Oh I forgot to add that the State Of Texas finished HWY171 in 1932/33 I think. It was about this time Sante Fe decided to close the line from Cresson to Weatherford. I asume the removal of the rails and ties began sometime after that.
In 1904 the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railway built through the area, connecting the community with Cleburne to the west and Hillsboro to the east.
No established community developed until the 1880s. A post office called Nathan operated there from 1887 to 1906.
Railroad special trains made stops at Godley for that activity and “Doc” Thrower the regular conductor on the run from Cleburne to Weatherford via Godley and Cresson is said, to have named the passenger train, “The Nancy Hanks”, after a famous racehorse at Godley.
Situated on the western route into Johnson County on highway #171, like other towns along good highway systems, Godley is growing at a rapid rate. The last cattle drive in Texas originated out of Godley in 1966 and being on a feeder trail of the Chisholm Trail assures Godley a place in western history.
in 1887, the Santa Fe ran a line from Weatherford to Cleburne.
Today the rail line out of Cleburne through Godley goes as far as Cresson, where it connects with the main line out of Fort Worth. This line goes on to Brownwood and points west.
No rail line goes to Weatherford, but you can see an old, raised railroad bed on the east side of the highway between Cresson and Weatherford.
the train that ran on the Weatherford to Cleburne line was known as a cattle train. There was a town between Weatherford and Cresson known as Parsons Station. There were cattle pens at Parsons Station where area ranchers brought their cattle so they could be loaded on the train and shipped to Cleburne. From Cleburne they could be shipped to many different markets.
Thedford also told me that a historical marker had been placed near the site of Parsons Station that would give more information.
After leaving Weatherford I found the marker about midway between Weatherford and Cresson. The marker had been placed there in 2006, but I had not noticed it on previous trips to Weatherford.
Amsley Parsons settled in this area with his family in 1854. Sam B. Kutch was another early settler in the area, and it was his land that the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe rail line crossed on its way from Weatherford to Cresson and on to Cleburne. This line was built in 1887
A settlement developed in the area of the Parsons/Kutch homesteads. In 1888 the residents requested a post office in the name of Woodstock, but this name was denied by postal service officials. The name was then changed to Parsons Station.
In the 1880s there were many ranches in southern Parker, northwest Johnson and Northeast Hood Counties. Parsons Station was centrally located as a shipping point for the cattle from these ranches.
In addition to being a rail stop, Parsons Community had a rail switching station and offices for telegraph, Western Union and Wells Fargo Services. There were also cattle pens for loading livestock of area ranchers onto rail cars for shipment to Cleburne. There was also a school here named Paradise and a grocery store.
According to the historical marker, the train that made the trip from Weatherford to Cleburne was known as Old Nancy Hanks, or Old Nancy, reportedly for a famous horse belonging to Abraham Lincoln’s mother.
Nancy Hanks Lincoln was Abraham Lincoln’s mother. I found nothing about her owning a famous horse. But according to Wikipedia, a Central of Georgia Railway passenger train running between Atlanta and Savannah, the Nancy Hanks, was named for a race horse that was named for Abraham Lincoln’s mother.
Old Nancy was basically a cattle train, but passengers often hopped aboard for rides.
In 1931, the county began construction on what became Texas 171. The highway followed the route of the railway. The road’s completion led to a decline in rail use and the ultimate end to Old Nancy’s route.
After the rail was removed from Cresson to Weatherford, Santa Fe continued to use the line from Cleburne to Cresson to connect with the main line from Fort Worth west. By the 1980s Santa Fe had just about discontinued use of this track. The line lay unused for several years.
*no real mention of the still standing livestock pen....