The Year Was 1877: Daily Life in Old Cowtown

Articles from the Daily Fort Worth Standard of 1877 show what life was like in Cowtown 136 years ago.

The Standard reported that dead hogs were detracting from the ecclesiastical ambiance at the Methodist and Presbyterian churches.

Fort Worth was about to vote on a local option law, and the Standard urged voters to defeat the measure lest it lead to the downfall of Cowtown and the resurrection of Big D.

The Standard bemoaned the sad state of the west side of the crossing of the Trinity River on the road to Weatherford.

The Standard kept track of the number of cattle passing through Cowtown.

City ordinance made it unlawful to hitch a horse to an awning or to the courthouse fence, but the Standard continued to complain about hitched horses blocking sidewalks.

Imagine a time when the arrival of a staple as basic as salt was newsworthy (or adworthy—the line between news and advertising was thin back then). C. B. Daggett and R. Hatcher were wholesale grocers on the courthouse square. Cowboys driving cattle north on the Chisholm Trail stocked up on supplies at Daggett & Hatcher’s as the herds passed through Fort Worth. C. B. Daggett was brother of E. M. Daggett.

Streets were unpaved and muddy in rainy weather. Sidewalks were wooden, where they existed at all. The Standard called for more sidewalks, especially between the Cattle Exchange Saloon and the post office.

In 1877 Fort Worth got a new business—a steam-powered cotton compress, which reduced the bulk of cotton bales for shipping to mills.

Also in 1877 the city got a gasworks. This article gives a summary of the process of manufacturing gas. A separate article listed the locations of the new street lights—from Belknap to 8th Street.

But not everyone was pleased with the placement of the new street lights.

This entry was posted in Advertising, Life in the Past Lane, The Year Was 1877. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.