Wichita Falls Railway

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The Wichita Falls Railway is a defunct railroad that extended for eighteen miles from Wichita Falls to Henrietta in Clay County in North Texas, where it joined the larger Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad, often called the "Katy". The railway was built between 1894 and 1895 by the entrepreneur Joseph A. Kemp.

The initial capital of $100,000 to build the railway was augmented with the sale of $20,000 worth of stock and $250,000 in bonds.[1] Railway board members included Robert E. Huff, A. Newby, and Joseph Kemp, all of Wichita Falls; M. J. Tompkins of Vernon in Wilbarger County, Texas, and Leon Blum, Morris Lasker, and Julius Runge, all from Galveston, Texas. The railway owned no rolling stock but leased its track to the Katy. This arrangement proved profitable for its thirty-one stockholders, the most prominent having been Kemp and his brother-in-law Frank Kell, another Wichita Falls entrepreneur. In the period from 1899 to 1901, the Wichita Falls Railway paid dividends averaging more than $13,000 per year.[2] The line was sold to the Katy in 1911, which then built in Wichita Falls a station, offices, a roundhouse, and three switching tracks.[1] The track operated under lease until 1969, when it was superseded by the parent company. The original eighteen miles of railway were finally abandoned in 1970.[2][3]

Kemp and Kell also owned other rail properties, including the Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad, which operated between 1921 and 1954 from its southern terminus in Dublin to its northern point in Waurika in southern Oklahoma.


  1. ^ a b Hart, Brian (April 30, 2012). "Kemp, Joseph Alexander". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Wheeler, Clark (June 15, 2010). "Wichita Falls Railway". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  3. ^ The Texas State Historical Association bases its information on the Wichita Railway from: Masterson, V.V. (1952). The Katy Railroad and the Last Frontier. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press.