John Peter Smith, Founder of Oakwood
Located at the Oakwood Cemetery entrance, 700 Grand Ave., Fort Worth.
Pioneer area settler John Peter Smith (1831-1901), who donated twenty
acres for the establishment of this cemetery, came to Fort Worth from Kentucky
in 1853. He served the community as a teacher, clerk, surveyor, and attorney,
and became a noted civic leader. Although opposed to the secession of Texas
during the Civil War, Smith raised a company of Tarrant County men for the
Confederacy and joined Sibley's Brigade in 1861. While in the war he served
in the unsuccessful invasion of New Mexico, the recapture of Galveston in
1863, and was severely wounded at Donaldsville, Louisiana, later that year.
After the war Smith returned to Fort Worth, where be became involved in the
development of the city. He helped organize a bank, gas light company,and
street railway. He also gave land for city parks, cemeteries, including this
site in 1879, and a hospital, later named in his honor. In 1882 he became
Mayor and directed the establishment of many public services, such as the
school system and the water department. In 1901 Smith died in St. Louis,
Missouri, while on a promotional trip for Fort Worth. He is buried in a section
of Oakwood Cemetery that is part of the original acreage he donated to the
John Peter Smith
Located in small park, 1100 Throckmorton, Fort Worth.
A native of Kentucky, John Peter Smith migrated to Fort Worth in 1853.
He worked as a teacher, clerk, and surveyor before his appointment as Deputy
Surveyor of the Denton Land Department in 1855, for which he received payment
in property. Also a student of law, he was later admitted to the bar. Although
opposed to the secession of Texas during the Civil War, Smith raised a company
of Tarrant County men for the Confederacy and joined Sibley's Brigade in
1861. While in the war he served in the unsuccessful invasion of New Mexico,
the recapture of Galveston in 1863, and was severely wounded at Donaldsville,
Louisiana, later that year. After the war Smith returned to Fort Worth, where
he became involved in the development of the City. He helped organize a bank,
gas light company, and street railway. He also donated land for parks,
cemeteries,and a hospital, later named John Peter Smith Hospital. In 1882
he became Mayor and directed the establishment of many public services, including
the school system and the water department. In 1901 Smith died in St. Louis,
Missouri, while on a promotional trip for Fort Worth. He is buried in Oakwood
Cemetery, a site he donated to the city.
Khleber Miller Van Zandt
Located in Oakwood Cemetery, 700 Grand Ave., Fort Worth.
Tennessee native Khleber Miller Van Zandt moved to East Texas as a child.
After serving as a Major in the 7th Texas Infantry Regiment, C.S.A., he came
to Fort Worth in 1865. A merchant, banker, and rancher, he was instrumental
in making the city a major rail center and helped establish early newspaper,
the public schools, public transportation, and the First Christian Church.
He served in the 13th Texas Legislature of 1875. A member of the United
Confederate Veterans, he held the office of National Commander-in-Chief
(1918-1921). Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986
Home Town of Texas Confederate Major K.M. Van
Located in Trinity Park, 2900 Crestline Rd., Ft. Worth.
Born in Tennessee. Came to Texas 1939. Was son of Republic of Texas Minister
to the United States. K.M. Van Zandt was admitted to the Bar in 1858. Raised
Co. D, 7th Tex. Inf., 1861. Fought in snows at Fort Donelson, Tenn., Feb.
1862. Captured in surrender there. During imprisonment at Camps Douglas,
Chase, Johnson Island, Ill., 5 Co. D men died. The rest were exchanged at
Vicksburg in Sept. 1862. In the campaign to prevent the split of the Confederacy
along the Mississippi River, Van Zandt and Co. D Fought many Battles to the
east of Vicksburg. (Back of Monument) Van Zandt was promoted to Major in
1863 in Granbury's Brigade. Granbury led 306 men into battle at Raymond,
Miss., came out with only 148. Van Zandt led 7th Tex. after Granbury was
wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga. Went farthest of any Confederate unit
into enemy lines. At Missionary Ridge, saved the heavy guns of his unit by
pushing them by hand when horses wavered under fire. Van Zandt was in retreat
to Atlanta, May 1864, and in the Nov. 1864 carnage at Franklin, Tenn. Late
1864 and 1865 he was in Trans-Mississippi department in Tax services for
Gen. Kirby Smith. After the war he moved from Marshall to Fort Worth and
became a Merchant. When big Eastern bankers failed to put railroad into Fort
Worth, he founded a firm for railroad construction. Was president of Fort
Worth National Bank for 56 years, and city benefactor to such an extent that
he was called "Mr. Fort Worth." Erected by the State of Texas 1963.
