City History

River Oaks is located in a naturally wooded area defined by the meandering course of the West Fork of the Trinity River, just downstream from Lake Worth. The name of the city celebrates these natural features of the landscape by reminding residents of the many mature oaks trees throughout the City and the close proximity of the Trinity River corridor and the recreational amenities of Lake Worth. The City of River Oaks is approximately 1.9 square miles in area on the west side of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in North Central Texas. River Oaks is a suburban city, but it is located within the five-mile radius loop defined by Interstate Loop 820 around Fort Worth, in Tarrant County, Texas. The city limits are set, since there is no extra territorial jurisdiction or unincorporated territory for expansion of the city limits.

The roots of the City of River Oaks can be traced back to the 1800’s. In 1849 the first settler, Mr. James Ventioner, built a log cabin in the River Oaks area. His farm extended from the present Northside High School, then west beyond Ohio Garden Road and spread northward to Roberts Cut Off. Mr. Ventioner donated land for a school where the present day Castleberry Elementary is located. Then Mr. Zack Castleberry moved his family here. Mr. Castleberry donated his water well when a school was built for the children. Both families were attracted to the area because of the rich farmland and beautiful oak trees. Both men prospered and before long their friends moved here with their families. This was the beginning of the Castleberry Community.

In 1941 the voters unanimously approved incorporating as a Village. Since the area incorporated was not located entirely in the Castleberry area the Village was named for the oak trees in the area and became River Oaks Village. On May 7, 1946, the Board of Alderman changed the name to the City of River Oaks. The City Charter was officially enacted on January 11, 1949. The City has grown from the 1800’s to a population of 6,985 people. Originally River Oaks was developed as a bedroom community since the location was so close to Carswell Air Force Base, which was designated as a Joint Reserve Base in 1994 to be shared by the Navy, Marines, Air Force and Texas National Guard. The base is now known as the Naval Air Base Joint Reserve. Over the years, the City has been a prime location for base personnel to locate. The population of River Oaks has varied only slightly over the years, and this growth pattern emphasizes the need for River Oaks to distinguish itself as unique and different from other suburban cities.

On September 6, 1947, the City opened its first playground, and the Park was originally named Thurston Park. In 1962, the City created its first Park Board and the Park’s name was changed to McGee Park in honor of James David McGee who was killed in World War II. The Park serves as the location for many young people to participate in baseball leagues. There are two existing ball fields with lighting and bleachers, a concession stand, restrooms, playground equipment, picnic tables and shelter, basketball court, and parking. River Oaks has its own school system (Castleberry Independent School District) that provides educational facilities for elementary, middle school and high school students. Most of the housing in the City was build in the late 1940’s and over the last five years the Inspection Department has brought 127 substandard houses into compliance. The City has replaced 65% of the existing water lines in the City and has relined over 10,000 feet of old existing sewer mains. The City recently completed an extensive drainage study to reevaluate and plan for the future improvements of the current City drainage system. River Oaks is a superior water system and produces its own water from a 3 million gallon per day water treatment plant that complies with the T.C.E.Q. Rules and Regulations. In fiscal year 2000, the City completed construction of a new 500,000-gallon elevated storage tank that has increased water pressures throughout the City. The City continues to operate its own refuse collection for residents. River Oaks actively participates in the promotion of new businesses in the community. River Oaks residents are very active in volunteer activities of the community from housing improvement to City beautification projects.

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