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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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City Council Called Special Meeting: 1 p.m. May 28, 2019; City Council Chamber, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Executive Compensation Committee Meeting: 1:20 p.m. May 28, 2019; DFW Airport Headquarters Building, Board Room, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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Canceled City Council Work Session : 3 p.m. May 28, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Civil Service Commission Meeting: 6 p.m. May 28, 2019; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex, Auditorium, 505 W. Felix St.
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Your Historic and Replacement Windows Workshop: 6 p.m. May 28, 2019; Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Misouri Ave.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. May 28, 2019; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Fort Worth Sports Authority Board Meeting: 2 p.m. May 29, 2019; Fort Worth Convention Center, Executive Board Room, 1201 Houston Street.
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Carroll Street Intersections Project Meeting: 6 p.m. May 29, 2019; University of North Texas Health Science Center, Carl E. Everett Education & Administration Building, Room 506, 3500 Camp Bowie Boulevard.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Board Meeting: 8:30 a.m. May 30, 2019; DFW Airport Headquarters Building, Board Room, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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South Hills Street Maintenance Project Meeting: 6 p.m. May 30, 2019; South Hills Christian Church, 3200 Bilglade Road.

Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting: 9 a.m. May 31, 2019; Fort Worth Credit Union Board Room, 2309 Montgomery St.
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