The White Settlement Tribune

These articles published the in White Settlement Tribune, October 13, 1966
Author Unknown


Shrouded in the past, the city of White Settlement only gradually emerges from the dust of the old Chisholm Trail, for it was a landmark used by cattle drivers even before the establishment of' Fort Worth. There apparently were settlers as early as 1830, but the first documented pioneers were building their first log cabins shortly before the beginnings of Fort Worth.

In 1849, Charles Turner and two brothers, Elijah (Lige) Ward Farmer and Joseph B. Farmer were building on what is the area known now as Carswell AFB. Through Elijah Farmer's land flowed a creek named, obviously, Farmer's Branch. His home was on the present location of White Settlement Road. Joseph Farmer per-empted 320 acres of land which extended north to the present Knight's Lake on Carswell property.

On at least one occasion, Lige Farmer and his neighbors were called up to give chase after Indians, for the marauding Comanches were quite a danger to the settlers. When they were first there, church services were held in the various homes, because of the danger of Indian raids. Then, when the danger was somewhat lessened, they took no chances in their church buildings either, for there were two men and dogs outside the church and one man, also armed with a muzzle-loader and with a dog inside the church to guard the pioneers. The dogs were often able to smell out lurking Indians long before they would be seen by the men. The scares of Indians were very real, and the false alarms were none the less frightening, for the records show that more than one man, riding alone was terrified by a regular series of owl hoots to find that the Indians making the hoots were as frightened when they realized their signals were being messed up by a real owl and they slipped off into the darkness. Another man thought he was being pursued by Indians and discovered to his pleased chagrin that it was a small herd of calves, attracted by hoof beats.

The first little girl born in Fort Worth was Sue Farmer whose family was travelling from Tennessee. They stayed at the fort until she was born and then stayed at White Settlement to have their wagon fixed by R. H. Cane. Mr. Cane tried without success to get the family to stay but they insisted on leaving. They were later reported as all being massacred by Indians in Millsap, Texas about 1850. As Fort Worth grew larger, there were many encampments around its outskirts. Some were of friendly Indians, some of negroes and these seemed to be designated as to color.

Gradually, the area became known as the white settlement. About 1857 or 1858, Mrs. Mitchell Girl's school presented a May festival and program. The girls were all dressed in white and wore garlands of native white flowers picked from nearby prairies. Captain Joe Terrell was much impressed with the affair and wrote of the occasion for the Dallas News. Referring to the white costumes he mentioned. that the place surely should be called "White Settlement" . . . so the story goes.

During the years of 1854 through 1856 large caravans of settlers arrived in the area. Two of them included Paul Isbell and George Grant from Kentucky. Isbell built a plantation on the site of Carswell AFB, and did a large amount of farming, as well as being a slave trader. He gave land for the first White Settlement school and Isbell Road is named in his honor. The first wedding the town was in 1851 when Elijah Farmers daughter Millie married James Ventioner, Jr., son of James Sr., on of the earliest settlers. They took over farmland which extended west from what is now North Side High School to beyond Ohio Garden Rd. and north to Roberts Cut-Off. James Jr. was known to never be affected by the periodic droughts, and when the question of who had corn to use for cornbread, the storekeepers could always rely on the supply held by James Ventioner. The early home of Charles Turner was razed and he built a fine home near one of the large oak trees that still stands at the entrance to Greenwood Cemetery which was carved out of his original holdings. The stage coach lines ran from Fort Worth to Weatherford and passed through White Settlement. The stage coach stop was at one of the homes that still flanks the golf course on the east end of Carswell AFB. The area continued to grow slowly through the Civil War and into World War I. With the onset of World War II, the city suddenly began to boom, as the bomber plant and Carswell AFB were constructed. The number of homes increased in 1943 from 200 to 1200.

The city was incorporated in 1941 and adopted home rule in 1954. Being completely surrounded by Fort Worth and other communities, it has increased the interest of the citizens in their town and how to best see it prosper.


The first school was north of where General Dynamics is now on Woods Branch and named for Dr. M. L. Woods, the first physician in the area. Its teacher was Miss Annie Evans.

The second school was a log hut, and known as Grant School located in Pecan Grove. The teacher was Mrs. John Mitchell. The school had luncheon benches (logs split lengthwise and the smooth side used for the seat.) it boasted of sliding windows and a fireplace. The children helped haul the firewood and the water. It was later replaced by a frame building.

In 1875 two acres of land were donated by W. J. Redford, and the building was constructed just east of the present corner of White Settlement Road and Cherry Lane. In 1877, a stock subscription was sold and the Trinity Academy operated until 1901 when it dissolved and was replaced again by the White Settlement School. The PTA was formed in 1916 and now has over 1,200 members. In 1920, the school slowly began to grow and added another teacher and then went to three by 1933. The new building in 1933 had added electric lights and still in 1938 sold the lunches for a nickel.

Due to the influx of workers at the "bomber plant", the district doubled in January of 1943. The enrollment increased to 200 students. Homes increased from 200 to 1200 in one year with the addition of "Liberator Village." The first federal grant came in 1943 and the middle building was added. The 8 teachers were increased to 26, and a wartime nursery was established with 15 teachers. The enrollment went up 500% and in September of the same year they had to begin half-day sessions. Another federal grant was issued in 1944 which added another building and the enrollment was up to 1500.

The school had grades 1-10 till 1949 when the high school grades were sent to town. In 1943, the building was modified to add a telephone (and an eight party line at that), and a month later indoor plumbing was finished. The first school nurse was Mrs. Young in 1943. 1947 saw the purchase of nine army barracks from Camp Bowie in Brownwood which became the southeast building and gave eleven more classrooms. The School Patrol boys were organized in 1944 because of the large number of serious accidents, and the total was considerably lessened almost immediately. Acquisition of more land brought it up to a total of six acres by 1943.

The public address system in each classroom was added in December, 1945. East Elementary School was built at a cost of $250,000. Two private schools also in the area, Mrs. Carson's Private School and St. Peter's Catholic School. In the early 1900's there is a mention of a school called Tannahill. It also was a log building, which was replaced with planks, and had the split-rail seats. 1949 saw 1800 students enrolled and by 1951 there were above 2600. The Brewer High School was built in 1952 and opened with an enrollment of 750.

Return To White Settlement Historical Museum main page