About the Santa Fe Historical Society

Crossties and Grapenuts

(Appeared in Volume V, No. 1 of the Santa Fe Route, published by the Santa Fe Railway Historical Society. Text revised.)

<In revising the text for the Web, I decided to make a major change in discussing the F. M. Jones survey since so much of Jones' work on this line is described elsewhere within this Site. Instead, I chose to devote more space to the Caprock grade and to the water stations in Garza County. The new material is enclosed in brackets.

<Many people are fascinated that Charles William Post, a legendary figure in the food industry, would build a model town on the isolated Texas frontier. Actually, Post was a town-builder long before he became the breakfast-food tycoon. At the age of seventeen this college dropout borrowed some funds and opened a hardware store on the Kansas frontier. The store was successful, but the restless Post became a traveling salesman in the West of the 1870s. Again he did well, but he saw needs that his mind saw ways to satisfy. He began designing and manufacturing improved mechanized farm machines. Success came his way again, but the growing company pushed him into a nervous breakdown. Moving to Texas for his health, he became a real estate developer. Success and nervous breakdowns came rapidly, one after another until he had to be placed under a doctor's care. The doctor was W. K. Kellogg of Battle Creek, Michigan.

<Dr. Kellogg was a firm believer in health food. He invented several foods known at the time to be healthy, among them corn flakes and granola. He served them at his sanitarium, but did not market them. Post, a master salesman, became a convert to a healthy diet, learned all he could about food, and proceeded to create his own line of health foods. Then he virtually invented national advertising to create a demand. Most of the products that Post invented himself are still available a century later. And his success put Kellogg products on the shelves, too.

<Post was wealthy enough to purchase vast tracts of land, including about half of Garza County in Texas. He had seen many frontier towns and had participated in the building of several. He also had built company housing in Battle Creek. He proceeded to build a new town in Garza County according to his ideas of what a model town should be. Although he had a house in the new Post City, he did not live there. He had managers on site to carry out his instructions. They were detailed instructions, right down to the color of painted trim on specific houses. There was surprisingly little resentment generated by this micromanagement. Post had picked up a variety of skills over the years. He could handle a trowel or saw or wrench as well as he could handle a spatula or pen. On his visits to Post City he worked shoulder to shoulder with his laborers and earned their respect. And he saw to it that dry-land scientific farming experts were available to help the farmers to whom he sold land. He experimented with rainmaking. He also put considerable effort into obtaining a railroad for his town.

<Anyone interested in more information about Post and his town can order the excellent book, "Post City, Texas," from the Garza County Historical Museum, 119 North Ave. N, Post, Texas 79356. Copies are $24.50 ($1.78 state sales tax) with $3 Shipping and Handling.>

Generally when the Santa Fe Railway approached a community to request aid in constructing a new line of railroad, the company dealt with committees of leading citizens. Occasionally the Santa Fe negotiated with one man who dominated the town and the surrounding area. Such a situation arose at Post City in western Texas, where cereal magnate C. W. Post was the life and breath of the fledgling city.

This occasion was different from most one-man shows, however. Post was not unknown to the railroad's officials. In fact, both president E. P. Ripley and chief engineer William B. Storey Jr. knew the man personally. Also, Post was a national figure -- a respected industrial baron. Further, he possessed the power and the character to do whatever he wished.

Legends have grown around his efforts to bring the Santa Fe to Post City. It has been said that he was directly responsible not only for the line's location, but also for its very existence. He has even been credited with the design of depots used on this line.

Examination of correspondence between Post and Storey, however, reveals a quite different story. Post had little influence over anything beyond the location of the depot in Post City. He did, however, pose endless suggestions. Post and Storey spent years fencing with words, mild threats, and obscurations before arriving at an agreement. In other words, the Santa Fe's dealings with C. W. Post were much the same as with other "committees."

The story begins at a barbecue in early March of 1906. Citizens of Garza County had gathered to enjoy sumptuous offerings of meat, bread, pickles, pies, cakes, and custards. Then, warmed by full bellies and ample doses of wood smoke and sunshine, they sat back to cheer and to listen to their new neighbor, who had recently purchased extensive lands in the county.

