Frisco Coonskin

Hobart Subdivision - The Prototype

Location

-  The Frisco's 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.

-  Snyder.
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 archives).

Snyder Depot

-  Manitou.
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 archives).

Manitou Depot

-  Frederick.
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).

Frederick Depot

-  Davidson.
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).

History
- 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).

Pile driving on the Red River

- Frederick. The 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.

Frederick Main Street

- Manitou. The 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.

Manitou Water Tower

 

Industries

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.

William and Fry Cotton Gin

Frederick Cotton Oil Mill

 

Manitou's Elevator was destroyed in 1994.

Manitou Elevator

 

The Snyder gin was constructed of concrete...it stood while others fell to either fire or tornadoes.

Snyder Cotton Gin

Snyder's oldest grain elevator is typical of the region and period. Most started with wood siding and ended with corrugated iron skin.

Snyder Grain Elevator

The Snyder water tower on the highest mountain around.

Syder Water Tower

Passenger Service

-  The Western 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..

Freight Service

-  The Western 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 MSW Rail Excursion M&SW Rail Excursion

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