Lawrence Clifton Elliott
Located in Greenwood Cemetery, 3400 White Settlement Rd., Fort Worth.
Aviation pioneer Lawrence C. Elliot was born in Greenville, Texas. During
high school, Elliott exhibited early aviation talent when he built an
experimental airplane. He attended Texas A&M University, participating
in the Reserve Officers Training Corps. After graduating in 1924, Elliott
was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps and trained at Brooks
Field and Kelly Field in San Antonio. He earned awards in air races and became
a U.S. Army flight Instructor. In 1928, Elliot began a 35-year career with
the Aeronautics Branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce (Later the Civil
Aeronautics Administration). Stationed at Southwest Regional Headquarters
in Fort Worth for 25 years, he was instrumental in marking domestic flight
routes, developing weather communication broadcast techniques, establishing
standards for airplane maintenance and inspection, and recommending air facility
safety modifications. During World War II, Elliott was regional manager of
the U.S. Civil Aviation System. He received awards for exceptional service
and impact on international aviation in 1953. Elliott was married to Mildred
Leonhart Reiter (d. 1963). Their former home at 3 Chase Court was designated
a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1983. (1991)
Middleton Tate Johnson
Located at 621 W. Arkansas St., Arlington.
The Father of Tarrant County. A member of the Congress of the Republic.
Born in South Carolina, 1810. Died at Austin, Texas, May 15, 1866. Johnson
County was named in his honor.
Ormer Leslie Locklear
Located in Greenward Cemetery, 3400 White Settlement Rd., Fort Worth.
A native of Greenville, Texas, Ormer Leslie Locklear moved to Fort Worth
with his family in 1906. He worked for his father's construction company
until 1914, when he and his brother opened an automobile repair shop. Locklear
enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Service in 1917, soon after the U.S. enter
World War I. He trained in San Antonio and Austin before being assigned to
Barron Field near Fort Worth as a flight instructor. He soon became known
for his daring feats of precision flying and performed in barnstorming air
shows to recruit pilots for military service. Locklear resigned his Army
commission in 1919 to fly in the commercial air show circuit. Hired by the
Universal Film Company as a stunt pilot for motion pictures, he moved to
Hollywood and in 1920 was killed flying a stunt pilot for his second feature,
"The Skywayman". The accident, believed to have been caused when the bright
lights illuminating the night sky for filming blinded the pilot, was recorded
on film and used in the movie's final scene. Thousands of mourners attended
Locklear's Fort Worth funeral, which the Fox Film Corporation filmed and
released later as a newsreel. (1992)
The Peters Colony in Tarrant
Located at SH 26 and Union Church Road, Grapevine.
In 1841, W.S. Peters of Kentucky and associates contracted with the Republic
of Texas to bring immigrants to this area. By 1848, Peters Colony land covered
nearly 2 million acres in north central Texas, including all of Tarrant County.
Speculation in unlocated land certificates was rampant. About 150 colonists
and their families, most of whom were American-born farmers of meager means,
settled in Tarrant County. As the most extensive empresario enterprise undertaken
by the Republic, the Peters Colony helped open this area of Texas to
Thomas B. Saunders Family
Located in, Saunders Park, 100 block of E. Exchange St., Fort Worth.
A native of North Carolina, Thomas Bailey Saunders (1816-1902) migrated
to Texas in 1850 and started a cattle ranch near Gonzales. After the Civil
War he completed cattle drives to markets in New Orleans and Kansas before
settling in Bexar County. Two of Saunders' twelve children were also involved
in the cattle industry. William David Harris Saunders (1845-1922) helped
supply beef for Confederate forces during the Civil War and later became
a successful Goliad merchant and rancher. Another son, George Washington
Saunders (1854-1933), became a noted trail driver of the 1870s. He later
opened a livestock commission in San Antonio. Thomas B. Saunders, II (1872-1929),
the son of William, owned a livestock firm in Houston. He later moved here
and in 1902 became the first cattle dealer on the Fort Worth Stockyards.
He was a pioneer in the transporting of cattle by truck. His son Thomas B.
Saunders, III (1906-1974), was involved in extensive ranching operations
throughout the Southwest. During the 1930s economic depression, he started
a cattle clearinghouse for traders, order buyers, and commission companies.
Since the 1850s, Saunders family members have been actively involved in the
Texas cattle industry.
William Alfred Sanderson
Located at Ayers Cemetery, 2500 block of Scott St., Fort Worth.