Post removed his Stetson and told his audience what he planned to do. He spoke of farms and orchards and irrigation. He envisioned a town with waterworks and electric lighting. He promised to build a railroad connection with the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railroad if he could not get the Santa Fe System to come.

Similar scenes had been enacted with little variation at countless barbecues on the plains for the previous sixty years. Usually the visions had been as chimerical as mirages dancing on the far horizon. But Post set out to keep his promises. A town began to grow, and Post deluged the Santa Fe with letters.

Luck was with him. In the Fall of 1906, the Santa Fe suddenly stopped work on a line projected to pass through Plainview and Abilene, a route that came nowhere near Post's Garza County property. It seems that an opportunity had arisen for the Santa Fe to purchase the Texas Central Railroad and it was thought wise to halt construction until potential acquisition of this company had been thoroughly -- and secretly -- examined It was at this time that C. W. Post chose to inform the Santa Fe that there had never been a survey of Yellow House Canyon in Garza County.

Chief engineer Storey was willing to examine any route requested and, despite the fact that the railroad's plans were fairly well settled, decided to investigate. In fact, this particular route was already on his mind thanks to several area citizens who were asking for a survey along this path. Storey assigned starchy but reliable F. M. Jones to look things over.

<Garza County had two types of topography. Along the western edge of the county was the elevated plain called the Llano Estacado. This flatland extended towards the west for several hundred miles. Most of Garza County, however, was heavily eroded by the North and South Forks of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River. Both Forks had cut their individual canyons far into the plain, the northern being the largest and best known: the Yellowhouse Canyon. (The Yellowhouse and its principal branch, the Blackwater, reached far into New Mexico and in ancient times had sprung from the mountains just east of Santa Fe. The modern Pecos River has stolen the ancient source, leaving a long trough across the Llano Estacado to be spring-fed by the plains to become the modern North Fork of the Double Mountain Fork.)

<Jones crossed the plains to the Caprock Escarpment, the bluffs separating the Llano Estacado from the eroded land to the east. From the Caprock he could look out for many miles over the eroded land several hundred feet below. He had wanted for some time to have a look at Yellowhouse Canyon, but as he looked out over the "sharp red bluffs" and "numerous side canyons and washes," he felt that this was a poor place to do any railroad building. Still he set about his task. He was surprised to find an excellent route with no steeper grade than 0.6%. This was the lightest grade ever discovered on the Caprock.

<Coming northwestward out of Scurry County, Jones' line descended the divide between the Colorado River and the Brazos at a notch that Grape Creek had carved out of the divide. The line ran roughly parallel to the bluffs of the divide, but slowly moving outward. As the line moved out from the bluffs, it moved down the talus slopes. Finally Jones' survey turned from the divide and crossed Sand Creek and a few miles later crossed the South Fork of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River. The climb for the Caprock began immediately.

<Up from the River, the line climbed the divide between the Salt Fork on the east, and Cooper Creek on the west. This became the divide between Cooper Creek and North Sand Creek, a tributary of the North Fork of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River. (There are two Sand Creeks in southeastern Garza County.) The divide had become the high ground separating the North and South Forks. The railroad turned a little to the right to get off of the rapidly rising spine of the divide. (The divide led to the Caprock about two miles south of the future site of Post City. This might be considered the mouth of Yellowhouse Canyon, the north canyon wall being about twenty miles north-northeast of this point. The canyon narrows into a proper mouth about two miles wide in Crosby County.)

<Jones' line came within two miles of the Caprock landmark Chimney Hill (The Chimneys are next to US 84 at the rim of the Caprock.) and began running roughly parallel to the bluffs. Through the drainage of Falls Creek, which was crossed at right angles, the line gradually climbed the talus slopes. Then for five miles the line alternately cut deep into the Caprock, then emerged on a high fill crossing one of several canyons cut by the forks of Dokegood Creek, then cut into the bluffs again. There was a long, final, curving cut, and the line emerged onto the Llano Estacado. From the South Fork bridge, it had been thirty miles of almost continuous 0.6%.

