By Gay Storms
News-starved pioneers suffered in a frontier dark ages until the Butterfield Overland Stage came to North Texas in 1858.
The Butterfield Trail (also known as the Southern Overland Trail) delivered mail to settlers every 25 days instead of the previous two months’ wait. Before then mail passengers going from coast to coast depended upon steamers going around the dangerous end of Cape Horn, at the southern tip of South America. An alternate route was through the disease-infested jungle of the Isthmus of Panama.
John Butterfield, who was awarded the contract to deliver mail along the country’s southern route, demanded the world of his stage drivers: “Remember, boys, nothing on God’s earth must stop the United States mail.” (Read more in the Sept. 1 issues of The Graham Leader.)