The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961 Page: 374
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
engineer that's brave." Tall, straight, clear-eyed, with a heavy
commonly termed "walrus" mustachio, he looked and acted the
part. One must remember that in 1909, the railroad was much
more a part of the whole life of a community than it is in 1960.
Many of the railroad personnel were well known to the citizen-
ship, especially one as colorful as Deacon Ramsey.
The rural folks came in early and everyone in Wills Point
who could hear the engine's whistle for the Cedar Grove Cross-
ing dropped everything and made for the station. By 9:30 A.M.
some 1500 folks had parked their vehicles, tied their horses and
mules, and were on the depot grounds. No one was left at home.
It was a red-letter day for all. They were going to see and hear
the President of our great country.
In 1909 Wills Point was a kind of sub-division point with 24-
hour telegraphic service, a turn-around "Y," a coal chute, and a
water tank. All trains stopped for service and orders. The oper-
ator on duty that particular Sunday morning felt his responsi-
bility quite keenly. He must be referred to as Mr. "X" as no one
seems to recall his name. He had some news. It was not going to
be well received, but he had to dispense it-so he began. He
shouted for attention and got it. Moving up and down the plat-
form he told everybody to get out of the way and go home. He did
not want anyone to get hurt. The plans had been changed. The
President was on a special train due in ten minutes and it would
go through at high speed. For emphasis he pointed to the sema-
phore over the depot. It was standing at vertical, meaning "go."
The Texas and Pacific ran a little train called the "Plug" from
Wills Point to Dallas every day except Sunday. Its engineer was
J. D. Petty, himself destined to have a long useful record in
Texas and Pacific cabs pulling fast passenger trains. Petty was at
the station and was heard to remark to a friend, "Too bad if
someone should cut that cord as the train comes up the hill.
President or no President, that engineer would stop the train
and would not proceed until new orders were received from the
The depot at Wills Point was a frame structure with a fairly flat
roof. Every kid in town had explored it because it was so con-
veniently reached from the top of box cars on the house track.
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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/m1/411/: accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.