How Fort Worth became Known as Panther City
Fort Worth is, of course, known as Cowtown (although, with the stockyards and meat packing houses gone, that seems less apropos) but in earlier times it was known as Panther City. Here's why:
The Panic of 1873 caused the Texas and Pacific Railroad some severe economic distress, to the point that they decided to halt construction on a line they were building from Dallas to Fort Worth. The lack of a railroad bit Fort Worth hard and by 1875 only 1,000 folks lived in the city.
A Dallas lawyer, Robert Cowart, visited Fort Worth and wrote to the editor of the Dallas Herald that things were so slow there that he'd seen a panther lying down in the middle of the street by the courthouse. Dallas made a huge deal about the story, hooting and hollering that Fort Worth was dying.
But Fort Worth didn't go along with Dallas' mockery. Instead they turned the tables by embracing the nickname "Panther City." Soon, everything from saloons to meathouses were being called panther this and panther that. And when the Texas League began in 1887, the Fort Worth team was called the Panthers. Panther Hall was a legendary musical establishment in Fort Worth for many years. And even today you see "Panther" in the name of various corporations, buildings etc... in Fort Worth.
So take that, Dallas!
Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.