Mayors of Arlington Arlington, Texas has benefited from a number of factors: prime location, temperate climate, and a "can-do" attitude shared by the generations of people who pioneered and settled the area. From its earliest days to the present, Arlington has also benefited from forward thinking and dynamic leadership. The Hall of Mayors presentation is going to give you a glimpse of some of the mayors who stepped forth to take their place in Arlington’s history.
The mayors who first served this western town were: C.D."Dutch" King 1876 - 1881 * M.J. Brinson 1881 - 1884 George W. Finger 4/15/1884 - 3/10/1885 * E.E. Rankin 3/10/1885 - 4/10/1885 Robert George 4/10/1885 - 3/9/1886 George W. Finger 3/9/1886 - 12/10/1889
Carver Dixon King was born in 1843 to C.D. and Lucy Voorhies. "Uncle Dutch" as he was known locally delivered ice to homes for more than thirty years. It was noted that many children would follow his ice wagon eating ice along the way. He moved to Texas after the war and married Reola Eunice Buford at Johnson Station. Mr. King served two terms as Mayor of Arlington and thirteen years as Justice of the Peace. Mr. King was Mayor from 1876 – 1881 and from 1899 – 1900. He was the 1 st mayor of Arlington.
In the 1890s, 415 people were added to the population, bringing the total to 1,079. Mineral water was discovered at Center and Main. Cotton and grain became major exports and established a base for community growth. * M.J. Brinson 12/10/1889 - 7/14/1891 Willis Timmerman 7/14/1891 - 5/10/1892 Nicholas K. Grove 5/10/1892 - 9/12/1893 Willis Timmerman 9/12/1893 - 1/10/1899 * Carver D. King 1/10/1899 - 3/8/1900
Mr. Rankin joined Mr. Randall in the operation of a hardware store located in the 100 block of East Main. Mr. Rankin continued the operation of the store until the mid-depression when bankruptcy caused its closure. Mr. Rankin served as mayor of Arlington for only one month in 1885. M. J. Brinson was a Captain under Colonel Johnson. He later married Louisa Johnson. Records show that he served as Mayor of Arlington from 1881 to 1884 and again from 1889 to 1891. Brinson was Mayor from 1881- 1884 and 1889-1891
Arlington’s first bank and public school opened. The Interurban trolley was introduced and served to connect the city of Arlington to Dallas and Fort Worth. The city population grew to 1,794. * W.C. Weeks 3/8/1900 - 4/10/1902 * T.B. Collins 4/10/1902 - 4/14/1904 * T.G. Bailey 4/14/1904 - 4/12/1906 * W.C. Weeks 4/12/1906 - 2/11/1909 * J.P. Fielder 2/11/1909 - 4/8/1909 * Dr. W.H. Davis 4/8/1909 - 4/10/1910
W. C. Weeks was born in Cooke County near Gainesville, TX. He lived in Arlington for more than 30 years. Mr. Weeks served as Mayor of Arlington for two terms: 1900 – 1902 and 1906 - 1909.
Thomas Benton Collins was one of the leading business men of Arlington. Born September 23, 1838, he was the oldest of five children. Mr. Collins took an active part in the political life of his community, serving two years as Mayor from 1902 - 1904 and also served as county treasurer for two terms.
T. G. Bailey was Mayor from 1904 – 1906 James Park Fielder Sr. married Mattie Barnes in 1887 in Alvarado, moved to Arlington from Fort Worth where the couple had helped establish Central Methodist Church. Mr. Fielder was Mayor for only 2 months in 1909. The Fielder’s home, built in 1914, still stands today at the corner of West Abram and Fielder Road. Mr. Fielder, who died in 1948, was active in Arlington First Methodist Church for nearly 50 years.
Dr. William Harold Davis came to Arlington from Virginia in 1881 after receiving his medical degree from Baltimore, MD. Dr. Davis was Mayor of Arlington from 1909 – 1910. While mayor he got the citizens of Arlington to help pay for the first sewer system of the town. Dr. Davis owned the third automobile in Tarrant County.
World War I broke out in 1910. Commerce centered on the old mineral well. The population grew to 3,031 during the 1910’s. * A.C. Barnes 4/10/1910 - 4/11/1912 * Dr. R.H. Greer 4/11/1912 - 4/11/1914 * P.F. McKee 4/11/1914 - 4/9/1915 * Dr. R.H. Greer 4/9/1915 - 5/19/1916 * Dr. R.H. Greer 5/19/1916 - 10/1/1919
Alton C. Barnes served as Mayor from 1910 to 1912. Dr. R.H. Greer served as Mayor 3 times! 1912 – 1914 1915 – 1916 1916 - 1919 P.F. McKee served as Mayor 1914-1915
The City bought 1,289 more acres of land in the 1920’s and the population tripled. * W.H. Rose 10/1/1919 - 5/16/1923 * W.G. Hiett 5/19/1923 - 4/7/1925 * Hugh M. Moore 4/7/1925 - 5/3/1926 * Elmer Taylor 5/3/1926 - 4/19/1927 * W.G. Hiett 4/19/1927 - 4/21/1931
Elmer Taylor served as Mayor 1926 -1927 William Rose Served as Mayor 1919 – 1923 Mr. Rose is considered the mayor who made Arlington "a city" because he helped establish the city charter. He also insisted that the city have its first audits and was instrumental in building sidewalks. During his tenure, Arlington saw its first major expansion outside the original city limits.
