Estacado and Gulf Railroad

By: H. Allen Anderson

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: January 1, 1995

The Estacado and Gulf Railroad resulted from the initial attempt on the part of the citizens of Roby in Fisher County to get a railroad connection to their community. The line was chartered on June 4, 1908, and planned to build from Roby southeast to Coleman in Coleman County, for a distance of 100 miles. W. A. Butts, its promoter, requested that $50,000 be raised prior to construction. The people of Roby set out to do so through cash and pledges, and on April 1, 1910, construction started from McCaulley, which was on the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient line. The capital was $100,000. The principal place of business was Roby. The members of the first board of directors were William A. Butts and F. D. Jones, both of Fort Worth; W. B. Tate and T. H. Landon, both of Roby; Carl H. Jewell of Boston, Massachusetts; John T. Butts of Weatherford; James J. Jones of Tulsa, Oklahoma; W. C. Blanchett and D. H. Johnson, both of Stamford; and G. S. Mathews of Austin.

The original plan called for the Estacado and Gulf line to connect with the Orient in McCaulley, head west through Roby, which was some ten miles away, and go on to El Paso and eventually to the Gulf of California. By November 1, 1910, the roadbed had been completed to Roby, but the tracks had been laid only to the east bank of the Clear Fork of the Brazos near Pledger, about five miles away. At that time the officials held a picnic to celebrate their progress, and the train carried people from McCaulley to the railhead on a flatcar with cane-bottom chairs. But in spite of the picnic, the line was abandoned in 1911. The engine and other equipment lay for a few years where the tracks had stopped and was sold for scrap or salvaged to be used on the subsequent Roby and Northern Railway.

B. W. Aston, "Roby Gets a Railroad," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 52 (1976).

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

H. Allen Anderson, “Estacado and Gulf Railroad,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 27, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995