Southern Kansas Railway

By: Chris Cravens

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: March 23, 2019

The Southern Kansas Railway Company of Texas was chartered on November 11, 1886; it was the first railroad of the Santa Fe system to enter the Panhandle of Texas. The Southern Kansas Railway, another Santa Fe property, had reached the southern border of the Indian territory; the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway helped the Southern Kansas extend its line from Indian Territory to Panhandle City by 1888. The initial capital was $3 million, and the business office was located at Fort Worth. Members of the first board of directors included Isaac T. Burr, W. B. Story, A. W. Nickerson, and Alden Speare, all of Boston, Massachusetts, and George Sealy, Waters S. Davis, R. S. Willis, and Webster Snyder, all from Galveston. In 1888 the road built 100 miles of track from the Oklahoma-Texas state line to Panhandle City. In 1892 the company apparently rented all of its cars and locomotives, but earned $15,542 in passenger revenue, $60,573 in freight revenue, and $2,509 in other revenue. Earnings for 1895 totaled $72,884. In 1898 the Southern Kansas of Texas leased the fifteen miles of the Panhandle Railway operating between Panhandle City and Washburn, and acquired trackage rights over the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway from Washburn to Amarillo. The Panhandle was acquired on January 1, 1900, and merged into the Southern Kansas of Texas. In 1903 the road earned $64,499 in passenger revenue, $298,797 in freight revenue, and $4,756 in other revenue. On April 12, 1908, the Southern Kansas of Texas opened its own twenty-four mile line from Panhandle City to Amarillo and abandoned the former Panhandle Railway. The Southern Kansas Railway Company of Texas was renamed the Panhandle and Santa Fe on June 5, 1914.

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

Chris Cravens, “Southern Kansas Railway,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 30, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 23, 2019