Who? (The Cyclist)

The man between the helmet and the pedals is Mike Nichols, who began rediscovering his hometown by handlebar at age sixty-two. A former columnist and travel writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and author of Balaam Gimble’s GObjects in mirror are closer than they appear.umption, Lost Fort Worth, and Live From the Boneyard, he is a journalist by training, a slacker by inclination, and a Texan by providence.



144 Responses to Who? (The Cyclist)

  1. john Winfrey says:

    I have a lot of knowledge and memories of the old drive in theatres that were all around ft worth. Lots of interesting history there and I saw a lot of good movies at them all over the years. I mostly attended around 10 different ones in town from 1953 to around 1975 when I moved on in a busy life. Cowtown, Westerner, Downtown, Boulevard, Cherry Lane Twin, Parkaire by the Zoo, Old Corral these were the ones I attended the most but others too from time to time.

  2. Rick Mullens says:

    This is a great site. Thank you!
    I am searching for information on the old gambling house previously located west of Fort Worth, south of I-30/Hwy80, high on a hill that could be seen from the highway. After standing vacant for many years it finally burned down. Do you have any history or legacy of this old poker house?

  3. RICK DAVIS says:


    • Thanks for visiting this site. Unfortunately the author, Mike Nichols, has passed away. We are currently working to find a solution to best preserve this informative website.

  4. Tom Acker says:

    Mike do you know anything about the architect Barbara Friedman? She was the 2nd female architect registered in Tx. She built & lived in a house in the Como neighborhood on Halloran in 1938. I got this from a Star Telegram article June 6, 2021. I drove down Halloran – I’m guessing it’s the house on the SW corner of Bonnell Ave. It’s unique. She built at least 2 other houses in FW according to the article but there’s not enough info to locate them. The article is the only info I can find on her.

  5. John Shaw says:

    It looks like you had an article on Bird’s Fort that I can find in the Google results but is shown not to be found on your website. Do you still have that article or is there any kind of way I could see it? It looks like you have great pictures of it before they started the Viridian development. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Greg Brady says:

    Hi Mike,

    Wondering if you could point me to the exact spot of the plaque marking the spot of the first gristmill and sawmill. The one that references Julian Feild. I have an assumed rough location near the big parking lot at Panther Island but I can’t locate it. Would appreciate your help! —Greg

    • hometown says:

      Greg, as I recall, it’s at the southwest end of the bridge, but looking at a 2022 Google streetview image, I am not sure the plaque is still there. Several along the river have disappeared. It might also be on the OUTSIDE edge of the bridge at the very end.

  7. Allie H. says:

    Hey Mike.

    I’m the vice chair of the Fort Worth chapter of the 99s, the oldest organization of women pilots in the world, and I was wondering if you’d be interested in helping with some research into some of our members of historical import. I see you don’t enjoy public speaking yourself, but I thought you might be a good resource for digging into our chapter’s history a little more.

  8. John Olthoff says:

    In “Lost Fort Worth” you reference a Colonel Nathaniel Terry, you mention him selling his plantation. You reference his coming from Alabama, that he was alive at end of War of Northern Aggression. I have searched just about everywhere and it almost seems like Nathaniel Terry was as common as a John Smith. Do you have any further information on h

    • hometown says:

      John, I have no information on Terry beyond what is in the posts. It appears that I usually refer to him as “Nat Terry.” That name appears in six posts.

  9. Jim Monk says:

    Hi – My sister sent me an article your wrote for the FWST some time ago about the Railroad spur to bomber plant helped US win WWII. I put the article in my travel folder for when I came to visit my sister (I live in Hawaii). Today we went out and looked at all the spots you mentioned in the article. Great to find them! I notice another trestle just south of the two that are between the two entrances to the Ridgmar Mall, by the way. But my question is this: there are two trestles between the entrances and it would appear to me it was the beginning of a large turn around loop so the trains could come to the bomber plant, drop off whatever and then go back the way they came. Was there such a loop? Thanks for the history of Fort Worth. Jim

    • hometown says:

      Thanks, Jim. See the blog post, which has some images. I don’t think the map and aerial photo show a wye or turnaround. I am going back out there tomorrow to get a better photo of the trestles over King’s Branch where the two forks split west of the mall.

  10. David Hansford says:

    Hi, Mike. I’m part of the North Ft Worth Historical Assn/Saints and Sinners Tour – Historic Oakwood Cemetery. Friend of mine, D Carl told me about ‘Walter Ament Huffman’..sounds like a viable characher to portray Oct2022. Haven’t been able to find anything related to whether or not he was married, had children..or not. I have your book ‘Lost Fort Worth’ and will look in there for anything related. Do you know anything about Walter other than what I’ve gleaned from your ‘Hometown by Handlebar’ site.??? Thank you

    • hometown says:

      David, there is a photo of Huffman here. For wife and children see here. The Huffman family was intertwined with other prominent families–Everts (law), Hendricks (railroads), Bennett (bricks), Evans (retail).