William Green Hiett served as mayor from 1923 to 1925 and again from 1927 to 1931. It was during his term as mayor that the first streets were paved in Arlington. Meadowbrook Park was bought and built during his time as mayor.
When Hugh Moore moved to Arlington in 1910, the Interurban was a part of everyday life. Mr. Moore and his wife, Mary Alberta, had eight children, some of whom actively participated in the family business, Moore and Sons Funeral Home. Mr. Moore was Mayor of Arlington from 1925-1926. He owned one of the first automobiles in Arlington and at one time also drove a purple hearse!
Arlington’s first hospital opened its doors near Center and Border Streets. The Interurban Trolley, Arlington’s first public transportation, stopped operation in 1934. During the 1940s, Arlington’s population grew to 7,692. * John H. Pilant 4/21/1931 - 4/4/1933 * W.L. Barrett 4/4/1933 - 4/2/1935 *W.F. Altman 4/2/1935 - 4/1/1947 * B.C. Barnes 4/1/1937 - 4/3/1951
John H. Pilant was born in Arlington, He was the ninth of twelve children. He served as mayor of Arlington from 1931 - 1933. He and his wife donated land for a street connecting Division and Abram which at one time was called Pilant St. It has since been named Stadium Drive East.
W.L. Barrett served as Mayor from 1933-1935 Wylie F. Altman, was first elected Mayor of Arlington in 1935. He served until 1947 when he declined to run for re-election in favor of "going fishing." B.C Barnes served as Mayor from 1937-1951
Our population grew to 44,775. General Motors moved to town. In 1957, The Dallas-Fort Worth Toll Road opened, which is now called Interstate 30. Mr. Vandergriff served as Mayor of Arlington for a record 26 years! 1951 - 1977
Arlington was a town with a population of less than 8,000 when Tom Vandergriff
began his 26 year term as Mayor at the age of 25 in 1951.
Judge Vandergriff is credited with:
bringing the General Motors assembly plant to Arlington
Bringing the Texas Rangers to Arlington
He secured the land for Lake Arlington
helped raise money for Arlington Memorial Hospital
He worked with then-Vice President Richard Nixon to ensure
that Interstate 20 would pass through Arlington
helped ensure the transfer of what is now the University of Texas at Arlington
from the Texas A&M System to the University of Texas System
He was involved with the construction of DFW airport
At various times in the past, Judge Vandergriff has been named
Citizen of the Year in Arlington, Dallas and Fort Worth.
Judge Vandergriff is known as the most significant contributor to civic life in Arlington.
He has been a United States Congressman, a Tarrant County judge
and he served one term in the House of Representatives.
Turnpike Stadium opened in 1965 with the Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs as it’s home baseball team. The Texas Rangers opened the 1970s in an expanded Arlington Stadium (formerly known as Turnpike Stadium). The Ballpark in Arlington opened in 1994. DFW Airport opened, and growth in our city was fast. The next twenty years Arlington see the population increase to over 300,000 people. * S.J. Stovall 1/18/1977 - 4/12/1983 * Harold Patterson 4/12/1983 - 4/4/1987 * Richard Greene 4/4/1987 - 5/6/1997 * Elzie Odom 5/6/1997 - 5/3/2003 * Dr. Robert Cluck 5/3/2003 - present
S.J. Stovall served as Mayor from 1977 - 1983 Harold Patterson served as Mayor from 1983 – 1987
Richard Greene served as Mayor from 1987-1997 Mr. Greene helped address the need for more streets, more police officers and more fire stations.
Dallas and Fort Worth attempted to convince the Texas Rangers Baseball club to leave Arlington, but Mayor Greene developed a plan to build a new ballpark for the team. The Arlington voters approved a plan to pay for the new stadium. Soon, the Texas Rangers won their first-ever division championships, hosted the 1995 All Star Game. During the early 1990s, General Motors put the 40 year old Arlington plant on the list of those they were considering shutting down. Mayor Greene inspired the local community and the Texas governor to convince GM not to close the Arlington plant location. He was successful! Today the automobiles assembly plant is building the most popular vehicles (Tahoe and Suburban) in the GM lineup and continues to be a major employer in Arlington.
Elzie Odom was born in Burkeville,Texas on May 10, 1929. Mr. and Mrs. Odom have lived at their present address in Arlington since April 1979. Mr. and Mrs. Odom quickly became involved in church and civic activities in Arlington. They are both active in the Mount Olive Baptist Church. Mr. and Mrs. Odom are frequent volunteers at Arlington Charities and Arlington Night Shelter. Mr. Odom was Mayor of Arlington from 1997-2003.
After receiving his medical training from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dr. Robert Cluck served in the U.S. Air Force for two years, serving during the Vietnam War as a general medical officer at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. From 1971 to 1994, Dr. Robert Cluck was in private practice delivering babies in Arlington. Dr. Robert Cluck, M.D., was elected to the office of Mayor of the City of Arlington in May 2003. He is the current Mayor of Arlington. Dr. Robert Cluck works with Arlington Memorial Hospital. Dr. Robert Cluck’s primary goal as Mayor is to develop Arlington’s economy to enable better support of basic citizen services.