Arlington | Top O' Hill | Legendary Locals | Caddos, Cotton & Cowboys

The history of Arlington, Texas in picturesArlington, Texas (Images of America Series)

Pub. Date: April 2011
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Paperback 128 pp
ISBN-13: 9780738579818
ISBN: 0738579815
$20.00 and available at the Fielder House and
Knapp Heritage Park Museums.

Historians dispute the founding of Arlington. Some say Arlington started in 1848 when Col. Middleton Tate Johnson started the settlement called Johnson's Station, a forerunner of Arlington. Others say it was 1876, when the railroad arrived, or 1877, when the post office was established. Still others claim 1884 as the founding, because that was when city leaders incorporated Arlington, naming the town after the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Whatever date one chooses for the founding, there is no question that Arlington has grown from its frontier origins into the entertainment center of North Texas. Highlights of Arlington's development include Depression-era gambling at Top O' Hill and Arlington Downs, Progressive values in the Berachah Home for Erring Girls, higher education through the University of Texas at Arlington, and economic expansion with General Motors.

More recently, energetic citizens like former mayor Tommy Vandergriff helped bring two professional sports teams to Arlington. Today the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys share top billing with the city's other signature attractions--Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane Harbor.


Top O' Hill TerraceTop O' Hill Terrace (Images of America Series)

Pub. Date: 2012
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC
Authors - Vickie Bryant and Camille Hess
Paperback 127 pp
ISBN9780738585277
$20.00 and available at the Fielder House and Knapp Heritage Park Museums. Proceeds help the Arlington Historical Society meet its objectives of preserving and presenting Arlington's history.

From the Introduction:

A fascinating historic saga begins with the modest goal of a little lady to open a tearoom and dining room on a lovely hilltop in eastern Tarrant County. Beulah Adams Marshall located the area she wanted on a wooded elevation on the Intercontinental Bankhead Highway. Marshall's cozy facility soon became popular because of its convenient location and delicious home-style cooking.

The plot thickened when Fred and Mary Browning purchased the property and held gambling sessions in the large bedroom. Later, Fred moved the house and had an extensive basement and escape tunnels dug into the hill. He then replace the house, which still appeared to be a dining establishment. The real action, however, now took place in the basement where a full casino with gaming tables, roulette wheels, pool table, and other gambling devices were installed.

Anyone who believes that gaming and gambling can take place without attracting undesirable elements has not observed history. Like moths to a flame, rich and powerful celebrities and criminals came to Browning's new hot spot. Everything was available-high-stake card games, pool, slots, roulette, booze, and women.

The proximity to Arlington Downs Race Track gave an extra fillip that drew even larger crowds. Browning acquired racehorses and added a huge, state-of-the-art stable and a private stone lodging for his prize possession, the gray stud Royal Ford.

Wealthy businessmen, film stars, racehorse owners, and jockeys flocked to Top O' Hill. Soon world-famous boxers came to train in the custom ring and to swim laps in the large swimming pool. Well-known singers, dancers, and jazz bands added their particular spice to the mix. It was Las Vegas before there was a Las Vegas.


Legendary Locals of Arlington, Texas

 

Legendary Locals of Arlington

Pub. Date: 2013
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC
Authors - Lea Worcester and Evelyn Barker
Paperback 127 pp
ISBN: 9781467100588
$20.00 and available at the Fielder House and Knapp Heritage Park Museums. Proceeds help the Arlington Historical Society meet its objectives of preserving and presenting Arlington's history.

Chapters are:
  1. Founding Families
  2. Movers and Shakers
  3. Enterprise and Endeavors
  4. Temples of Knowledge
  5. Everyday Heroes
  6. Gone, but not Forgotten
  7. Diversions and Delights

 

 


Caddos, Cotton and Cowboys: Essays on Arlington, TX

Caddos, Cotton and Cowboys: Essays on Arlington

Pub. Date: 2012
Publisher: Arlington Woman's Club
Written by O.K. Carter and illustrated by Irene Glass
Paperback 245 pp
ISBN: 9780615672120
$20.00 and available at the Fielder House and Knapp Heritage Park Museums. Proceeds help the Arlington Historical Society meet its objectives of preserving and presenting Arlington's history.

From the Author's Notes:
Caddos, Cotton and Cowboys: Essays on Arlington is an attempt to reflect a profile of a place I've been covering in either the Arlington Citizen-Journal or Fort Worth Star-Telegram for more than three decades. Arlington itself is the primary character. Every community, of course, has a unique history and flavor. But in terms of urban development Arlington stands alone as the only municipality among the nation's fifty most populous cities to prosper in the midst of-what turned out to be the magic middle-two giant and competing cities, Dallas and Fort Worth. That story, stretching across more than 160 years, is told here in as succinct a manner as I could manage.