    • John Olthoff says:

      Mike you say Everts law,Hendricks railroads, but Sarah’s father was noted online for being a lawyer in Sherman,Grayson,TX. Could you please expound. Thank you

    • hometown says:

      I don’t know much about Hendricks. He was in Bonham by 1849, in Sherman by 1855. He was a master Mason by 1857. That year, still in Sherman, he was one of the attorneys assigned to examine the records of county courts of counties in Peters Colony as those records pertained to the colony.
      By 1873 he was in Fort Worth and partnered with Smith and Jarvis.

    • Anne Maddox says:

      Hi David, I am related to Walter Ament Huffman (as well as Hendricks, Evarts, Evans, and Bennett). I am happy to help you if needed. My father and I have lots of knowledge about him:)

  11. Jim Griffin says:

    For decades, I’ve been trying to find any photo of the famous ( to us lads in our seventies) front entrance to Ed Alexander’s Hobby Shop on Main St. The three foot wing span B-36 above the door was just about the greatest thing we kids ever witnessed. Later it was replaced by a B-58 Hustler. I still have my 1951 “Scientific” AMA model bought there hanging from the ceiling..crazily, it had a wooden prop made in Japan? Surely Fraser Freeze took a pic or two. He photographed just about everything worth while in Cowtown- especially bldg.’s and architecture.

    • hometown says:

      At seventy-two I vaguely recall Edd Alexander’s Hobby House at 313 Main but better remember Wallace’s stamp and coin shop next door. They were next door to the Knights of Pythias hall, I think. Alexander died in 2003 at age eighty.

  12. Carolyn Ogan says:

    Thanks again, Mike. I love going through your site. So many memories. My Stepfather, Jimmy McGill, was a cameraman for KTVT, and I was on the “Slam Bang Theater” with my bluebird troop. I didn’t get to run the fake projector though – LOL!

  13. Carolyn Ogan says:

    Hello Mike,
    I grew up in Fort Worth, and had a stepfather in the news business. I really enjoy your work – amazing!

    I am currently doing a website for a non-profit TCU group trying to get the story of Fred Rouse out there. Is it at all possible to use some of the info you have available on Mr. Rouse in that endeavor? And, if so, how would we go about doing that? We would, at the least, credit you fully and link to your website.

    Anyway, it would certainly help us out if you’re at all amenable to it.

    Thank You for All the GREAT work!

  14. Phil Strawn says:

    Mike, I enjoy your website and am impressed with your knowledge of Fort Worth’s history. I grew up here, but moved to Plano in the early 60s, and am now living in Granbury. My father was a country fiddle player with the Light Crust Doughboys for 50 years, and a native Fort Worth boy. He also owned the Sunset Ballroom on Jacksborow Highway for a few years back in the early 50s. Please publish more on the country music days of the 50s on Jacksboro and Belknap Highway.

  15. Mike,

    Have you ever seen or written about the rare O’Flaherty Map of Downtown Fort Worth, circa 1873 and a later version of 1877?

    I am told one exists at City Hall but, the attorney I spoke with there did not know of it. He is asking others about it.

    We have been in business here since 1928 so am both interested in and somewhat knowledgeable about local history though do not qualify for that appellation. Maybe a visit over coffee or a glass of wine would be mutually interesting.

    Call if you think so: 817-891-1970



    • hometown says:

      Mr. Holland, the earliest map I am aware of is an 1876 bird’s-eye view of FW (essentially today’s downtown) by D. D. Morse. The Sanborn fire maps began in 1885. The CD of FW maps compiled by the late Pete Charlton is an invaluable resource, but I don’t think it’s for sale after his death. I find no O’Flaherty map on that CD.

    • Barney B. Holland, Jr. says:

      I can’t recall if I advised you that I have come into possession of a 71/2″ by 8″ holographic map, meticulously drawn, ink on linen, dated June 9, 1874 that apparently was either not in or survived the Court House fire circa 1876.

      The map accompanies a petition to the City Council from the owners of Block 123 (460’x 460′)to divide it into four smaller, 200’x 200’blocks by extending two 60′ wide streets through it.
      The petition is signed by Thos. A Tidball, D. Boaz and seven other early citizens whose names I don’t recognize. Block 123 is today occupied by a multi-family building facing Belknap Street.

