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Fort Worth Flashback: Review Stock Show’s growth during the 1940s

Posted Jan. 7, 2014

[Stick Show parade]

The decade of the Forties witnessed some of the greatest growth and innovation of what was then known as the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show.

  • 1940 John C. Burns becomes the Stock Show’s president.
  • 1943 No Stock Show due to World War II.
  • 1944 The Stock Show moves to Will Rogers Memorial Center. Gene Autry becomes the first entertainer to appear at a rodeo.
  • 1945 Rodeo Cowboys Association national offices open in Sinclair Building in downtown Fort Worth.
  • 1946 The Stock Show celebrated its 50th anniversary. The show had moved from the Northside to the west side of Fort Worth, the current site of the Will Rogers Memorial Complex, in 1944. Since the livestock barns were not yet built, cattle were sheltered in brightly colored tents.
  • 1947 Riding into the Sunset, a bronze statue of Will Rogers created by Electra Waggoner Biggs through a commission from Amon G. Carter Sr., dedicated in November. Carter becomes Stock Show’s first chairman of the board.
  • 1948 Comedians Hoyt Heffner, Hank Mills and John Lindsey successfully wrestled a steer. Cattle Barns 1, 2, 3, 4 and Sheep and Swine Barns open.
  • 1949 Barn 5 opens to house horses for equestrian competitions.

This photos shows the grand entry at the 1942 Fat Stock Show.

The 2014 version of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo runs Jan. 17-Feb. 8.

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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