Heritage Trails

Fort Worth 1849-1853
Paddock Park – W. Belknap & Commerce Streets

On June 6, 1849, Major Ripley Arnold and Company F of the Second Dragoons established a military post on this site. Arnold named the post Fort Worth to honor Major General William Jenkins Worth, commander of the Department of Texas. Worth died of cholera before he learned of this honor. The fort was the northernmost in a line of forts in central Texas established to provide protection for settlers and oversight of the Native Americans in the area. Log buildings with earthen floors surrounding a parade ground were built for stables, housing, a hospital, commissary, kitchens, laundries, and Sutler’s store. Two houses for commanders were constructed. In September 1853, Fort Worth was closed and the troops moved to other postings. Settlers moved into the buildings or tore them down and used the materials elsewhere. These buildings and these early settlers were the foundation of the city of Fort Worth.