      I think that this map was created and signed by T. Gardner (the City’s first? surveyor). It depicts approximately 70 blocks of north end of Downtown from:
      Burnett Street on the West
      Third Street on the South,
      Elm Street on the East and
      Bluff Street on the North.
      Additionally the map includes, in blue, and identifies a reach of the “West Fork of Trinity River” and the confluence of the Clear Fork (not identified).
      The streets and widths are shown. Rusk Street, now Commerce Street is identified.

      The Surveys of “A. Gouhenant (sic) and “M. Baugh” are identified.

      So far this is the earliest map of Fort Worth that I have seen . . .

      Happy to show it to you. If it is as I have represented it deserves to be archived properly. Your thoughts?



    • hometown says:

      Mr. Holland, that is certainly the oldest map of Fort Worth that I am aware of. Tarrant County Archivist Dr. Dawn Youngblood might be able to advise.

  16. Cecilia Kay Morris says:

    HI Mike,
    Very interesting! I have been interested in Fort Worth History since I first learned about it in school. I hope they still teach it. I am EHHS 66 grad and lived on Meadowbrook Drive for 21 years. I would love to see stories about the history of the East Side, especially the Meadowbrook area.

    • hometown says:

      Thanks, Cecilia. Being from Poly, I probably have most posts about the East Side than any other part of town. The blog is searchable by keyword. There is also an “East Side” category.

  17. Sarah Doswell says:

    Hello Mike,
    I have just stumbled upon your website. Fascinating information about old Fort Worth. I have truly enjoyed reading and seeing the old photos. I was curious if you have any information about the architect who built 2323 Medford Court West in the Parkhill neighborhood? Thanks!

    • hometown says:

      Thanks, Sarah. Pelich and Biscoe designed several houses in Parkhill, but I don’t find that one in my posts. The Tarrant County Historic Resources Survey book says only that it was built in 1932 for oilman Julian Meeker. A building permit was issued in 1930 to Frank S. Hofues. Deed card tells us nothing.
      FWIW: In 1930 Pelich and Hofues were incorporators of a miniature golf course company. Hofues also apparently for a while owned 2301.

  18. Jim C says:

    I am a amateur FtWorth history dude and high school Social Studies teachers and I have questions ;).

    I know you know about Sol Bragg. I know the locations and the stories. I have been hunting, without any success, some of the physical artifacts that were related to Sol –
    1. The book/pamphlet that W.St.Claire wrote on Sol Bragg(his life story, confession, etc). It was for sale at the post office and the bookstore of the time, so Im assuming that somewhere in the Fort there is a copy.

    2. The manacles that were used on Sol and given to the jailers son. The son actually collected several pieces of FtWorth history. I cannot find much info about the guy. He supposedly had a great collection of things – maybe donated to a local museum? or stashed away in a chest somewhere in FtW?

    3. This one is a little morbid – the noose used on Sol was given to the wife of the Mr.Green, who Sol was accused and convicted of murdering.

    Are you familiar with these items?

    Thanks for your time.

    • hometown says:

      Jim, you have picked yourself a real challenge. Good for you. History ain’t for sissies! I wrote a post about legal hangings in Tarrant County that begins with Bragg, but my sources were mostly newspapers of the era, of which few survive. I have not seen the photograph you mention. There surely were not many photographers in Fort Worth in the mid-1870s. One was T. P. Day, 5 1/2 Houston Street. Another was Crawford and Wheeler, 7 1/2 Houston. Also E. L. Reid at the Missouri Hotel. I don’t think the Swartz brothers were here yet. As for finding the relics, any long-shot source I could mention has already occurred to you—public library, county archives, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Some goodies, as you know, disappeared into private collections and were never seen again. I suspect that the Bragg relics, like most relics, were discarded by heirs who did not know or appreciate their historic value.

    • Jim C says:

      The picture I read about was taken by N.G. Fowler who at the time owned a picture store with another guy in downtown FtWorth at the time. I dug around for info on Fowler and there was one other story on him. He had a big outdoor picture exhibition a few years earlier.
      There is mention of a Professor Fowler that taught in Ft Worth at the time. Maybe the same guy. I cannot for the life of me find what N.G. stood for.

      Love history and your site has been a great resource for my local adventures. Thanks man!

    • hometown says:

      Thanks, Jim. I had forgotten: In my post on legal hangings I mention that Fowler photographed Bragg. Fowler also was a member of the M. T. Johnson hook and ladder company in 1874, but that’s about all I have found on him. He is not in the 1877 city directory. In 1873 he was a partner of a man named Berry in a photo gallery here.
      Could he be Nathan Godfrey Fowler? I can see a jeweler becoming a photographer or vice versa.
      Looks like this Fowler was admitted to the Confederate Home in Austin in 1923 and died in 1926. I do not find his obit in the Austin paper in March 1926. He may have died elsewhere.

