History Month_, each week in March Fort Worth Flashback will take a look at the role of women in our city’s history._

Belle Burchill

Belle Burchill

Belle Burchill (1847-1937) served as postmistress in the 1880s and is credited with starting home mail delivery in Fort Worth.

According to the book North of the River: A Brief History of North Fort Worth, during Fort Worth’s rowdy saloon days, Burchill and another woman, Delia Collins, frequently assisted a Methodist minister on “errands of mercy” in Hell’s Half Acre and the north side red-light district.

“A truly enlightened woman, Mrs. Burchill talked the Tarrant County commissioners into buying a house of ill repute to use as an orphanage for the children of the ‘fallen women’ they had been assisting,” the book says.

That orphanage would later be known as the Fort Worth Benevolent Home.

Her daughter, Edna M. Burchill, developed the Burchill Addition in east Fort Worth.

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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Emergency Physicians Advisory Board : 12:30 p.m. Jan. 23, 2020; TCMS Building, 3rd Floor, 555 Hemphill.
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Lake Arlington Lift Station Force Main Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Jan. 23, 2020; Tarrant County College Opportunity Center, 5901 Fitzhugh Ave.

Municipal Court Hearing: 8:30 a.m. Jan. 24, 2020; Municipal Court, Court No. 9, 3741 Southwest Loop 820.
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Opening Doors to Homeownership: 10 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Sweet Home Baptist Church, 5225 Ramey Ave.

Chinese New Year Celebration at Fire Station Community Center: 11 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Fire Station Community Center, 1601 Lipscomb.

Building Standards Commission Pre-meeting: 9 a.m. Jan. 27, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Building Standards Commission: 9:30 a.m. Jan. 27, 2020; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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U.S. Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Fort Worth (NAS JRB Fort Worth) Regional Coordination Committee (RCC): 1:30 p.m. Jan. 27, 2020; Benbrook Library, 1065 Mercedes St, Benbrook, Texas 76126.
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Audit Committee: 1 p.m. Jan. 28, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Joint Fort Worth City Council and Fort Worth Employees' Retirement Fund Board Meeting: 2 p.m. Jan. 28, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Jan. 28, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Jan. 28, 2020; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

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