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Stamford, Texas

History

Stamford History 1922. Stamford, Texas, the metropolis of Jones County, has just attained its majority, being twenty-one years of age. It was named for Stamford, Connecticut, the home of Henry C. McHarge, who was the moving spirit in the construction of the Texas Central Railroad.

The first business in Stamford was the hardware firm of Penick Hughes Co. The first bank was named the First National Bank, established by R. V. Colbert and associates, Mr. Colbert still being the head of the institution. The well-known progressive spirit of Stamford started with the birth of the town, the first Chamber of Commerce having been organized in a tent, with R. L. Penick as president. A commercial organization of some sort has been maintained since that time. Continue Reading Stamford History Written in 1922 >>

Stamford. Swedish native Swante Magnus Swenson and his two sons, Eric Pierson and Swen Albin Swenson, came to Texas in 1882 to establish the SMS ranches. In 1899, Eric P. and Swen A. Swenson donated a large section of land for a townsite on an extension of the Texas Central Railway. Railway president Henry McHarg named the new town Stamford for his hometown in Connecticut. A Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized in members' homes and a post office was established in a railroad boxcar in 1899. The Bank of Stamford opened for business in January 1900 and the first train pulled out of the Stamford depot in February. Businesses, churches and utilities soon were established. The booming town was incorporated in January 1901 and P. P. Berthelot became the first mayor. Stamford relied primarily on agriculture for its economy. Cotton, Swenson's Herefords and other area livestock brought substantial income. The town also boasted a flour mill, cottonseed oil plant, iron foundry, gins, brick manufacturers and a railroad roundhouse. Both passenger and freight trains brought business to town. Stamford Collegiate Institution (later Stamford College), a Methodist school, opened in 1907. Oil was discovered near Stamford in 1935 and broadened the town's economic base still further. U. S. Army pilots trained at nearby Arledge Field during World War II. The town of Stamford thrived throughout the 20th century. Though the Burlington Northern Railroad (final proprietor of the railway through Stamford) abandoned the track in the late 1990s, the Swenson Land and Cattle Company remained in operation, and cotton, cattle and wheat continued to be among Stamford's leading industries at the dawn of the 21st century. - Historical Marker Text.  Marker erected 2000.  Located on US 277 Bus., 0.25 mile east of US 277.

St. John's Methodist Church. Built 1910 in pastorate of Dr. Robert Goodrich, for congregation founded 1900 in Sledge Hall, under Rev. S. Gay. With 100' tower, long the tallest church between Dallas and El Paso. Served community of Old Stamford College (now McMurry). Has had 33 pastors up to 1964. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1964. Located on the Corner of Hamilton and Ferguson streets, Stamford.

Arledge Field. In preparation for the eventual U.S. entry into World War II, Gen. Henry H. "Hap" Arnold sought to expand the nation's combat air forces by asking civilian flight schools to provide the primary phase of training for air cadets. At twenty sites in Texas, flight schools contracted to build facilities for housing and training new pilots.The City of Stamford responded by buying a section of land that was once part of Swante Magnus Swenson's SMS Ranch to be used for an air field. It was named for Stamford businessman Roy Wade Arledge, who headed the committee to purchase the site in December 1940. Construction of Arledge Field facilities began in early spring of 1941 under agreement with the first training contractor, the Lou Foote Flying Service of Grand Prairie, Texas. Coleman Flying School, Ltd. later assumed the contract for the remainder of the war. The field was formally dedicated on May 17-18, 1941. The first cadet class at Arledge Field began on March 15, 1941. Civilian flying and ground school instructors trained the air cadets using Stearman PT-17s and Fairchild PT-19As. Military personnel from the 308th Army Air Forces Training Detachment provided military instruction. Following a twelve-week training course, graduating cadets moved to larger air bases for basic and advanced flight training by Air Corps instructors. The final cadet class at Arledge Field graduated on September 30, 1944. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation transferred the buildings and equipment at the field to the City of Stamford in 1947 for use as a public airport. - Historical Marker Text.  Marker erected 2005. Located 4 mi. E of Stamford on SH 6, left on FM 704 to airport.

Photos

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Resources

Location

Stamford, TX 32° 56' 43.3932" N, 99° 48' 10.3356" W