Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Welshman who became known as the Tregynon Texan

April 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Prose

This story came to light when researching items on Welshmen who had emigrated from their native land.

Tregynon a small village in Mid Wales, just a few miles from my birthplace.

Almost 140 years ago a young railway worker set out to America to seek his fortune , finally going on to build thousands of miles of railroads acroos that great country.

Little is known about this man until Iwan Hughes a teacher from Ruthin got involved in Anglo/ American history about 10 years ago.

Mr Hughes explains that Morgan Jones became one of the unsung heros of the new continent, who through his endeavors in the railway world, opened up America , unlocking all it’s treasures to the populace.

Morgan was born on Oct. 7th 1839, his parents made a living by breeding Shetland ponies selling them to the mine owners for work in the mines.

A the age of 19, morgan apprenticed himself to the Cambrian Railway Company, for the next seven years.At this time british railways were flourishing with some 15,000 miles of track laid.

With this experience behind him, and with the death of his parents, the Civil War just ended, emigration to America was most inviting.

He landed in New York may15th 1866, where he met Grenville Mellen Dodge, chief engineer to the Union Pacific Railroad, who employed him as a construction foreman in Utah.

Mr Hughes explains how in 1839 Texas did not have a single mile of railroad, by 1926 it had 16,071 miles making it the largest in the U.S.A.

The lack of navigable rivers in the state made having a rail system most important.One town to benifit from Morgan,s efforts was Fort Worth, which had been thought of as the poor relation of Dallas its neighbour, if Fort Worth were to prosper, then a rail connection was imperitive.

Morgan Jones was given the task to bring the line into Fort Worth by the Texas and Pacific Railway. He had only a few months to bring in the railway before a deed of legislature came into force blocking the project.

Despite all efforts to block the project Jones waged an heroic effort and brought th line in on time July 19, 1876. Succesfully bringing in a new era of prosperity for the people.

His next momentous adventure came between 1885 1nd 1888, when he was almost entirely responsible for the first transcontinental railroad in the United States, linking Fort Worth, to Denver City railway, between Wichita Fall Texas to Union Park New Mexico.

Mr Hughes concludes that it was most difficult to obtain information about Morgan, as he did not give his first interview until he was 83 years old. He died age 86 on April 11th, 1926.

In 1900 there were only 313 Welsh born people in Texas, if only they were all like him.

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