Company History

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Relating to Operations of

The Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway Company


Compiled by

William S. Osborn

Patman & Osborn

515 Congress Avenue Suite 1704

Austin, Texas 78701

For the Purpose of Preparing a Corporate History

(A Work in Progress)






07-00-68 Significant Yellow fever epidemic at Galveston. City population 18,000, reported 1150 deaths. Source: Galveston News, June 4, 1889. Complete table of epidemics with population and mortality statistics on computer at epidem.sfe. Many sources report that these epidemics prompted the citizenry of Galveston to incline toward the construction of an independent rail link with the interior to avoid quarantines by the city of Houston.

05-28-73 Incorporated by Act of the Legislature passed this date, effective June 6, 1873. Line projected to Caldwell, Belton, Coryell, Hamilton, Comanche and Eastland Counties, to form a junction with the Texas & Pacific, thence northwesterly to the Canadian River, thence to Santa Fe.

06-19-73 Commissioners named in legislative act met in Galveston to appoint a committee to open books and solicit subscriptions to the capital stock of the new company. Albert Somerville was elected as the first president.

05-20-74 Election held - County of Galveston authorized to subscribe for $500,000 in capital stock of the company, funds to finance construction of first 50 miles of road. Purchase paid for in county bonds, Special tax was levied for the bonds, bonds to be delivered in $50,000 increments for each five miles of road.

10-29-74 Report of Chief Engineer Braxton Bragg to the President and Directors regarding a route across Galveston Bay and north to Brenham. Full text on computer at bragg.sfe.

"...a back country unsurpassed in fertility and rapidly filling with an industrious, hardy and virtuous will be the fault of Galveston and her people if she does not burst the shackles which now bind her and assume and maintain the position which nature has assigned her...we must reach out our arms and gather the fruits with which a bountiful nature has surrounded us or others will so do it, and we shall but repeat the history of many of our southern marts where the daily hum of business has ceased and decay is doing its is but one of several problems which must sooner or later require solution at our hands if we propose to maintain the advantages and work out the destiny so clearly indicated by our position and its surroundings."

[The other big problem was depth of draw in the harbor, and for failure to adequately address this, the port of Galveston lost out to Houston at the preeminent export port, and Galveston did indeed suffer the fate of other "southern marts", decay and loss of its leadership position. Need to get statistics for tonnage shipped from ports of Galveston and Houston to show what year Houston started shipping more. November, 1907 article in Santa Fe Magazine reports Galveston was second only to New York in Exports, and largest cotton exporting port in the world. ] [Also, Houston had the advantage of being a rail junction with other lines such as the Southern Pacific. More favorable freight transshipment logistics to transfer to ships there on the mainland rather than send freight out to Galveston island.] [For discussion of Galveston port facilities at time Houston was pulling ahead, see Naumann article from September 1912 edition of Santa Fe Magazine.]

11-27-74 General Braxton Bragg filed his report on a proposed route for first part of the line with the Board of Directors.

02-05-75 Texas Legislature approved amendment to charter to route through Brenham.

"The Texas Legislature has passed the bill authorizing a change of route and a new location to be made from Galveston, Tx. To Randen's on the San Antonio Road, a distance of 68 miles. Contracts will be let as soon as the new location is completed. (RRG 02/27/75 p. 90 F. M. Ellington)

04-07-75 "At a meeting of the board in Galveston, the Civil Engineer was instructed to complete the location of the road from Galveston to the crossing of the Columbia Division of the International and Great Northern" (Railroad Gazette - F. M. Ellington)

05-01-75 Galveston groundbreaking for new road. General Braxton Bragg, Confederate veteran, was chief engineer. He died in 1876, succeeded by Major B. M. Temple. Galveston News of May 3, 1925 reprinted article reporting on groundbreaking. Full text at dirt.sfe.

00-00-75 Hurricane hits Galveston

11-20-75 Braxton Bragg reported to the Directors that the "storm of 1875" had resulted in extensive damage to the five miles of track that had been laid.

03-17-76 Supreme Court of Texas sustained financing method, which had been challenged by a Galveston citizen. Austin v. G.C.&S.F. Rr. Co. (This case reported in the 1876 Galveston term reports at page 234 et seq.)