<Jones had found a good route across Garza County, but as shown elsewhere in this Website he had trouble finding a route south from Scurry County.>

While Jones dealt with matters on the ground, Storey practiced mail - borne diplomacy. C. W. Post was a particularly energetic corespondent. Mere days after Jones had reported a good route across Garza County, Post was suggesting routes.

According to Post, three ascents to the plains existed in Garza County. One was at the "Chimnies," another to the north at "Burnam's," <Falls Creek> and another further north but not on Post's land. Burnam's, he thought, was "perhaps a little easier" climb, but the approach crossed many gullies, so Post favored the Chimnies route. "I am advocating your careful inspection of the approach at the `Chimnies' for the reason that you can come along on the plains from the north or northwest and descend at the `Chimnies' where you will strike a divide leading to the east that can be followed very inexpensively, and then drift off to the southwest <sic>, down through Scurry County without serious expense, except at the crossing of the Double Mountain River ... This line would be more satisfactory to me than any other and would reach the County Seat."

Post offered another route for consideration, describing a line that could be run "from the north edge of Garza County clear to the south edge of the plains proper." This line would either go around or cross the head of the canyon that the South Fork had cut into the Caprock and possibly could descend the bluffs at Bull Creek. However, he advised against running a north-south line so far west because the project would probably lose the support of landholders in the eastern part of the county. "I seriously question whether we could get the voters to locate the County Seat so far to the west of center at a place on the railroad," he warned, citing the need for a 2/3 approval before the court house could be located more than five miles from the center of the county. If the Chimnies route were chosen, he continued, it would be a simple matter to locate the county seat below the plains.

Post City was founded in October, 1906, on the plains approximately on his suggested north-south line. Garza County was being organized and separated from Lynn County. Surveyors were in the field locating the boundary.

Storey refused to commit himself to any definite route. To Post, he claimed that his engineer insisted that the Caprock could not be climbed at the Chimnies, but Storey promised more surveys.

"Until the subject is exhausted from the point of a through line," he added, anticipating the suggestion, "we will not take up the question of serving the country with branches. Should, however, the verdict not be favorable for the former it may be necessary for us to look into the latter subject."

In February of 1907, Post asked for a map of the survey, but Storey claimed not to have one yet. Post also passed along the news that the Swenson family, rumored owners of the Texas Central, had purchased the Spur Ranch, part of which lay in Garza County. "This purchase may indicate a proposed extension up through that district, but their holdings do not come near enough to the center of the County to make me interested in any extension of the Texas Central that they would probably make."

Storey sent thanks for the information, but did not say that the Santa Fe was considering the purchase of the smaller railroad.

Sometime between late February and mid June, the two men met face to face. This time, Storey had a map and presented a copy to the cereal manufacturer. It showed "the approximate route a railroad would follow in the event that it passed his way" and pointed out "where in all probability a station would be placed." Storey cautioned that the map showed only a rough line and that it would be modified to fit "the needs of our maximum grade ... and that the final determination ... would not be made for some time to come."

This map may have been used in May to help relocate Post City, which was moved eastward. Surveys to locate the county line had indicated that the original Post City was eleven miles west of the center of the county. To become the county seat and to get the railroad, the town had to move. The buildings in the old town were left standing and the settlement became known as "Commissary" and finally "Close City."

Post sent maps to the railroad indicating the new location. He also proposed to donate the required right of way. It was probably at this time that he offered to pay a $50,000 bonus and to see about raising another $25,000 from other landholders.

When 1907 turned sour on Wall Street, president Ripley contacted Post, saying that the railroad would not be built with a financial panic underway. However, he stated "confidentially" that "it now looks as if the line would pass through some part of Garza County, though not necessarily through Post City."

Through the Fall of 1907, Post frequently visited the railroad's Chicago office, and in November he received a map of Jones' new surveys, showing the route to be used "in the event that we build via this route." Storey admitted that a good line had been found in Garza County, but "that the final determination of the through line would not be made for some time to come."

The evasions took their toll eventually, and Post's correspondence with the Santa Fe became less frequent, virtually fading away. He turned his mind to luring some other railroad to his West Texas property.

