Heritage Trails

Hispanic Heritage
Main & Weatherford Streets

Fort Worth’s Hispanic community dates to 1849, when cavalryman Anthony Mendez was among the first soldiers at the fort. Vaqueros (Hispanic cowboys) rode in cattle drives of the late 1880s. Fort Worth’s earliest Hispanic residents were noted in the 1880 U.S. census. Political upheavals in Mexico in the early 1890s brought waves of immigrant families seeking work in the city’s railroads, steel plants, stockyards meat packinghouses, hotels and restaurants. Latino neighborhoods (barrios) sprang up around these employment sites on the north, east, and south sides of downtown. Barrio family life revolved around school and church, with charitable organizations providing support to newcomers adapting to city life. Several restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores and other Hispanic businesses established in the early 20th century still operate today.