An 1880 Stagecoach Makes Its Final Journey

May 19, 2016

Cowboy Rick Hamby and his 1880s Butterfield Overland Stage Company stagecoach and a crew of his traveling cowboys.
Credit Provided photographs /

Last week in Clarendon, Texas, a crew of cowboys passed through town on a historic journey. The men were delivering pen pal mail to school children from Missouri to Texas. Their task was performed in the same way it would have been done over a hundred years ago. But the unique part, notes, is the method by which they transported the letters. The cowboys made the journey in an authentic 1880 Butterfield Stagecoach. This was the coach’s swan song.

The Butterfield was built in the 1880s and worked until about 1905 in southern Arizona, carrying mail. Then she was shipped to Concord, N.H., where she was put in a barn for 50 years. In 1959 she was bough and sent to an amusement park in Silver Dollar City, Missouri. That’s where the coach’s current owner, Rick Hamby, first saw her when he was a child of five.

It would be 35 years before the man and his stagecoach would be reunited.