The History of Springtown
Our wonderful community of Springtown, Texas is located in northeastern Parker County about 25 miles from Downtown Fort Worth. Parker County was named after Isaac Parker, a relative of Cynthia Ann Parker who was captured by Comanche Indians in childhood and became the mother of the famous Comanche Chief Quanah Parker. Among the settlers who arrived in newly formed Parker County in 1859 was Captain Joseph Ward, a native of Patterson, New Jersey.
When Ward arrived at Walnut Creek, he was impressed by the wild, untamed beauty of the countryside. The rolling hills were dotted with thick clumps of oak and elm trees. The wildlife which included bears, panthers, deer, wolves, quail, and wild turkeys was also admirable. Ultimately, Ward was impressed by the city due to the 25 cold springs which flowed from the base of a rolling hillside.
Ward began laying out a town site, originally named Littleton Springs. Despite environmental challenges, Comanche warriors, and the Civil War, the town grew and later changed its name to Springtown. By 1877, the town boasted a school, hotel, two general stores, two blacksmith shops, and three cotton gins. The town was incorporated in 1884. That same year, the College Hill Institute and Springtown Male and Female Institute were both founded. Accordingly, Springtown was soon considered the educational center for Northwest Texas.
By the turn of the century however, the coming of public education and other changes had caused the schools to decline in attendance and the Male and Female Institute building became the Springtown public schools building. The College Hill Institute building was put on log rollers and moved by mule teams to the town square where it became the City Hall. An open-sided area for meetings was added to the City Hall called the "Tabernacle.” The Tabernacle earned its name from the numerous revival gatherings which occurred at the building. In 1936, during the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) removed the City Hall building and the old tabernacle. The CCC then constructed the present Tabernacle building – which continues to be the epicenter for town life. The community was especially proud of the stone and wood rail fence which kept horses, wagons, and buggies at a distance from the Tabernacle. A well on the north side of the building made it more appealing as it provided cool water. This space has served as the site for weddings, religious services, political rallies, graduation ceremonies, funerals, and many community activities.
In more recent times, Springtown has experienced a period of slow but steady growth which has accelerated in the last few years. Considered a “bedroom community” in the post-World War II era, many residents worked in the military industries of Bell Helicopter, and what is now called Lockheed Martin. Although many residents of the area continue to hold jobs there, Springtown is growing into a more economically independent area with entrepreneurs and new business development providing more home-grown jobs. The community has continued to express the spirit of the pioneers, who fought off attacks by Indian tribes and the challenges of nature to establish a town in the wilderness.
The Tabernacle continues to represent the collective community spirit of Springtown as it has for many generations. From 2010 through 2016, a joint effort between the City of Springtown, a committee of supporters, and generous contributions by both individuals and great businesses, the Springtown Square and Tabernacle were renovated. A bond enabled the City to improve the parking area, streets, and sidewalks around the Tabernacle. Curbs and gutters were also implemented to help with storm water control. Through private funding, the Tabernacle building and grounds were completely renewed. The Tabernacle now has a lush lawn with a sprinkler system. There have been structural repairs to the building and cosmetic enhancements and preservative treatments for both the building and surrounding fence. The crowning jewel is our beautiful fountain which was designed, funded and constructed by two local citizen families. It’s only appropriate for a town named Springtown to have a water display, and ours is a genuine work of art! The renovated Tabernacle Park has received several prestigious nominations and awards.
Home of the Wild West Festival
The Chamber’s largest event of the year is the annual Wild West Festival; held on the third Saturday of September each year. This festival began in 1984 and gets bigger and better each year! This wildly successful event brings locals and visitors by the thousands.
To learn more about the Wild West Festival, CLICK HERE.
The Springtown Area Chamber of Commerce, a 501(C) (6) organization, has greatly impacted Springtown’s growth and economic successes. The Chamber is located across from the Tabernacle in a historic building. The organization collaborates with the City, public schools, county government, and other civic interests to keep Springtown growing in a positive way. The City of Springtown is a melting pot of great people, outstanding public school systems, award-winning city parks, businesses, and welcoming churches.
To learn more about the benefits of being a member of the Springtown Area Chamber of Commerce, CLICK HERE.