A native of England, William Sanderson came to Texas in 1841. He obtained
a Republic of Texas land grant and in 1847 settled in Tarrant County with
his wife, Isabella Francis (Ayres). Sanderson soon established himself as
a farmer and stock raiser. A charter member of the First Christian Church
of Fort Worth, he also was appointed Justice of the Peace and was involved
in the relocation of the county seat from Birdville to Fort Worth.
William John Marsh
Located in Greenwood Cemetery, 3400 White Settlement Rd., Fort Worth.
Born near Liverpool, England, William John Marsh was an accomplished organist
and musician when he came to Fort Worth in 1904 to enter the cotton business.
In addition to his bookkeeping work, he served as organist and choirmaster
for two area churches and one synagogue, and as choral director and professor
of organ at Texas Christian University. He also composed over 100 pieces
of music. In 1929, his composition "Texas, our Texas" won in competition
to become the official state song. March died in Fort Worth at the age of
William Letchworth Hurst
Located at Hurst City Hall, 1505 Precinct Line Road, Hurst.
A native of Tennessee, William Letchworth "Uncle Billy" Hurst (1833-1922)
served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. As a member of the
Sixty-First Tennessee Infantry, he was involved in fighting near Vicksburg,
Mississippi. Following the surrender of his unit to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
in 1863, and his subsequent release, he joined in the reorganization of his
outfit as the Sixty-First Tennessee Mounted Infantry. Captured in December
1863 near Tazwell, Tennessee, Hurst spent the remainder of the war in military
prisons in Kentucky and Illinois. In 1870 Hurst and his wife Mary (Lynch)
(1835-1908) joined other residents of Claiborne County, Tennessee, who had
migrated to Texas. By adding property to his first land purchase in 1872,
Hurst became a prominent land speculator in the area. In 1903 he granted
a right-of-way across his farm for the construction of a Rock Island rail
line. In exchange, the company named a rail stop and depot for him. Later
it became the town of Hurst. Honored for many years by his friends and relatives
with festive birthday celebrations, Hurst was the father of 14 children and
had over 100 grandchildren. Many family descendants still live in the area.
William M. Rice
Located at 310 S. Stewart St., Azle.
William M. Rice first came to Texas in 1834 and settled in what is now
Nacogdoches County, where he was involved in frontier defense and served
as an Alcalde in the Mexican Government. He served in the Texas Revolution
and was wounded in the Battle at San Jacinto. He and his wife, Mariah, later
lived in Harris County, in Kansas, and in Dallas County, where he was a farmer
and merchant. During the Civil War, he was active on the home front, making
soldiers' hats and hauling supplies. About 1874, Rice moved to Tarrant County,
where he lived until his death.
William Madison McDonald (June 22, 1866-July
Located in Old Trinity Cemetery, 700 Grand Ave., Fort Worth.
Born in Kaufman County, William "Gooseneck Bill" McDonald became active
in politics in 1890. His ability to unite black and white voters led to his
prominence as a leader of the "Black and Tan" faction of the Republican Party.
He remained influential, serving as a delegate to many state and national
conventions, until the decline of the Republican Party in Texas in the early
1900s. Also active in black Masonic societies, he served as State Secretary
for 47 years. He moved to Fort Worth in 1906, founded the Fraternal Bank
and Trust Company, and was a prominent civic leader. (1982)
Located at 408 Shelton Drive, Colleyville.
A Post Office with the name Bransford opened in this vicinity in the late
19th Century. In 1889 the Post Office was moved to Red Rock on the route
of the St. Louis, Arkansas, and Texas Railroad. Named for pioneer Felix Grundy
Bransford (1828-1898), the Post Office name eventually replaced the name
of Red Rock and the Town of Bransford became the center of a large framing
community. Early residents of the area remembered a Post Office, two daily
passenger trains, four doctors, two blacksmith shops, a livery stable, four
general stores, and lodge hall in the town. The railroad depot provided a
passenger and supply center for the surrounding agricultural communities.
The Bransford Lodge Hall, built in 1911, provided a meeting place for four
groups: The Odd Fellows, Woodmen of the World, Knights of Modern Macabees,
and the Farmers Union. It was also a gathering place for many community
activities. The closing of the Bransford Post Office in 1913 and the advent
of highway travel contributed to the decline of Bransford. By the time the
city of Colleyville was incorporated in 1956, most reminders of the hamlet
called Bransford had disappeared. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986.
