THE STORY OF WHITE SETTLEMENT
This early history or White Settlement was
prepared by Frances Colwell
Y. S. Morgan of the White Settlement Historical Society and presented
a Chamber of Commerce Appreciation Banquet for the White Settlement
Firemen and Policemen and presented to the
City Council in celebration
the Bicentennial Anniversary of the American Revolution.
Settlement goes back to the earliest days of the Texas Republic.
Soon after his election as the first President of Texas in September of 1836,
Sam Houston attempted to increase land values by increasing immigration to Texas. Colonization and
settlement were encouraged by the General
land Office established
in 1837. Large tracts of land were granted to those who would settle them, and
the "Homestead law" guaranteed that a homestead could not be
confiscated to pay debts other than the one contracted in paying for the
of the earliest men to take advantage of the liberalized land policy was Logan Vandiver who received a "Headwright
Certificate" dated February 16, 1836 to a 1476 acre tract just west of the
Trinity River where the present city of White Settlement is located. The area
was heavily infested with Indians. and in 1840, across
and east of the Trinity River, Bird's Fort was
Built. This stockade was about twenty miles away from the settlers west of the
Trinity and afforded them little or no protection. In
September of 1843. a treaty was signed at
Bird's Fort by representatives of the Republic of Texas
and Indian tribes. which opened the door for more
pioneers to claim the fertile plains of the "Grand
Prairie" in what is now western Tarrant
County and Parker County.
Indian problem was definitely not settled for many years to come. Apparently both
Indians and Whites were not too careful to keep the treaty and other tribes,
not included in the treaty. moved into the area. The
settlers must have been very happy to see a small army outpost established on
the bluff above the junction of the Clear Fork and the West Fork of the Trinity River. The camp was started on June 6, 1849 and
on November 14, 1849. the war department officially
designated it Fort Worth.
On December 20.1849, the creation of Tarrant County from the Northern portion
of Navarro County was signed into law by Governor George T. Wood and was named
in honor of General Edward H. Tarrant. a veteran
Indian fighter and a Representative from Navarro and limestone Counties.
Settlement goes back to the 1840's before Fort
Worth was established and when there were seven Indian
villages in the general area and only one non-Indian settlement. Pioneers from Tennessee and Kentucky
first immigrated to Texas
in search of a better way of life for themselves and their families and were
willing to take the chance with Indians and Indian uprisings. Texas
was thought of as the "Land
of Promise" where
settlers could buy land for 50c an acre and "squatters" who were
willing to settle on land without deeds were given preemptive rights to buy 320
acres of land at that price.
such settler was John Press Farmer and his wife and daughter who were living in
a tent on the new site. A native of Tennessee, Farmer had
sampled East Texas before moving westward. He
and his wife had cut some timber and their home was almost complete when
Indians were sighted. The Farmers fled on horseback. When they returned their
home was charred rubble.
was not easy. As the settlers continued to come, the early pioneers produced~
sturdy type of citizenship that the people of this area was
proud to honor. If it had not been for the unselfish devotion to these settlers
in behalf of this community, it would not be here today. White Settlement can
be rightfully proud of its first citizens.
Settlement became a trading outpost on which comparatively peaceful Indians
came to rely because of the honesty of the white settlers and the goods they
dealt in. Here the migrating pioneers from the east found a fine rich country,
carved out of homesteads among the Indians, and others called their area “ the white settlement".
1854, a well-equipped ten wagon train with a number of residents from Kentucky,
leaving crowded conditions and exhausted land, headed west with their
destination Texas. The new arrivals hoped to get a fresh start. They settled to
the west of Fort Worth
in a community that came to be known as White Settlement. Many of the planters
brought slaves with them. Many of them settled on land pre-empted from the
State and grazed fine herds of cattle along the banks of a creek named Farmers Branch. Early settlers streamed in and made their
living from the rich land. Cabins were built near a branch or creek as this was
source of pure clear water. The bottom lands were rich and fertile and virgin
land yielded bumper crops. The settlers caught fish, trapped deer, wild turkeys
and prairie chickens for food.
the pioneers continued to move westward bringing their families to the area,
the need for a school came about in the early 1860's. It was a small one room
log cabin, (which stood where the runway the Carswell
Air Force Base is now located, known as Pecan Grove). It also served as a
central gathering place for the community.
other settlements in those early days, the religious needs of the people were
soon provided. Soon after the one room log school house was built, the Baptist Church
was organized and on February 8, 1868 became known as the New Prospect
the early days as other pioneers migrated to this part of Texas the prairies succumbed to the plow and
the settlement which is .known as White Settlement developed into a prosperous
farming community. This way of life continued through the reconstruction period
and continued to grow.
Settlement went through World War One and depression in the 1930's. War clouds
began to come over the horizon in the late 1930's and the population explosion
started. With a population of approximately 500 inhabitants an aircraft plant
was constructed on its northeastern boundary. An army airfield was established
on the east, and White Settlement grew rapidly to a population of 10,000. The
school district doubled in January 1943 and the home increased from 200 to 1200
in one year.
were named honoring local pioneers: Cherry
St., Normandale Blvd, Redford Lane, Rowland St., Smith St.. Tinsley Road
Drive. These pioneers were well-respected throughout
the area and were proud of White Settlement.
Constant improvements in all phases of the public domain continues
to be the key to the development and continuity of the city and of the cheerful
and wonderful people who make up the city of White Settlement. Many improvements have been
made throughout years in the mode of life in White Settlement with the
construction of many churches. elementary schools. a high school. and junior school or
middle school, a city hall, a hospital, post office, bank and a fire hall for the volunteer fire
department. two rest homes for Senior Citizens, a Chamber of Commerce and numerous
commercial and industrial buildings and firms. With
Inter-state Highway 20 on the south. White Settlement anticipates more progress. Our
city is in the midst of one of it's greatest periods
of growth in our history. We are moving forward and should continue to do so.
With the completion of the Northwest quadrant of Loop
820, it will be like opening the Western frontier again. It would be well at this time to
reflect on the humble beginning of our city. The untiring efforts of our
predecessors in meeting and solving problems should inspire us in our efforts
to face and resolve the difficulties of this day. We must grow in a progressive
manner or face the prospect of stagnation. White Settlement is fortunate by
reason of its location and its access to the great metroplex.
May we continue to be guided by building of a new frontier as set by our
founders and provide an even better community for our children.
this year of our Lord. Nineteen Hundred and Seventy Six.
White Settlement has a current population of approximately 14.000 inhabitants
within its five square miles.
White Settlement Chamber of Commerce is proud to present this to the White
Settlement City Council and to celebrate the Bicentennial year of the American