The Chicago, Rock Island and Mexico Railway Company was chartered by the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway on December 17, 1900, to construct the Texas portion of the projected line between Liberal, Kansas, and Santa Rosa, New Mexico. The plan was to build from the northern boundary of Sherman County southwest 110 miles to the west line of Hartley County. The initial capital was $2 million, and the business office was in Twist, Hartley County. Members of the first board of directors included S. B. Hovey, J. C. McCabe, F. E. Deitrich, and M. V. Harris, all of Fort Worth; Robert Mather and J. M. Johnson of Chicago, Illinois; and M. A. Low of Topeka, Kansas. Construction took place in 1901 and 1902; ninety-two miles of track was laid from Texhoma, Oklahoma, through Dalhart, to Bravo, Texas. This line formed part of the Golden State Route of the Rock Island and Southern Pacific. In 1903 the CRI&M owned 459 railroad cars; earnings for that year included $96,637 in passenger revenue and $246,833 in freight revenue. On December 1, 1903, the line was merged into the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway.
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