Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl

CALLAN, TEXAS. Callan was ten miles northeast of Menard in northeastern Menard County. In 1908 James Callan, a local landowner, gave the Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railroad Company a site for a depot and several miles of right-of-way to cross his land. The track connecting Brady and Menard was completed in July 1911, and the Richey-DeFreest Land Company formed the Callan City Company to build a stopover community on the railroad. The new company bought 542 acres from James Callan and divided them into town lots. At its peak the Callan community had a hotel, a general store, a lumberyard, and a livery stable and wagonyard, in addition to the stockyards that the railroad company had built. Plans were made to open a bank, but the idea was abandoned when a drought threatened the local economy. A post office was in operation at Callan in 1911–12 and from 1915 to 1919. Population estimates for the Callan area in the 1920s ranged from fifty to seventy-five. As cars came into general use and local road conditions improved, travelers were able to cover more distance in a day, and wayside communities like Callan were gradually abandoned. Most of the buildings at Callan were vacant by the 1930s and were sold for scrap in the early 1940s as part of the World War II effort. The school at Callan closed in 1939. The depot and a few scattered houses marked the community on county highway maps in the late 1940s, but none of these were shown on county maps in the 1980s.

Menard County Historical Society, Menard County History-An Anthology (San Angelo: Anchor, 1982).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, "CALLAN, TX," accessed August 24, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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