Panhandle Railway

By: H. Allen Anderson

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: May 1, 1995

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The Panhandle Railway Company was chartered on December 10, 1887, by a group of Fort Worth citizens, including Khleber M. Van Zandt, John Peter Smith, and Morgan Jones. The road was chartered to build from Washburn, Armstrong County, on the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway, to Panhandle City, where the line connected with the Southern Kansas Railway Company of Texas, a subsidiary of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe. The capital was $500,000, and the business office was in Washburn. Members of the first board of directors included Henry Waters of Baltimore, David Felsenheld and J. F. Granger of New York, and Jones, Van Zandt, Smith, J. M. O'Neall, and R. E. Montgomery, all of Fort Worth. The completion of the fifteen-mile line in April 1888 raised hopes that Panhandle City would become a major railroad-division and shipping point. However, the road did not pay, mainly because of a drought; on October 23, 1893, it went into the hands of two receivers, Jones and John D. Moore, who leased it to the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway for $11,250 a year. That arrangement continued until April 20, 1898, when the Panhandle was leased by the Southern Kansas. On December 5, 1898, the line was sold under foreclosure and purchased by Edward Wilder, treasurer of the Santa Fe. The Panhandle continued to be leased to the Southern Kansas until January 1, 1900, when it was conveyed to that company. The Southern Kansas also obtained trackage rights over the FW&DC from Washburn to Amarillo. On April 12, 1908, when the Southern Kansas completed its own line from Panhandle City to Amarillo, the former Panhandle Railway Company line was abandoned.

Richard Cleghorn Overton, Gulf to Rockies: The Heritage of the Fort Worth and Denver-Colorado and Southern Railways (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1953; rpt., Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood, 1970). Vernon Gladden Spence, Colonel Morgan Jones (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1971). F. Stanley, Story of the Texas Panhandle Railroads (Borger, Texas: Hess, 1976).

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

H. Allen Anderson, “Panhandle Railway,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 20, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995