SMITHFIELD, TEXAS. Smithfield, in north central Tarrant County, was probably established before 1870 and was originally called Zion. A post office opened there in 1878. In 1887 the St. Louis and Southwestern Railway built through the area a quarter mile south of Zion, and a new section of the community grew up near the tracks. This new development siphoned away population and businesses from the older section, which eventually was abandoned. The new railroad settlement was called Smithfield, for Eli Smith, who had donated land for a church and cemetery in Zion. Smithfield initially flourished as a shipping point for the products of area farms and ranches. Though the town suffered a bad fire in 1890, by 1900 it had a population of 137, and the local school employed three teachers and enrolled 156 students from the area. The population of Smithfield remained at about the same level through the 1930s, but it began to grow around World War II because of the boom in war-related employment in nearby Fort Worth. By the late 1940s Smithfield reported 350 residents and eight businesses. After a bitterly contested campaign and election, however, nearby North Richland Hills annexed Smithfield in 1958. The Smithfield name survives in several local institutions, including a middle school, and on historical markers at the Smithfield cemetery, Masonic lodge, and two churches.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Brian Hart, "Smithfield, TX," accessed May 31, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjs17.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles