The Ridglea area, including Ridglea
Hills and Ridglea West, lies approximately six miles west of
Fort Worth's Central Business District. It encompasses eight
surveys, from the 1850 Allen Beard Survey to the 1889 Walter
Houston Survey, the main part being included in the 1880 Albert
A. C. Luther came to Fort Worth
from Tennessee in the 1920's and bought three miles of pasture
land along what later became Camp Bowie Blvd., for $400 an acre.
His brother, J. T. Luther, credits him with being "The Father
of Ridglea". J.T. left the University of Missouri to join
his brother in Fort Worth, and with Earl Wilson, who arrived
in 1945 after serving the the Air Force, formed the A.C. Luther
Realty Co. and Luther Bros. & Wilson Inc.
M. E. Berney, a partner in the
Anderson-Berney Realty Co. in 1928, established the golf course
in 1935, making it a semi-public course. The fee charged for
playing the 18 holes in 1938, was 50 cents.
Other early owners of the land
in 1932, were Elizabeth Brants and Mrs. Olive Seybold.
The residential areas began to
be platted in 1946. Luther Bros. and Wilson, Inc. began buying
more land in the Ridglea Hills area. A.C. Luther raised Angus
cattle, grazing them on the land. As portions were sold for residential
lots, he moved the fences and continued to graze the cattle on
the unsold empty lots.
In 1952, the Luthers and Wilson
dissolved he company. L.T. Luther and Wilson formed the Ridglea
Contruction Company. They began building high quality commercial
buildings along the north side of Camp Bowie Blvd. The first
tenant was Gordon Boswell Florist, who is still there.
A popular gathering place in
the 1950's was the Western Hills Hotel, which stood on the south
side of the 6400 block of Camp Bowie Blvd. High School graduation
parties around the pool and special drinks with orchids in the
bar drew all ages. When I-30 was built and took much of the highway
traffic away from Camp Bowie and Hwy. 80, the owner of the hotel,
Hank Green, sold the Western Hills Hotel and built Green Oaks
Inn where the main activity followed. Western Hills Hotel burned
down in 1969.
A.C. Luther and Hank Green joined
forces and built the Ridglea Country Club which opened in late
1954. One of the first events held at the club house was the
wedding reception of Ted Klein and Wini Lyle in January 1955.
When Wini's mother, Mrs. J. M. Lyle, called the club asking about
arrangements, table cloths, dishes, etc., no one knew the answers
since this was the club's first event.
When the Ridglea Country Club
was built, Luther thought it needed a wider boulevard leading
to the front gates. To build this street, three houses which
his company had built and sold earlier, had to be bought from
the owners and torn down.
Luther Lake is one of the focal
points of the neighborhood. It is beautiful all year but becomes
a real attraction during the Christmas season with the reflection
of lights on the water. A.C. Luther was also instrumental in
developing the Westover Hills and Crestwood neighborhoods.