Stephenville North & South Texas Railway
The last railroad to be leased in Texas with an option to purchase, was the Stephenville North & South Texas Railway. This little road, which connected with the Cotton Belt at Gatesville, Texas, ran in a northwesterly direction to Hamilton and then to Stephenville. It was incorporated on February 4, 1907 with the right to build a line between the two towns. An amendment to the original charter provided for extensions from Hamilton to Gatesville, Stephenville to Thurber, and from Hamilton to Comanche, Texas. Construction was completed between Stephenville and Hamilton in 1907, and the two extensions from Hamilton to Comanche and Gatesville were completed in 1911. The proposed extension to Thurber was never built.
In January, 1909, the Commonwealth Trust Company of St. Louis, Missouri, bought one-half interest in the road, and at that time it was earning over one hundred thousand dollars annually. Freight constituted nearly three-fourths of the entire traffic, and most of the rolling stock was freight equipment.
On July 1, 1913, all the property of the road was leased by the St. Louis Southwestern Company of Texas for a period of ten years. This lease was extended several times. In October, 1934, the line from Stephenville to Hamilton, and from Edson to Comanche, was abandoned by authority of the Interstate Commerce Commission, leaving only 32.42 miles of the original 106 miles of the road. The Gatesville-Hamilton branch was finally abandoned in January, 1941.
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