Tarrant County History 1922
Prior to the fire the law firm of Hanna & Hogsett had made an abstract of the land titles of Tarrant County. Subsequently an act was passed by the Legislature of Texas providing that this abstract should be prima facie evidence of title, and every one was importuned to have his deed recorded, which was done.
In 1877 the contract was let to Messrs. Thomas & Werner for the construction of a new courthouse at a cost of $65,000. This building was constructed of surface stone gathered on the prairies in the vicinity of Fort Worth.
In 1893 the county, by practically unanimous vote. voted a bond issue of $500.000 for a new courthouse. and the present handsome, com modious and substantial building was erected. It is claimed to be the finest county building in the entire country. It is constructed of gray granite from the granite mountains of Burnett County, trimmed with Texas marble from the same county and finished with the wood from the forests of Texas. It is claimed that the copper roof, glass in the windows and hardware are the only materials used in the construction of the building that are not products of Texas.
Early Settlement. There is great divergence of opinion as to the location of the first settlement in Tarrant County, but the preponderance of testimony seems to favor Johnson's Station on the east line of the county. It was named for M. T. Johnson, who first settled there, afterwards moving to Fort Worth.
The largest early settlement was at Birdville, the first county seat. The pioneer settlers there were George Akers, J. W. Elliston, JL. G. Tinsley, John York, the first sheriff of the county ; Seabourn Gilmore, the first county judge; Sanders Elliott. Ben P. Ayers and William Norris. Norris and Ayres donated the land for the first county seat.
Prior to the advent of the railroads the towns in Tarrant County were small and relatively unimportant. The three larger towns were: Mansfield. Johnson's Station [now called Arlington] and Grapevine. - History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.