Birdville Historical Society
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Information that has been on previous pages and has been removed due to updates or new articles ( page) will be placed on this page.

 

**Breaking News**

Fire At Historic Haltom Theater

Photos of Haltom Theater Fire Courtesy of Haltom City Citizen

 

Press Release For March BHS Event

(Please Feel Free To Provide & Publish This Information To Interested Parties)

 

BHS Quarterly Meeting

      

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007 @7:00 PM

(changed from February 27th)

Historic Haltom Theater

5601 Belknap Street

(near the Denton Hwy/Belknap Intersection)

Come See Our New Birdville History Displays,

See & Hear A Local Musician, Tour The Theater,

& Hear Speakers Reminisce About The Theater

For More Information, You Can Download Our

Or Contact Us At info@birdvillehistory.org.

 

 

"This Great Nation Will Endure"

   

Thursday, February 1st - Friday, March 9th, 2007

Photographs Of The Great Depression

Tarrant County College - Northeast Campus

828 Harwood Road, Hurst, TX

More Information On This Exhibit

 

Wanted!!

We are in search of pictures and articles of the Haltom Theater and the

Belknap St./Denton Hwy. Haltom Village area from the 1940's to the 1960's. If you have any pictures or information, please send an email to info@birdvillehistory.org.

-Thank You Very Much

 

Click Here For Pictures

These Pictures Were Taken By Ray Ecklund Of Haltom City Citizen

10th Annual Birdville Cemetery Reunion

Newsletters

 

More Information From Others

 

 

Tarrant County College

Heritage Room Newsletters

& Brochure

Click On Newsletter To Download

(Note: These Newsletters Are To Be Viewed In Microsoft Word.

If You Do Not Have Access To Microsoft Word

You Can Download A Free Microsoft Viewer Here)

                 

 

                                  

    

Click On Heritage Room Logo To Download Brochure

(Note: This Brochure Is In PDF Format.

If You Do Not Have Access To PDF Software, You May

Download A Free PDF Viewer Here.)

 

 

 

10th Annual Birdville Cemetery Reunion

Saturday, May 20th, 2006 @ 11:00 AM

Birdville Cemetery

6100 Cemetery Road, Haltom City, Texas

Join Us

For Our 10th Annual Birdville Cemetery Reunion

Co-Hosted By Birdville Historical Society

& Birdville Cemetery Association

Tours Of The Cemetery Will Be Given

& Lunch Will Be Provided

 

2006 Historic Preservation Conference

Hosted By The Texas Historical Commission

April 20-22, 2006

The Tremont House In Galveston, Texas

"Deep In The Heart Of Texas: Preservation Makes Cents"

Click Here For The Official Conference Site

Click Here To Download The 8-Page Informational Brochure

(The Above Brochure Is In PDF File Format. If You Do Not Have A PDF Viewer,

Click Here To Download A Free Viewer.)

 

February Meeting

Garden Of Eden Historical District

Major & Malinda Cheney

Founders Of The Garden Of Eden Area & Cheney Ranch

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006 @ 7:00 PM

Haltom City Public Library

3201 Friendly Lane  Haltom City, TX

www.haltomcitytx.com/library

Garden Of Eden Historical District's

Brenda Sanders Wise Will Speak

About Preserving Her Family's Heritage

 

"A Word From Our President"

Information From The February 2006 Newsletter

Brenda Sanders Wise will present the program at the next meeting of BHS. Brenda will talk about the Garden of Eden Cultural and Historical District. She will enlighten our group about the history of the area and what they have accomplished.

 

The Garden of Eden Neighborhood Association has a very good presentation and I'm sure you will enjoy learning about our Birdville area neighbors. As much as we would like to take credit for this group, they are actually in the city limits of Fort Worth but were once part of Birdville. The Garden of Eden is located south of Haltom City on Carson Street. There are several historic structures and the association has plans to improve the area and preserve the heritage of the families that lived there when Birdville first became safe for settlers.

 

The association thus far:

4Winner of the 2004 Neighborhood of the Year

4 First African American Historic and Cultural Landmark District in Tarrant County

4 Citation of Merit from Historic Fort Worth, Inc.

4 The Spirit of Fort Worth Award

4 Featured on HCTC Channel 7

4 Featured on WFAA-TV Channel 8

4 Preservation Online Magazine interview

4 Star-Telegram interview

4 Featured in THC Magazine - The Medallion

 

This organization has accomplished so much in such a short time; they are to be commended for their efforts. I hope you will come and support the Garden of Eden as well as Birdville Historical Society and enjoy this program.

