Drawing of Fort Worth by William B. Potter
Fort Worth was made possible due to a series of Texas
military actions in the Trinity Valley including the Sloan/Journey
Expedition, followed by the establishment of Bird's
Fort and the Village Creek Fight. We
are fortunate to have pictures of the location of Bird's Fort which
were provided by Gerald Harris. Gerald and a group of historically like-minded
friends are promoting public access and recognition to the old fort's
It's always gratifying to find dedicated people involved
with our pioneer history. Lea Ann and I were on a field trip to the
re-enactment at Fort Richardson the fall of 2001 where we spotted Willard
Thomas being assisted in adorning a sash which topped off his Dragoon
General's uniform. Unfortunately, we are haivng trouble getting the
pictures on the web at this time but just the same, meeting Willard
was a fortunate occurrence. He gave us a tour of the Heritage
Room in the courthouse as well as Heritage Park, just to the northwest
which overlooks the Trinity where the traildrivers used to bed down
their herds. We then visited the Pioneer Rest
Cemetery and admired the new memorials installed honoring the unknown
soldiers which are now known thanks to Willard's dedicated efforts.
I also include Willard's short history of the fort
in Fort Worth as well as Ms. Julia Kathryn Garrett's
descriptions from her book, Fort Worth, A Frontier Triumph.
Ms. Garrett is remembered as the dean of Fort Worth history.
She was largely responsible for the promotion of the Historical Society
and for decades taught a demanding history class at Arlington Heights
High School. Well-known author Mike Shropshire recalls that he and blues
legend Delbert McClinton were sitting at the back of her classroom on
the first day when she walked in, wrote her name on the blackboard and
began to list what would be required of her students. Unfortunately,
in good voice, Delbert attempted to whisper something to the effect
of "She doesn't fool around". She continued to fill the blackboard
until the bell rang and then turned around to face the students and
said, "That's right, Delbert. I don't."
A few weeks later in what must have sounded like his future
hit, "Givin' It Up", Delbert was summarily ordered out of
class as he pleaded, "Aw, Ms. Garrett. I wasn't trying to look
at her paper, honest. I was just trying to look down her dress.