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Arlington History, Texas

The Trinity River, with its many tributaries and lush environment, has made Arlington, TX and the surrounding area a superior dwelling-place for thousands of years.  In fact, archaeological evidence shows that human habitation of the area dates back to the Stone Age. 

When the Europeans arrived, most of the Native American villages in the area were settled along Caddo Creek, one of the Trinity River’s tributaries.  The first recorded evidence of European visitors to the area was made by LaSalle, a French explorer, during the 1600’s.  However, the area was not successfully settled until after 1841 when Captain Jonathan Bird established Bird’s Fort to the north of the present-day city. 

In that same year, General Edward H. Tarrant drove out a large portion of the American Indian population during the Battle of Village Creek.  This battle saw the death of many American Indians but only one European American. 

After the battle, hardships, such as raids by Native Americans still dwelling in the area, caused the settlers to temporarily abandon Bird’s Fort.  However, on September 29, 1843 chiefs from nine American Indian tribes met with settlers at Bird’s Fort and signed a peace treaty with the Republic of Texas.  This treaty was known as Bird’s Fort Treaty and it allowed European American settlement on the entire area. 

The city that is now called Arlington was first settled by a Texas Ranger named Colonel Middleton Tate Johnson in 1848.  After being assigned to a nearby post with his men, the Colonel decided to settle permanently on a nearby site.  He built a small community that came to be known as Johnson’s Station. 

Colonel Johnson died in 1866 and three years later, Reverend Andrew Shannon Hayter settled in the community.  He founded a church, but he also worked as a land surveyor.  When the Texas and Pacific Railway Company came to the area looking for the best route for a transcontinental railroad, Reverend Hayter gave much-needed assistance. 

Because the railroad company had purchased the town site, they wanted to name the town after Reverend Hayter.  He objected to this idea, though, based on the fact that his name was usually mispronounced.  He instead suggested that the town be named Arlington after General Robert E. Lee’s hometown in the state of Virginia.  Arlington became an official town in 1877.  Because of its location and means of transportation Arlington soon had a growing economy based mostly on agriculture and the community prospered. 

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  • kachou_nHistoric Fielder House
    travel tip by kachou_n posted more then 30 days ago
    The Historic Fielder House is quite significant in Arlington's history because this mansion was among the first brick structures that had electricity, indoor plumbing and central heating installed. The house with its two stories...
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