in a Pecan Shell|
1902 was the year that Story, Texas appeared next to the tracks of
the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railroad. The next year - Story had a
post office and a newspaper. The postmaster changed the town's name to honor his
sister-in-law. It's not recorded if there was any disruption in the mail service,
or if it had the approval of the townspeople.
started draining trade away from Lela and most businesses moved there. To add
insult to injury - the town's students began attending school in Shamrock.
There were only 50 people in Lela in 1947. Finally Shamrock
took everything by having Lela's mail routed through them in the 1970s.
I've been enjoying looking at the information about Lela, TX . I am 78 years old
and lived in Lela for a relative short time in 1932 or 33. My father was an Agent
for the CRI&P RR and was Agent at Dodge City, KS before going to Lela. The depression
was in full swing and the Railroad industry, like others, were reducing forces
rapidly and without much thought about the consequences. My Dad had eleven clerks
when the depression began and when they finally reduced that number to 1 he decided
he just had to leave because of the work load. He looked at the current list of
jobs (agents and telegraph operators) that were open for bid and decided to bid
The Rock Island depot was two stories and the upper story was
an area for the Agent and his family to live.
My dad thought the depot
was unsafe during windstorms and I vividly rembering my parents, an older brother
and a younger sister and me retreating to an old, dirt cave for safety. It was
small and unpleasant and I think it must have been dug by a previous agent as
it was located on the railroad right of way.
I don't remember much about
the town except for the school and a couple of combination filling stations and
general stores. For some time, I attended first grade in the school.
only remember one family from Lela and I just can't draw their name out of my
memory. They lived on a farm about half a mile south of the Depot. They had a
boy which I think was only two or three years older than I. He had one foot without
a heel which was the result of an accident while he was plowing.
remember a carbon black plant a mile or two west of the depot. While passing through
the area a few years ago enroute San Diego, my wife and I drove south and located
the old Rock Island road bed.
I started working on the Rock Island Railroad
in 1944 and later went to the Santa Fe. I worked there for 38 years retiring Nov.
1, 1986. I lived in Topeka at the time of my retirement and my wife and I stilll
I would be pleased to hear from anyone who might give me some
information about Lela during the era we were there. As I mentioned earlier, we
were only there a few months before moving to McPherson, KS. - D. Caywood,
November 19, 2005
See Route 66