The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 401
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Notes and Documents
Van Zandt, banker Martin B. Loyd, lawyer J. J. Jarvis, and newspaper
editor B. B. Paddock, visited Fort Worth, saw its potential, and began
to work for the development of the town. These new civic leaders
recognized that one of the things the village needed was a railroad,
or better still two or three or even four railroads-highways of steel
that would forge a network radiating from Fort Worth to the north,
south, east, and west and make the town the marketing center of the
North Texas area.
As if in answer to these dreams, Thomas A. Scott, president of the
Texas and Pacific Railroad arrived in Texas in 1872 looking for a
route for his proposed transcontinental road. Accompanied by publi-
cist John W. Forney of the Philadelphia Chronicle, Scott visited Fort
Worth and promised to place the town on his route in return for land
grants and other support. Local businessmen were suitably impressed
and pledged the necessary assistance. Forney reported:
The hotel accommodations at Fort Worth need to be greatly enlarged,
but there are comfortable private dwellings, and the citizens are kind,
courteous, and hospitable. ...
... Lands in the vicinity of Fort Worth have been selling at ex-
ceeding low prices, but they will be greatly enhanced on account of its
proposed railroad facilities.'
As Forney predicted, news of the railroad brought a business boom.
The price of land increased, new stores opened, and speculators flocked
From the fall of 1872 to that of 1873 Fort Worth grew from a little
hamlet of a few hundred into a bustling city of three or four thousand.
Rents were fabulous and business in all lines was active. Fortunes were
made in real estate, and corner lots would double in value in a night."
Anticipating further growth, Tarrant County legislators introduced
a bill to incorporate Fort Worth. The proposed charter received leg-
islative approval in February, 1873, and the first municipal elections
were held on April 3. Fort Worth was a city, at least on paper.
Then the bubble burst. As Texas and Pacific crews reached Eagle
Ford on the Trinity River a few miles from Fort Worth, financial panic
overtook many of the nation's banking houses. Scott lost his backers,
'John W. Forney, What I Saw in Texas (Philadelphia, 1872), 15.
6B. B. Paddock (ed.), Fort Worth and the Texas Northwest (4 vols.; Chicago, 1922),
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969, periodical, 1969; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/m1/235/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.