Arlington, Texas is a large city in Tarrant County, Texas. Although it is a suburb of Fort Worth it is the third largest city in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and one of the largest cities in the North Texas region. It is the seventh largest city in Texas. It is the home of a General Motors assembly plant, University of Texas at Arlington, AT&T Stadium, Six Flags Over Texas, Globe Life Park and Texas Health Resources. The city is surrounded by Fort Worth, Kennedale, Grand Prairie and Mansfield and completely surrounded Dalworthington Gardens and Pantego.
Arlington’s history dates back to the beginning of Anglo-American settlement in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The first significant settlement of the DFW area was at Bird’s Fort in south Euless near present-day north Arlington. Peace settled between the Republic of Texas and several Native American nations after a battle at Village Creek (around present-day Lake Arlington). The first community was established in the area called Marrow Bone Spring, around a trading post. Rich soil in the area enticed settlers to come and farm the land. In 1848, six years after founding Marrow Bone Spring, Colonel Johnson of the Texas Rangers (the Republic’s military, not the baseball team) decided to make a permanent settlement on land he received in what is now the central part of town. This settlement came to be Johnson Station.
In 1876 the T&P Railway built a line running from Fort Worth to Dallas just north of Johnson Station. A new town developed along the rail line north of Johnson Station at present-day downtown. This latter community requested a post office under the name Johnson; but as there was already a nearby post office in Johnson Station. The postal service feared confused and declined the request. A second request as Hayter was approved in 1875 and changed in 1877. The name is a tribute to Robert E. Lee’s Arlington House in the east.
Arlington placed itself in direct competition with Johnson Station and largely won the day due to its rail line presence. Much of the Johnson Station businesses and residents moved to Arlington. Arlington continued to thrive as a cotton ginning and farming community like Johnson Station. It incorporated in 1884. The city developed city services through the early half of the twentieth century but growth took a turn in the 1950s. At the time Dallas and Fort Worth experienced a major post-war boom. It had ties to aeronautical industry and had significant rail presence to make manufacturing appealing.
Mayor Vandergriff took advantage of this by luring General Motors to build a still-operating assembly plant. He also oversaw organized suburban growth, attracted entertainment and other commercial interests. Lake Arlington was constructed in 1957 to provide water and tourism to the city. Six Flags opened in 1961 and in 1972 the Washington Senators relocated and became the Texas Rangers. Much later in 2009 the Dallas Cowboys left Irving for AT&T Stadium. Today it is a large city with a diverse population and broad commercial base that spans education, entertainment, manufacturing and finance.
Arlington receives services from its city government as well as Tarrant County. Students attend several school districts. Arlington ISD is the primary school district for the city with parts of the city falling within Mansfield ISD, Grand Prairie ISD, Kennedale ISD and Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD. The portion in Hurst–Euless–Bedford ISD is small and is presently limited to the Viridian development along highway 157.