AZLE, TEXAS. Azle is on State Highway 199 sixteen miles northwest of downtown Fort Worth in the northwest corner of Tarrant County; the town extends partly into Parker County. The first recorded settlement at the site occurred in 1846, when a young doctor named James Azle Steward moved into a cabin built by a Dutchman named Rumsfeldt. Other settlers came and established themselves near the local streams, Ash Creek, Silver Creek, and Walnut Creek. The first post office opened in 1881, and the town took the name O'Bar in honor of the man who obtained the postal service. Soon, however, the name was changed at the request of Steward, who donated the land for a townsite in order to have the town named Azle. The community's economy was based on agriculture. Several crops were grown, including wheat, corn, peanuts, sorghum, and cotton. Watermelons, cantaloupes, peaches, plums, and pears were also produced. Dairy farming became important in the early decades of the twentieth century, when local milk products were sold to creameries in Fort Worth. The population of Azle grew steadily, and by 1920 the census recorded 150 residents. By 1933 State Highway 34 (later State Highway 199) had reached Azle from Fort Worth, greatly improving transportation capabilities between the town and the city. Also, Eagle Mountain Lake was formed by a dam on the Trinity River east of Azle. In the late 1930s electricity was supplied to Azle and the surrounding countryside. The population grew between 1940 and 1960 from 800 to 2,696. It was 5,822 by 1980. After the 1930s agriculture gradually declined; fields were converted from wheat and corn production to housing developments. Manufacturing increased, and in 1984 Azle had twenty-six businesses. In 1985 the population was estimated at more than 7,000. The town's proximity to Fort Worth and its position as the "Gateway to Eagle Mountain Lake" have made Azle a popular place to live. In 1990 the population was 8,868. The population grew to 9,600 by 2000.
Ruby Schmidt, ed., Fort Worth and Tarrant County (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1984). Kathleen E. and Clifton R. St. Clair, eds., Little Towns of Texas (Jacksonville, Texas: Jayroe Graphic Arts, 1982).