The Fort Worth Stockyards were officially incorporated on March 23, 1893. The Fort Worth livestock market became the largest in Texas and the Southwest, the biggest market south of Kansas City and ranked between third and fourth consistently among the nation’s large terminal livestock markets for five decades from 1905 to the mid-1950’s.
The first Fort Worth Fat Stock Show was held in 1896 on the banks of Marine Creek near the present site of the Coliseum. In 1902 the Livestock Exchange Building, the Armour & Co., and Swift & Co. all begin building in the Stockyards.
Five years later, the success of the meat packing industry and the annual Stock Show brings about the building of the Coliseum to house the stock show indoors. The World’s first indoor rodeo was held there ten years later. The Coliseum held many events besides the Stock Show and Rodeo. It has seen the appearances of famous people such as Chief Quanah Parker, President Theodore Roosevelt, Bob Wills, Elvis Presley, and Bob Hope. Today, the Coliseum is home of the Stockyards Championship Rodeo.
The 1960’s and 1970’s brought about the closing of the Armour & Co. and the Swift & Co. packing plants. With their closing, much of the Stockyards were closed down. This didn’t last long. In 1976 the Stockyards became a National Historic Site. That same year, the North Fort Worth Historical Society was organized and the work of revitalizing the Stockyards began.
Today the Stockyards are a tourist destination that gives people an authentic taste of what Fort Worth, Texas and the old west were like during the turn of the century. It is a mix of restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and upscale western clothiers. The Coliseum still holds its Championship Rodeo series every Saturday night.