Description: The Weatherford, Mineral Wells, and Northwestern (WMW&NW) Railroad began operations October 1,1891, and it owned two locomotives. It was chartered in 1889 to build a road from Weatherford to Mineral Wells--about twenty-five miles. in 1895, it had earned $15,561 in passenger revenue, and $38,070 in freight. The Texas & Pacific Railway bought out the railroad in 1902, and extended the line eighteen miles to include the town of Graford. It built this depot shortly thereafter to replace a former wooden structure that had been destroyed by fire. The rail line had a colorful history, operating through World War II and into the 1990's. Construction of an extension of the line to the city of Oran was completed in 1907, which connected it to Graford. In 1912 two McKeen motor coaches (called "Doodlebugs" by the locals)were added. These were self-contained, 200 Horsepower, 70-foot long, gasoline-powered, 80-passenger coaches which provided service between Mineral Wells, Weatherford, Fort Worth and Dallas. A round trip took less than six hours, and two "Doodlebugs" provided service in each direction every three hours. In 1913, the Gulf Texas and Western Railroad, building south from Seymour, Texas, began operations over the WMW&NW line from Salesville to Mineral Wells, thus connecting the cities of Seymour, Olney, Jacksboro, Graford, Oran, Salesville, Mineral Wells, and Weatherford with daily round-trip service to Dallas. The demise of the railroad was slow. In 1928, passenger traffic had declined to a point that passenger service was discontinued, and did not resume until the nation began mobilizing for World War II in 1940. Nearly a half million troops (429,966) passed through the depot during the war years in transit to and from Ft. Wolters training base. In 1936, twelve miles of line between Salesville and Graford was abandoned. Only freight traffic was maintained by 1945. The ...
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