Heritage Trails

Women in Early Fort Worth
Coming Soon!

Jane Farmer was living with her husband and infant daughter in tents on the Bluff of the Trinity River in 1849 when Major Arnold and his Dragoons arrived to establish Fort Worth. Her husband, Press, became the fort’s suttler (supplier) and their family moved further south. Jane was soon joined by Kate Arnold, her children, and members of the extended Farmer family. As the city grew, women advocated for paved streets, schools, clean water and orphanages. In 1866, Dorcals Williams was named postmistress. Belle Burchill started home mail delivery and in the 1880s, Sue Huffman became the first school superintendent. In 1895, Daisy Emery was the first woman to graduate from the Fort Worth Medical College. Women collected “cigar money” from Fort Worth men and persuaded Andrew Carnegie to help fund the city’s first public library, built here in 1901. Women’s activities were vital to the establishment of Fort Worth.