History of NRH

Early Settlement

Our community began when W.S. Peters agreed to bring 600 families into the area within a three-year period as part of a land grant. Families began arriving in the summer of 1848. In 1849, Tarrant County was established and named for General Edward H. Tarrant. The community of Birdville (adjacent to what is now North Richland Hills' southwest boundary) was named the first county seat. The area remained a rural farming and ranching community for more than 100 years. 


In 1952, Clarence Jones began to subdivide his 268-acre dairy farm into a suburban addition in the area that is now Cummings Drive. In 1953, the North Richland Hills Civic League sought to have the area annexed to Richland Hills, then voted to form their own city when annexation was denied. An election was held, and the 268 acres of the Jones Farm, with a population of 500, became officially incorporated as the City of North Richland Hills. 


By 1957, the North Richland Hills' boundary was within two miles of Smithfield and by 1960, Smithfield had been annexed to North Richland Hills. In 1960, the population of North Richland Hills was beginning to rise at 8,662 residents, with that number doubling to 16,514 by 1970. The city's population continued to grow at a rapid pace with the 1980 census at 30,592 and the 1990 census reflecting 45,895. As the city entered the new millennium, it was estimated that the population was approximately 56,500. Today, North Richland Hills is the third largest city in Tarrant County with nearly 70,000 residents.


North Richland Hills operates under a charter adopted in 1964, which provides for a "Council-Manager" form of government. The City Council is composed of a mayor and seven council members elected at large. The council determines the overall goals and objectives for the city, establishes policies and adopts the city's annual operating budget. The city manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the city. 

The North Richland Hills City Council and team of city employees are committed to providing quality services and to making North Richland Hills the "City of Choice to Live, Work & Play." 

More Information

More information about the history of North Richland Hills is available at the NRH Public Library, 9015 Grand Ave., 817-427-6800. 


Birdville Historical Society
Tarrant County Historical Commission

Who Was Rufe Snow?

Mr. Rufus Snow
Mr. Rufus Snow

Many people have asked where the name Rufe Snow Drive came from. The street was named to honor Rufus Snow, a North Richland Hills farmer who served on the school board and as a county commissioner. An orphans home, hospital and county criminal court building were built during his tenure as a commissioner. 

His farm included much of the current Skyline Homes Addition and his home was at the present southeast corner of Rufe Snow and Shauna Drives. The old Birdville-Watauga Road was renamed as Rufe Snow Drive late in his lifetime. 

Did You Know? 

In 1974, Evel Knievel completed a jump over 11 mack trucks at Green Valley Raceway in NRH!  Watch now.