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Chapter 7 Cotton Belt Engineer


Ed Cooper

C. W. “Red” Standefer railroaded from 1917-1967 and saw everything from the sharp end of saturated steam locomotives to second generation diesels. He saw his first train in 1907 while the Stephenville, North & South Texas Railway was being built into his hometown of Hamilton. Standefer decided then and there to become a railroad engineer at the age of eight years. It took him ten years to land the job of engine watchman for the Cotton Belt in Hamilton. He was promoted to fireman in early 1918 and began working for the Cotton Belt out of Tyler and Waco. He moved to the Cotton Belt rail center of Commerce, Texas in 1920 and started his family there. He lived in Commerce for the rest of his life. Red Standefer was promoted to engineer in early 1939. He loved his job and the steam locomotive. This is the story of Red Standefer’s last acquaintance with active steam locomotives and how the Cotton Belt’s last steam locomotives were used…  (more)

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