Tarrant County, located in the north-central area of Texas, is a place with a long and fascinating history. Named after General Edward H. Tarrant of the Texas Republic militia, it has been a conservative urban county since the 1950s and is one of the most populous Republican-leaning counties in the country. It consists of 898 square miles of gently sloping terrain with elevations ranging from 420 feet in the southeast to 960 feet in the northwest.
The area was first settled by Middleton Tate Johnson in the late 1840s, who founded Johnson's Station thirteen miles southeast of the current Tarrant County Courthouse. Before that, it was inhabited by Native Americans, though little is known about them. In 1845, two groups from Missouri settled south of the current northern border of Tarrant County and founded Birdville on the banks of Big Fossil Creek. The Texas Congress encouraged settlement by offering large grants to companies such as Peters Land Company, which eventually obtained the land that would become Tarrant County.
Since 1952, a majority of voters have supported the Republican Party's presidential candidate in every election except 1964, when Tarrant County voted for Lyndon B. Johnson. The county is policed by the Tarrant County Police and the Tarrant County Police Office, while firefighting services are provided by the North Tarrant County Fire Department. Tarrant County is home to many attractions that draw visitors from all over.
These include the Amon Carter Museum, the Kimbell Art Museum, the Fort Worth Zoo, Texas Rangers baseball games, and many more. With the completion of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in the 1970s, Tarrant County was truly connected to the world at large. Trail drivers needed supplies and entertainment, and Tarrant County was willing and able to provide them. Today, DFW Airport, the Tarrant County Hospital District and the Tarrant Regional Water District all have their own police forces.
Tarrant County has a rich history that dates back centuries. From its early days as a settlement for European explorers to its modern-day status as a Republican-leaning urban county with many attractions and amenities, it has been an important part of Texas history for generations.