"Bedford, Texas 76021" Bedford by lonestar_philomath

Bedford Travel Guide: 16 reviews and 59 photos

A sad chapter in the history of Bedford, Texas

In 2004 the Bedford city council determined that after years of cost cutting, a property tax increase would be necessary. The council adopted a tax rate a few cents higher than that recommended by the city manager, who had suggested splitting the rate increase over two years. The manager recognized that a rate which was greater than eight percent above the prior level would allow residents to use a provision of state law calling for a tax rollback election by petition, but splitting the increase would not result in a rollback petition.

The petitioners gathered enough signatures and the election was held in March 2005. The rollback provision passed by a mere 10 votes with the highest turnout ever in a city election. The vote resulted in the rate being rolled back to the original rate (the prior year's rate), forcing budget cuts and layoffs.

The city council was forced to revise the budget immediately due to the lack of funds, as they had already begun spending based on the higher tax rate. The council was forced to close several city services, including both of the city's swimming pools, their recreational center and the city library. Municipal library closings in the United States are exceptionally rare, and the news made national headlines and was especially noted by library associations. This was the first library in Texas to close since records had been kept, and the first library in the United States to close since 1989. A few months later, an anonymous donation of $300,000 allowed the reopening of the library, one pool, the rec center, and senior center. For a period of time after the reopenings, the budget concerns limited open hours of these services (e.g. the library only opened 4 days a week).

Some History

The first settlers arrived in the late 1840s in the Bedford area, located strategically between Fort Worth and Grapevine. Milton Moore of North Carolina established the community's first school in his log cabin in 1861 with a dozen or more students. A settlement developed in the 1870s, after Weldon Bobo moved from Tennessee and established a general store and gristmill to serve area farmers. Bobo and a group of farmers agreed to name their community Bedford, after the county in Tennessee from which many of them had come. Bobo, Moore, and others founded New Hope Christian Church in 1874, and the first official post office opened in Bobo's home in 1877. In the 1880s and 1890s Bedford was a booming town, with a population of 1,000 or possibly even 2,000 that surpassed that of all other Tarrant County towns except Fort Worth. In addition to the alleged twenty-eight businesses that served the town, the community was also the home of Bedford College, founded in 1882. The college, which was something of a combination high school-junior college, survived until fire gutted the building in 1893.

Shortly after 1900 the prosperity ended. In 1901 the Dallas-Fort Worth Interurban rail line was built south of the Trinity, and, closely paralleling it, U.S. Highway 80 was also soon completed through Arlington and Grand Prairie. The two new arteries diverted traffic away from Bedford Road. In 1903 the Rock Island Railroad also bypassed Bedford. Businesses and residents moved, and the post office closed in 1909. Though only Bobo's store and perhaps fifty residents were left in the business district, in 1912 the town built a new two-story brick school on the site of the old college. Truck farming and dairying were prevalent from 1910 through the 1930s, and there were no more than eighty residents in Bedford as late as 1940. The community's general store was maintained by the related Bobo and Fitch families from the 1870s to the 1960s.

Read more at: http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/BB/heb3.html

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  • Last visit to Bedford: Jan 2007
  • Intro Updated Jan 22, 2007
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Reviews (16)

Comments (1)

  • Jan 31, 2007 at 10:41 AM

    Michael, Thanks for the photo and information. Hollis was a great artist….the world lost a treasure when he died. He was a true artist and one of my favorites. Shirley Stocks, Owner Wild Horse Gallery www.wildhorsegallery.com

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