Residents of the Fort Worth suburb of White Settlement held on to their heritage Tuesday and voted against changing the town’s name to West Settlement, despite proponents’ arguments that the name has racial connotations and stunts the town’s economic development.
In a record turnout, 2,388 residents voted against the name change and 219 voted for it, according to unofficial, complete returns.
The city got its name because it was the lone village of white pioneers amid several American Indian encampments in the Fort Worth area in the Texas Republic territory in the 1840s.
Mayor James Ouzts and other city leaders proposed the change, saying the name is confusing, misleading and has hindered economic development in the 15,000-resident suburb.
However, the ballot measure angered many residents who said the change was unnecessary and too costly. Signs across town urged folks to “Be Proud! Don’t Let Them Discard the Heritage of White Settlement. Vote No!”