Community leaders dedicated the John V. McMillan Plaza and unveiled the Major Ripley Allen Arnold Monument during a ceremony this morning along the banks of the Trinity River in Fort Worth. Built primarily through contributions by the Tarrant Regional Water District and the Anfin Family, the plaza will honor two important figures in the city’s history. McMillan, who died 2001, was a successful businessman, humanitarian and civic leader who founded Coors Distributing Co. locally. He served as the president of the North Fort Worth Business Association and the Mexican American Chamber of Commerce, now named the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. McMillan also served on the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, and was chairman of the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The centerpiece of the plaza is a 22-foot-tall bronze statue of Fort Worth’s founder, Major Ripley Arnold, who established a post on the Trinity River in 1849 and constructed a fort named after General William J. Worth. The statue was created by sculptor Archie St. Clair. “The Trinity River is why we are here,” said U.S. Rep. and former Fort Worth Mayor Kay Granger. “As we move forward with the construction of Panther Island, it’s important that we embrace Fort Worth’s rich history and show our recognition with a memorial on the banks of the river.” Additional support for the plaza was provided by The Burnett Foundation, Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives Inc., RadioShack and the Tarrant County College District.