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Blog Reminiscences – Ft. Worth, TX – Amon Carter Museum

On another personal mission, we visited Ft Worth while still living in Austin, to see one of Kathy’s uncles, and on the same trip visited the Amon Carter Museum – another recommendation by Carl Barho. “The Museum was founded around Amon G. Carter Sr.’s extensive collection of works by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, but it has since expanded to encompass artworks by thousands of artists that display the creativity and complexity of American art.” We also saw works by Thomas Moran, Thomas Eakins, William Harnett, John Singer Sargent and Georgia O’Keefe.

From Wikipedia: Carter was the “creator and publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and a nationally known civic booster for Fort Worth, Texas. [1] A legacy in his will was used to create Fort Worth's Amon Carter Museum, [2] which was founded by his daughter, Ruth Carter Stevenson, in January 1961.”

Carter parlayed this money and power into celebrity as a national spokesman for Fort Worth and West Texas (Carter popularized the description of Fort Worth as "Where the West Begins", a phrase which still appears daily on the Star-Telegram's front page). During the 1920s and 1930s, Carter personified the image of the Texas cowboy in the national mind: an uninhibited story-teller, gambler, and drinker, generous with his money and quick to draw his six-shooters. Major magazines such as Time and the Saturday Evening Post ran profiles of Carter, and he counted Will Rogers and Walter Winchell among his friends. The well-publicized hospitality of his Shady Oak Farm near Lake Worth was open to any major celebrity or businessman passing through Fort Worth.[7] In 1961, National Geographic said that Carter had done "more than any other one person to build the city into its present image".[8]: 181 

Carter used his national stage to drum up business and government spending for his home region. From the Texas state legislature, he got a four-year college (now Texas Tech University) for Lubbock, where he was first chairman of the Board of Directors.[9] He persuaded Southern Air Transport (now American Airlines) to move its headquarters from Dallas to nearby Fort Worth. Several oil companies moved or kept their headquarters in Fort Worth after personal interventions by Carter. In addition Carter was influential in obtaining for Fort Worth the construction of Air Force Plant 4 (now the headquarters of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics) and the relocation of Bell Aircraft (now Bell Helicopter Textron).

Carter's disdain for Dallas, Fort Worth's much larger and much richer neighbor, was legendary in Texas. One of the best-known stories about Carter is that he would take a sack lunch whenever he traveled to Dallas so he wouldn't have to spend any money there.[6][8]: 181  He was also quoted as saying "Fort Worth is where the West begins...and Dallas is where the East peters out."[10] On his orders, the Star-Telegram television station, WBAP-TV, avoided mentions of Dallas or of even being part of a merged Dallas–Fort Worth television market on his orders even when it was clear the two cities would be a single market. Carter's heirs maintained this line until NBC pressured them to relent several years after Carter's death, along with a move of its transmitter to Cedar Hill to cover both cities equally.


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