Glenn Justice

LONGFELLOW, TEXAS. Longfellow is an abandoned railroad station on the tracks of the Southern Pacific Railroad in extreme southern Pecos County. The community site is on U.S. Highway 90 sixteen miles west of Sanderson. The area was first settled before the Civil War by Mexican ranchers who grazed their livestock on both sides of the Rio Grande. Longfellow was started around 1881 as the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railway built through the area. The community was named by the railroad for the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It became a livestock shipping point for a wide area and soon had a railroad depot and telegraph office, as well as extensive facilities for supplying water to locomotives passing through. Once when workmen were drilling for water, they unexpectedly struck a vein of silver ore. The railroad company also operated a ballast quarry near the station. In 1890 a post office was established in Longfellow, and the town became headquarters for the Longfellow Ranch. By the mid-twentieth century improved highway transportation caused Longfellow to lose much of its trade to nearby Sanderson and other larger towns. By 1933 the post office had been discontinued. The railroad closed its freight and telegraph office in 1944, when diesel engines came into use, and the water column and well facilities were abandoned in 1954. By the mid-1980s only the ranch headquarters and the ruins of some of the old railroad buildings remained.

T. Lindsay Baker, Ghost Towns of Texas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986). Pecos County Historical Commission, Pecos County History (2 vols., Canyon, Texas: Staked Plains, 1984). Charles P. Zlatkovich, Texas Railroads (Austin: University of Texas Bureau of Business Research, 1981).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Glenn Justice, "LONGFELLOW, TX," accessed August 24, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvl75.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Texas AlmanacFor more information about towns and counties including physical features, statistics, weather, maps and much more, visit the Town Database on TexasAlmanac.com!

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox