Cattleman, Banker & Mayor of Fort Worth By Claudia Hazlewood
Van Zandt Jarvis, cattleman and banker, son of James Jones and Ida (Van Zandt) Jarvis, was born on March 26, 1873, in Fort Worth. He attended Fort Worth public schools and Add-Ran College (later Texas Christian University) from which he graduated in 1895.
After working with his father on family ranches, he became manager of the family’s 4,000-acre ranch in Tarrant County and 20,000-acre ranch in Erath and Hood counties. With his father he began breeding registered shorthorn and Hereford cattle and thoroughbred horses and selling the cattle in Central and South America. He was president of the Texas Shorthorn Breeders Association for six years and treasurer and director of the Texas Hereford Breeders Association in 1927.
Jarvis was a stockholder and director of the Fort Worth National Bank and a five-term member of the Fort Worth City Council. He was elected mayor in 1934. He was also president of the West Texas and Fort Worth chambers of commerce, and of the Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show.
Further, Jarvis served more than 30 years on the Texas Christian University board of directors, most of this as chairman. He led a financial campaign that saved the university and in 1939 was voted its most outstanding former student.
Jarvis was a Democrat and member of the Christian Church. In 1901 he married Anne Dora Burgess. They had six children. Jarvis died on April 17, 1940 and was buried in East Oakwood Cemetery in Fort Worth.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Ellis A. Davis and Edwin H. Grobe, comps., The Encyclopedia of Texas, 2-vol. ed. National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 48. Buckley B. Paddock, History of Texas: Fort Worth and the Texas Northwest Edition (4 vols., Chicago: Lewis, 1922). Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.
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