Photo by David Kozlowski,
The drovers of the Fort Worth Herd.  You can see the herd walk through the streets of the historic Stockyards area each afternoon. 

Fort Worth was founded in 1849, shortly after the end of the Mexican-American War. It was named for General William Jenkins Worth, who had served in the war and fought at major battles in Monterrey, Veracruz and Mexico City under General Winfield Scott. The fort, located atop a bluff near the junction of two forks of the Trinity River, was designed to protect American settlers who began moving into the area when it became part of the United States. The area was still inhabited by Native Americans and settlers were therefore vulnerable to surprise attacks.

As the cattle ranching business boomed in Texas during the mid-1800s, Fort Worth grew into a rugged but prosperous town.

As it was the last stop along the Chisholm Trail, along which millions of cattle were herded north to shipping towns, Fort Worth was a popular watering hole for wild and unruly cowboy types. Saloons, gambling parlors and dance halls filled the town, earning it the nickname of “Hell’s Half Acre.”

In 1876, the Texas & Pacific Railway built a station at Fort Worth, which turned the city into an important livestock center. The cattle business remained big in Fort Worth up through the 1960s, after which point the oilfields nearby gained more prominence in local economy. However, today the city is still known as “Cowtown,” and Fort Worth celebrates its ranching history with museums and designated historical landmarks.