Richard F. Selcer, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, loves and is proud of his home town which he writes warmly about in his history, Fort Worth, a Texas Original. Selcer covers Fort Worth’s progression “from military outpost to county seat to trail town, rail hub, regional gateway, oil capital, and ultimately world-class city.”
I read each page with interest, while keeping an open map of Fort Worth handy so that I could see where “hell’s half acre” once was, or find Pioneer Cemetery, or see how it was possible that the Trinity River once swallowed the entire first floor of the old Montgomery Ward building (now Montgomery Plaza).
Selcer captures the spirit of the city and those who live there. If Texans are proud of their heritage, those from Fort Worth are more so. And the author does a great job of covering such a rich history in so concise a volume.
While the importance of Fort Worth’s being the center of the cattle drives, railroads, highways and interstates, and air travel can’t be overstated, Selcer comes close. Like a good teacher, he repeats this theme again and again until we are sure to not forget. And there are a few things he neglects to mention. A survey of the index will not turn up “rodeo” or “Cowtown Coliseum,” both of which have been and still are important parts of Fort Worth’s image and culture. There is also almost no mention of the Fort Worth Stock Show, which brings people from all over the country for nearly a month each year.
Amazon lists this book as a new release because it has just been made available as an eBook; however, readers should know that the print version was published in 2004. A lot has happened in Fort Worth during the last decade.
Still, I greatly enjoyed reading this little book, learned from it, and certainly recommend it.