The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993

Southwestern Hzstorical Quarterly

This, of course, violates a basic rule of historical writing, for it allows no cross-
checking of data. In the text Johnson sometimes gives an indication of the
source, particularly for interviewees, so it seems that she really could have
given full documentation to the book. As it stands, anyone who uses the lengthy
index and looks up someone or some event will be left with the question, "How
does she know?" A second volume is planned. The addition of full citations for
the text could result in a long-standing and very valuable resource about Hous-
ton leaders.
Colorado State University DAVID G. MCCOMB
Fort Worth: Outpost on the Trinity. By Oliver Knight. (Fort Worth: Texas Christian
University Press, 1990o. Pp. xiii + 309. Foreword, preface, maps, black-
and-white photographs, notes, bibliography, index. $16.95, paper.)
This book is the timely republication of the volume first issued by the Uni-
versity of Oklahoma Press in 1953, which went out of print by 1960. Thorough
and accurate in detail, it remains a classic of readable local history.
In 1947 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was already planning for the city's 1949
centennial. The paper's famed proprietor, Amon Carter, had been on the
scene for almost half a century; the staff was aware that its special Centennial
Edition had to be a genuine landmark, and it was-a weighty stack of 480
pages, of which just about one-half consisted of an entertaining made-to-
measure history of the city. It satisfied everybody, including the boss.
For its preparation the chiefs had drafted one of the younger reporters,
Oliver Knight, a quiet sort, but scholarly and precise. The paper provided its
own extensive research library, plus the able and willing oral assistance of sev-
eral of the senior executives who were long-time residents. The resultant nar-
rative is a credit to both the compiler and his subject. Knight later went back to
school and became a college history professor.
Knight outlined his subject into six major areas of importance, these being
the military, cattle, railroads, the packing houses, oil, and the aircraft industry.
In May 1849 Maj. Ripley Arnold and his cavalry company rode up from Fort
Graham on the Brazos and officially picked a site for Fort Worth, another fron-
tier outpost, on the west fork of the Trinity. That August, after a heavy down-
pour, Arnold moved the camp a bit higher, onto a bluff overlook-the spot
where the storied panther "laid down and died" a few years later. In 1853
Major Arnold was shot to death at Fort Graham in a quarrel with the post
surgeon, Dr. J. M. Steiner.
The era of the cattle trails brought the new town its first real prosperity.
The prosperity was accompanied by Fort Worth's renowned notoriety for the
exuberance of its sporting life, epitomized in the district known as "Hell's
Half Acre."
This environment was destined to change for the better when the first Texas
& Pacific locomotive nosed into town on July 19, 1876, marking what Knight
describes as "by all odds the greatest day in the history of Fort Worth" (p. 76).

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/. Accessed December 21, 2014.