|About the Book|
Originally published as a 280 page coffee table book for Fort Worth, the story told by author Caleb Pirtle III is an extraordinary tale about extraordinary people. Thousands of antidotes, hundreds of images, old photos, maps and illustrations make itMoreOriginally published as a 280 page coffee table book for Fort Worth, the story told by author Caleb Pirtle III is an extraordinary tale about extraordinary people. Thousands of antidotes, hundreds of images, old photos, maps and illustrations make it a great read. Originally published in 1980, and just recently converted to epub, it is one of the best books written by Texas historians.Quotes from the Prologue It was nothing but a dusty, erratic river, cursed, some called it?_ that marked the jumping-off place of civilization._ Beyond it, the land stretched under a warm sun,_ and those that basked in it were horny-toads,_ buffalo and small bands of roaming Indians._ When you got right down to it, it didn’t have that much to offer.And yet, it was free land__ and those in the east and the south and the north_ were cramping with the pangs of hunger_ for land, for money, for space, for a new life,_ for an empire they could carve and call their own._ To them, the land stretched_ limitless as the possibilities they dreamed._ And so they came to the Texas prairie.It wasn’t easy in the beginning._ The Indians had first claim._ But that had never really held back the flow of people across the continent._ The sporadic clashes of cultures brought the military,_ and the fort they built eventually became a village—?Fort Worth._ By 1859, the townspeople were talking of courthouses and elections._ The trappings of civilization had found their way into the southwest. In some ways, it was a harsh land._ But if it had its drawbacks, it also had an advantage._ For the mild climate was kind to the prairies._ Vast numbers of cattle–leftovers from the herds_ of the Spanish conquistadores—lived off the land._ The rangy critters were a ready cash crop._ America’s taste for beef had grown,_ and up north, in Kansas, the railroads waited to haul_ the longhorns to those whose tastes matched their money. The cattle drives moved north through Fort Worth,_ the last supply center before Indian Territory._ Though the drives lasted only a few decades,_ Fort Worth was tagged with a title it still retains— Cowtown.But the drives did something more._ They brought banks and services and businesses._ They spread the city beyond its first reliance on the land._ By the 1880s, there was even a railroad._ The town was actually beginning to be civilized._ That early frontier spirit still existed?_but teas and cake walks, churches, schools and skyscrapers_ lived alongside city bootleggers and marshals and Hell’s Half Acre._Then came oil__Texas-black and thick, gushing out of the land__ at Ranger and Burkburnett and Desdemona._ The oil poured out of the west Texas boomtowns_ into Fort Worth where railroads and transportation sat waiting,_ where banks and businessmen could make deals_ across drinks and across country._ The excitement fit right into the spirit of the frontier town. The boom did more than turn over a fast buck and a few fortunes._ It gave impetus to the city itself._ Airports sprouted where cattle had grazed, paved streets_ where the cowboys had whistled the doggies along._ Fort Worth had become an honest-to-god city,_ launched into the twentieth century_ but carved from a backbone of hide and horn.