00-00-76 Controversy in Galveston over the use of public funds for benefit of private company. Culminated in an election of 13 citizens to the board. Immediately after election, all those elected promptly resigned.

07-21-76 "Track is now laid on the 3 rd section of 5 mi. westward from Galveston, Tx. Appl'n has been made for a corresponding issue of the Galveston County Bonds. Iron for 10 mi. more has been purchased and shipped from New York." (RAG 07/21/76 p. 325 F. M. Ellington)

08-23-76 Directors approved final payment to contractors Burnett & Kilpatrick for construction of first 20 miles of road.

09-15-76 "Grading on this road is now complete to a point 30 miles westward from Galveston Tx and track is laid for 25 miles. Iron for 5 more miles is on the way, and work is to be continued steadily until the crossing of the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio road is reached. The company now has a locomotive and construction train of its own in use." (RAG 09/15/76 p. 409 F. M. Ellington)

09-23-76 At a meeting of the Board of Directors, authority given to borrow $30,000. Bonds to be pledged as security. Also voted to suspend construction beyond the terminal point of 30 miles.

10-27-76 "Additional section of 5 mi. completed and opened making a road 30 mi. long from Galveston, Tx westward. The end of track is now in Brazoria county, 12 mi. east of Arcola, with the exception of the long pile bridge over Galveston Bay, the work thus far has been easy and grades light, the road rising only 47 feet in 30 mi." (RAG 10/27/76 p. 474 F. M. Ellington)

12-08-76 "Company has bought an additional lot of iron which is now on the way to Galveston. The company expects to complete 50 miles of road out of Galveston by January 1, which will secure the payment of the whole of the Galveston subscription of $500,000. A contract will then be let for the further extension of the road, and the work will be prosecuted actively." (RAG 12/08/76 p. 541 F. M. Ellington)

12-11-76 President reported to Directors that Burnet & Kilpatrick had been paid for construction from milepost 30 to milepost 35.

01-05-77 "Track on this road is completed to a point near Arcola, Texas and 45 mi. from Galveston. 5 more miles to be built out of the 50 provided for by the Galveston City subsidy." (RAG 01/05/77 p. 10 F. M. Ellington)

01-08-77 J. P. Fresenius, Chief Engineer, recommended to Directors that "steps be taken to keep in repair the track over which the trains are now running".

03-30-77 "This company invites bids from Railroad Contractors for extension of its road 200 miles from its present terminus, payment to be made in bonds secured by first mortgage on the entire property. The company has completed, and free from debt, 45 miles from Galveston, Tx to Arcola, and has a land grant of 16 sections per mile from the state of Texas. Arrangements are now being made to put regular trains on the line between Galveston and Arcola." (RAG 03/30/77 p. 146 F. M. Ellington)

04-23-77 At a meeting of the Board of Directors, authority given to issue first mortgage bonds in the amount of $12,000 per mile, or $1,488,000 for 124 miles (Galveston to Brenham). At this time, 50 miles of grading completed and 45 miles of 56 pound iron rails laid "ready for business". (prospectus)

09-01-77 Total expenditures to date $690,907.75 of which $90,000 was for 10,750 feet of creosoted pile bridging across Galveston bay.

10-27-77 At a meeting of Directors, communication from Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County offered to remit county taxes for five years and obtain a right-of-way through Fort Bend County free of cost, if the road should be deflected from its proposed route so as to pass through Richmond. This proposition accepted by the board.

00-00-78 First freight on new line reached Galveston; 12 bales of cotton from Arcola. "Because of inefficient operating conditions, the volume was not heavy and the treasury was practically depleted." Railway.sfe.

00-00-78 Brazos River bridged. Approx. 60 miles from Galveston.

09-16-78 Company issued $2,700,000 in bonds, granting a mortgage on the road as security. Power of attorney given to London firm of Dennistoun Cross & Co. to sell these first mortgage bonds. Ten days later, New York mortgage trustees declined to accept the trust (George Mosle and Charles Meriwether Fry) and the London offering never took place.

10-10-78 Road reached Richmond, county seat of Fort Bend County. Population 2500 in 1878. Funds exhausted and construction ceased. Very little rolling stock, operation irregular.

10-30-78 Report to the Board of Directors placed indebtedness at $162,000. Contractor building 30 miles of road to Richmond, and holding contract for construction of 50 more miles to Belton, advised could not continue without payment, and was directed to proceed with construction to Richmond and arrange terms form termination of contract at that point.

11-11-78 Board of Directors adopted a resolution setting forth the serious financial condition "in danger of sale under execution at an early day" and authorized the solicitation of a loan for $250,000 by publication in the Galveston News, the Boston Post and the Journal of Commerce of New York.

12-12-78 George Sealy et. al., comprising a group of 16 Galveston residents and business firms, loaned $250,000 to the company. 90 day note, 12% interest, secured by a deed of trust on the property. Letter stating purpose recites: "this loan is only offered by the parties under the belief that the Company cannot in any other manner obtain the amount of money its necessities absolutely require, and under the strong hope that with the road completed to Richmond and without debt, other than this loan, the Company will have a basis of credit to enable it to negotiate its bonds and at once extend the road to Belton."

03-08-79 Texas legislature passed an act amending the charter of the company, requiring reorganization and construction of 80 miles of road by March 1, 1880, on penalty of forfeiture of charter. Legislature also authorized the County to sell its stock "to private parties upon such terms as it might think best, with a proviso, however, that the purchasers would give a bond in the amount of $20,000, that they would construct and put in operation an extension to Belton, from the terminus, then at Richmond." Griffin, History of Galveston, 1931, full text at Railway.sfe. Sale was negotiated and George Sealy, trustee, bought the stock for $10,000 (5000 shares representing $500,000 in capital stock).

04-15-79 Foreclosure sale of company. Purchased by George Sealy et al. for $200,000.00.

04-19-79 First meeting of newly organized company. Rights of former stockholders extinguished. Liability for prior debts disclaimed, It was reported that amount expended in construction to date was in excess of $1,000,000.00. John Sealy elected president April 22, 1879. First mortgage bonds were issued, secured by a mortgage naming New York trustees John S. Kennedy and Charles M. Fry (this time accepting trust). Construction commenced anew.

03-01-79 Texas Legislature approved amendment to charter to require that 80 miles shall be completed by March 1, 1880 and 50 miles each year thereafter.

10-06-79 Engineer B. M. Temple reported to John Sealy that flood damage to bridge at Brazos river would be repaired within ten days, two wrecked spans having been removed from the river, one capable of repair and the other damaged beyond repair.

12-22-79 Service to Rosenberg commenced. Junction at this point with Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio line from Houston to San Antonio was first connection with a significant east-west line.

08-01-80 Service commenced to Brenham from Galveston.

09-28-80 Charter amended by Directors of the Company to strike routing northwest from Belton. Instead, provision made for route from Temple to a point about 3 miles north of Fort Worth.

11-01-80 Line from Brenham to Milano placed in operation.

12-01-80 Line from Milano to Cameron placed in operation.

03-01-81 Line from Cameron to Belton placed in operation.

Passenger & freight service commenced March 18, 1881.

07-16-81 "This road has reached a point 100 miles north of Clifton, and 33 miles south of Cleburne. All bridging, grading, etc. are completed, so that track laying goes on uninterruptedly at the rate of a mile and a half a day. The road will reach Cleburne by August 1 st ." (Railway Review 07/16/81 p. 381 - F. M. Ellington)

08-13-81 Line from Temple to Valley Mills placed in operation.

08-30-81 Line from Valley Mills to Morgan placed in operation.

09-07-81 Line from Morgan to Kopperl placed in operation.

10-21-81 Line from Kopperl to Cleburne placed in operation.

12-20-81 Line from Cleburne to Fort Worth placed in operation.

(also reported as December 8, 1881).

04-13-82 Charter amended by Directors of the company to provide for an eastern branch commencing at a point on the Main line in Burleson County about 2 miles north of the Yegua River, thence easterly through Brazos, Grimes and Montgomery counties to a point on the I&GN Survey, with the right to purchase the Central & Montgomery Railroad.

04-15-82 Line from Belton to Lampasas placed in operation.

