Our Timeline

Here for your review is the chronology of our beloved building.

Cowtown Coliseum Timeline (prepared June 29, 2006)

  • 1850 – Isaac Thomas (1813-1855) receives a 500-acre land grant
  • 1855 – Isaac Thomas patents 640 acres 1878 – 250 acres is transferred to Drucilla Thomas, wife of Isaac 1879 – Sold to Medria G. Elliss
  • 1889 – Fort Worth Union Stock Yards purchases 86 acres 1902 – Fort Worth Stock Yards Company builds packing houses
  • 1893, April – Greenliff W. Simpson, Suffolk Mass., buys land and sells it to the Fort Worth Stock Yards Company.
  • 1896 thru 1907 – Stock Show held but no buildings yet
  • 1902 – 1911 – North Fort Worth is in existence 1906, Early Summer – S.B. Burnett and Marion Samson travel to Chicago to talk to the Fort Worth Stock Yards Company plus Armour and Swift companies about building the Coliseum. Fort Worth Stock Yards Company offers up to $200,000; $50,000 must be raised by the citizens of Fort Worth and the area.
  • 1907 – Berkley Brandt, from Chicago, is selected as the Coliseum Architect
  • 1907, October 2 – Fort Worth Stock Yards Company contracts with the Texas Building Company to build the Coliseum
  • 1907, October 3 – Corner stone laid
  • 1907, May – Foundation laid three feet above ground from the Coliseum
  • 1907, October 25 – Full construction commences
  • 1907, October 25 – January 31, 1908 Coliseum construction dates
  • 1908, February 16 – Finishing touches completed
  • 1908, March 11 – Official opening gala
  • 1908, March 11 – First Stock Show opens in Coliseum
  • 1908, March 11-14 – Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show held
  • 1908, March 16 – War Between the States reenactment
  • 1908 – Bill Picket performs at the Stock Show
  • 1908 – 1917 – National Feeders and Breeders Show
  • 1908 – 1942 – Stock Show held in the Stockyards
  • 1908 -1942 – 34 years of Stock Show held in the Stockyards
  • 1908 – First exhibition round-up of cattle
  • 1908 – First time in history night Horse Show in any arena
  • 1909 – Quannah Parker with 36 full-blooded Comanche and Kiowa Indians at Stock Show
  • 1911, March – Theodore Roosevelt speaks to 5,000 people at Coliseum
  • 1911, March – Horse and Mule Barns burn, estimated damage of $350,000
  • 1911 – 1923 – Niles City is in existence
  • 1913 – 1928, March – Horse Show Queen Coronation and Pageant
  • 1913, November – Texas Governor O.B. Colquitt speaks
  • 1913, November – Thavino’s International Band and Russian Dancers
  • 1916, December – Diaghileff’s Ballet Russe
  • 1916, October – Elliss Opera Company “Carmen” with Madam Farrar
  • 1916 – Russian ballet
  • 1916 – 1951 – Fort Worth Public Schools hold basketball championship games
  • 1917, March – Texas Governor James E. Ferguson speaks
  • 1917, March – Largest indoor track meet
  • 1917, October – Chicago Opera Association – two nights (Faust and “Lucia di Lammermorr”)
  • 1917 – First indoor rodeo held at the Coliseum
  • 1918 – First Stock Show Rodeo held
  • 1918 – Madame Geraldine Farrar, American born international opera singer, performs
  • 1918 – 1942 – Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show
  • 1918, May – Madam Farrar returns as soloist
  • 1918, November 24 – January 5,
  • 1919 – Reverent Billy Sunday holds revivals
  • 1919, October – Chicago Grand Opera Association “Aida” “Madame Butterfly” and “The Masked Ball”
  • 1920, October 19 – Enrico Caruso performs
  • 1921, January – Boy Scouts Exposition
  • 1922, May 2 – First radio broadcast of the rodeo 1922, November – Raymond T Richey revivals
  • 1923 – First radio broadcast at Fat Stock Show
  • 1923, March – Texas Gov Pat M. Neff speaks
  • 1923, March – Sidney Smith, cartoon creator of Gumps
  • 1923, April – Fort Worth Public School play
  • 1923 – 1952 The Texas Cattlemen’s Association located in East wing
  • 1923 – 1952 – Home of Texas Cattlemen’s Association
  • 1923 – City of Fort Worth annexes Niles City
  • 1924, February – Boy Scouts Exposition
  • 1924, December – American Petroleum Institute Convention Barbeque
  • 1924, November – Moslah Temple Shrine ceremonies
  • 1926, March 6 – Department Store Style Show
