Completing The Cotton Belt Railroad

The Cotton Belt Railroad was completed into the town of Comanche in 1911, with the first train from Gatesville arriving on Valentine’s Day of that year. The first train arriving from Hamilton arrived in Comanche on September 3, 1911.

Completing the Cotton Belt into Comanche.

Completing the Cotton Belt into Comanche. Wouldn’t you LOVE to know the names of the people in this photo?

Basically, if you drive today’s Highway 36, you are driving in the bed of what was once the Cotton Belt Railroad.

The Cotton Belt was vital to Comanche, Texas for decades.

The Cotton Belt was vital to Comanche, Texas for two decades.

“Initially, the line between Waco and Comanche was operated as a single subdivision, and as late as 1933, a daily mixed service ran between Waco and Hamilton, with less frequent service out between Comanche and Stephenville. On October 17, 1934, all track west of Hamilton was abandoned, followed by the remainder…between Gatesville and Hamilton on January 6, 1941.” (pp. 22-23)

When the tracks were taken up prior to the construction of Highway 36, which was built in the bed of the old Cotton Belt, the iron from the rails was sold. According to long time Comanche resident, Kenneth Evans, that iron come back to us in the shape of bullets that were fired at American men during WWII.

About Fredda Jones

Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for and marketing small-town Texas.
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