Subdivision - The Prototype
Western Division, Hobart Subdivision ran north and south from Enid, Oklahoma to Vernon,
Texas. The topography is flat prairie with a few granite outcroppings located near Snyder,
Oklahoma. Another topographical feature of the Hobart Subdivision was the long timber
bridge over the Red River that runs east and west between Oklahoma and Texas. The
subdivision passed through the Oklahoma towns and communities of Imo, Drummond, Ames,
Okeene, Darrow, Ideal, Southard, Carleton, Eagle City, Fay, Thomas, Custer City, Arapaho,
Clinton, Bessie, Cordell, Rocky, Hobart, Babbs, Bretch, Roosevelt, Cold Springs, Mountain
Park, Snyder, Manitou, Frederick, Huffine, and Davidson. Across the river in Texas, the
trains stopped in Kingola and Vernon.
One of Snyder's points of interest was the crossing
of the Frisco's Southwestern Division (Lawton, OK to Quanah, TX) and the Western Division
(Enid, OK to Vernon, TX). The Snyder Depot appears on the right (from the Frisco Museum
South of Snyder was the small farming community of
Manitou, where a lone prairie elevator stood guard over the rolling wheat and cotton
fields of Tillman County. The Manitou Depot appears on the right (from the Frisco Museum
Further south from Manitou was Frederick, the county
seat and center of southwestern Oklahoma's agricultural region. During the 1920's and
30's, Frederick was a major agricultural center that boasted light manufacturing and many
grain elevators, oil tanks, and cotton businesses. The Katy (Missouri Kansas & Texas)
interchanged with the Frisco in south Frederick (from the Frisco Museum archives).
The last Oklahoma town on the Frisco Line was another
farming community, Davidson. After crossing the Red River, Vernon signaled the end of the
line for the Frisco's Western Division. Vernon featured an interchange with the Fort Worth
& Denver Railroad (FW&D).
When the government opened the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Indian
Reservation for settlement on August 6, 1901, the Blackwell, Enid, and Southwestern
(BE&SW) Railway began construction of 251 miles of track from Vernon, Texas north to
Blackwell and Enid in Indian Territory. The picture below shows the crews driving piles
across the Red River to reach the territory from Texas. Along the way, every place the
railroad built a depot, a town flourished. The line, completed in 1903, was operated and
later purchased by the Frisco (1907).
city of Frederick was established by combining the two cities of Gosnell and Hazel in
1902. Named after the only son of an important BE&SW official, Jacob C. Blarhorn, it
became the county seat for Tillman County in 1907. The BE&SW built the first depot in
1901. Here is the main street looking east 95 years later.
earliest settlers arrived in the area between 1901 and 1902. It's name drawn from a hat,
Manitou is the only city in Tillman County not named after a railroad or post office
official. Manitou was built on the "Base Line," or "Indian Base" that
runs east and west from the Initial (survey). All places and acres in Oklahoma, except the
panhandle, are measured from this point. The first passenger service to the town began in
1903. It's 175,000 gallon water tower was built in 1911 and served as an anchor to prevent
Manitou from joining many other ghost towns on the prairie.
Cotton, cotton seed, cotton
oil, wheat, sorghum, corn, petroleum crude, refined petroleum products, building
materials, bulk storage of grains. Pictures of the Williams and Fry cotton gin and the
Frederick Cotton Oil Mill appear on the right.
Manitou's Elevator was destroyed in 1994.
|The Snyder gin was constructed of concrete...it stood
while others fell to either fire or tornadoes.
|Snyder's oldest grain elevator is typical of the region
and period. Most started with wood siding and ended with corrugated iron skin.
|The Snyder water tower on the highest mountain around.
Division operated the Texas Express passenger train between Enid, Oklahoma
and Vernon, Texas in each direction. The timetable from the 30's shows that southbound
train 609 departed from Enid at 12:20 p.m. and arrived at Vernon at 7:45 p.m.. The
northbound train 610 departed Vernon at 6:30 a.m. and arrived at Enid at 1:45 p.m..
Division ran a freight train daily between Enid, Oklahoma and Vernon, Texas in each
direction. The timetable used to operate the layout shows that southbound local 667
departed Snyder at 7:45 a.m. and arrived at Vernon at 10:40 a.m.. The northbound local 668
departed Vernon at 1:30 p.m. and arrived at Snyder at 4:45 p.m..
Take the train M&SW
Copyright © 1995 - 2005. All rights reserved. Revised: July 31, 2005