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Legislature grants Katy a Texas charter


On this day in 1870, the Texas legislature approved the Kansas charter of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, commonly known as the M-K-T or the Katy. The company had no charter to build in Texas, but was given the same rights as if it were incorporated in Texas. The Katy, the first railroad to enter Texas from the north, originated in 1865, when its earliest predecessor, the Union Pacific Railway Company, Southern Branch, was chartered by the State of Kansas. In 1870 the railway's name was changed to the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railway Company, a change which defined both the company's strategic intent and its service area. The newly named railroad was intended to funnel business from Missouri, Kansas, and the north and east to and through Texas. The Katy, touted in advertisements as the Gateway to Texas, breached the Texas frontier near the site of present Denison, where the first regular train arrived on Christmas Day, 1872. In 1880 the Katy was acquired by Jay Gould, who leased the railroad to his Missouri Pacific Railway Company, and by 1882 the Katy had 638 miles of track in Texas. In 1915 all of the Katy properties in and out of Texas went into receivership, and in 1923 the company was reorganized as the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company of Texas. In 1989 Union Pacific and its subsidiary, the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company, bought the Katy, and the Missouri-Kansas-Texas was no more.

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