The Butterfield Overland Mail Co. operated from 1858 to 1861 under contract with the U.S. Postal Department, providing transportation of U.S. mail between St. Louis, Mo., and San Francisco, Calif. The route proposed by the Butterfield Mail Co. became known as the “Oxbow Route” because of its shape on a map, starting in St. Louis and then dipping southwesterly through Missouri, western Arkansas and the Indian Territory, turning west across Texas and southern New Mexico and Arizona, and then curving north again in California to finish at San Francisco.
This website provides history and information about the Butterfield Overland Mail Co., its stagecoaches and present-day efforts to preserve the route and establish it as a national heritage trail.
Follow these links for more information: