Today in Texas History – July 18

From the Annals of the Army – In 1917, construction was begun on Camp Bowie.  The U.S. Army base was named after  Jim Bowie.  The camp was located in the Arlington Heights neighborhood about three miles west of downtown Fort Worth and was established by the United States War Department as a training site for the Thirty-Sixth Infantry Division.  Including the rifle range and trench system, the Camp covered more than 2,100 acres.

Over 100,000 troops trained at Camp Bowie.  On April 11, 1918, the Thirty-sixth went on parade in Fort Worth.  The parade lasted  four hours and was attended by an estimated  225,000 spectators, likely making it the biggest parade in Fort Worth’s history. The Thirty-sixth left for France in July 1918, after which the camp was used as an infantry replacement and training facility.

After the Armistice on November 11, 1918, Camp Bowie was designated a demobilization center.  Once the demobilization was concluded, the Camp was closed on August 15, 1919. The only remaining vestige is in the name Camp Bowie Boulevard which runs through the site.  After the camp closed it was quickly converted to a residential area, as builders took advantage of utility hookups left by the army.

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