The River Crest area lies three
miles west of the Fort Worth Central Business District. It is
included in the Elizabeth Crockett Survey in 1859 and the Isaac
Schoonover and George Kinder Surveys in 1857. The area includes
the several blocks surrounding the River Crest Country Club and
The earliest settlers on the
land were the Kinders, who came to the area from the mountains
of Tennessee and built a home near present-day River Crest Country
Club in the late 1880's. The folklore of the area says that early
settlers used to forecast rain by watching the Kinder house.
If it was struck by lightning, then rain was sure to come.
The River Crest addition began
in 1911 when the River Crest Company, led by John W. Broad, David
T. Bomar and Morris T. Berney, purchased 640 acres north of Arlington
Heights. The company planned an exclusive residential community
built around a country club and golf course.
The first River Crest Country
Club house was built in 1911. The developers chose prominent
Fort Worth architects Sanguinett and Staats, designers of Thistle
Hill for W. T. Waggoner's daughter, Electra, as well as many
other prominent Fort Worth structures, to design the building.
Some of the earliest residents in the
River Crest development include: Wesley C. Stripling of Stripling
Department Stores and for whom the W. C. Stripling Middle School
is named; Morris E. Berney, who was later instrumental in developing
portions of Ridglea; Amon Carter Sr., who purchased David T.
Bonner's home on Broad Avenue in 1919; and W. T. Waggoner, who
built his home on River Crest Road in 1925, moving from the home
he had built across the street from his daughter, after Electra
and her husband had moved from Thistle Hill.
The growth of Fort Worth before
World War I tended to be toward the south, where street car lines
extended to the new Texas Christian University campus and paved
streets attracted home buyers. West side growth drastically changed
after World War I began and Camp Bowie opened on the 1,410 acres
in Arlington Heights. The division headquarters was located near
River Crest Country Club.
In 1917 and 1918, oil fields
were discovered in northwest Texas. Leading oil men built their
homes in River Crest while oil field workers were settling in
Arlington Heights. During the 1920's and 30's, men with fortunes
in cattle, banking, real estate, mercantile interests as well
as oil, built their homes in the River Crest neighborhood.
River Crest Country Club is now
in its third building, the other two having burned down. Perhaps
lightning is still attracted to the old Kinder place.
In 1915, J. S. Scharbauer owned
much of the land in what is now the Northcrest neighborhood,
the area between River Crest and Westover Hills. The land passed
through several hands until it was bought in 1949 by O. P. Leonard
of Leonard Bros. fame. He platted it in 1959 as Westover Hills
East, renaming it in 1961 as Northcrest.