04-06-82? Charter amended by Directors of the company to provide for a branch commencing at Cleburne through the counties of Johnson, Ellis, Dallas, Collins, Rockwall, Hunt, Delta, Fannin and Lamar, to a point on the Red River at or near the northeastern corner of Lamar County, with the right to purchase the Chicago, Texas and Mexican Central Railroad.

05-05-82 Line from Belton to Lampasas placed in operation.

06-15-82 Central & Montgomery purchased and placed in operation.

(Navasota to Montgomery).

07-21-82 "A dispatch from Dallas Tx., July 15 th says strong opposition from the Gould roads, and the Houston & Texas Gulf to the new line now working into Dallas, and the G.C.&S.F., has forced the latter line to endeavor to secure an alliance at this point with the Texas & St. Louis for an independent and direct route to St. Louis. Walter Gresham, chief attorney and B. M. Temple, Gen'l. Frt. Agt., have been in consultation today with the railroad committee of the city council, to secure right-of-way to the business part of the city. The council will, no doubt, grant it. Mr. Gresham visits St. Louis next to consult with the narrow gauge officials. (RG 07/21/82 p. 448 F. M. Ellington)

07-31-82 "At the close of the fiscal year, July 31, 1882, this Company operated a line from Galveston, Tx. to Lampasas, 274 miles, a Fort Worth Division, Temple to Fort Worth, 128 miles, the Northeastern Division, Cleburne to Dallas, 53 miles, and the Eastern branch, Navasota to Montgomery, 28 miles, a total of 483 miles. The Northeastern Div'n did not come into the possession of this company until July 31. There are under construction extensions of the Eastern branch from Somerville to Navasota and from Montgomery to the International & Great Northern Road, in all 72 miles, and the Houston Division from Alvin to Houston 23 miles" (RG 11/10/82 p. 698 - F. M. Ellington citing G.C.&S.F. Annual Report for close of fiscal year 07/31/82 Ellington also lists this with a date of 09/01/82)

08-01-82 Chicago, Texas & Mexican Central purchased and placed in operation (Cleburne to Dallas).

08-11-82 "On account of the unfriendly action of the Houston & Texas Central, the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway Company will be obliged to build about 2 miles of road to bring its Dallas branch into the city of Dallas. Heretofore the Houston & Texas Central Track has been used. A considerable force is now at work putting the line between Cleburne and Dallas in good shape. This line is very poorly built in the first place." (RG 08/11/82 p. 496 F. M. Ellington, also listed as being in 08/22/82 issue)

08-22-82 Charter amended by Directors of the Company to provide for branches to Dallas and Houston. Extension of Dallas division completed into the city this date, a distance of 2 miles beyond the old Chicago, Texas & Mexican Central terminus. The company had been using Houston & Texas Central trackage for entry into downtown Dallas. (Railroad Gazette - F. M. Ellington)

09-01-82 "Work is progressing well on the new branch from Leon, Tx., to Navasota, to connect with the Central & Montgomery road, lately bought by this company. Surveys have been made for a branch from Alvin, Tx. To Houston. This branch will be 23 miles long, and will complete a second line from Galveston to Houston, 53 miles long. (RG 09/01/82 p. 549 F. M. Ellington)

00-00-82 Texas Land Grant statute repealed. Statute had granted 16 sections for every completed mile of road. "Repealed on account of public domain being exhausted." G.C.&S.F. received a total of 3,259,520 acres of land under the statute prior to its appeal. If only they had kept the mineral rights when they sold off the surface! So often in our practice of oil and gas law I see that we are dealing with a G.C.&S.F. Survey which overlies a prolific oil or gas field. The Union Pacific was smarter in this respect - keeping mineral rights.

01-12-83 "Track is now all laid on the Houston Branch, which leaves the main line at Alvin Jct. 24 miles from Galveston, and runs northwest to Houston, Tx., 29 miles This completes a second line from Galveston to Houston, only 3 miles longer than the Galveston, Houston & Henderson road. Two miles of track were laid this year." (RG 01/12/83 p. 33 F. M. Ellington)

05-01-83 Line from Alvin to Houston placed in operation.

