The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961 Page: 286
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
up by two men. That was exciting too, but it was nothing to
what we children felt when one of the bandits turned out to be
a neighborhood boy we all idolized. My mother said he was
"weak," a term she used to explain any man who transgressed in
any direction and a term I seldom hear anymore, at least not in
a moral context. Weak or not, we kids all wanted to sit on the
curb and cry and re-create his life.
Two other memories stand out. One concerns the awe with
which I always passed the Cleburne Junction, burning with hope
that I would see the Cleburne interurban either coming or going.
Cleburne represented romance, for I had no idea what lay beyond
the bend. Even today, when I have been to Cleburne and even
farther than Dallas, Cleburne wears a special aura for me. It will
never be just another town.
Then there was the time that my father took me to Waco. As
we hove into sight of Hillsboro, the Dallas interurban was pulling
out. Suddenly I realized how great and huge the world was. Here
in another part of the world "they" had interurbans just like we
did. It seemed almost a sacrilege, but it was thrilling too.
The interurbans lasted for nearly five decades in Texas. At the
peak Texas had almost 500 miles-35o of them in the Dallas area,
104 in the Houston-Beaumont area, and the remainder serviced
such exotic terminals as El Paso and Fabens, Roby and Roby
Junction, and Bryan and College Station. As late as 1944 the
Texas Electric road between Dallas and Denison netted $510,000
after taxes on a gross of $2,216,ooo. But the automobile won, and
an era passed.
What does all this sentimentalizing tell about the book? Noth-
ing. The book itself is a careful business history that covers the
entire electric interurban industry, most of which existed outside
of Texas. But in its dozen pages devoted to Texas interurbans it
brings back some of the old magic without any such intention on
the part of the authors. I know it is not just my own maudlin
affection for the arched roof, arched windows, and hard seats of
days gone by, for I showed the book to a medievalist at a neigh-
boring university and he fell into the same sort of misty reverie.
You see, he used to ride the interurban from McKinney to
Sherman. JOE B. FRANTZ
University of Texas
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961, periodical, 1961; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/m1/318/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.