Birdville Historical Society
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City History

This page has history on the cities that annexed the Birdville community. These include the history of Haltom City, North Richland Hills, Richland Hills, & Watauga.

 

 

 

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Haltom City, whose municipal boundaries include the first Tarrant County seat of Birdville, is located near the geographic center of the county. Haltom City's land area extends three to six miles northeast of downtown Fort Worth. It is surrounded on the northwest, west, and south by Fort Worth city limits; on the east by Richland Hills and North Richland Hills; and on the northeast by Watauga. It is bisected by Big and Little Fossil Creeks and borders the Trinity River flood plain on the south. The city is situated in an area which once was rolling grassland.\r\n\r\nEstablished from a ranching and farming community, Haltom Village was founded in 1932 and named to honor G. W. Haltom (1872 - 1944), a Fort Worth jeweler whose family ranch holdings comprised much of the new area. Gradual growth was due in part to Haltom's Meadow Oaks Corporation and the bisection of the village by major new highways affording easier access to Fort Worth, northeastern Tarrant County and Dallas. Also in 1932, the routing or State Highways 10 (E Belknap Street) and 121 one-quarter mile south of the old Birdville business district presented local business leaders with a momentous decision regarding the future of their businesses and property investments. Most businesses chose to relocate, in order to take advantage of greater convenience and accessibility for customers, increased traffic flow, and a chance to build anew.\r\n\r\nHaltom City was incorporated on July 5, 1949, and gradually expanded, annexing Oak Knoll, Garden of Eden, Meadow Oaks, East Ridge and, in 1955, unincorporated portions of Birdville. Haltom City elected Home Rule Charter with a city manager, mayor and council form of government on October 10, 1955.\r\n\r\nHaltom City area business leaders and the Chamber of Commerce established the Haltom-Richland Area Chamber of Commerce in 1963 to promote industry, economic development, and planned future growth. Two decades after its incorporation, Haltom City in 1964 had a population of 26, 280 in an area covering twenty-four square miles. Most businesses, consisting primarily of retail and service establishments, are situated along major thouroughfares catering to vehicular traffic. Industry has consisted of warehouses and open storage, gravel mining, small manufacturing and small machine shops. Haltom City today can be characterized essentially as a suburban residential area whos primary phases of growth were in the 1920s - 1930s and the decades after World War II.\r\n\r\nToday the city is traversed by five major roads: State Highway 121 - Airport Freeway; State Highway 183 - Northeast 28th Street - Midway Road; U. S. Highway 377 - E Belknap Street - Denton Highway; Loop 452 - Grapevine Highway 26; and Northeast Loop 820. The historic name of Birdville is carried on in the names of two churches (Birdville Baptist and Birdville Church of Christ), a cemetery (Birdville Cemetery), two roads(South Birdville & Lower Birdville), an independent school district (Birdville ISD), and in the memories of its residents.\r\n\r\n***For more information on the history of Birdville, please visit our 'Birdville History' page.***
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BRIEF HISTORY OF WATAUGA\r\n\r\nMany years prior to the white man, Cherokee Indians first settled in Watauga, meaning village of many springs. They were in search of the bountiful game, fertile fields, and clear spring waters. Around 1843 hardy settlers from Tennessee first arrived in the village. Among some of the first settlers were: W.A., Margaret and James Walker, Jane Weir, Willie Potts, William, Samuel, Martha and Nancy Evins, William, Julia and Mary Carlton, Syrena Stowel and Sarah Henderson. Thankful for the rich farmland and abundant fish and game, and aware of their dependence on God, the early settlers organized the first Church in Watauga, the Willow Springs Presbyterian Church on December 14, 1867. In 1972, a state historical marker was presented to designate the Church’s historical recognition for serving the Lord for over one hundred years. \r\n\r\nIn 1876, the railroad came to Texas, linking the two coasts for transporting people and cattle to the Fort Worth area. In 1930, the Watauga depot stop was moved to Hodge, causing growth to be at a standstill. In 1940, the population was 50. In 1964, population was 300. December 6, 1958, a pie supper was held, (chili pie, cards, black pepper, and vanilla extract was sold) to raise funds for a volunteer fire department. June 10, 1959, the first department was organized, electing as Fire Chief L.C. Sanders, Assistant Chief Edgar Ross, Day Captain L.C Sanders, Night Captain Mr. McAdoo, and Lieutenants Jack Phillips and Neil Cypert. \r\n\r\nApril 18, 1958, Arrant Utility Company deeded Lot 9, Block 1 (5633 Linda Drive) to the City for the purpose of constructing a fire station and city hall. The building cost $1,200.00 in materials and was built entirely by volunteer labor. Ira Armstrong is presently serving as Fire Chief. Seven mayors have served the City. There were: John Ransburger, Farris Jones, John Smith, Mack N. Burke, Jr., Mildred Morris, Noel Meadows, and presently serving is Mrs. Noel Meadows. Churches in the City are: First Baptist, Methodist, Church of Christ, Assembly of God and The Worship Center. The City has three schools, Watauga Junior High, Watauga Elementary and Grace E. Hardman Elementary. Some of the citizens who lived in the City at the time of incorporation in 1958 were: the Brooks, Hargroves, Sharpless', Parkers, Ransburgers, Smiths, Dwights, Schellingers, Cousins, Carbons, Tylers, Terrys, Jones, Tiptons, Cyperts, Lopezs, Bozemans, Moores, Rogers, Sallings, Ross', Jarvis', Chapmans, Harrisons, Taylors, and the Landers. \r\n\r\nOn January 19, 1980 the citizens by an election, adopted a Home Rule Charter and incorporated into this self governing charted was a mini proposition 13, implemented by the former Mayor, Noel Meadows. In June 1980 a new Municipal Complex was opened, in honor of Merle Caudle, Fire Chief, "For devotion and dedication and giving of his supreme sacrifice." An estimated 23,000 people now enjoy the peaceful, friendly atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Watauga is easily accessible to downtown Fort Worth, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, General Dynamics and Bell. \r\n\r\nBy: Mrs. Noel Meadows, Mayor