The Franco-Texan Land Company

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The Franco-Texan Land Company was formed, ostensibly, by the French bondholders of the Memphis, El Paso, and Pacific Railroad in an attempt to salvage their investments through sale of lands in the railroad's Texas land grant. Most of the land company's wealth, however, went into the pockets of unscrupulous local managers and directors, and another railroad eventually built a road across Texas along the Memphis, El Paso, and Pacific right of way. Despite their unsavory histories, the land company and its railroad parent played an important part in the development of Northwest Texas. Virginia Taylor's account of their activities furthers the study of the role of land companies in the settlement of the United States and adds interesting sidelights on one of the immigrant groups that left the imprint of Europe on frontier Texas.