  19. Juan Hernandez says:

    Coke spring jail. Do you know what school it
    Use to be you have to help me bro. What was it. 817-233-4472

    • hometown says:

      Juan, the Ninth Ward School for African Americans was located at 230 Swift Street at Cold Springs Road. The school later was Ruby Williamson Elementary School and then housed New Lives, a school district program for pregnant teenagers. In 1985 the county bought the property for use as a jail facility. Here is a link.

  20. John C Winfrey says:

    Mike, my wife bought me a copy of your book on Ft.Worth. And its very good. Being a history student all my life and raised in White Settlement and a teacher for many years, your book filled in many gaps for me. A lot of it I was familiar with but other areas were good. Lots of great history in there and with the two I have on White Settlment and my own research and knowledge of my own lifetime, I have a pretty good picture of it all. I recall that nice little model of the Ft that was at the old Childrens Museum for many years. And I have seen many old pics of FT. Worth from many sources. Good job.

    I attended the old Brewer High School was in the Aggie BAnd long ago and served in Germany in the Cold War in Audie Murphys old unit. I am retired now since 2009 and had many good teaching experiences and military career. TAke care. Lots of good old experiences in Ft. Worth from long ago.

    • John Winfrey says:

      Oh yes, I was once a armed guard for Wackenhut at the old CNB Building in 1973 between jobs and careers. That building came down in 2006 as I recall. A real landmark there for a long time.

    • hometown says:

      Thank you, Mr. Winfrey. Sounds like you have lived some history yourself!

  21. I moved to Thailand in 2009 after living in FW for 30 years, and 20 years before that in Arlington. On a short visit return visit in 2010 I took a picture of Texas de Brazil, linked below. I enjoyed your write up about the Sinclair Bldg.


  22. William J. Hansard says:

    I just want to thank you for all of your work on this website. I am a graduate student of history at UTA, and I am processing the Judy Cohen Cowtown Moderne papers. This is has been an invaluable resource for me in further understanding the collection, and also the history of Fort Worth. I am sure I will continue to consult your work long into the future.

    • hometown says:

      Thank you for your kind words, William. And thank you for your work in preserving the Judy Cohen papers.

  23. Jim King says:

    I manage the Texas Railroad Interlocking Tower website which attempts to document the 200+ railroad interlockers in Texas, many of which had manned towers. Polk’s Tower in Ft. Worth was one of these, officially Tower 126. Although it was less than a mile south of Tower 55, we’ve never found a photo of it. Do you know of any photos of Polk’s Tower?

    • hometown says:

      Great website, Jim. Wish I could help with Polk’s Tower. I see the roof of the tower in a 1952 aerial photo, but that’s it. Don’t find anything on Portal to Texas History. Don’t find it mentioned in the S-T by either name.

  24. Keith Bowden says:

    I just discovered your site. My adult son playfully teases me about my recent fascination with Fort Worth history. He lives in the Firestone apartments and I don’t think he realizes he’s right in the center of it all. Thank you so much for sharing all this information. I’d love to have coffee with you sometime.

    • hometown says:

      Thank you, Mr. Bowden. Your son is indeed surrounded by history. The Firestone service center building turns ninety this year. From the Firestone apartments you could throw a rock to where Fess Parker lived and where the body of Maggie Tewmey was found nailed in an outhouse. And where John Peter Smith lived. And where the first house in Fort Worth stood. Like you, my interest in Fort Worth history is relatively recent, and I have had lot of catching up to do.

  25. Barbara Grenier says:

    This is a fantastic website! My great nephew who is 18 years old told his grandmother about it (my sister). He is very interested in Fort Worth, and he said he has everything you need to know. I’ve been reading it too – my father worked at Bewley Mills before it went bankrupt. Fascinating! Daddy actually worked for them in Puerto Rico selling Bewley’s Best before moving back to Fort Worth. I also read Lost Fort Worth and Balaam Gimble’s Gumption and enjoyed them both thoroughly. I’m proud to have been a classmate of yours at Poly! Oops, I see now my sister Lita Campbell already told you the story about her grandson. I’m leaving it in! Thank you so much for this website and also the Poly67 one!

    • hometown says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Barbara. When we were at Poly High I was probably less interested in Fort Worth history than were most of our classmates. So I have had a lot of catching up to do in the last eight years.

  26. Lita Campbell says:

    My 18 year old grandson is extremely interested in Fort Worth and its history. He was showing me some photos of Bewley Mills where my father worked — turns out it was on your website. He has really enjoyed your work, and now I am, too!

    • hometown says:

      Thank you, Lita Campbell. Tell your grandson that he is at least forty-four years ahead of me. I did not become interested in Fort Worth history until I was sixty-two! If I had gotten interested at age eighteen I might have had time enough to tell all of Fort Worth’s stories.

  27. Kimberly B. says:

    Hello, Mr. Nichols, I used to be the bartender at the River Bottom Pub on Randol Mill Road and am quite interested in any info of its history. I have been told that there might be history of ownership that was related to Bonnie Parker with it all tying into relations of decendants tying in with Quannah Parker. Could you help me in verifying any of this please?

  28. Robin McClure says:

    Hello Mr. Nichols. My family has 4 lights from the Worth Theatre. I have pictures of the lights hanging in the theatre from the UTA library. I am reaching out to see if you have any contacts that might be interested in them. I think they need to stay in the FW area as part of the history. Please email me if you have time. Thank you.

  29. Jan Penland says:

    Hello,Mike Nichols! I’ve been an avid fan of this blog for several years and have enjoyed all the history lessons you put together. Thank you! Now I wonder if you have any information on Junius Whitfield Smith, who arrived in Ft. Worth in the early 1850’s. He became the second district attorney of Ft. Worth, and the Confederate States Receiver during the Civil War.

    . He was my g-g-grandfather and I wish I knew more about him. He is referenced repeatedly in Julia Kathryn Garret’s book, Ft. Worth, A Frontier Triumph. Thank you in advance for any info!

  30. Merry Ellen Turner says:

    I found your blog while researching my father’s family. He was descended from W.R. Turner who had the livery stable you’ve mentioned. My dad, William Lynn Turner, was born in Weatherford in 1902 and died when I was only 7 – so I grew up without much information about the Turner side of my family. I’ll be heading to Weatherford for the first time next month to visit some of the places I’ve been able identify with the family name. Would appreciate any resources or suggestions you might have. Thanks so much for putting together this terrific blog! What a tremendous resource.

  31. Lillian Yeargins says:

    Hi Mr. Nichols,

    UT Austin student and Paschal Alumni here. This site has been an invaluable resource for my research project on the African American history of Fort Worth. Would you please shoot me an email if you see this before Nov. 13, 2018, and would be willing to answer a few questions? Assuming you can see the email posted in the required field.

  32. Liliana Cano says:

    Hi there! I’m a librarian at TCC Trinity River, would you be interested in a speaking engagement? I think you’d be great.
    Send an email if you’re interested in something for October.
    Thank you,
    Lily C.

    • hometown says:

      Ms. Cano: Thank you for the invitation, but I long ago bowed to my fear of public speaking, and since then people who had heard me perpetrate public speaking have told me I made the right decision. Mike

  33. Willie Dowdell says:


    We occupied Del Murray Field, East Side Pony League Park, and Poly High School concurrently.

    Your place here is fascinating. I’m so glad I stumbled across it.


  34. Andres Feliz says:

    really enjoy reading about Fort Worth my hometown and the stories to go along with it.

  35. Chris Nichols says:

    Hi, Mike. We are related. I am Tommy Nichols son. Hope you are doing well. You provide a fascinating view of Fort Worth!

    • hometown says:

      Hi, Chris. Good to hear from you. Glad you enjoy the blog. Say hey to your folks for me.

  36. Nancy Brownlee says:

    Hi Mike-

    Nearing my 70th birthday, and thinking today about summer cays at the Sycamore Park pool… The friends I used to swim with are gone, now, even their little house on Parkdale, behind Poly High, is gone- the whole damn block is gone, actually. I just wanted one other Poly kid to remember that time, and place- the sun spangles through the trees and the flashes on the water; and how we all turned mahogany long before the end of June.

    • hometown says:

      We’ve indeed seen a lot of changes along that strip of Beach. I guess “the Rec” is all that is left. There was a city amphitheater on the site of the Rec in the early 1950s. Even earlier the city of Polytechnic had an artesian well near the swimming pool site. Played a lot of golf at the 36-hole miniature golf course. Walked from the high school through that strip to the ball diamonds for Pony League baseball practice. A friend lived on Parkdale. He’s dead, and his street is gone.

  37. Matica says:

    I just want to drop you a note and let you know I look forward to every post. Your site is my absolute favorite.

  38. Cody Deeds says:

    Mr. nichols,
    I am trying to find out more information on 526 S Jennings Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104. This is the address of my grandfathers shop, Dunnagan Iron Works. For the last 50 years or more the building has been in my family but I would live to know the History of the building.

  39. Michael says:

    Thank you so much for your hard work. I take such pride in my home town and your website has been inspiring. Just ordered lost fort worth and can’t wait to dive in.

  40. Steve says:


    Please keep up the great work! I stumbled across you blog while researching something to satisfy my curiosity. I love the history and knowledge you share about Fort Worth. I get lost in your site almost daily! I really appreciate the work you do!

    • hometown says:

      Steve, thanks for your kind words. In the last six years I certainly have learned a lot about my hometown.

  41. Jon Conway says:

    I enjoy and am relaxed (truly) by reading your daily posts. Please keep up the great work–it is appreciated.
    A question; Who was Bryant Irvin? Obviously Bryant Irvin Rd was named for him (or them, or her) but I can find no reference to the origin of the name.
    Jon Conway

    • hometown says:

      Thank you so much, Jon. The story I have heard is that Mr. Bryant and Mr. Irvin were farmers/ranchers. Many of our double-named roads were named for either the people whose property the road connected and/or the people on whose property the road was cut. Bryant Irvin Road apparently went in about 1959, using part of the old Guilford Road. I can find no newspaper clips of the road being planned, built, named, etc.

  42. Karen McCarver says:

    Hi Mike,
    My father, Allen Short recently passed away and in going through old photos found one that I think was taken at Camp Taliaferro during WWI. It’s very interesting: quite a few Curtiss biplanes on the ground and three in flight headed towards the camera. Are there many pictures like this one? My great-grandfather probably took it; his name was William M. Short and he was a partner in Capps & Cantey around that time. Thanks!

  43. BP says:

    Hi Mike,

    By chance stumbled upon your article about my ancestor Middleton Tate Johnson. Was an interesting read and most of it jives with what we know as well.

    How did you decide to write an article on him?


    • hometown says:

      Thanks, Ben. Your ancestor left a lot of fingerprints on local history. Over the last four years I have done more than 800 posts, increasingly about Fort Worth history before 1930. Middleton Tate Johnson, like the Daggetts, Ripley Arnold, Edward Tarrant, John Peter Smith, Amon Carter, K. M. Van Zandt, J. J. Jarvis, B. B. Paddock, Sanguinet and Staats, Winfield Scott, etc., is someone with a past worth keeping alive.

  44. Clayton Taylor says:

    Hi Mike. I just wanted to drop you a quick compliment on your book “Lost Fort Worth”.

    I was born and raised in Dallas and transplanted to Fort Worth about three or so years ago. I annoy my wife on a daily basis with questions as we drive like “I wonder what that building was for?”, “I wonder what used to be there?”, or “I wonder what every happened to that company?”

    It was a pleasure to spot your book in the Barnes and Noble the other day as it answers almost all of my questions, and perhaps sparked my interest even further. I now have a book full of places I want to go visit in person.

    Thanks again for the great book.

    • hometown says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Clayton. Happy exploring.

    • Myron T. Butler says:

      I had a Fort Worth Press paper route in the late 50’s that included Stanley Ave. up to Windsor Place. I remember Pappy Lee O’Daniel living in the 2nd or third house in the first block of Stanley, south of Windsor Place, on the east side of the street. Our former governor, as he did frequently, would not pay me the $1.05 monthly charge for the Press one month despite my repeated efforts.
      . My dad, Ira Butler, who was a big supporter of Ernest O. Thompson ( my middle name is Thompson in honor of the former Chairman of the Railroad Commission),in his losing democratic primary battles to O’Daniel in ’38 & ’40, went with me one day to collect.Of course, unknown to me being in the 5th grade,there was already bad blood

      between Dad & O’Daniel stemming from those primaries. Well, O’Daniel stiffed us again, and I remember my Dad, a Fort Worth lawyer, standing in O’Daniel’s side yard,red with anger, shaking his fist and shouting, ” I’m going to sue you for $1.05″ The “show” made quite an impression on me. I still remember it vividly, and I’m 71.
      The late W. Dalton Tomlin, prominent Houston lawyer, grew up a couple of blocks west of Stanley on Windsor Place. Prior to his sad passing in 2010, we traded many emails discussing(actually arguing spiced all too often with salty language) where O’Daniel lived during his golden years.
      Dalton was convinced he lived on Warner Road
      Can you shed any light on where our former governor lived?
      Best regards,

      Myron T. Butler
      7048 Gateridge Drive
      Dallas, Tx. 75254
      Phone: 214-966-2303
      Email: myrontbutler@gmail.com

    • hometown says:

      Mr. Butler, the O’Daniel house is at 2230 Warner Road. He owned the house 1925-1945. It was built about 1901 by W. J. Rogers, whose farm was developed as Berkeley Addition in 1924. O’Daniel had the house remodeled.

  45. Cara says:

    Mike, I have a favor to ask. If you see any buildings that would be good candidates for Historic FW’s annual Endangered Places List, would you mind emailing me the address? You can visit http://www.historicfortworth.org/ if you need more information.
    Your blog is always interesting and educational – thanks for keeping FW’s history alive.

    Thank you!

    • hometown says:

      Thanks, Cara. I am sure you are well aware of any structure I would suggest. I do hope the T&P freight terminal and electric power plant can find a new lease on life.

  46. Brian says:


    I really enjoy the blog. I grew up in Westworth and we used to walk and bike in the woods adjacent to Shady Oaks Country Club. There was an old cemetery in those woods. If I recall, many headstones were from the 1800’s. Do you know anything about it?

    Happy New Year!

    • hometown says:

      Thanks, Brian. Sounds like that might be Thompson Cemetery off Altamere .25 mile west of Roaring Springs Road.

  47. Carilyn Dougherty says:

    Hi Mike
    I appreciate your blog, thanks. I’m attempting to reconstruct part of Fort Worth’s social history. Landmarks are silent about people’s lives and how events changed them, the culture and therefore FTW. Judge Hogsett’s granddaughter (Nell) kept all the letters from the WWI aviators who were courting her – hundreds of letters from more than half a dozen Flyboys who were training at Taliaferro Field and who wrote to her from “over there.” There is a small collection of letters from the Society Editrix of the Star-Telegram (1917-1919) Gladys Medlin also known as T’wa T’wa.
    I recently started a ‘storyboard type’ blog . . . This is our family’s history. It’s the flesh & blood of Cowtown. I wish we had a writer like you in our family.

  48. Gene Wiles says:

    Having been trying to pin down some info on a dark part of Fort Worth’s past, the last lynching of a black man. The story I have is that a teen-aged black man working at one of the north side packing plants around 1920 crossed a strike picket line and was lynched for doing so. He crossed the line because he needed to buy medicine for a ill brother or sister. Do you have any info? Thanks for the website. After I read the news of the day I finish with your site. It is a pleasant way to end the morning routine. Blessings…

    • hometown says:

      Thank you for those kind words, Gene. I plan a post on the Fred Rouse lynching of 1921 when I get a few more facts.

  49. Ann Heinz says:

    wahoo!! son in Austin had to show me this site but this is terriffic!!! love the old city and all the fantastic stories you dig up. Miss your great writing from S.T. days but the good guys are gone.

    • hometown says:

      Thank you so much, Ann. I probably spend as much time on this blog as I did on paying work at the Star-Telegram! Mike

  50. Alicia Howell says:

    Thank you for such a great site. I’ve just discovered it and am addicted to learning more about the history of my hometown.

  51. Hi Mike,
    I have been a huge fan of your posts for awhile now and have truly learned a lot about the city I love to live, work, and play in. I was curious if you have ever done any coverage of the James E Guinn School Complex on East Rosedale. I am the Director of IDEA Works FW a mixed-industry business incubator that is located in the recently renovated elementary school building built in 1927. We even still have a coat rack from when it was a school. If you are ever interested in seeing what the campus has turned into for local entrepreneurs in its second life, it would be a pleasure to give you a tour.

    Thank you for your coverage and analysis of Fort Worth. Your blog is a huge asset to the citizens of Fort Worth even if they don’t know it yet.

    Best regards,
    Hayden Blackburn

    • hometown says:

      You are very welcome, Hayden. And thanks for your help on the Guinn School Complex.

  52. Jim King says:

    Great site, particularly the Tower 55 info. If you come across any old photos of Ft. Worth Towers 53, 18 or 126, please pass them along.

  53. Chris says:

    Hello Mike, I’ve so enjoyed your site for some time now. I await your posts everyday. I am 35 and always loved our local history, I’ve learned so much from your site and even expanded on things I already knew about. I grew up all over Fort Worth but mostly in Fairmount and so many things I always wondered about while I traveled as a youth you’ve brought up here. Thanks again and keep up the great work!!

    • hometown says:

      Thank you, Chris. In most cases I am slinging this stuff out there as I learn it myself. Born in Fort Worth but grew up not knowing much about its past. Playing catch-up now.

  54. Penny says:

    I’m really happy to have found your site. What a wealth of information and I am thrilled to know you’ve done it on two wheels. Many thanks from Fairmount!

    • hometown says:

      Thanks, Penny. As an old East Side boy, I have loved discovering Fairmount. Probably have taken more photos of it than of any other part of town.

  55. Stacey says:

    This is a fantastic blog! I am from the Fort Worth area, and thought I knew a lot of history, but you have certainly educated me. Keep up the great work!

  56. What a fantastic blog! I can see that I am going to spend a lot of time on your amazing blog whenever I get homesick for Fort Worth.

  57. Kara says:

    Mike, I found your site while rooting around for the back story on Chase Ct. All my 29 years have been spent in Fort Worth but I’ve always been fascinated about the city’s layers and past lives. It really puts things into perspective. Thank you so much! This is a rare treat.

