TX-1355 Early Site of the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show


Fort Worth became an important trading and supply depot in the 1870s for Texas cattlemen driving herds to Northern markets. With the convergence of several railroads here in the 1870s and 1880s stockyard facilities began to appear along the railroad lines. In 1893 Boston investors purchased the Stockyards and organized the Fort Worth Stock Yards Company. The Company held the first livestock show at nearby Marine Creek in March 1896. The show's initial sucess was due mainly to the participation of members of the Texas Cattle Raisers Association (TCRA) whose Annual Meeting in Fort Worth coincided with the Show. The Fort Worth Stock Yards Company built an impressive livestock exchange building in 1903. In 1908, with the help of Armour & Co., Swift & Co., and TCRA members, the National Feeders and Breeders Show opened here in new Coliseum facilities. The show offered a variety of events including a cutting horse competition and a horse show. A Wild West show was added in 1916. The show, renamed Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show in 1918, developed into a premier rodeo, livestock, and exhibition event. In 1943 the facilities were converted for U.S. military purposes and in 1944 the Show relocated to a site in west Fort Worth. Sesquicentennial of Texas Statehood 1845-1995.

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