From the Annals of Cowtown – In 1887, the Fort Worth Union Stock Yards were chartered. John Peter Smith, J. W. Burgess and Morgan Jones obtained the charter to build the yard in north Fort Worth. They raised $200,000 for construction which began in 1888. The Union yard was the first step in a plan to convert Fort Worth from a temporary way station on the route from Texas to Kansas City and St. Louis into a major stock yard and meat packing center. Over the next 30 years with the addition of several meat packing plants, Fort Worth which had already earned the nickname “Cowtown” truly became one.