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STEPHENVILLE NORTH AND SOUTH TEXAS RAILWAY

STEPHENVILLE NORTH AND SOUTH TEXAS RAILWAY. The Stephenville North and South Texas Railway Company was chartered on February 4, 1907, to construct a railroad from Stephenville to Hamilton. The capital was $250,000, and the original business office was located at Stephenville. Members of the first board of directors included John L. Spurlui of Hamilton and B. C. Cage, J. M. Cage, J. D. Cage, J. H. Cage, W. S. Watson, Marshall Ferguson, and Mrs. M. J. Craw, all from Stephenville. The Stephenville North and South was promoted by the banking firm of Cage and Crow headed by B. C. Cage. Citizens along the line pledged their support to the railroad and gave promissory notes to cover their pledges; $37,500 was realized from the sale of the notes. Stock in this amount was issued to Cage and Crow and an additional $5,800 in stock was subsequently sold. The Commonwealth Trust Company of St. Louis was associated with Cage and Crow in the financing of the railroad. As first surveyed the line was to extend from Stephenville through Alexander, Carlton, and Spurling to Hamilton. Construction began in 1907, and the forty-three miles between Stephenville and Hamilton opened on December 31 of that year. A flood in 1908 damaged the right of way, and Cage decided to sell the railroad. The Commonwealth Trust Company acquired a 50 percent interest in the railroad in 1909. The line had two locomotives, and the roundhouse was located in the northern part of Stephenville. In 1937 the former roundhouse was used as a stock auction headquarters. The St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company (Cotton Belt) acquired the Stephenville North and South Texas in April 1910. On April 18 the charter was amended to allow construction between Stephenville and Thurber, Hamilton and Gatesville, and Hamilton and Comanche. In 1911 the road completed a thirty-two mile line from Hamilton to Gatesville where connection was made with the St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company of Texas. The thirty-one mile line from Edson, four miles north of Hamilton, to Comanche was also built in 1911 and followed roughly the same route as current State Highway 36. No construction was done north of Stephenville. The Stephenville North and South was the western most extension of the Cotton Belt. Between July 1, 1913, and July 1, 1940, the Stephenville North and South was leased to the St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company of Texas. The Great Depression accelerated the downward trend in traffic on the railroad, and the seventy-two miles of track between Hamilton and Stephenville and between Edson and Comanche were abandoned on October 17, 1934. The remaining trackage between Hamilton and Gatesville lasted until January 6, 1941. The only remains of the railroad in 1990 were several stations converted to other uses and the dump, which was visible at many locations.

Jeanne F. Lively

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Jeanne F. Lively, "Stephenville North and South Texas Railway," accessed July 26, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/eqs33.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.