Arlington, TX, was founded in the year 1876 along the Pacific and Texas Railway, as a market town to serve the surrounding farms. The fertile black-land in the region’s eastern end, and the sandy loam soil in the western end, ideal for growing vegetables and fruits, attracted farmers to the area from the early 1840s. Trinity River, as well as its tributaries, ensured that Arlington was well watered.
At some point, Arlington had a total of 5 gins to process cotton, the region’s main source of revenue in the agricultural sphere. Local farmers in the area also grew oats, hay, peanuts, corn, sorghum, potatoes an array of other food crops. In addition to this, they also kept livestock such as dairy cows. It was only a matter of time before Arlington grew into a center for large-produce sales as well as a distribution site for shipment to neighboring towns. Another source of revenue to Arlington was the mineral well located at the center of town. While it was originally dug as a source of public water, it ended up yielding mineral water. It if from this well that crystals rich in medicinal value were sold and later sold. The water was also bottled up for sale as a sanitarium was constructed to treat various illnesses.
By the time it was getting to the late 1880s, the community in Arlington has a population of approximately 800 residents. There was a Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist church in the area. By the year 1890, the city had 18 registered businesses, and a decade later, the city had a well-established water system, an electric plant, telephones, natural gas lines, as well as a public school system. In 1925, the population had grown to 3,000 residents. In 1933, a race-track was launched in Arlington, drawing visitors, including dignitaries, in thousands. Unfortunately, in 1937, pari-mutuel wagering got declared illegal in Texas.
At the onset of the Second World War, Arlington’s population had grown to 4240 residents on average. In 1951, a General Motors assembly plant got built in the region. Another city development was the Great South-west Industrial District in 1956. By the time it was getting to 1960, city population was estimated to be 45,000 and by 1980, it had gotten to the 123,000 mark. Arlington featured a council-manager system of government, with the city mayo between 1951 and 1977 being Tom Vandergriff.