Panther City: Fort Worth’s Economic Resiliency

Nicknamed Panther City after the Civil War, Fort Worth, Texas evolved from a small, frontier town to a thriving metropolitan city with a strong economic presence in the Southwestern United States. Founded in 1849 as a small garrison, Fort Worth grew substantially during the mid-1800s as it became an important trading post facilitated by its location on the Old Chisholm Trail—a popular route for ranchers herding cows from West Texas. Christened “Panther City” as a joke from Dallas-based newspaper employee, who poked fun at the city’s slow post-Civil War revitalization, Fort Worth residents proudly adopted the moniker as an alternative name for their city.

From Cow Town to Boom Town

While Fort Worth faced a devastating economic downtown after the Civil War like many other cities in the South, the arrival of the Texas & Pacific Railroad helped revitalize the once small frontier town. As a major rail station, Fort Worth quickly became a commercial hub and trading post. Eventually businesses established permanent roots in Panther City and the community began to quickly modernize. As a mainstay of the cattle trading industry, the city ultimately became the largest meat packing and processing center in the American Southwest.

Fort Worth’s Modern Economy

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