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History of Arlington, Texas

Arlington is a city in Tarrant County, between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. It is named for the home in Virginia where General Robert E. Lee lived for thirty years. Soon after the Civil War, settlers began arriving in Arlington. The town's big break came in 1876 when the Texas & Pacific Railroad, which was constructing its line between Dallas and Fort Worth, decided to build a station in between and chose Arlington. The streets were laid out in 1876 and the post office accepted the name Arlington in 1877. In 1884, it was incorporated. Arlington College was founded in 1895, becoming Carlyle Military Academy in 1901, and eventually the University of Texas at Arlington. A mineral well, whose water was reputed to have curative properties, was drilled in 1892 at the intersection of Center and Main. A classically styled drinking fountain was installed in 1910 and the well remained a popular gathering spot until it was determined to be a traffic hazard and was paved over in the 1950s. In 1902, an interurban electric trolley linking Dallas and Fort Worth began operating with Arlington as one of its stops. Arlington's attraction as a suburb of both cities began to increase. In the early 1920's, the city added a public library, a city park, and a new high school. In the 1930s, Arlington Downs was the site of popular horse racing events, but it closed due to the outlawing of pari-mutuel betting in 1936. The Fundamental Baptist Bible Institute was chartered in 1939, later becoming Arlington Baptist College. After World War II, General Motors opened a plant in Arlington. With the launch of Six Flags over Texas in 1961, Arlington began to develop as a tourist destination. Turnpike Stadium, built in 1972, later became Texas Stadium, home of the Texas Rangers MLB team. Legends of the Game Museum is located at the ballpark, where it celebrates America's pastime. The former home of James Park Fielder, built in 1914 as the center of a 215-acre farm, is now operated as the Fielder House Museum by the Arlington Historical Society. The Arlington Museum of Art celebrates and showcases contemporary art. The city is served by Arlington Memorial Hospital, affiliated with Texas Health Resources.