Tarrant County History 1922
As the figures of population above indicate, the real settlement and development of Tarrant County began in the '70s, at which time all of North Texas was opened up by the advent of railway lines. The building of the various railroads that now center at Fort Worth is described in the history of that city. Some facts relative to the agricultural activities of the county as they existed in 1882 are quoted in part as follows : "Until within recent years cotton was the chief agricultural product, but now wheat holds the first place, cotton being next in order of value. The soils of the county are admirably adapted to the growth of both, as well as of many other products common to the latitude.
"The rapid development of the agricultural interests of the county and the opening of new farms have operated to greatly reduce the area of grazing lands, and stock raising, as a distinct pursuit, is rapidly giving way to agriculture, though the stock interests of the county are as yet of great importance. Many of the larger herds of cattle have been driven further west, but much attention is being paid to improved breeds, and the aggregate value of livestock has not been greatly diminished." In 1870 it was estimated that the livestock of the county, in round numbers, were 36,000 cattle, 10.000 horses and mules. 11,000 sheep and goats. and about 12,000 hogs.
The agricultural interests of the county, as measured by the statistics of the last Federal census, are detailed as follows : The total area of the county is 577.920 acres, of which 467,411 acres were included in farms in 1910, and 262,228 acres in "improved land." It should be mentioned in this connection that in recent years co-operative enterprise has been directed to the reclamation of lands along the river bottoms, and a drainage district established covering about three thousand acres. The chief crops in 1909 were : Cotton, 75,938 acres ; corn, 41,550 acres ; hay and forage crops, 9,883 acres ; wheat, 7,432 acres ; oats, 3,327 acres ; peanuts, 1,169 acres, and sweet potatoes, potatoes and other vegetables, about 1,850 acres. The county also has important rank in the fruit industry, about one hundred and sixty-four thousand trees being enumerated in orchard fruits, and about nine thousand pecan trees. Tarrant is one of the leading counties of the state in the construction of good roads, and besides many miles of graded highways has 300 miles of improved roads, costing about one thousand dollars per mile.
The general progress of the county is also illustrated by aggregates of assessed valuations for different years. The taxable wealth of the county in 1870 was $1,392,877 ; in 1882, $7,300,686 ; in 1903, $24,515,220 ; in 1909, $84,413,490 ; in 1913, $97,696,872 ; in 1920, $124,986,000. In this respect the county holds fourth place among the counties of the state, just as Fort Worth is the fourth city in population.