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Railroad runs excursion train to lure settlers


On this day in 1887, the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway, the first rail line to penetrate northwest Texas, ran an excursion train to the new community of Cheyenne in Oldham County to bring in potential settlers. The Fort Worth and Denver City actively promoted the growth of towns and farming to increase traffic for the line; "No settlers, no trains" was the company's rule. At Cheyenne they built a hotel, opened stores, and constructed cattle-loading pens to accommodate the surrounding LS Ranch. The new town was designed to replace nearby Tascosa (three miles east), and was based on a townsite donated by LS general manager William McDole Lee, who did not want Tascosa to become county seat because it would raise his taxes. Bitter rivalry ensued, particularly after hack service was instituted between the two towns. When Cheyenne applied for a post office, its name was changed to Magenta for the color of the red soil along the creek. Within a year the land boom subsided. Though the railroad kept an agent at Magenta for several years, the local population moved away, and only the depot and shipping pens remained.

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