Mary Jo Gerngross

CALLAHAN CITY, TEXAS. Callahan City was on what is now Farm Road 2228, three miles south of Interstate Highway 20 and four miles southwest of Baird in northwestern Callahan County. The community was founded in 1876 with aspirations of becoming a center of commerce. Its location was chosen at a water hole on the Western Trail to Dodge City, over which nearly 100,000 cattle passed between 1874 and 1879. The Texas legislature had established the county in 1858, but the region was sparsely settled until the early 1870s. By 1877 Callahan City had several merchants who supplied the traildrivers and who also carried general merchandise for settlers; their goods had to be freighted from Fort Worth and took a month to reach the community. Callahan City never prospered like the cowtowns of Coleman to the south or Albany to the north, and it suffered some early setbacks that led to its swift decline. Although it was the scene of the first Callahan County Commissioners Court session on July 30, 1877, Callahan City lost a disputed county seat election to Belle Plain on December 9 of that year. When the Texas and Pacific Railway bypassed both towns in 1880, their demise was inevitable. In the 1980s only a cemetery remained near the abandoned Callahan City townsite.

Mrs. L. L. Blackburn, "Early Settlers and Settlements of Callahan County," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 23 (1947). Brutus Clay Chrisman, Early Days in Callahan County (Abilene, Texas: Abilene Printing and Stationery, 1966). Frontier Times, January 1953. S. E. Settle, "Early Days in Callahan County," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 12 (1936). Jimmy M. Skaggs, The Cattle-Trailing Industry: Between Supply and Demand, 1866–1890 (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1973).

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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, Mary Jo Gerngross, "CALLAHAN CITY, TX," accessed March 26, 2019,

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