First telegraph company in Texas chartered

January 5th, 1854

On this day in 1854, the first telegraph company in Texas was chartered. The Texas and Red River Company opened its first office in Marshall on February 14, offering patrons connections with New Orleans via Shreveport and with Alexandria, Louisiana, and Natchez, Mississippi. Wires were strung from treetop to treetop, and in many instances telegraph operators closed the offices and rode along the lines to make repairs when the wind swaying the trees caused breaks in the wires. By 1870 there was an estimated 1,500 miles of telegraph wire in Texas. Expansion was rapid up to 1890 as the transcontinental railroads completed lines across the state. By 1943 the Western Union Telegraph Company, which had begun operating in Texas in 1866, was the only telegraph company still operating in the state. The company closed the Marshall telegraph office--the oldest in the state--in 1972.

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First telegraph company in Texas chartered

January 5th, 1854

On this day in 1854, the first telegraph company in Texas was chartered. The Texas and Red River Company opened its first office in Marshall on February 14, offering patrons connections with New Orleans via Shreveport and with Alexandria, Louisiana, and Natchez, Mississippi. Wires were strung from treetop to treetop, and in many instances telegraph operators closed the offices and rode along the lines to make repairs when the wind swaying the trees caused breaks in the wires. By 1870 there was an estimated 1,500 miles of telegraph wire in Texas. Expansion was rapid up to 1890 as the transcontinental railroads completed lines across the state. By 1943 the Western Union Telegraph Company, which had begun operating in Texas in 1866, was the only telegraph company still operating in the state. The company closed the Marshall telegraph office--the oldest in the state--in 1972.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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