At one time, he considered spending the "song" it would have taken to buy the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railway, which in 1907 was struggling northwestward from Roscoe and could easily have been diverted into Post City. When the line was almost complete into Fluvanna in 1909, he again considered buying it, the price having risen to "a few gold ducats," but decided against it. He figured the little railroad would need rebuilding soon and he preferred not to do that. He preferred to "construct a railroad of my own and take the earnings from the beginning."

Nevertheless, Post had much to do with the RS&P. He began to use Snyder instead of Big Springs as the transfer point of town-building materials from train to wagon soon after railroad service began there in 1908. In April of the next year, a home seekers' excursion train ran from Battle Creek, Michigan, to Snyder. Excursionists continued to Post City aboard cars and hacks. In September, a mail and passenger hack began running twice weekly with Fluvanna as halfway stop. RS&P rails entered Fluvanna that same month and Post's freight wagons changed terminals again.

Post's name was associated with other railroad projects. In 1907, rumors claimed that James Swayne's Fort Worth to Roswell, NM, proposal would receive $100,000 if it crossed Post's lands. The following year, Post was reported to be backing the Plainview, Lubbock & Post City Railroad. Projected to serve the places named, it would connect with the Santa Fe at Plainview. For another project, Post engaged the Southwestern Engineering and Construction Company to build from Hereford to the center of Hockley County, where he owned property.

Little was actually done on these three schemes. If Post was actually involved with any of them, he was probably bluffing to force the Santa Fe's hand. Later, when he and Storey were corresponding again, Post often mentioned other railroad projects. The one he mentioned most often was a proposed connection with the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railway, in which he had an interest. The east-west connection grew into a greater possibility, as stated to Storey in the first letter of 1909. "I had begun to believe that I would have to build about one hundred miles of line east from Post City to connect with the Orient, and thence into the coal fields of Jack and Young counties. I have been stacking away a little money, and don't mind saying that if I could only screw up my courage to a point where I would be willing to undertake the burden of the hard work, the balance of it would be easy, and it could be built without a dollar of stocks or bonds."

Post also planned to extend the line westward. He and "a prominent railroad contractor" roamed the Caprock west of Post City in search of a pass to the plains. Post claimed that one was found and later he offered it to the Santa Fe.

Meanwhile, matters had been developing for the Santa Fe. In January of 1909, Ripley decided not to buy the Texas Central. The Abilene-Plainview route where work had been stopped in 1906 had been claimed by another railroad. The Santa Fe determined to quietly begin work on the line via Post City. Storey, claiming that conditions had improved, queried the cereal manufacturer as to whether his bonus offer still stood.

Post responded immediately that he would deliver the $50,000 and land deeds after the line as shown on his map had been in operation for thirty days, provided it was completed by the first day of 1911. He would see if an additional $25,000 could be raised in Garza County. "I believe it can," he said, "provided the arrangement between us is not made public until after I see what can be done in regard to raising money from some of my neighbors." He expressed his preference for stations both above and below Post City, but would not press for them until the line had been in operation for four years. He closed with comments on his other railroad activities.

Storey replied that he did not want to be tied to the route on Post's map for bonus purposes. "The work between Post City and the Cap is excessively heavy and it is possible that I may desire to build this section of the road as a temporary line only, using severe grades and cheap construction with the idea in view of performing the heavy work necessary for our preferred 0.6% grade alignment about the time we get the balance of the line in shape for through traffic to California ... If we build the line via Garza County, the route as outlined on the maps sent you, will ultimately be constructed as outlined."

The Post City depot, he reminded, would have to be north of town because that was the only place for miles where the grade could conveniently be flattened. He then countered Post's railroad plans with another. Citing the Stamford & Northwestern's line to Spur, Storey claimed that with trackage rights and a little construction the Santa Fe could "get a good connection through to the Gulf without the necessity for building another new line ourselves."

Post was not satisfied with the location of the depot, however, and suggested that the railroad run south across the plains to almost due west of Post City, thence down the "natural draw" he had discovered, and into town.

