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Fort Worth Flashback: 1853 map depicts short-lived military post

Posted July 5, 2013

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The historic Fort Worth, sited across the street from the current-day Tarrant County Courthouse, provided the foundation for modern-day Fort Worth.

On June 6, 1849, Major Ripley Arnold and Company F of the Second Dragoons established a military post on this site. Arnold named the post Fort Worth to honor Major General William Jenkins Worth, commander of the Department of Texas. Worth died of cholera before he learned of this honor.

The fort was the northernmost in a line of forts in Central Texas established to provide protection for settlers and oversight of the Native Americans in the area. Log buildings with earthen floors surrounding a parade ground were built for stables, housing, a hospital, commissary, kitchens, laundries and Sutler’s store. Two houses for commanders were constructed.

In September 1853, Fort Worth was closed and the troops moved to other postings. Settlers moved into the buildings or tore them down and used the materials elsewhere.

This 1853 map is part of the extensive map collection at the Fort Worth Library’s Genealogy, History and Archives Section.

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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