Some insults can be turned around and become a rallying cry. This is what happened in 1875 when Robert E. Cowart wrote a letter to the local Dallas newspaper stating that Fort Worth had become such a sleepy town and so sparsely populated that a panther was spotted sleeping on Main Street.
The country was facing a financial crisis and Fort Worth was failing as a result. The railroad line, being laid across north Texas, was forced to stop 30 miles before reaching Fort Worth.
Rather than succumb to defeat and certain abandonment, the city proudly adopted the name Panther City. Business men and citizens rallied together to complete the railroad and by July 19th 1876 the first train reached Fort Worth, placing it firmly on the commerce route of the railroad tracks.
Since the late 1800’s Fort Worth has embraced many nicknames: Queen City of the Prairie, Cowtown, Funky Town, Where the West Begins and Panther City.
And, as you might suspect, there is a panther statue that lays quietly near Main Street, much like the panther of 1875.