From 1880 to 1918, Fort Worth struggled to grow into a “city of substance.” During the 1880s, it became a major railroad hub. However, Fort Worth seemed doomed to remain in the shadows of its sister city, Dallas, until Armour and Swift opened packinghouses in 1903, propelling it into the forefront of the nation’s meatpacking industry.
Author Harold Rich’s Fort Worth: Outpost, Cowtown, Boomtown is a meticulously researched story Rich’s account of the efforts of powerful boosters John Peter Smith and Buckley Paddock adds color, as does his description of the lawless Hell’s Half Acre. Through a combination of thoughtful leadership and luck, by 1920, Fort Worth had achieved its goal. It had become a city of substance.
—Jim Jones author of Waning Moon