Southern Overland Mail, 1858-1861

Southern Overland Mail, 1858-1861 (HM1KF9)

Location: Bronte, TX 76933 Coke County
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Country: United States of America
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N 31° 53.825', W 100° 23.464'

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(Butterfield Stage)

Passed near this site, providing for the first time combined passenger and mail service between Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Operating west from St. Louis and Memphis, John Butterfield's company used 1,350 horses and mules and 90 Concord coaches and wagons.
     Stage traveled at a run, despite lack of good roads. A signal given approaching a station would have fresh horses ready and food on the table for crew and passengers. Route had stations 12 to 113 miles apart, and was sometimes changed to get water. Crew and passengers wore guns; to reduce danger of Indian attacks, mules (less coveted than horses) were used west of Ft. Belknap. The trip one way took 25 days—seven spent crossing Texas, from Prston (now under Lake Texoma) to Jacksboro, Ft. Belknap, Ft. Chadbourne and El Paso. One way fare for the 2,700 miles was $200. Passengers rarely stopped off, because they might not find seats on a later stage. Merchants in Jacksboro and other towns used Butterfield's light freight service to make mail-order sales.
     Greatest contribution of the Overland Stage was its carrying news; coaches also brought mail from the west one to 10 days faster than it came by ship.
     Service was ended in 1861 by the Civil War.
HM NumberHM1KF9
Marker Number4983
Year Placed1966
Placed ByTexas State Historical Survey Committee and the Moody Foundation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, May 8th, 2015 at 10:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14R E 368454 N 3529872
Decimal Degrees31.89708333, -100.39106667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 53.825', W 100° 23.464'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 53' 49.5" N, 100° 23' 27.84" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)325
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near TX-158, Bronte TX 76933, US
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