  58. Connie Eastin says:

    Thanks for keeping me connected to the Fort Worth area, as I’m a native Texan now living in Colorado. The pics and history are educational and your quirky comments very entertaining.

  59. Stacy Schnellenbach Bogle says:

    You don’t know how many times I tell people that you’re the “go to” guy if you have any questions about Fort Worth. I love this blog and will not rest until it’s a book.

    • hometown says:

      Thanks, Stacy, for your encouragement. It’s fun to share what I learn. As you know, writers (and teachers) can’t resist show and tell.

  60. Paul Mastin says:

    I love the blog! I ran across this after I read “Left Behind in Rosedale” and was googling some background on Poly. I’ve enjoyed your architecture and history posts. I look forward to more!

  61. Dale Hinz says:

    Great Blog I look forward to it everyday. 3 years after WWI broke out Canadian gov’t established 3 flying field near FW. 7,000 workers constructed airfields: Taliaferro 1,2,3. In Greenwood Cemetery there are 11 members of the Royal Flying Corp and the daughter of an enlistede man. The ground belongs to the Bristish gov’t. Thought you might want to do a blog about it sometime..

    • hometown says:

      Thanks. And thanks for the heads-up. That is exactly the sort of Cowtown nugget I love to find out about. I’ll be aiming my handlebars toward Greenwood. I also have a post on Benbrook Field and Vernon Castle coming.

    • Marlene Richardson says:

      There is a memorial, of sorts, in a neighborhood of Benbrook that commemorates the training field that once was there. I took some photos of it a few years back and the folks who lived there sort of looked at me like it was strange that someone would make a drive to see that site. Dont blink or you will miss it.

    • hometown says:

      Marlene, I know about the memorial to Vernon Castle on the street of the same name. Is there another memorial? Coincidentally, today I was at the RAF memorial at Greenwood, where Castle is listed as a fatality who is “buried elsewhere.”

  62. John Shiflet says:

    Hi Mike,
    What a wonderful blog! The quality of your writing immediately made me recognize it was done by a pro. Nothing wrong with that as it skillfully brings our local history to life. Would you be interested sometime in taking a look at Fort Worth’s oldest neighborhood, Samuels Avenue?
    My spouse and I have lived here for the better part of 23 years. So many great stories on Samuels from Fort Worth’s earliest days. The “great land swindle” involving Peters Colonist Felix Mullikin, his widow, and his heirs (who once owned much of Samuels Avenue) would make for one great story-another might be about gold-digger (who hit paydirt during the California Gold Rush) Baldwin L. Samuel, the neighborhood’s namesake. Enough for now, please let me know if you are interested and thanks for sharing this fascinating blog. May it grow and prosper…ride on!

    • hometown says:

      Hey, John, I know you–y’all are in the Reilly-Lehane house, right? One of the few gems left along there. Thanks for your kind words about the blog. I posted FW stuff daily to Facebook for ten months before starting the blog, so I have lots of material yet to put up. I am still learning about Samuels Avenue. As I was growing up on the East Side, “Samuels Avenue” was just a designation on a city bus. If that old street could talk . . .

  63. Chuck Harvey says:

    You write so beautifully, it brought a tear to my eye, Mike. Great photos, great history research. You answered questions about the eastside of Fort Worth I thought were long buried. Horace Cobb and Cobb Park. The clinker brick house I went by almost everyday on the way to Oaklawn Elementary.

    Thanks a million for this great site.
    You can thank Chesley Sanders for pointing it out to me. Keep it up. I am absolutely enthralled.

    • hometown says:

      Thank you, Chuck. I’ve spent the last eleven months picking my jaw off the ground as I learn about my hometown. I practically grew up in Cobb Park but never gave its name a second thought. It’s fun to find connections and gratifying when something that resonates with me resonates with people I share it with. Lots more to come.

  64. Bryan Richhart says:

    I left a post on my friends website forums, his is more about the “technical” side of the buildings in town.

    Bryan Richhart

  65. Jane Waddell Rosamond says:

    Mike, this new website is FANTASTIC! I love history, and this is one of the best history classes ever taught!

    • Nancy Brownlee says:

      Jane Waddell- I am Nancy Smith Brownlee- from Eastland Street, from Castleman Street – I think you must be the right Jane Waddell!

  66. Debbie Marshall Cooper says:

    I have enjoyed learning so much about my hometown. I have learned more from you about Ft Worth than I ever did living there for 26 years. Keep up the good work.

  67. sherry lynne newman mallory says:

    All my best to you on this new part of your adventurous ride!

  68. Hi Mike, I have enjoyed your photos on Face Book, but I really like this site. Keep up the good work.

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