Cotton Belt Route 75th Anniversary


The 75th Anniversary of the Cotton Belt

The Cotton Belt celebrated 75 years of rail service on October 1, 1952. Part of this observance occurred when H. J. McKenzie laid a wreath on the grave of the railroad's founder, J. P. Douglas. Shown below is the Cotton Belt 75th Anniversary Commemorative Cover and enclosed card.

Cotton Belt 75th Anniversary Commemorative Cover Postmarked from Tyler on October 1, 1952, celebrating the beginning of the first link in the Cotton Belt Route at Tyler, Texas, on October 1, 1877
Cotton Belt 75th Anniversary Commemorative Cover
Postmarked from Tyler on October 1, 1952, celebrating the beginning of the first link in the Cotton Belt Route at Tyler, Texas, on October 1, 1877 (Archives of the author)
Commemorative Card: "Dear Friend: We take pleasure in sending to you from Tyler, Texas, the place where the Cotton Belt had its beginning just 75 years ago, the commemorative cover which encloses this message. Your interest in our railroad on the occasion of its Diamond Anniversary is greatly appreicated". Public Relations Department. St. Louis Southwestern Railway Lines

Cotton Belt 75th Anniversary Commemorative Card: "Dear Friend: We take pleasure in sending to you from Tyler, Texas, the place where the Cotton Belt had its beginning just 75 years ago, the commemorative cover which encloses this message. Your interest in our railroad on the occasion of its Diamond Anniversary is greatly appreicated".

Public Relations Department
St. Louis Southwestern Railway Lines
October 1, 1952 (Archives of the author)

Newspaper article" Tyler Welcomes Officials of Rail Line on 75th Anniversary" ... Tyler Welcomes Officials Of Rail Line on 75th  Anniversary.Newspaper article" Tyler Welcomes Officials of Rail Line on 75th Anniversary"

Newspaper Account of the Anniversary

Tyler Welcomes Officials of Rail Line on 75th Anniversary

TYLER, Oct. 1, 1952

More than 2,000 Tyler residents donned "railroader" caps today to  receive Harold J. McKenzie and officials of the St. Louis Southwestern Railroad, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the railroad.

Festivities began with the arrival of McKenzie and other cotton belt route officials by special car at 10:45 a.m. today.

After a reception given by the Tyler chamber of commerce, McKenzie and party placed a wreath on the grave of Maj. James P. Douglas, who founded the Tyler T-P Railroad, the forerunner of the Cotton Belt Route.

Col. Alvin M Osley, Dallas, former U. S. minister, was guest speaker at a luncheon in the Tyler American Legion Hall. Over 500 guests attended.

The anniversary celebration will be climaxed by an employee barbecue for over 3,000 persons tonight in Tyler Rose Stadium.

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