Fort Worth "Where the West
Located at the northwest corner of Houston & W. Belknap Streets, Fort
Founded June 6, 1849, as frontier post of Co. F., 2nd Dragoons, 8th Dept.,
U.S. Army. The commander, Maj. Ripley Arnold, named camp for his former superior
officer, Maj. Gen William Jenkins Worth. In 4 years of operations, the post
had but one serious Indian encounter. A town grew up alongside the fort,
as center for supply stores and stagecoach routes. In 1856 Fort Worth became
county seat of Tarrant County. A boom started after 1867 when millions of
longhorns were driven through town en route to Red River Crossing and Chisholm
Trial. Herds forded the Trinity below Courthouse Bluff, one block north of
this site. Cowboys got supplies for the long uptrail drive and caroused in
taverns and dance halls. After railroad arrived in 1876, increased cattle
traffic won city the nickname of "Cowtown". By 1900, Fort Worth was one of
world's largest cattle markets. Population tripled between 1900 and 1910.
Growth continued, based on varied multimillion-dollar industries of meat
packing, flour milling, grain storage, oil, aircraft plants and military
bases. Fort Worth also has developed as a center of culture, with universities,
museums, art galleries, theatres and a botanic garden.
Located at 211 Main St., Grapevine.
Wild mustang grapes growing profusely in this area inspired the name
"Grapevine" for this community. Ambrose Foster (1794?-1847) and his wife
Susannah Medlin (1796-1876) were among the first settlers in 1845, from Platte
County, Missouri. The Fosters, their daughters and sons-in-law acquired land
that became the heart of Grapevine. Within the first year worship services
and school classes were conducted. Cattle raising was the major enterprise
prior to the Civil War. Beef cattle were sold to Camp Worth (present Fort
Worth) by Archibald Leonard, Fosters' son-in-law, who owned a mercantile
store. In 1858 a Federal Post Office was established and run by Solon Dunn.
During the 1870s the village was also known as "Dunnville". In 1914 the name
became "Grapevine". After the Cotton Belt Railroad line opened in 1888, the
town thrived as a shipping center for cotton, grain, truck crops and dairy
products. In 1907 Grapevine incorporated. By 1934 two major paved roads leading
to Dallas and Fort Worth were constructed. A dam built in 1942 on Denton
Creek formed Lake Grapevine. It serves as a water supply, flood control measure,
and a recreational area. In 1974 the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport opened within
the city limits. (1979)
Located at the intersection of SH 1709 at SH 1938, at Jellico Corners
Robert Emmett Wilson came with his family to this area during the 1880s
and built a general store near this site. The name Jellico was chosen for
the community when a post office was established in 1898. The town was named
after a town in Tennessee from which some of the settlers had immigrated.
By 1895, Jellico had a cotton gin, blacksmith shop, grist mil, syrup press,
and school. The town began to decline when cotton prices fell in 1907. Wilson's
General Store closed in 1912, and the school was consolidated into another
Located at the park entrance on Bear Creek Rd. just east of US 377,
After Texas & Pacific Railroad came through this area, H.W. Wood,
a druggist, set aside 40 acres on July 19, 1881, for this townsite. He named
the new village "Athol". Within a year, the name became "Keller", honoring
John C. Keller, railroad construction crew foreman. Many businesses grew
up to meet the needs of the surroundings farms. In 1886 the Post Office was
established. There were two hotels, three doctors, a newspaper, and a school.
The Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian congregations erected a Union Church
building in 1886. Keller was incorporated 1958. (1980)
Located at Packing House Plaza, 500 block of E. Exchage St., Fort Worth.
Incorporated in 1911, the City of Niles was called the "Richest Little
Town in the World" because of its size and the number of large businesses
located here. Included in the townsite, which eventually covered 1.5 square
miles, were major meat packing firms, the Fort Worth Stockyards, two grain
elevators, a cotton seed oil company, and a petroleum refinery and pipeline
plant. By the early 1920s the town's taxable property was valued at $30,000,000.
Niles was named for Louville Veranus Niles (1839-1928), a successful Boston
businessman who first visited Fort Worth in 1893. His reorganization of the
Fort Worth Packing Company in 1899 led the firms of Swift and Armour to locate
their plants in this area in 1902, rapidly increasing nearby business
development. Substantial muncipal tax revenues helped make the city of Niles
a progressive community. Under the supervision of a Mayor and five Aldermen,
funds were used for improvements in roads, utilities,and city services. The
two school districts which served the town also benefited from the large
tax base. Despite legal efforts beginning in 1921 to remain incorporated
and avoid annexation, the City of Niles became part of Fort Worth in 1923.