"On some accounts," he said, "this would please me better than your present survey. We have quite a little settlement <Commissary> five miles west of Post City, and it would make a nice little place if it had a side track with station privileges."

He claimed that the land he had selected for Post City's station grounds was level and that there was a "distinct flat knoll" at the place the railroad had chosen north of town.

He became more blunt: "I don't like to think of your placing a station at an inconvenient point away to one side of the town. We shall be building a cotton gin and perhaps other industrial plants before you can possibly lay your tracks. I think it is reasonably certain that some line of <rail>road would be very glad to locate their depots on the plots of ground selected, giving them prominence because of the central location."

He spoke briefly of his experiences with the proposed line south of Hereford and with the RS&P before closing with psychological subtlety:

"I have been urged quite hard to put a line through eastwardly towards the coal fields, and I am just as well satisfied that I could make a pretty bundle out of it as that I am writing this letter, but am at the present time sadly affected with a microbe of laziness. Perhaps when I get down into the refreshing tonic of the plains air at our elevation, I may get rid of the disease and put my shoulder to the wheel again.

"I wish you to accept my invitation to come as my guest to Post City and stay with us a little while. I can put you up in a decent sort of shape there; a nice little stone bungalow; pretty good servants; something to eat; horses and automobiles and plenty of guns and ammunition. It is really a charming climate and most refreshing. You might if you please, let me have your views about postponing the actual contract on this matter until you have before you more exact information as to diverting the line through my property and the location of the stations in Post City."

Storey did not want to delay the contract for long and was annoyed over the depot matter. He wrote: "I hardly think you will insist on a minor detail such as the location of a depot, provided you get the thing you are after, which is a railroad through your land, and provided we can show you that to place the depot where you wish it might cost us more than the amount of the subscription you propose to make, or, at least a large part of same. I can show you when you come to my office exactly where the trouble lies."

During April Storey visited Post City. Shortly afterwards Post returned the visit in Chicago. Whether the "refreshing tonic of the plains air" had anything to do with the matter is not known, but problems were quickly settled. Post went to Texas early the next month to acquire the right of way through Garza County.

The station disagreement had been solved by putting several curves in the line north and south of town, creating a long "S." The depot as located on the final survey map was placed one block south of Main Street. A secondary location was plotted slightly to the south.

Original plans called for a frame depot to handle both freight and passengers. Post objected to the track that ran behind the depot on the town side, but there was nothing he could do. It was a necessity of combination depot design.

However, depot plans changed. The Santa Fe liked to put masonry depots in county seats. Ordinarily, this was not done until the railroad had been in operation for a few years. For this line, however, the Santa Fe decided to install masonry depots immediately.

At that time the Santa Fe was using a new architectural standard for its major offices and large passenger stations. As an experiment Lubbock, Post City, Snyder, and Sweetwater received passenger stations in the new white tile standard. Post City's passenger station was placed on the primary depot location and a large frame freight house occupied the secondary depot location.

Post kept busy,offering advice on obtaining right of way in Lubbock County and on hiring proper contractors. He also attended to matters in Garza County.

"I have secured some important signatures and some small donations in money," he reported. "I am working on <W. A.> Fuller, who owns considerable land in this County and Scurry County. He has said that he would give the right-of-way, but in sort of a grumbling spirit as I can gather. I have sent men to him, and the other day wrote him for his final decision. He is president of the Snyder National Bank, where the Double U Company (which I own) carries quite a decent account, and where I carry a personal deposit of $10,000.00 placed there some time ago to help their bank and incidentally to bring me some interest. I do not like doing business by threats, but I have allowed it to get to Mr. Fuller in a roundabout way that both of these accounts will be closed in his bank if he finally decides to stand out and not help when the County needs help, and particularly in view of the grants to the railroad company from my hands. Perhaps we may be able to land him; I hope so."

There was no bank in Post City at that time. Local ranchers had repeatedly asked for one, but Post had declined. Now Post added weight to the rumored threats against Fuller's bank by organizing the First National Bank of Post. Fuller came through with the right of way, but Post had to take more aggressive action against another landowner.

