William S. Davis Collection

Summary: Fort Worth oilman and Railroad enthusiast William S. "Bill" Davis has been a generous supporter of the Tarrant County Archives donating both collection items and supplies. The son of oil legend Kenneth William Davis, one of the founding members of the Petroleum Club of Fort Worth, Bill Davis has a passion for Fort Worth history. His collection reflects his interest in family history, railways and Fort Worth.  Images shown are a Midcontinent photographer's image of President John F. Kennedy's visit to Fort Worth and a personal note from the donor (above); a donated map (below).

View the William S. Davis image gallery.


  • BOOMTOWN: A Portrait of Burkburnett, by Minnie King Benton. Art by H. W. Bohmers, 1972
  • Encyclopedia of Western Lawmen and Outlaws, by Jay Robert Nash, 1992
  • The New Frontier, A Contemporary History of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, by Ty Cashion, commissioned by the Tarrant County Historical Society and the Fort Worth Stockyards Business Association, 2006
  • "I’ll Take the Rest of the World": The Remarkable Business Success of Kenneth William Davis, by Carlton Stowers, preface by William S. Davis, December 2006
  • Tarantula Project: Fort Worth & Western Railroad, by Sondra Nations and Tim Madigan, 2017


  • Map of North America, circa 1835-1840 (image shown)
  • Mayor's Run, VHS tape, December 6, 1991


  • Three snapshots of President Theodore Roosevelt's visit to Fort Worth, 1905
  • Aerial views of Downtown Fort Worth from the roof of the W.T. Waggonner Building, photos by Kenneth Davis, August 1920
  • Davis home, 5100 Crestline Road, Fort Worth, November 29, 1980
  • Chamber of Commerce breakfast honoring U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Friday, November 22, 1963, in the Crystal Ballroom at the Texas Hotel, Fort Worth, Texas. Visible guests at the head table from L-R: Texas Governor John B. Connally, Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson, Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson, First Lady Jacqueline B. Kennedy, President Kennedy, Raymond Buck (at podium), Fort Worth mayor Bayard Friedman, Mrs. Cornelia C. Friedman (image shown)
Chamber of Commerce breakfast honoring U.S. President John F. Kennedy, and handwritten note



Map of North America

  • Photographs and negatives showing views of the Mid-Continent Supply Co. building, undated
  • Downtown Fort Worth, undated
  • Aerial views of Downtown Fort Worth, undated


  • Fort Worth Record, article detailing reminiscences of Sheriff William Rea of 30 years of being a peace officer, with details of train robbers, hangings, April 26, 1914
  • Ultra magazine, March 1983, Mitzi Davis on cover
  • Texas Monthly, September 1990


  • The Science of Railways Volumes II through XII by Marshall M. Kirkman, revised and enlarged edition, The World Railway Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1898
  • Manuscript: Bound Family of Fort Worth - an 11-volume set created by the donor with the help of various researchers. The 1994 prologue signed by the donor states "Family archives are enchanting collections filled with the images of the people and places that form our heritage...."
  • Donor's collection of newspaper clippings about railroads
  • Feasibility study for Tarantula Railroad, July 13, 1990
  • Texas Humanist article, FW and DC Railroad
  • Aura magazine, July-August 1990, Tarantula Railroad, page 44
  • Fact sheet on Tarantula Railroad for presentations
  • Invitation to opening of Tarantula Railroad
  • Bandana with Tarantula name
  • Fort Worth News-Tribune, October 5, 1979
  • Folder on FW Stockyards Inc.
  • Texas Highways, June 1994, Trains issue with Tarantula Railway story
  • Fort Worth Chronicle, Vol. II, Issues 3,5,6,7
  • Script for Tarantula excursion train
  • Folder of newspaper clippings regarding Tarantula Railway
  • Folder of copies of Tarantula "Express News"
  • Three engineer caps, with Tarantula logo
  • Three color Tarantula postcards, six "Yesteryear" postcards
  • Texas Highways, March 1993
  • Glass mug, "Granbury Express", June 28, 1994
  • Small American flag, one pin "Little Engine that Could"
  • Two foam white minstrel hats; hatband says "Tarantula Train"
  • Folder with Granbury Express, VIP ticket, clippings photographs
  • Folder with Grapevine Inaugural train, name tag, pin, notices at dedication, issue of Grapevine Sun covering the event
This page was last modified on February 12, 2021


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100 E. Weatherford, Fort Worth, Texas 76196