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Built: ca. 1850s-1860s
K.M. VAN ZANDT BIOGRAPHY
Khleber Miller (K.M.) Van Zandt was born November 7, 1836 in Franklin County, Tennessee. His father Isaac moved the family to Harrison Co. Texas in 1839. Three years later, Isaac was appointed charge d’affaires to the United States to help achieve the annexation of Texas. At the age of 15, K.M. headed east to attend Franklin College in Tennessee. He had turned 16 by the time of his arrival. He graduated from college on July 4, 1854 and returned home to Marshall, Texas.
K.M. (on the right) during college years. Scan of original daguerreotype.
K.M. married Minerva Peete on April 19, 1857. He was admitted to the bar and practiced law in Marshall until the outbreak of the Civil War. In 1861, K.M. helped organize and became the leader of Company D, Seventh Texas Infantry. After the war’s end, Major K.M. Van Zandt set out for Fort Worth, carrying out his childhood ambition of moving to “West Texas.” This journey changed not only his and his young family's future, but also altered the course for this desolate town of 250.
K.M. would marry two more times. After Minerva's death, he married her sister Mattie V. Peete on July 22, 1869. After Mattie’s death, K.M. married a young teacher named Octavia Pendleton on October 8, 1885. K.M. and Octavia were married until his death on March 19, 1930. These three marriages produced 14 children for Van Zandt.
K.M. Van Zandt with his 14 daughters and sons
Top row, standing, left to right: Alice Van Zandt Williams, Edmund Pendleton Van Zandt, Virginia Van Zandt Diboll, Elias Beall Van Zandt, Ida Van Zandt Smith, Richard L. Van Zandt, Annie Van Zandt Attwell, Isaac Van Zandt, Frances Cooke Van Zandt Sloan.
Bottom, row, sitting, left to right: K.M. Van Zandt, Jr., Florence Van Zandt Jennings, K.M. Van Zandt, Albert Sidney Johnston Van Zandt, Mary Louisa Van Zandt Hendricks, Margaret Colville Van Zandt Miller.
“Fort Worth, as I saw it on an August afternoon in 1865, presented a sad and gloomy picture… I think there were not over 250 people – counting men, women, and children.”
--Major K.M. Van Zandt on Fort Worth, 1865
When Major Khleber Miller Van Zandt arrived at what was left of Fort Worth in 1865, he found a small hamlet on the verge of extinction. By the time of his death in 1930, Fort Worth was a bustling community well on its way to becoming a major center of commerce and culture in north Texas. This success was due largely to Major Van Zandt’s dedication to service, community, and collaboration to create a brighter future and a better way of life for Fort Worth citizens.
“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.”
--Major K.M. Van Zandt on Fort Worth, 1871
K.M. Van Zandt’s major contributions to Fort Worth:
In 1890 K.M. helped found and became first commander
of the Robert E. Lee Camp #158 of Confederate
Veterans, and from 1918-1921, K.M. served as
Commander in Chief of the United Confederate Veterans.
THE FARM AND COTTAGE
“I purchased a large farm at the edge of Fort Worth”
--Major K.M. Van Zandt
In 1871, Major Van Zandt purchased a large farm on the edge of Fort Worth. The landholders owed a debt to K.M.’s mother, Frances Cooke Lipscomb Van Zandt, and his mother told him that if he could collect the debt, the land was his. The court ordered the land sold at auction and K.M. was awarded the bid. Major Van Zandt started the process of purchasing the farmland from A.G. Scoggin and his family in 1869. He completed the transaction in 1871 by paying off the $1500.00 note. His growing family lived in the Cottage until 1878 when they moved to a new home on Penn Street.
The small cottage that stood on this farm served as the Van Zandts’ home for almost ten years. The extent of this farm extended approximately to the modern day boundaries of Fifth St. to the north, Montgomery St. to the West, and just beyond the Trinity River to the east, and Interstate 30 to the south. All that remains of this historic farm is the Van Zandt Cottage, the oldest home in the City on its original foundation. The Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Trinity Park, Kimbell Art Museum, Amon Carter, Museum, Farrington Field and the Seventh St. developments currently occupy Van Zandt’s former farm.
|Hours: Tue. - Fri. 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. (gates close at 3:30 p.m.)
Sat. and Sun.: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (gates close at 4:30 p.m.)
Log Cabin Village is closed on Mondays
|2100 Log Cabin Village Lane
Fort Worth, TX 76109