The History of Bedford, Texas
The reason I chose to do Bedford, Texas as my home town history project is because I have always known what town I was born in, but never really knew anything about it. A short history of Bedford, Texas The Old Bedford School is significant as one of the last surviving traces of the early Bedford community and a tangible link to an era from which few historic (pre-World War II) buildings survive. The building is one of the last remaining buildings of the rural, unincorporated community of Bedford which developed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Its residents regarded the school as the centerpiece of their settlement. Local historians regard Weldon W. Bobo as the founding father of Bedford. He arrived in Texas in 1870 and shortly thereafter established a store for travelers to shop and rest. Bobo opened a post office in 1877 and operated it out of the front of his residence. The official name given to the post office was Bedford after Bobo’s native Bedford County, Tennessee. He also established a grist mill and cotton gin.
Agriculture remained the foundation of the local economy during the 1860’s and 1870’s and was largely subsistence in nature due to limited acreage of tillable land and the poor transportation network. In 1903 Burlington & Northern decided to bypass Bedford and the community was consequently relegated to a tertiary position within the county. Another blow occurred in 1905 which a highway linking Dallas and Fort Worth extended through Arlington and Grand Prairie–not Bedford. In 1909 the post office closed.
Bedford’s population dwindled to an estimated 50 residents. But despite such setbacks, residents maintained a strong sense of pride and optimism in their community. In 1914, taxpaying citizens of the Bedford Common School District voted overwhelmingly to issue bonds to finance the construction of a new school. The two-story brick school was an imposing physical landmark in the community for over half a century. In subsequent years, Bedford retained its dispersed rural character. Most residents were truck farmers who grew a variety of fruits and vegetables.
The era of profound change in Bedford occurred during and immediately following World War II. The town of Bedford was incorporated in 1953 at which time the population stood at 475. Seven years later in 1960 the population skyrocketed to over 2,500. The 1980 census counted over 23, 000 citizens in Bedford and today the number stands at more than 48,000. New growth revived Bedford, but profoundly changed the community’s physical appearance and rural character. This town in my opinion is very cool.