  • 1927 – WBAP affiliated with NBC to broadcast rodeo to other states
  • 1927, March 5-12 – Stock Show/Horse Show and Rodeo
  • 1928, May – North Side High School commencement
  • 1929, March 9-16 – Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show held
  • 1930, March 8-16 – Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show held
  • 1933, March 11-19 – Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show held
  • 1934, March 10-18 – Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show held
  • 1935, March 16-24 – Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show held
  • 1935, December – City of Fort Worth enters an agreement to purchase Coliseum and land
  • 1935 – City of Fort Worth purchases the Coliseum
  • 1936, March 1 – City of Fort Worth obtains warranty deed to the Coliseum
  • 1936, March 13-22 – Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show held
  • 1937, March 12-21 – Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show held
  • 1938, March 11-20 – Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show held
  • 1939, March 10-19 – Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show held
  • 1939, March – Paul Whitman Band 1940’s – Skylight “Monitor” is covered up
  • 1941, March – Ken Maynard, rodeo contestant and movie star
  • 1941, March – Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show held
  • 1942, March – Final Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show held
  • 1943, August – City becomes full owner of Coliseum
  • 1945, August 23 – R. G. McElyea signs first five year lease
  • 1947, April – Harry Jennings
  • 1947, May – Bob Wills
  • 1947, September – Les Brown
  • 1948, December 22 – Bids are due for City of Fort Worth to sell the Coliseum
  • 1949, February 16 – Fort Worth City Council meets; 6,000 signatures opposing sale are presented
  • 1949, February 21 – Council votes unanimously to defer sale
  • 1949, January – Les Brown with Bob Hope and Doris Day
  • 1949, December – Ted Daffin and Band
  • 1949 – Vaughn Monroe with Riders in the Sky
  • 1949 – Roy Acuff
  • 1949 – Earnest Tubb
  • 1956, may – North Fort Worth Women’s Club First Spring Fiesta
  • 1945-1976 – Professional Wrestling
  • 1946-mid 1960’s – Roller Derby
  • 1955 – Elvis
  • 1956 – Elvis
  • 1957, June – North Fort Worth Business Association first rodeo
  • 1957, June – North Fort Worth Business Association Pioneer Days
  • 1964, May 22 – R. G. McElya dies
  • 1975, September – Indoor rodeo returns
  • 1975, September – McElyea’s lease expires
  • 1975, October – Steve Murrin signs annual lease
  • 1975-1976 – Coliseum restoration by City of Fort Worth CETA workers
  • 1975 – Steve Murrin offers $20,000 to lease the Coliseum
  • 1975 – Tear out concrete floor, replace with dirt floor arena
  • 1975 – Cowtown Rodeo Inc. owned by Steve Murrin holds 10-week rodeo season in Spring and Fall
  • 1976 – Copenhagan/Skoal Traditional Calf Roping
  • 1976, June 29 – Stockyards designated as Historical District
  • 1977, February – Steve Murrin signs five-year lease
  • 1978 – First Annual SAE Chilly Cook Off and Quarter horse Sale
  • 1979, November – Jimmy Carter at Coliseum; speaks on the Livestock Exchange Building Porch
  • 1981, March-September – First Tourist Information Center
  • 1981, May – “Tough Enough” filmed, 4,000 extras hired
  • 1983 – Texas Antiquities Committee designates Coliseum as an official State Archeological Landmark
  • 1983 – City of Fort Worth designates Stockyards as First Historical/Cultural District zoning
  • 1984, July – City proposes management lease with Triad Corporation, dba Cowboys and Indians
  • 1984 – Cowtown Coliseum Historical Marker ordered from the State
  • 1984, December – City sign management lease with Triad Corporation, dba Cowboys and Indians
  • 1985, November-June, 1986 – $3 million Coliseum restoration
  • 1986 June 13-15 – Chisholm Trail Round-Up
  • 1986, June 11 – Wild West Show
  • 1986, June 5-8 – Winston Pro Rodeo Tour
  • 1994, October – Texas Lottery held at Coliseum

Get in touch

Cowtown Coliseum -- Fort Worth Stockyards - 121 E.Exchange Ave. Fort Worth. TX - 1-888-COWTOWN