Hope To See You There!!!

-Betty Porter, President

Birdville Historical Society

 

Click Here For A Brochure On The Garden Of Eden Historical District

Click Here To Download The Microsoft Word Viewer

 

November Meeting

Tour Of The Bureau Of Engraving & Printing

Bureau Of Engraving & Printing

November 15, 2005

Meet at 1:30 PM/Tour Begins at 2:00 PM

9000 Blue Mound Road

Fort Worth, Texas

www.moneyfactory.com

 

"A Word From Our President" 

Information From The November 2005 Newsletter

The next meeting of BHS will be at The Bureau Of Engraving & Printing where we will tour the money-making facility. The address is 9000 Blue Mound Road in Fort Worth. We will leave the Haltom City Public Library, 3201 Friendly Lane, at 1:00 PM if you would like to follow or you can meet us at the bureau. We will need to be present at 1:30 PM for a 2:00 PM tour. There will be security clearances for you to complete before the tour begins. The tour takes about 40 minutes and is a 1/4 mile walk so wear comfortable shoes. Below is a list of rules and regulations for you to read before the tour. I hope all of you will be able to attend and please try to let me know if you are coming as we only have reservations for 50 at this point. E-mail me at bettyporter@birdvillehistory.org. After the tour, we will be able to spend a little time in the gift shop and we then will go to Chili's on Western Center Blvd. to enjoy dinner together.

Hope To See You There!!

Betty Porter, BHS President

 

Information From The August 2005 Newsletter

On November 15th, we will have our meeting at the Fort Worth Division of the Bureau of Engraving & Printing at 9000 Blue Mound Road in Fort Worth. We will have a 45-minute tour and learn how money is printed. There is a gift shop with all sorts of neat gift items you can browse through. We will need to meet at 1:30 for a 2:00 tour time. We will need to check in and I have reserved space for 50. You must let me know if you plan to go because they want to know how many will be attending. I suppose they have tight security!!! Email me at bettyporter@birdvillehistory.org if you would like to go. There is no cost for the tour. We will be joining for dinner after the tour if you would like. More information will be coming closer to this event.

Hope To See You There!!

Betty Porter, BHS President

 

Rules & Regulations For The Bureau Of Engraving & Printing

 

Neither the BEP Police nor the tour staff will provide coat or package check facilities. Items must be left in your vehicle. The following items are strictly prohibited and are not to be brought into the Bureau.

 

~Book bags, backpacks, aerosol sprays, any pointed objects such as knitting needles, scissors, sharp metal nail files, sharp objects such as knives,

razor blades, box cutters, guns or toy guns, ammunition, fireworks,

electric stun guns, mace or martial arts weapons/devices

~Food or Drinks

~Cell phones, cameras, or video equipment

~The BEP Police reserve the right to prohibit any other personal items.

 

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your tour time to allow for check in process.

Please feel free to call us with any questions or concerns.

 

2nd Annual Tarrant County Historical Summit

    

We had a great time at our 2nd Annual Historical Preservation Summit. We hope to see you at our 3rd Annual Summit in 2006 that will be hosted by the Tarrant County Historical Commission. If you would like to receive an invitation to the 2006 Summit, please email us at info@birdvillehistory.org.

 

 

 

