Restoration of the Historic Van Zandt Cottage
When the historic Van Zandt Cottage needed foundation repairs and restoration, MBR Guaranteed Foundation Repairs was the company trusted with this piece of Fort Worth History. Learn what we did, how we did it, and a little about "Mr. Fort Worth" himself.
Who Was Maj. K. M. Van Zandt?
When Major Khleber Miller Van Zandt arrived with his wife and three children in the small village of Fort Worth, Texas, in 1865, he found empty houses and stores, a blacksmith, a flour mill, a shoe cobbler, and a mere 250 inhabitants. There was no post office or saloon.
Van Zandt was 29 years old at the time, and brought with him a wealth of experiences which would lead him to become a major force in the development and growth of this booming city of Fort Worth we now have today. The Van Zandt family settled in a rental house and opened a mercantile store in the town square. But such a property wasn't the lap of luxury you might think. For one, there were no wells. Water had to be hauled straight up up from the river.
In the early 1870s, Van Zandt acquired the farm and cottage, which stands in its original location even today. From that humble cottage he was instrumental in founding a hotel, a bank, (which later became Fort Worth National Bank), a church (which became First Christian Church), a newspaper (which became the Fort Worth Star Telegram), and saw to it that Fort Worth became a hub of the railroad industry, an accomplishment which gained national recognition of Fort Worth and helped it grow into a thriving city.
In his autobiography, Van Zandt says:
"My business was prospering and I had the opportunity of becoming a wealthy man; but I was interested in other values before money. Fort Worth was growing, and there was much to be done. As my years have increased, my activities have, of necessity lessened; but my interest in the welfare of Fort Worth and her people is as keen as it ever was. My greatest efforts now are devoted to my church, First Christian, and to my responsibilities as president of Fort Worth National Bank."
Van Zandt remained active as president of the church board and president of the bank until his death in 1930.