Texas Central Railroad
Marker No: 5251
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Location: 302 North Texas Street, De Leon
Marker Text: Railroad construction in Texas, interrupted by the Civil War and by the national economic depression of the early 1870s, began a period of recovery in the late 1870s and early 1880s. Chartered on May 31, 1879, the Texas Central Railway was owned by the Houston & Texas Central Railway and was in competition with the Texas Pacific to build a line westward through North Central Texas.
Extending from Ross Station near Waco in 1879, the Texas Central reached the Erath-Comanche County line in 1880. The Texas Central laid out the town of De Leon on April 10, 1881, and railroad official Robert M. Elgin conducted the sale of town lots from the back of a flatcar on July 7. Although the initial sale of lots was slow, the town soon developed and attracted new settlers from the Southeastern United States. Railroad offices, shops, and a roundhouse were built here, and De Leon became the area's primary shipping point for cotton and, later, peanuts and other products.
Acquired by the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (Katy) Railroad in 1910, the line continued to operate until 1967, when local backers purchased part of the line and continued to provide shipping service to customers along "The Peanut Line" connecting Dublin, De Leon, and Gorman. (1994)