Wichita Valley Railway

By: Chris Cravens

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: August 1, 1995

The Wichita Valley Railway Company was chartered on February 8, 1890, to build from Wichita Falls west to the state line in Bailey County, about 300 miles, and to build a branch from a point in Baylor or Knox counties to Mitchell County, about 100 miles. The company was a project of Gen. Grenville M. Dodge and Morgan Jones, who was its first president. The capital was $6,000,000, and the corporate office was in Wichita Falls. Members of the first board of directors included Jones, Ennis W. Taylor, W. F. Sommerville, Granville P. Meade, John Peter Smith, and J. G. Jones, all from Fort Worth; and Dodge, J. T. Granger, and Sidell Tilghman, all from New York City. Between April and September 1890 the line constructed fifty-one miles of track between Wichita Falls and Seymour. In 1891 the company owned two locomotives and four cars. Earnings for the year included $13,483 from passenger revenue and $44,955 from freight revenue. The Colorado and Southern Railway Company gained control of the Wichita Valley on November 14, 1905, but the company continued to be operated separately. The Wichita Valley became a part of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company in December 1908, when the Burlington bought the Colorado and Southern. On February 1, 1908, the Wichita Valley Railway leased the Wichita Valley Railroad and the Abilene and Northern Railway, thus forming a through route between Wichita Falls and Abilene. The Wichita Valley Railway also leased the Wichita Falls and Oklahoma Railway until that line was abandoned in 1942, as well as the Stamford and Northwestern Railway Company. All of the leased lines were also subsidiaries of the Colorado and Southern. On June 13, 1952, the Wichita Valley Railway and its leased lines were merged into the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway Company. The track between Wichita Falls and Abilene was acquired by the Southern Switching Company, which began operating the line on May 16, 1994.

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

Chris Cravens, “Wichita Valley Railway,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 29, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/wichita-valley-railway.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 1, 1995