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LONGFELLOW, TX

LONGFELLOW, TEXAS. Longfellow is an abandoned railroad station on the tracks of the Southern Pacific Railroad in extreme southern Pecos County. The community site is on U.S. Highway 90 sixteen miles west of Sanderson. The area was first settled before the Civil War by Mexican ranchers who grazed their livestock on both sides of the Rio Grande. Longfellow was started around 1881 as the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railway built through the area. The community was named by the railroad for the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It became a livestock shipping point for a wide area and soon had a railroad depot and telegraph office, as well as extensive facilities for supplying water to locomotives passing through. Once when workmen were drilling for water, they unexpectedly struck a vein of silver ore. The railroad company also operated a ballast quarry near the station. In 1890 a post office was established in Longfellow, and the town became headquarters for the Longfellow Ranch. By the mid-twentieth century improved highway transportation caused Longfellow to lose much of its trade to nearby Sanderson and other larger towns. By 1933 the post office had been discontinued. The railroad closed its freight and telegraph office in 1944, when diesel engines came into use, and the water column and well facilities were abandoned in 1954. By the mid-1980s only the ranch headquarters and the ruins of some of the old railroad buildings remained.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

T. Lindsay Baker, Ghost Towns of Texas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986). Pecos County Historical Commission, Pecos County History (2 vols., Canyon, Texas: Staked Plains, 1984). Charles P. Zlatkovich, Texas Railroads (Austin: University of Texas Bureau of Business Research, 1981).

Glenn Justice

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Glenn Justice, "LONGFELLOW, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvl75), accessed December 19, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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