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THE BIRDVILLE HISTORIAN\r\n\r\nVolume 9 Issue 3 August 2005\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNext Meeting\r\n\r\nAugust 16, 2005 7:00 PM\r\n\r\nTCC Northeast Campus\r\n\r\nHeritage Room\r\n\r\nNorth Richland Hills, Texas\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nI trust all of you are having a wonderful summer in this lovely Texas heat!! We had such a fabulous summer last year and this one is payback!! I wonder if early settlers ever got this hot?\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBelow are photos of the 9th annual Birdville Cemetery reunion that was held on June 4, 2005. We enjoyed a very informative time and the food was great. Thank you all for the tasty dishes that you provide each year. There are some great cooks in this group.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nEach time I listen to the tours given by members of the Birdville Cemetery Association, I learn something new. There is so much history at the Birdville Cemetery and we are fortunate to have it in our area.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBerl Welch graced us again with his wonderful harmonica music.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nI'm looking forward to the 2006 reunion which will be the 10th annual gathering and BHS members will not want to miss this event.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe next meeting of the Birdville Historical Society will be August 16, 2005 in the Heritage Room at TCC Northeast Campus at 828 Harwood Road in Hurst. Please meet in the visitor parking lot off of Harwood Road at 7:00 PM. J. Paul Davidson will meet us and show us where to go. The Heritage Room was the recipiant of some of the items from Thelma Ray's collection. Thelma Ray was a long time educator in BISD and wrote a book about Birdville history.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nJ. Paul Davidson is curator of the Heritage Room as well as one of the public service librarians for TCC. He has been with TCC for 23 years. He is married and has four children. Paul will talk to us about some interesting features and collections in the room and will answer questions after his presentation. You will have some time to peruse the items and possibly do some research for yourself.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHave you looked at the website? It has more information now and is something that we can be very proud of. David Voorhees and Evyonne Eddins have been working very hard to locate and document early settlers of Birdville. I think you will enjoy reading the information they have found. Thanks David and Evyonne for a wonderful website.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTo view the site go to: www.birdvillehistory.org.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOn September 22, 2005 the Birdville Historical Society will co-host the 2nd Annual Tarrant County Historical Summit. This is something new and different for TCHC and BHS and I'm very excited to be able to host this event at Birdville. The summit will be in the Wylie G. Thomas Coliseum, the site of the original Tarrant County Courthouse, from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. You will all be invited and I hope you will be able to come. This is an excellent opportunity for historical networking. I'm hoping all attendees will learn some helpful tips on preserving history in their area. There will be several interesting speakeres with tremendous advice for all. You will not want to miss this opportunity to get answers to some questions you may have. You may just want to come to meet other historians and talk to them about what they are doing in their city.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis event is free and refrestments will be served.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIn November we will have our meeting at the Fort Worth Division of the Bureau of Printing & Engraving at 9000 Blue Mound Road in Fort Worth. We will have a 45-minute tour and learn how money is printed. There is a gift shop with all sorts of neat gift items you can browse through. We will need to meet at 1:30 for a 2:00 tour time. We will need to check in and I have reserved space for 50. You must let me know if you plan to go because they want to know how many will be attending. I suppose they have tight security!!! Email me at bettyporter@birdvillehistory.org if you would like to go. There is no cost for the tour. We will be joining for dinner after the tour if you would like. I will give you more information in the next newsletter.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWriters are almost through with our very own version of the history of Birdville and hope to have it completed for sale at the historical summit on September 22nd. This book starts in the beginning with Bird's Fort and goes all the way to Fort Worth and lists some of the early settlers of Birdville. You may be able to read about someone in your family. You will certainly want to obtain a copy for your private library.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWe have a few new members since I last listed them for you.