Patrons

A Patron of Fort Worth News and Culture donated the land for Lake Como Park in 1951

Amon Giles Carter, Sr. was born in a one-room log cabin in Crafton, Texas. His family moved to Bowie in 1893, where he worked a variety of odd jobs. In 1900 he began working as a traveling salesman for the American Copying Company, a Chicago-based firm that specialized in oil-colored portrait photographs and became national sales manager in 1901.

Patrons

After a short stint with an advertising firm in San Francisco, Carter turned down a number of lucrative job offers to move to Fort Worth in 1905, where he established a one-man business, Texas Advertising and Manufacturing Company. He became advertising manager of the Fort Worth Star, which published its first issue on Feb. 1, 1906; he was promoted to business manager a short time later. At the time, he sold peaches from his small farm to local grocers to support the operations of the struggling newspaper.

In 1908 he convinced an investor to buy the rival Fort Worth Telegram, and it was merged with the Fort Worth Star soon after. By 1919 the paper had the largest circulation in Texas, a position it did not relinquish until the 1950s. It was during these years that Carter began calling archrival Dallas part of “East Texas” and tagged Fort Worth as the place “where the West begins.” He expanded his media interests in 1922 when he established WBAP, the first radio station in Fort Worth. He became president and publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1923.

Carter was an early aviation enthusiast. In 1911 he headed a committee that brought the first airplane to the area. In 1917 he was responsible for three World War I flying fields being located in Fort Worth. By 1928 he was a director and part owner of the Aviation Corporation, later a component of American Airlines. When oil was discovered in North Texas in the 1920s, Carter helped persuade a number of oilmen to move to Fort Worth, encouraging the building of a number of skyscrapers and reinforcing his own interest in petroleum discovery. His first successful oil well was drilled in New Mexico in 1935, creating a strong financial base for his future philanthropy.

His taste in art sprang from a historic sense, and he avidly identified with the American West. So, it was on-ly natural that he should collect the works of painters like Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. Carter became an important collector with his 1945 acquisition of Remington’s masterpiece, A Dash for the Timber (1889).

Carter established the Amon G. Carter Foundation in 1945. When he died in 1955, his will stipulated that a museum to house his collection be established by the foundation, leaving the details to his daughter Ruth Carter Stevenson (b. 1923) and son Amon Carter Jr. (19191982).

Though Carter did not live to see the museum, it was built according to his wish that it be located on a hill commanding an excellent view of downtown Fort Worth. The Amon Carter Museum opened in 1961, six years after Carter’s death.

In September 2019, the Fort Worth City Council approved an award of a contract with RDG Dahlquist Art Studio to create a sculpture to honor community leader William H. Wilburn, senior editor of the Lake Como Weekly, and Amon G. Carter Sr. City officials said Wilburn and his publication captured the unique character of the community, and Carter donated the land to establish the popular park in 1952.