Texas: documents regarding timezone in 1919 to 1921

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Alois Treindl

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Sep 8, 2011, 8:28:31 AM9/8/11
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Jules, I post here some documents for the Texas timezone question
between 1918 and 1921

a) introduction of new boundary between central and mountain time,
passing through Texas, effective 1919 Jan 1, 02 am
- newspaper article Lubcock Avalanche, 1918 Nov 21 attachment
1918texas1.jpg
The same article has appeared in many newspapers, also in the New York
Times 1918 Nov 19. (attachment 1918texas3.pdf)

The announcement mentions the line: west of Sayre, Oklahoma; then west
of the towns Sweatwater, Big Springs and San Angelo, and then following
south of San Angelo the meridian 100w, which forms the border between
Oklahoma and Texas up in the so called Texas pan handle.

Based on this information, I have drawn a map of a guessed boundary line.

Between the south-east corner of the panhandle and Sweetwater I let the
line follow county boundaries close to the 100th meridian. The article
does not prescribe a precise border there. Then along country boundaries
aroiund the three towns mentioned in the announcement, as it is clearly
stated that those towns stay on Central time. There was thin population
in 1918, and I assume the counties followed their county seats. South of
San Angelo I follow the 100th meridian.

I used a public domain map as a basis, "Courtesy of the University of
Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin."
The attachement is 1919texas_guess,jpg
I call it a guess because details of the zone boundary are herd to get
and guessing has been applied.

b) end of this rule in 1921
According to another Lubcock Avalanche article from 1919, the Panhandle
and Plains Chamber of Commerce was not happy to be on a different
timezone than the more populated east of Texas, and they petitioned to
have it changed.

The US congress decided on 1921 March 4 to change the timezone again.
This is contained as section 265 in the Unites states code title 16
chapter 6

-- quote from http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/usc.html
Sec. 265. Transfer of certain territory to standard central-time zone

The Panhandle and Plains sections of Texas and Oklahoma are transferred
to and placed within the United States standard central-time zone.

The Secretary of Transportation is authorized and directed to issue an
order placing the western boundary line of the United States standard
central-time zone insofar as the same affect Texas and Oklahoma as follows:

Beginning at a point where such western boundary time zone line crosses
the State boundary line between Kansas and Oklahoma; thence westerly
along said State boundary line to the northwest corner of the State of
Oklahoma; thence in a southerly direction along the west State boundary
line of Oklahoma and the west State boundary line of Texas to the
southeastern corner of the State of New Mexico; thence in a westerly
direction along the State boundary line between the States of Texas and
New Mexico to the Rio Grande River; thence down the Rio Grande River as
the boundary line between the United States and Mexico: Provided, That
the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway Company and the Chicago, Rock
Island and Pacific Railway Company may use Tucumcari, New Mexico, as the
point at which they change from central to mountain time and vice versa;
the Colorado Southern and Fort Worth and Denver City Railway Companies
may use Sixela, New Mexico, as such changing point; the Atchison, Topeka
and Santa Fe Railway Company and other branches of the Santa Fe system
may use Clovis, New Mexico, as such changing point, and those railways
running into or through El Paso may use El Paso as such point: Provided
further, That this section shall not, except as herein provided,
interfere with the adjustment of time zones as established by the
Secretary of Transportation.

Transfer of El Paso and Hudspeth counties, Texas, to mountain
standard time zone

Pub. L. 91-228, Apr. 10, 1970, 84 Stat. 119, provided: "That,
notwithstanding the first section of the Act of March 4, 1921 (15 U.S.C.
265), the Secretary of Transportation may, upon the written request of
the County Commissioners Court of El Paso County, Texas, change the
boundary line between the central standard time zone and the mountain
standard time zone, so as to place El Paso County in the mountain
standard time zone, in the manner prescribed in section 1 of the Act of
March 19, 1918, as amended (15 U.S.C. 261), and section 5 of the Act of
April 13, 1966 (15 U.S.C. 266). In the same manner, the Secretary of
Transportation may also place Hudspeth County, Texas, in the mountain
standard time zone, if the Hudspeth County Commissioners Court so
requests in writing and if El Paso County is to be placed in that time
zone."
---- end quote

This means while the counties of El Paso and Hudspeth (the far west
corner of Texas) remained on Mountain Standard Time, as prescribed above
on 1918 Mar 18, the other Plains and Panhandle counties switched to
Centrals Standard Time.

Shanks has only the Panhandle counties, but not the Plains counties on
MST during these years, and he is most likely wrong. His begin date 1918
Nov 27 is certainly wrong, as the announcement states precisely the
begin date and time, and various newpaper reports we have seen confirm
this. I think we can follow Shanks with the end date of 1921 Mar 7,
because this seems a reasonable, very swift consequence of the US
congress decision of March 4.

I will not mention other minor errors in Shanks' Texas data here.

I suggest you can complete your Texas zones now.

1919texas_guess.jpg
1918texas3.pdf
1918texas1.jpg
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