\r\n\r\nThey are:\r\n\r\nDon & Jo Jury\r\n\r\nRD Millhollin\r\n\r\nPat McEntire\r\n\r\nMC Toyer\r\n\r\nPhillip & Victoria Williams\r\n\r\nBonnie Richards\r\n\r\nRuth Pierce\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBIRDVILLE HISTORICAL WELCOMES YOU!\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIt's not too late for those who still need to pay dues for the 2005 year. Please submit your check to Birdville Historical Society, PO Box 14246, Haltom City, Texas 76117.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIndividual - $15\r\n\r\nCouple - $25\r\n\r\nSapphire - $500\r\n\r\nRuby - $750\r\n\r\nDiamond - $1000\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBOARD OF DIRECTORS\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nPresident - Betty Porter\r\n\r\n1st Vice President - Laura Hunter\r\n\r\n2nd Vice President - Bob Watkins\r\n\r\nSecretary - Fran Burns\r\n\r\nTreasurer - David Harper\r\n\r\nWebmaster - David Voorhees\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n-Betty Porter
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The below article along with additional information about Bird's Fort can be found at www.marlinstudios.com/studio/birdfort.htm. This site is taken care of by Mr. Tom Marlin. Please visit his site. This article can be viewed here from March 15, 2005 - April 14, 2005 and then can be viewed on our Archives page.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n1853 Newspaper Article Concerning Bird's Fort\r\n\r\nNotes in Parentheses by Tom Marlin\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe following article is from the front page of The Standard, Clarksville, Red River, Texas, Volume 10, Saturday, June 4, 1853, Charles De Morse\r\n\r\n(Note: Charles De Morse is known as "The Father of Texas Journalism," founding North Texas' first newspaper, The Standard, in the 1850's)\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nEditorial Correspondence of The Standard\r\n\r\nDallas, May 8th, 1853\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDEAR SIR -\r\n\r\n I have just returned from Tarrant County, and find the city of Three Forks (Dallas' old nickname, as it is situated near the three forks of the Trinity River) alive with a new excitement and a creditable one. The temperance spirit has broken out afresh and the Division of the Sons is renewed, and the new (illegible) is the principle topic of conversation. The Division organized by electing B.W. Stone C.P., J.W. Latimer W.A., S.B. Pryor P.W.P, C.P. Nicholson R.S., W.W. Peake A.R.S., W.C. Murphy F.S., J.C. McCoy Conductor, W.J. Dyer A.C., A.D. Rice Treasurer, Adam Guthrie Sentinel. Dr. B.F. Hall is in town and has given two services today to a crowded hall. He gives a lecture on temperance tomorrow evening, at the request of the Sons.\r\n\r\n Since my last from Johnson's Station, I made a trip by appointment with Micajah Goodwin, Esq., one of the eldest and best settlers of this region, to visit the locality of Bird's old Fort, the first settlement in Tarrant county in September, 1941. (The area De Morse refers to here is the original Johnson Station, located today just north of I-30 and SH360 in Arlington. Goodwin's wife is the first buried in the old cemetery on the east sid of SH360. A historical marker commemorates this fact and the grave is the one surrounded by old sandstones.) It was a daring enterprise of the little band who then pushed out into the Indian country, and had to haul all their supplies from Bonham (in 1841 called Fort Inglish). Bird took with him into the wilderness 19 families, of whom 25 were men. They built several houses and enclosed three of them with a stockade. In January, 1842, they were ordered off by the agent of the Peters Colony and were thus broken up. One of the company was killed by the Indians while cutting a road through the timber.\r\n\r\n Anxious to see all the noted localities historically connected with the first settlement of the country, before every vestige of their primitive appearance is effaced by the hand of improvement, I met Mr. Goodwin, and accompanied by the member from Palestine, proceeded to his house on Friday, and remaining the next morning as we set out for the fort, all of us to look at th locality and gone to fish in the lake by which it was situated. Of our party were two Methodist Preachers who got to Mr. Goodwin's just before night on Friday, and they reminded Mr. Goodwin in that seven years before when he had just unloaded his wagon where his house now stands, a Circuit rider came and spent that night with him, and in the morning pushed across a prairie following a trail in the grass secretly perceptible seeking a remote settlement upon the river (the West Fork of the Trinity, between present day Collins and SH360). The boldness of that servitude in the situation of the country at the time, made an impression upon his mind which had never been effaced, and the recital of it as he pointed over the prairie and spoke of the dim track, untravelled and wild, elevated the true wardship of the Cross. I regret that I did not think to ask the name of this pioneer of religion. The regular Circuit Preacher who travelled with me told me that the West Fork which we has to cross, troubled him more than all else in his tour of