This day in Texas History: Legislature Passes Act to Encourage Transcontinental Railroad Through Texas

This day in Texas History:
(from the Texas State Historical Association archives)

Legislature Passes Act to Encourage Transcontinental Railroad Through Texas
December 21, 1853

On this day in 1853, the Texas legislature passed the Mississippi and Pacific Railroad Act, designed to encourage the construction of a southern transcontinental railroad through Texas. The act authorized Governor Peter H. Bell to request proposals for a railroad from the eastern boundary of Texas to a point at or near El Paso.

The Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, a New York corporation, was the only company to submit a bid meeting the act’s provisions. However, the securities the company submitted for its bond were rejected by Governor Elisha M. Pease, who declared the contract void and advertised for new proposals. There were no bidders on the second round.

The first transcontinental railroad through Texas (and the second in the nation) was not completed until 1881, when the Texas and Pacific and the Southern Pacific met near Sierra Blanca.

Number 19
Frisco, Texas

Copyright 2012 Warren Paul Harris
all rights reserved

Number Nineteen is a fixture in Frisco’s Heritage Center.  On numerous occasions I have ventured out to photograph this classic steam engine, only to find it covered in muddy spots (It rains mud here in Texas…).

One day in the summer of 2012, as I was headed over to Babe’s to deliver copies of Texas As I See It, I noticed the train seemed cleaner than usual.  In fact, it was spotless!  This never happens!  So without a moment’s hesitation, I temporarily altered my plans and spent 15 minutes memorializing this beautiful engine.

Number 19 will appear in a future edition of Texas As I See It.

Number 19
Number 19

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