"Another prominent citizen in the south part of the County publicly declared at our meeting that he would be very glad to give the right-of-way, but when he found that the contractors were coming through here he decided to sidestep. Now, I propose to take certified statements from several of the citizens who heard him make this declaration and file it with you for use before a jury on condemnation proceedings."

In June Post told Storey for the last time about the Fort Worth-Roswell railroad project. He spent several pages describing the route and its possibilities, then, in essence, said it was there if the Santa Fe wanted it. He was not aware that the Santa Fe had already investigated the route.

Storey responded, perhaps with a smile, that the suggestion would be given "very careful consideration. It is rather a large subject, in view of the work which we have in hand at the present time, but it may be well worth while." He also said that the railroad had publicly announced its intention to build from Lubbock to Coleman via Post City, Snyder, and Sweetwater.

Within a month, in July, trains were operating south of Plainview as far as Hale Center. In August, freight cars populated sidings in Abernathy as steel rails snaked towards Lubbock. By the time the Operating Department took the line into Lubbock in January of 1910, wood and steel were approaching Garza County. It was then that Post and Storey made their contract after some haggling over wording.

Early in February, track reached the county line. Soon workers were blasting a path down the cliffs of Yellow House Canyon. Ordinary windmill drillers punched holes in the rock to the depth of the future roadbed, then dynamite was dropped in. Steam shovels loaded the shattered limestone onto a mule-powered railroad , which carried the debris to gorges and dumped it as fill. Falsework trestles were not used to construct the fills. The completed roadbed had no large bridges among the bluffs. Drainage was handled by large-diameter cast iron pipes.

Several mules died in furnace-like Texas heat and were buried inside the roadbed. Buggy whips (noise-makers) wore out quickly and a railroad paper-pusher decided that the muleskinners did not know how to use them. When the railroad refused to buy more buggy whips a new item appeared on expense vouchers: mule envigorators. Thinking this was medicine, the railroad paid without question.

During the final phases of the work ,a grading contractor took a walk with a couple of visitors and vanished. The visitors returned alone later that day and threatened the contractor's wife with harm if she identified them. Murder was suspected and the body was suspected to have been buried inside the roadbed. Different accounts do not agree whether the body was found or not.

<During the early surveys, F. M. Jones had proposed a water station just before the final climb up the bluffs of the Caprock. Cobb Tank was to be located where several tributaries of Falls Creek emerged from the Caprock about five miles uphill from Post City. "Water seems plentiful in the neighborhood," commented Jones. "There are springs in nearly all the ravines along the breaks; and it is possible that some of them may be made to fill a railroad tank by gravity."

<The railroad built a dam in a canyon with the spillway about 140 feet higher in elevation than the track at Cobb. At trackside a concrete house for storing and mixing water softening chemicals was cast in place beside two steel water tanks: one 24 x 60 feet and the other 16 x 63.

<The name "Cobb" became "Burnam" and later "Dugger." As springs dried up, Santa Fe Reservoir was phased out. In 1929 a new water source was established by drilling a well on the plains above the Caprock. A pipeline lead several miles to trackside and to a large steel tank just below the bluffs. The brick well house is still standing on the west side of US 84.

<Jones also proposed a water station at the bottom of the Caprock grade at the crossing of the Brazos River. A few miles uphill from the bridge was a watering hole for livestock. It was, and is, called "Green Tank." Jones proposed that if the dam were raised, Green Tank "would probably answer all purposes for railroad and grazing too." There is some suggestion in Jones' proposal that the railroad roadbed itself would serve to raise the dam. The railroad did build across Green Tank and old timers claim that that ruined the little lake. It is now the site of a roadside park near Justiceburg. Looking at the remains of the lake today, it seems that the railroad did not do as much damage as was done by the original two-lane US 84 and the later additional four lanes, all built through the middle of the lake.