05-18-83 "Track has been laid on the Eastern Div'n on the main line from Somerville eastward to Navasota, 33 miles, completing a connection with the Central & Montgomery road, which this company bought last year. The Eastern Div'n is now completed from Somerville east to Montgomery, 61 miles. It is to be further extended to the crossing of the International & Great Northern road. It is said that this company has concluded a traffic agreement with the Texas & St. Louis." (RG 05/18/83 p. 321 F. M. Ellington)

06-01-83 Line from Somerville to Navasota placed in operation.

06-01-83 "G.C.&S.F.. Negotiations are reported to be in progress between this company and parties in St. Louis and New York for the construction of a new line across Arkansas, which will give this road an independent outlet for its business. It now labors under many disadvantages because of the quarrel between its managers and the Gould southwestern system." (RG 06/01/83 p. 354 F. M. Ellington)

06-15-83 "Arrangements made for exchange of freight with the Texas & St. Louis road, and a car hoist is being put up at McGregor, Texas, where the two roads intersect, so that cars can be transferred without breaking bulk. The company announces that it will be ready to ship freight through to St. Louis by this route July 1. G.C.&S.F. management at odds with managers of Gould Southwestern System, co-operating with T & St. Louis as an alternative." (Railroad Gazette 06/15/83- F. M. Ellington)

10-19-83 Equipment reported to consist of 51 locomotives, 37 passenger cars, 1367 freight cars, and 8 service cars. (Railroad Gazette 10/19/83 - F. M. Ellington)

03-01-84 Webster Snyder assumes position as General Manager.

07-04-84 Act of U.S. Congress granting right of way through Indian Territory, requiring construction of 100 miles of line within three years.

09-08-84 Directors adopted a resolution that the General Manager be instructed to send a engineer to examine the country on a proposed line of road from Fort Worth through Indian Territory to Kansas.

10-07-84 President at stockholders meeting reported that past year's business had been disastrous to all Texas roads due to poor crops and a general business depression.

11-10-84 Charter amended by Directors of the Company to provide for a change of route of the northern branch, to commence at Temple and route through Tarrant, Wise, Denton Montague and Cook counties, and thence within the Indian Territory, in accordance with an act of Congress approved July 4, 1884

01-01-85 Company borrowed $300,000 from National City Bank of New York for four months, giving second mortgage bonds as security.

03-03-85 Sealy, report to Board of Directors:

"The business since your last statement has not been satisfactory, but you must take into consideration it covers a period of time during which we have had a failure of crops, a panic, and a very great and general depression in trade, such as we have not had in Texas, during the past 20 years."

06-08-85 Charter amended by Directors of the Company to provide for a change of route west of Temple, routing through counties of Bell, Coryell, Lampasas, Brown, Coleman, Runnels, Taylor, Tom Green, Nolan and Mitchell, forming a junction with the Texas Pacific Railway.

09-01-85 Line from Montgomery to Conroe placed in operation.

Line from Lampasas to Goldthwaite placed in operation.

12-31-85 Line from Goldthwaite to Brownwood placed in operation.

03-03-86 Contract for sale of G.C.&S.F. stock to A.T.&S.F.

Further explanatory agreement March 30, 1886.

03-23-86 Sealy reported to Board of Directors continuing disappointment in traffic levels, citing crop failures and general stagnation of business.

04-01-86 Line from Brownwood to Coleman placed in operation.

06-12-86 Charter amended by Directors of the Company to provide for a branch from Ladonia to the Red River via Honey Grove, also for a branch from Santa Anna westerly through the counties of Coleman, Runnels, Tom Green, Crockett, Presidio and El Paso to a point on the Rio Grande River.

08-01-86 Line from Coleman Junction to Ballinger placed in operation.

11-01-86 Line from Dallas to Farmersville placed in operation.

11-20-86 Charter amended by Directors of the Company to provide for a western branch from Sealy through the counties of Austin, Colorado, Fayette, Lee, Bastrop, Caldwell, Travis, Hays, Blanco, Gillespie, Mason and Kimble to the County line of Crockett County.

12-31-86 Line from Farmersville to Honey Grove placed in operation.

Line from Fort Worth to Gainesville placed in operation.