duty, frequently having to swim it, and the current being rapid. This time we got across nicely without wetting ourselves, and about a mile from it, on a level prairie, we came upon the margin of a beautiful lake in the shape of a crescent, about three hundred yards wide in the centre and coming to a point at either end. It is the handsomest sheet of water I have seen in Texas, large enough to admit of admirable sport in the way of sailing and fishing. As we got opposite the centre of the lake, we saw upon the other side, perched upon a limb, a Bald Eagle, which as we got near, extended its wings and went out of sight. Mr. Goodwin informed me that the place was frequented by both the Grey and the Bald Eagle. The lake is, in Summer, three to four feet deep, but from the Spring rains, perhaps seven or eight feet deep in the Spring. It has a gravelly bottom, clear water, and abounds in fish. Within this area enclosed by the semicircular water, a high point of land puts in probably fifteen feet higher than the surrounding prairie. This land was originally all timbered, but close upon the lake the timber had been cut down by Bird's men, probably as a measure of protection as well as utility, and the land has been put to cultivation. Upon this a young growth had sprung up. None of the structures of the fortification remain now, but a settler has put up a house, from which he was absent when we were there. No land however is in cultivation yet and the place looks much as tho' no one had been there to change the aspect which time has given it since the first Pioneers left it. Fire from the burning of the grass has affected the houses and the picketing which enclosed them, but we could trace the places where they stood, and the line of the enclosure, which was near the centre of the point, close upon the water. Bird is dead; died in Titus county, in peaceful country, and the place would now, years after its settlement, still repose in lonely beauty but for the cabin lately put up. At the far edge of the prairie but far over, about a mile from the lake a farm has been opened. At times the lake is literally covered with ducks, and geese. As we rode around the outside to get within the semicircle, some Didappers swam along near us, and near one of the points we rode in and driving them closely, they dived under the water and disappeared. Bear grass with the stems full of flowers, Verbeva and Prickly pair [sic], and sundry flowers, for which there is no name, were growing upon the vacated land, and I passed my time in groping over the ground, and examining the flowers and the lake, whilst my companions fished; our horses in the meanwhile grazing at leisure upon the fresh grass. We whiled away the time till mid-day and then returned to Mr. Goodwin's carrying back some blue cat fish. Passed the evening with our hospitable friend, who has a most lovely place, with timber and prairie nicely proportioned, a clear running creek beside him, a jewel of a little valley between him and the creek, covered with luxurious mesquite grass, which I am sure our horses thought a Paradise, and around him, south and east, the prairie rises into a hill, from which the view is inspiring, and yet any distant readers will hardly appreciate that this man wishes to sell out and move to the edge of the Grand Prairie to have unlimited verge of grazing for stock. One would think that he had room enough here, to look out across the vast plain south of him, but he feels that he may be cramped after awhile. (Here, De Morse quotes lyrics from a song by Hoffman, which I've omitted) I should mention that this place is still in the Cross timbers, that is to say the portion of which is not in the prairie. We noticed some Spring wheat planted in March, which was doing well, and would make a fair crop. Mr. Goodwin says he never fails to make 40 or 50 bushels of corn to the acre, and on two acres of corn sown in wheat, last spring made 49 bushels.
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Our November Fourth Quarter Information comes from Ray Ecklund, Founder & Webmaster of www.haltomcitycitizen.com.\r\n\r\nThe following poem, "Old Birdville Days," was written by Ray.\r\n\r\nGather around the fire and I’ll tell you the facts\r\nBefore the masonry ordinance and the storm water tax\r\nWe cleared our land with our Grandfather’s axe\r\nBack in the Birdville days\r\n\r\nDaddy taught us the dos and Mama taught us the don’ts \r\nMen were men and women wore petticoats\r\nRattlesnake bites didn’t have an antidote\r\nBack in the Birdville days\r\n\r\nOur children were born by the pale lamplight\r\nWe all worked hard to do what was right \r\nWe could sing to the stars every night \r\nBack in the Birdville days\r\n\r\nFrontier life was simple and frontier life was tough \r\nThe Texas sun scorched our fields\r\n\r\nand the winters sure were rough\r\nbut somehow the good Lord always provided enough \r\nBack in the Birdville days\r\n\r\nWe have laid our fathers down to rest in peace upon the hill\r\nAnd each day we take a moment to remember them still\r\nAnd thank them for their gift of making old Birdville\r\nBack in the Birdville days\r\n\r\nIn commemoration of David Harper’s work to preserve the history of Birdville and Bird’s Fort in Tarrant County.
