Fort Worth

Fort Worth's ‘Panther City' Origin Explained

Many people know Fort Worth for its rodeos, barbecue and honkytonk, but the city is also referred to as Panther City.

So, where did the name Panther City come from?

It seems many people have forgotten, if they ever knew at all, how Fort Worth became known as Panther City. The panther's presence is everywhere within the city limits. There’s Panther Island Pavilion, Panther Island Brewing Company and statues of the large cat quietly sleeps among the hustle and bustle of downtown Fort Worth.

“I don't even pay attention to him and I walk by him every day,” said Kim Trussell.

A panther even rests on top of the Fort Worth police badge since 1912.

“The badge is unique where you’re not going to find anything like it anywhere,” Fort Worth Police Department's Marty Humphrey said.

The answer behind the origin of the panther dates back to almost 150 years. Humphrey, also a member of the Fort Worth police historical association, said the symbol stems from what was meant to be an insult from a Dallasite.

“Fort Worth was economically having problems and it was pretty quiet," she said. "About 1875, a Dallas attorney who once lived in Fort Worth, who didn't have too good of a feeling about Fort Worth, made the comment that Fort Worth was such a sleepy city that he saw a panther asleep in the street of downtown.”

The panther was later embraced by the city as a symbol of hope and strength. It’s a symbol that remains today as a part of Fort Worth’s rich and dynamic history.

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