Butterfield

Butterfield was on the old Jim Hogg Highway south of Alto and north of Forest in southern Cherokee County. Around 1900 the area was the site of a Texas Prison System camp, one of several such satellite camps in the region established to provide charcoal for the Texas State Penitentiary foundry at Rusk (see RUSK PENITENTIARY). In 1906 a group of investors purchased a large tract of land to develop as a fruit orchard. The operation was known as Butterfield Farm or Butterfield, after a man named Butterfield who served as manager. In 1907 Butterfield hired a number of local farmers to clear the land and plant rows of peach trees with rows of cotton, corn, watermelons, and peas between them. Around 1910 a railroad spur was constructed to connect the orchard with the Texas and Southwestern Railroad three or four miles away, and a flag stop, known as Butterfield, was built. At the site residents built several packing sheds, one of which was said to have been 300 feet long and fifty or sixty feet wide. The orchard operated for six or seven years but was never commercially successful, and the investors eventually sold the operation to a dairy farmer. In 1944 Jeter I. Dean purchased the property and converted it into a cattle ranch. The manager's house constructed by Butterfield was still standing in the early 1990s, but the packing sheds and most of the orchards were no longer extant.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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