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Please enjoy this additional information.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe below article along with additional information about Birdville can be found at http://members.fortunecity.com/tokenguy/tokentales/page35.htm.\r\n\r\nThis site is maintained by Mr. Jerry Adams and this article has been reproduced here with his permission. Please visit his site to learn about Birdville and his large token collection.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis article can be viewed on this page from April 15, 2005 - May 14, 2005 and then will be placed on our Archives page.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBy Jerry Adams, Copyright © 1999, In memory of Dick Worthington\r\n\r\nThe token:\r\n\r\nBIRDVILLE / (bus) / BUS CO. \r\n\r\nGOOD FOR / (bus) / ONE FARE \r\n\r\nBronze-round-23millimeters diameter (circa: 1952, listed in "The Atwood-Coffee Catalog" as TX340P, book value = $7.50, estimated value = $25)\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nPREFACE\r\n\r\nIt was Saturday, November 21st, 1998, and the alarm went off at 3 AM, I met Bob Smith in Arlington at 4 AM for the drive to Houston. The Texas token meeting was the first I had been to in years. Bob Smith had agreed to drive his car the ten hours we would be on the road, which is the hardest thing about the long trip. I met many collectors that had been known to me only by name, through letters and emails. Some of the "old time" collectors that I had not seen in years were there also. It was a pleasant blend of "new" collectors, and old friends, buying, selling and trading tokens. You hope that you can make a few nice additions to your collection.\r\n\r\nFortunately, John B. had two identical tokens for sale. Otherwise Robert S. and I may have slugged it out trying to buy the Birdville Bus token hidden away in John’s three ring binders. Even though the token is not as old as I am, it has eluded me for twenty years while prowling flea markets, coin shows, garage sales etc. \r\n\r\nThe Birdville bus token although dating from the 1950’s, is one of the only remaining numismatic legacies of a Texas name some 160 years old. \r\n\r\n\r\nWHERE IS BIRDVILLE?\r\n\r\nThe Birdville Bus token, is listed as a Fort Worth, Texas token, and I accept that classification. Birdville is no longer a separate town, or even a community. A local school district is still called Birdville Independent School District, and it’s schools fall in several Fort Worth suburban towns, including North Richland Hills, Haltom City, and Richland Hills. The name of Birdville is a historic name in Tarrant County, and goes back to the 1840’s. The actual site of Birdville is in Haltom City, Texas, and the original site of Bird’s Fort is in the city of Euless, Texas. \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe name Birdville, was originally a small community that derived its name from an even earlier one named Bird’s Fort, whose name was taken from Captain Jonathon Bird.\r\n\r\n\r\nTHE LOG FORT OF 1840\r\n\r\nTexas became an independent republic on 2 March 1836 (four days before the fall of the Alamo), with Sam Houston as the first president.\r\n\r\nIndian attacks on the few white settlements in the north central area of the Republic of Texas were so numerous between 1837 and 1840 that few whites had ventured past the Holland Coffee trading post in Grayson County. The closest town to the site at that time, was Clarksville, Texas. The area is located in what is called the "cross timbers", which is a large area of mainly post oak and black oak trees growing in a sandy loam deposited by rivers cut through the Texas plains.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe first white settlement in what is now Tarrant County, Texas, was established in 1840, by Captain Jonathan Bird and a company of about 20 Texas Rangers, at a small lake about 16 miles east of the junction of the Clear and West Forks of the Trinity River. The exact location of Bird’s Fort, was on the north side of the Trinity River, and about 6 miles north of present day Arlington, near Calloways Lake. A log blockhouse and defensive earthworks were constructed for protection from Indian attacks. \r\n\r\nCaptain Bird and the 20 Texas Rangers (3-month service tours) lived in the rude log houses during the winter of 1840. However, by the spring of 1841, Bird and the rangers abandoned the site. \r\n\r\n\r\nTHE FIGHT AT VILLAGE CREEK\r\n\r\nOn May 24, 1841, about 7 miles south west of Bird’s Fort, near a small stream (later named Village Creek) flowing into the Trinity River, General Edward Tarrant, Captain John B. Denton and Captain Bourland led a band of 69 militia men on horseback in an attack on a very large group of Indian villages, which stretched up the creek for about 5 miles. Some of the tribes in the villages included Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Waco, Caddoes, Kickapoo, Anadarko, Kickais, Ionies and others. The Indians were farmers, having 300 acres in corn in the bottoms, and the raiding party counted 225 Indian lodges. The only white casualty of the action was Captain Denton, for whom the city and county of Denton are named. \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTHE SECOND OCCUPATION OF BIRD’S FORT\r\n\r\nIn the fall of 1841, three families moved into the recently abandoned fort, and remained there all winter. Their occupation lasted only until the spring of 1842. The men had nearly starved to death at the fort, as all grass had been burned off, and game was scarce. The party had brought little provisions with them, and so in November of 1841, sent a wagon to a settlement on the Red River for provisions. At Bird’s Fort, a not-so-merry Christmas came and went with no sign of the relief wagon. Three men were sent out in search for the wagon. It was a harsh winter for northern Texas, and the men and horses tramped through 6 inches of snow. Near the present city of Carrolton in Dallas County, the men saw a tree with a large hive of honeybees. After dismounting and attempting to smoke out the bees, they were attacked by Indians, and one was killed by an arrow through the heart. \r\n\r\n\r\nSAM HOUSTON AND THE INDIANS AT BIRD’S FORT\r\n\r\nSam Houston, the hero of San Jacinto, headed the Republic of Texas. Houston was beginning his second term as president of the new republic in December of 1841, with intent to solve the "Indian problem." His proposed solutions were based on peaceful coexistence, and mutual benefits.\r\n\r\nHouston wrote " I do not doubt that this system, once established, would conciliate the Indians, open a lucrative commerce with them, and bring continued peace to our entire frontier." \r\n\r\nSam Houston invited the chiefs of all the tribes of the northern areas of the Republic of Texas to a peace council, to be held at Bird’s Fort, in August of 1843. Houston traveled from Washington-on-the-Brazos northward, and arrived safely at Bird’s Fort in the first week of August 1843. Many tribes had arrived and camped in the area. Most spoke different languages but communicated through sign language. Houston waited for the missing tribes to arrive, through most of August, and finally began the council. The two main missing tribes were the Commanche and Wichita. \r\n\r\nThe Bird’s Fort Treaty was signed September 29, 1843 by Texas commissioners and representatives of the Delaware, Chickasaw, Waco, Tawakoni, Kichai, Caddo, Anadarko, Ioni, Biloxi and Cherokee. It’s basic tenants were establishing a line, "where the west began", which basically ran from Fort Worth to Menard and San Antonio. The treaty also stipulated that whites could only west of the boundary only by permission of the president, and Indians were not to cross east of the line except with permission of an (Indian) agent. It also promised that blacksmiths and teachers were to be sent to the tribes. \r\n\r\n\r\nTEXAS BECOMES A STATE\r\n\r\nTexas became a state on 29 December 1845, as the 28th state of the union. The treaty opened the area for settlement, and Birdville was a functioning community by 1848. In 1849 the Texas legislature established Tarrant County. One year later, the small community in present day Haltom City near Carson and Broadway streets, took the name of Birdville. (This community called Birdville was about 12 miles west of the site of Bird’s Fort.) It was selected as the county seat. 1851 opened a post office. A rivalry developed between the small settlement at Fort Worth, and the county seat of Birdville. An election in 1856 moved the county seat from Birdville, to Fort Worth. Birdville lost by only 7 votes.\r\n\r\nBirdville had two newspapers in the 1850’s, one called the Birdville Western Express which was founded in 1855, was the first newspaper in Tarrant County. A second paper called The Birdville Union, whose editor, A. G. Walker, had strong union sympathies. The Birdville Western Express was founded by John J. Courtney, who was a supporter of secession from the union. The war of words between these two editors escalated, until it ended in a gun battle in the streets of Birdville, in which Walker killed Courtney. \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBy 1870, Birdville had four general stores, and a blacksmith shop. By 1896 there was a public school for black children which had 14 pupils and one for white children which had 77 pupils. The post office of Birdville closed in 1906, when the reported population was at 107. The population was reported at about 400 in the 1950’s and it was annexed by the city of Haltom City. The name of Haltom City comes from the early jeweler G. W. Haltom, who started his Fort Worth business in 1903, and built a 4,000-acre ranch in the area in the 1930’s. \r\n\r\n\r\nTHE NAME BIRDVILLE TODAY\r\n\r\nToday, the name of Birdville lives on, mainly in a large school district, which has three large high schools, and numerous grade schools. The story goes that when the incorporation of the town (in 1949) was being considered, the names proposed were Birdville and Haltom City. As a compromise, the city was named Haltom City, and the school district was to be called Birdville. Amazingly many of the people in the school district do not like the name of Birdville, and seek to change the name to something sounding more cosmopolitan. None of the high schools are named Birdville, rather Haltom High, and Richland High, and the mascots do not reflect the obvious possibilities hinted at by the district name.