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Entry from August 12, 2006
“Where the West Begins” (Fort Worth slogan)

“Where the West Begins,” the slogan of Fort Worth, was originally a famous 1911 poem by Arthur Chapman that was published in the Denver Republican. Dallas later responded with “Where the East Ends.”
“Fort Worth is where the West begins, and Dallas is where the East peters out” has been attributed to Fort Worth Star-Telegram publisher Amon G. Carter (1879-1955) since at least 1940.
“The East ends at St. Paul; the West begins at Minneapolis” was said about Minnesota’s Twin Cities in 1898.
Wikipedia: Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth is the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas and the 19th-largest in the United States. The city is also large in geographic area as it covers almost 300 square miles and is the county seat of Tarrant County—the 18th most populous county in the country.       
As of the 2000 U.S. Census, Fort Worth population was 534,694 (though a 2005 Census estimate placed the population at 624,067). The city is the second-largest cultural and economic center of the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area (colloquially referred to as Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex), the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. with a population of 5.7 million in 12 counties.
Fort Worth was founded as a military camp in 1849, named after General William Jenkins Worth. Today, the city is portrayed as more old-fashioned and laid-back than its neighbor, Dallas. Known as “Cowtown” for its roots as a cattle drive terminus, Fort Worth still celebrates its colorful Western and Southern heritage today and bills itself as “Where the West begins.”
Wikiquote: Arthur Chapman
Arthur Chapman (1873–1935) was an early twentieth century American poet and newspaper columnist.
Range Writer: Out Where the West Begins
Arthur Chapman was born in Rockford, Illinois in 1873; and he was educated there in public schools. He lived there until 1895 when he married and moved to Chicago.  There, he was a reporter on the Chicago Daily News. three years later, he moved to Denver, Colorado where he was a reporter and columnist on the Denver Republican for 15 years. For the next three years (from 1916 through 1919), he was the managing editor for The Denver Times. From 1920 until his death he was as special writer for the New York Herald-Tribune. He authored two books of poetry; “Out Where The West Begins” in 1917 and “Cactus Center” in 1921. He wrote several books; “Mystery Ranch”, “The Story Of Colorado”  and “John Crews”. 
Chapman was astounded at the reception accorded ” Out Where The West Begins”.  Shortly before six one evening in 1911, Chapman was wracking his brain for material to fill his column that was featured in the old Denver Republican.  He wanted to catch the 6 o’clock street car for dinner. He saw a press dispatch saying that the governors of Western states were arguing about where the west began with some saying it began at the Mississippi River; while others insisted it began with the Alleghany Mountains. Chapman was struck with a sudden idea, and scribbled the famous verse in time to catch the street car.
Cowboy Poetry
Out where the handclasp’s a little stronger,
Out where the smile dwells a little longer,
That’s where the West begins . . .
Perhaps few western poems are more widely known than Arthur Chapman’s “Out Where the West Begins.” 
Legend has it that Chapman (born 1874) dashed off the poem for his “Center Shots” column in the Denver Republican when the Western states’ governors were arguing about where the West begins, and that he was amazed at the attention it received.
Out Where the West Begins
Out where the handclasp’s a little stronger,
Out where the smile dwells a little longer,
That’s where the West begins;
Out where the sun is a little brighter,
Where the snows that fall are a trifle whiter,
Where the bonds of home are a wee bit tighter,
That’s where the West begins.
Out where the skies are a trifle bluer,
Out where friendship’s a little truer,
That’s where the West begins;
Out where a fresher breeze is blowing,
Where there’s laughter in every streamlet flowing,
Where there’s more of reaping and less of sowing,
That’s where the West begins;
Out where the world is in the making,
Where fewer hearts in despair are aching,
That’s where the West begins;
Where there’s more of singing and less of sighing,
Where there’s more of giving and less of buying,
And a man makes friends without half trying —
That’s where the West begins.
From Out where the West Begins, 1917
7 December 1911, Boston (MA) Daily Globe, pg. 12:
(Arthur Chapman, in Denver Republican.)
7 July 1921, Ada (OK) Weekly News, pg. 4: 
According to a Washington correspondent western bankers do not agree with eastern bankers that the best and quickest way to rehabilitate Europe is by extending loans. (...)
—Fort Worth Record.
4 February 1923, Port Arthur (TX) News, pg.  13:
A man from Fort Worth will tell you that he comes from the city where the west begins.   
14 January 1927, Mansfield (Ohio) News, “Cowboy Headgear Out of Date in Fort Worth Now,” pg. 21:
With its passing, however, the hat left a tradition. Civic boosters assiduously strive to perpetuate it. On gala occasions they don the biggest of the big hats available and recall that this, unofficially, is “where the west begins.”
5 December 1935, New York (NY) Times, pg. 25:
Author of “Out Where the West
Beings” Which He Wrote
for Denver Paper.


Left Chicago for Colorado in
1898—Columnist for Years,
Coming to This City in 1919.
Arthur Chapman, journalist and author, died at 7 o’clock last night at his residence, 410 East Fifty-seventh Street, of heart disease, after a long illness.
A trained and excellent newspaper man, an editor of talent and the author of fiction and many articles, Mr. Chapman is best remembered as the author of a poem that gripped the imagination of millions. The poem, which he considered in 1912, when he wrote it (This is incorrect. It was 1911—ed.), too unimportant to copyright, is “Out Where the West Begins.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Saturday, August 12, 2006 • Permalink

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