01-08-87 "The bridge falsework is completed over Red River, and track laying has begun in Indian Territory. Every effort will be made to carry out the company's instructions to lay 25 miles of track in January, 35 in February, and the remainder - 55 miles - in March. 70-75 miles of track is being laid south from Arkansas City, and the officers of the road [A.T.&S.F.] say that on May 1 st , trains will run from Atchison to Fort Worth and Galveston. The contractors are somewhat delayed in that Nation, because the Indians are not permitted to sell stone or timber, even for cash, so all stone and timber has to be hauled from Texas. Indian police guard the stone mills as if they were gold. They cannot use the material and cannot sell it." (Railway Review - F. M. Ellington)

04-05-87 Charter amended by Directors of the Company to provide for a branch from Cleburne to Weatherford.

04-09-87 "Work is being pushed rapidly on the Ft. Worth extension of this road. The track is now laid 5 miles beyond Dorothy station. The Canadian River will be reached by the 28 th , and trains will be run through to Kansas City by May1st. Coal has been found in several places on the line, and every means is being used to develop the rich mineral products." (Railway Review 04/09/87 p. 213 F. M. Ellington)

04-26-87 Connection with A.T.&S.F. line at Purcell accomplished.

".a small station on the Canadian river, in the Indian Territory. The last 42 miles of the track was laid in 26 days. Through trains will begin running about May 20." (RRG 04/29/87 p. 294 F. M. Ellington)

05-10-87 Charter amended by Directors of the company to provide for a branch commencing at Conroe, thence eastward through Montgomery, San Jacinto, Liberty, Hardin, Polk, Tyler, Jasper & Newton Counties to the Sabine River (Texas-Louisiana border).

05-14-87 A.T.&S.F. assumed control of G.C.&S.F., local officers George Sealy, R. S. Willis and W.S. Davis resigning in favor of A.T.&S.F. officers.

05-18-87 Charter amended by Directors of the Company to provide for a branch from Conroe east to the Sabine River.

08-16-87 Fred Leach, Division Engineer, files report to Webster Snyder, General Manager on a route from Conroe to the Sabine River, estimating construction costs and harvestable timber. Full text on computer at Snyder.sfe.

00-00-87 Line from Ladonia to Paris placed in operation.

Line from Gainesville to Purcell placed in operation.

Line from Cleburne to Weatherford placed in operation.

08-01-88 J. H. Scott assumes position as General Superintendent.

10-01-90 C. O. Wheeler becomes general manager.

12-09-90 R. L. Van Sant, Locating Engineer, files a report to James Dun, A.T.&S.F. Chief Engineer, Topeka, on early reconnaissance and preliminary surveys on the Montgomery branch extension from Conroe "into the East Texas Pineries" east to the Louisiana border. Detailed estimates of harvestable timber quantities. Full text on computer at VanSant.sfe.

10-17-92 Telegraph strike.

See 8th Annual Report of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics, Topeka, May 30, 1893 for discussion. See also page 262 of 1st annual report of that agency, dated Jan. 1, 1886. (Waters 315)

04-16-93 B. F. Yoakum becomes general manager.

00-00-94 "Safety Appliance Act of 1894" requires replacement of link-and-pin with automatic couplers. Changeover practically complete by 1900.

04-15-96 Line from Port Bolivar to Beaumont placed in operation by the Gulf & Interstate Railway Company.

08-01-96 L. J. Polk becomes general manager.

07-26-97 Texas, Louisiana and Eastern Railroad purchased to extend Conroe Branch 29.6 miles.

08-16-97 New G.C.&S.F. depot and office building opened in Galveston. (Red brick)

01-24-98 John H. Reagan, Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas, responds to a complaint from G.C.&S.F. regarding newly implemented rates and tariffs. This letter and two following on Jan 28th and February 23rd provide a detailed and very interesting analysis of the company's standing in relation to other comparable Texas roads. Polk complained of the Commission's "ruthless slaughter of our revenues". Full text on computer at Reagan, Reagan 2 and Reagan 3.sfe. Letters found at State archives.

06-09-98 Train robbery at Coleman Junction

Fireman Lee Johnson was killed.

Expressman was L. L. White

Conductor was J. R. Thompson.

