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BIRDVILLE, TX

BIRDVILLE, TEXAS. Birdville, in central Tarrant County, developed from Fort Bird, the first settlement in the county. It was established in 1841 and named for Capt. Jonathan Bird. Birdville was a functioning settlement by 1848, and its earliest residents were farmers and cattle ranchers. It was selected by the state legislature as the county seat when Tarrant County was established in 1849. A local post office open in 1851 and served as a mail distribution point for a number of communities to the west. Birdville lost by seven votes to Fort Worth in a county seat election in November 1856. In 1870 Birdville had four general stores and a blacksmith shop. During the 1896–97 term, the local black school enrolled fourteen pupils and employed one teacher, and the white school registered seventy-seven students and employed two teachers. The post office closed in 1906, when the community's population was reported at 107. The same population was reported through 1940. In the late 1940s the community had a population of 200 and five businesses, and in the middle 1950s it had 400 residents. By 1990 it had been annexed by Haltom City. Though Birdville had ceased to exist as a named community in the early 2000s, it still had its own named school district, the Birdville Independent School District. In 2009 the district's elementary school name was changed to Major Cheney Elementary School at South Birdville, in honor of Major Cheney, an African-American land grant owner who had helped settle the area. Cheney had donated land for the first school for blacks there in 1891.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Major Cheney Elementary (http://schools.birdvilleschools.net/sbe/site/default.asp?), accessed December 16, 2009. Janet L. Schmelzer, Where the West Begins: Fort Worth and Tarrant County (Northridge, California: Windsor, 1985). Ruby Schmidt, ed., Fort Worth and Tarrant County (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1984).

Brian Hart

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Brian Hart, "BIRDVILLE, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrb34), accessed July 23, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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