<There is no indication that the railroad actually used water from Green Tank or from the gyppy Brazos River. An attempt was made to obtain water from nearby Sand Creek in an unusual manner. Sand Creek appears to be a waterless stretch of sand a couple of hundred feet wide. Water does flow here, but beneath the surface of that sand. The Santa Fe crossing used three 80" deck plate spans on concrete piers. The footings of the concrete piers became the principal structural components of a concrete dam. The result was an underground lake formed by an underground dam across the underground stream. The spillway was just beneath the surface and can be seen occasionally. Unfortunately, the water in this lake was bad.

<The railroad constructed a dam on the divide between Sand Creek and the Brazos River. Water from this lake was good and needed no treatment. It served until the end of steam locomotion, then supplied water to the Justiceburg school. The lake was open to the public until it dried up a couple of decades ago. A new and larger recreational lake is being constructed nearby.>

It took almost a year to tame the Caprock, and on January 15, 1911, the first train entered Post City. It backed in, since the engineer wanted a forward pull on the climb to the plains and there was no way to turn trains at Post City.

Daily trains of surfacing gravel ran from the pit at Lubbock and a combination baggage-coach car rode the rear to handle Post City freight and passenger business.

Unexpectedly, a letter from an irate Post crossed Storey's desk in February. "Some curious motive has moved some one in authority to schedule the train to Post City after a fashion not only most inconvenient but detrimental to that station," complained Post. "The morning train leaving Amarillo for points south should proceed through Lubbock and on to Post City arriving there (Post) about 5 or 5:30 P.M. and remain overnight, then leave in morning in time to follow the present schedule from Lubbock to Amarillo. (Leave Post City about 8:30 A.M.) But for some unaccountable reason (unless it be set up by the Lubbock people) the train from Amarillo arriving at Lubbock 3:00 P.M. is ABANDONED and passengers for Post City must remain in Lubbock OVER NIGHT and proceed at 8 the next morning to Post City. And passengers from Post City must leave in afternoon and stay OVER NIGHT IN LUBBOCK. That's a rotten arrangement. I know of passengers from Post City who prefer to go to Fluvanna by auto and take Roscoe and Snyder railroad for points east rather than be delayed at Lubbock. May I ask you to give the subject your attention in order to correct conditions."

Storey queried the chief engineer on the ground, G. W. Harris, about the matter. Harris was "very much surprised."

"I will admit the service is not good," Harris explained, "but he has failed to consider that this line is under construction, and is not in condition for first-class service. In the first place the passenger business from Lubbock to Post and return would not begin to pay the running expenses of a train to handle same: but there is considerable commercial freight, but not enough of that to justify local service; so I have arranged the schedule to suit our own work more than the convenience of the patrons at Post."

Also, Harris was unwilling to restrict the company to a published schedule at that time. Recently, under similar circumstances, the Texas Railroad Commission had fined the Santa Fe $50,000 for missing its own connections.

"I would much prefer to abandon the passenger business to Post entirely, until we can give them better service," concluded Harris. "If it meets with your approval I will discontinue the passenger service at once."

Storey did not so order, but he explained the situation to Post. "It will not be many months now before we will be able to put on through service," he concluded, "and when this is done I sincerely trust that these apparent inconsistencies will vanish."

They did. On May 1, 1911, the last rail was laid at Augustus, a few miles south of Post City. On the fifteenth of the next month the Construction Department began operating regularly scheduled passenger service between Slaton and Coleman.

The line was surrendered to the Operating Department late in November and the first through train between Galveston/Houston and Amarillo paused at the shining tile depot in Post City on December 1, 1911. On the sixth, Post informed the railroad that he was sending a cheque for $50,000 to the Amarillo office. Before the end of the month, Post received a reply:


My dear Mr. Post:

My thanks for your letter of the 6th inst. and I desire to express my gratification at the very businesslike way in which you have met us on all points connected with the construction of our road in Garza County.

With best wishes, I am,

Very sincerely yours,

W. B. Storey, Jr.

The railroad's Colonization Department worked with Post's Double U Company for many years and contact was maintained with the man. In Post"s final illness, president Ripley himself arranged for the special train that sped the dying man to the Mayo Clinic.

Had he lived, he probably would have developed his land in Hockley County. The railroad had an unused charter through that location. Likely, Post would again have engaged Storey in a duel of wits.

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