Westover Hills, an "ultra
exclusive" residential neighborhood and incorporated city
completely surrounded by Fort Worth, lies in a hilly area four
and one-half miles west of the Fort Worth Central Business District.
Most of it is in the John Kinder survey of 1857, the western
section being in the 1873 Pete Peterson Survey.
Most of the land was owned by
Amon G. Carter in the early 1920's. He sold it to the Fort Worth
Extension Company who drew the first plats for development in
1928. A.C. Luther began developing the area in 1930. The general
public referred to the area as "leftover hills" because
they thought that anyone who wanted a magnificent residence would
live in River Crest. The area was considered by some to be a
wasteland, too rough and hilly to be developed properly, but
Luther continued against the advice of other developers. He built
his own home on Valley Ridge Road in 1936.
Discussion of annexing Westover
Hills began in Fort Worth in the early 1930's. Opposition developed
in 1937, and with a population of about 212 and a vote of 35
residents, it incorporated into a separate city primarily to
avoid payment of Fort Worth taxes. John E. Farrell was the first
After Westover Hills incorporated
as a separate city from Fort Worth, the larger city threatened
to discontinue all utility service to the area. Unlike most areas
outside of Fort Worth who were charged twice the normal rate
for water services, Westover Hills was charged the regular rate
and water mains had been in place under the area since 1928.
The argument between the two cities escalated into what is known
as the "water war" and eventually led Fort Worth City
Council to cut off the water to Westover Hills.
Westover Hills Mayor Farrell
and Tarrant County Commissioner Jack Lofland appeared within
one hour at the Fort Worth City Manager's office to protest and
Westover Hills residents went on a "sit down strike"
during which they refused to bathe. The strike lasted three days
and ended when Fort Worth turned water back on. A new Fort Worth
City Council was elected shortly thereafter and agreed to charge
Westover Hills the regular rate.
Mayor J. E. Farrell was one of
the first to build and reside in Westover Hills. His gothic style
home on Westover Road cost more than $250,000 to build in 1937.
Most early residents were active in either the cattle or oil
The town hall was erected in
1940 on land donated by Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Mitchell, using laborers
paid by the WPA, and housed the fire and police departments.
Westover Road was originally
called Lloyd Drive for one of the early developers. Street paving
was not completed until the end of World War II. Most Westover
Hills construction was finished by the early 1940's, but building
continued slowly during the 1950's and 60's west of the original