Weatherford is a city in Parker County, Texas, United States. The population was 25,250 at the 2010 census. It is thecounty seat of Parker County and is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Old City Hall
|Nickname(s): Cutting Horse Capital of the World, Peach Capital of Texas|
Location of Weatherford within Parker County, Texas.
|Coordinates: 32°45′33″N 97°47′6″W|
Weatherford is located 25 miles (40 km) west of Fort Worth on Interstate 20. It is the county seat for Parker County.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.7 square miles (59 km2), of which, 20.9 square miles (54 km2) of it is land and 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) of it (7.86%) is water.
In 1855, Parker County was created by the Texas State Legislature and named for pioneer and State Representative Isaac Parker. Parker was the uncle of Cynthia Ann Parker, a little girl who was stolen from her home by Indians during the Texas Revolution. Cynthia Ann lived among the Comanche and became the mother of ChiefQuanah Parker. Later, when she was overtaken in flight with an Indian raiding party, Isaac Parker recognized her as his long-lost niece.
The Town of Weatherford was named for the State Senator for this district, Thomas Jefferson Weatherford (1811-1867) of Dallas. According to his cousin, Senator Weatherford never set foot in the town.
The first settlers had arrived less than ten years earlier. There were many Native American attacks between the years of 1846 and 1874. Several headstones in Parker County read "Killed by Indians."
The railroad arrived in June 1880. The Santa Fe Depot (which houses the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce) was built in 1908 under Jim Crow laws, with waiting rooms segregated and separated by the ticket office.
In 1895, the town’s still existing daily newspaper, the Weatherford Democrat, began publication. The Weatherford Telegram began publishing as a weekly newspaper in 2006.
Cattle drover Oliver Loving is buried in Weatherford’s Greenwood Cemetery. After being attacked by Indians in New Mexico in 1867, Loving’s dying wish to his friend, Charles Goodnight, was to be buried at his home, Parker County. Goodnight brought the body back six hundred miles by wagon for burial. The story is the inspiration behind Texas author Larry McMurtry’s novel,Lonesome Dove.
A year earlier, Goodnight had invented the first chuckwagon which catered to cowboys on a cattle drive that would later become known as the Goodnight-Loving Trail.
Bose Ikard, who served with Goodnight and for whom the McMurtry character “Deets” was modeled, was also laid to rest in the Greenwood Cemetery.
The city was named by the Texas Legislature as the Peach Capital of Texas due to the peaches produced by area growers. The peach is celebrated each year at the Parker County Peach Festival, which is Weatherford’s largest event and one of the best-attended festivals in Texas.
Weatherford is known as the Cutting Horse Capital of the World.
Weatherford has a number of historic homes and buildings. More than 60 Queen Anne, Victorian, and other architecturally significant homes built at the turn of the 20th century sit along the tree-lined avenues. Several of these homes are open for tours, arranged by the Parker County Heritage Society, during the Christmas season.
Another landmark is the Second Empire style Parker County Courthouse, which is located in the geographical center of the county in downtown Weatherford. The building is surrounded by other buildings which served other purposes at the turn of the 20th century, including saloons and cat-houses. In recent years, both the interior and exterior of the courthouse structure have been restored to its original character and attractiveness.