Wichita Falls Railway

By: Clark Wheeler

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: September 1, 1995

The Wichita Falls Railway Company was chartered on June 5, 1894, by Joseph A. Kemp of Wichita Falls. Kemp was looking for a way to bring additional rail service to his town. He built the eighteen miles of track to connect with the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad (Katy) in Henrietta that began operating in May 1895. The money to build the railroad was raised by selling stock and issuing bonds. The capital was $100,000, and the business office was located at Wichita Falls. Members of the first board of directors included M. J. Tompkins of Vernon; Kemp, Robert E. Huff, and A. Newby, all of Wichita Falls; and Leon Blum, Morris Lasker, and Julius Runge, all of Galveston. The company did not own its own rolling stock. Instead it leased the track to the Katy, a profitable arrangement for the thirty-one stockholders, whose most important leaders included Kemp and Frank Kell. Between 1899 and 1901 the Wichita Falls line paid dividends averaging $13,000 per year. The Wichita Falls Railway was sold to the Katy in 1911 and operated under lease until 1969, when it was merged into the parent company. The eighteen miles of the former Wichita Falls Railway was abandoned in 1970.

V. V. Masterson, The Katy Railroad and the Last Frontier (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1952).

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

Clark Wheeler, “Wichita Falls Railway,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 19, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/wichita-falls-railway.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 1, 1995