Fort Worth, city (1990 pop. 447,619), seat of Tarrant co., N Tex., on the Trinity River 30 mi (48 km) W of Dallas; settled 1843, inc. 1873. An army post was established on the site in 1847, and after the Civil War became an Old West cow town. The first railroad (completed 1876) helped establish Fort Worth as a meatpacking and cattle-shipping point, and it soon also became a center for milling and shipping wheat. In 1919 oil was discovered to the west, and refineries and related installations were built.
Fort Worth, which in its rivalry with Dallas calls itself the city "where the West begins," has been financially revitalized since the construction of major industrial parks in the 1980s, and suburban expansion continues. Oil and gas, cattle, and grain remain important, but newer industries, such as aerospace and electronic equipment manufacture, wholesaling and distribution, transportation, communications, and food processing, have led economic development. The airline industry is critical, with both the Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport and Alliance cargo airport in or near the city; American Airlines is based there.
Fort Worth is the seat of Texas Christian Univ., Texas Wesleyan Univ., and a Baptist seminary. The Tarrant County Convention Center, Kimbell Art Museum, Amon Carter Museum, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Texas Motor Speedway, Bass Performance Center (in Sundance Square), and the old stockyards are among its visitor attractions.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.