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Texas loses stagecoach mail and passenger service

March
01
1861

On this day in 1861, the 2 1/2-year history of the Butterfield Overland Mail in Texas came to an end. The Butterfield line began operations on September 15, 1858. It carried passengers and mail between St. Louis, Memphis, and San Francisco, a distance of 2,795 miles. A government contract called for the company to carry letter mail twice weekly in both directions in four-horse coaches, or spring wagons suitable for carrying passengers. Each trip was to be completed in twenty-five days. The postage rate was ten cents per half ounce. Passenger fare was $200 each way. Stage service in Texas was terminated in March 1861, when an agreement was made to modify the contract and move the route northward out of the state.

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