11-18-99 "The scope of improvements under progress on the road is very extensive. We noticed in a previous issue the recent completion of the general shops at Cleburne, Tx. These shops now have 600 men at work, overhauling 10 locomotives a month, rebuilding coaches, and applying automatic couplers to box cars as rapidly as possible. The roadbed improvements consist in reducing all grades from 1 ½ to 8/10%, increasing the hauling capacity of the locomotives from 500 to 800 tons. Six steam shovels are busy at this work. All wooden bridges are being replaced by steel structures, and curves thrown out wherever possible." (Railway & Engineering Review 11/18/89 p. 655-6 F. M. Ellington)

00-00-00 Hurricane hits Galveston

06-23-00 Charter amended by Directors of the Company to provide for the purchase of the Texas, Louisiana and Eastern Railway Company.

06-30-00 "In a comparatively new and growing community like that served by the Atchison System, the demand for forest products is ceaseless. Our entire territory east of the Rocky Mountains, embracing nearly 5000 miles of road and reaching a very large number of cities and towns, is barren of trees available for lumber, and looks to other regions for its supply, so that our company has been compelled to divide its lumber revenue with other roads originating this business. The largest tract of forest now remaining in the United States is the long-leaf pine district located in Southeastern Texas. The Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City Railway has a line 75 miles in length (including 11 miles of branches) from Beaumont, Texas, northerly to Rogan, with an extension of 61 miles to San Augustine under construction, running through the heart of the timber country and now delivering to its connecting lines lumber originating at mills located on its own rails. The Conroe branch of the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe, running east from Somerville 101 miles, now furnishes nearly all the ties required by the Atchison system between the Missouri River and the mountains, and has been developed with the purpose of ultimately tapping the long-leaf pine district for merchantable lumber. This can be done by an extension of about 60 miles through an easy country, with will give a direct connection with the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City road. A negotiation has been concluded recently by which your company, since the close of the fiscal year, has become the owner of a large proportion of the stock of the latter road, now earning its interest charges, which will enable us to obtain the earnings upon our lumber traffic for the entire haul from the point of origin to destination, to largely increase our lumber tonnage, and to load advantageously our northbound empty cars" (Annual Report for year ending June 30, 1900)

07-17-00 "On July 17, at Coleman, TX on the G.C.&S.F. Railway, a cloudburst washed away a bridge, a mile of track and a roundhouse. Fifteen people were drowned and many are missing. Many dwellings and farms were washed away." (Railway & Engineering Review - F. M. Ellington)

01-01-01 ATSF contracts with John Henry Kirby to purchase for five years all long leaf pine piling required. Contract amended July 1, 1901 to include cross ties - up to 1.2 million a year.

01-01-02 W. C. Nixon becomes general manager, promoted from General Superintendent. Frank G. Pettibone called from the Northern Pacific to serve as Assistant General Manager. Col. Lucius Polk, the present General Manager, retires and becomes vice-president. (Ft. Madison Evening Democrat 01/13/02 F. M. Ellington)

00-00-02 Cleveland extension, from the Trinity river to Silsbee, placed in operation.

00-00-02 Construction Pauls Valley - Lindsay Oklahoma

00-00-03 Lampasas town spur built (20 years after mainline construction)

06-01-03 Gulf, Beaumont & Great Northern line between Roganville and San Augustine placed in operation. Leased by G.C.&S.F. Dec. 1, 1903.

11-05-03 Charter amended by Directors of the company to provide for a branch commencing at Bragg and terminating at Saratoga, in Hardin County, approx. 9 miles, to serve Saratoga field oil boom. I see reference to company-owned oil properties in construction history reports.

00-00-04 Line from Bragg to Saratoga placed in operation.

07-16-04 "The shops of the G.C.&S.F. at Cleburne which were recently destroyed by fire will b e rebuilt. The building formerly used for the repair of freight cars will be fitted up with machinery, and used as planing mills until stone buildings can be erected." (Railway & Engineering Review - F. M. Ellington)

07-01-05 Cane Belt line leased.

10-21-05 "At San Angelo, Tx., a new 2-story modern depot building to cost about $10,000 will soon take the place of the old G.C.&S.F. railway station." (Railroad & Engineering Review 10/21/05 p. 763 F. M. Ellington)

07-01-06 According to a report in the March 17, 1906 edition of Railway & Engineering Review at p. 201, this was the scheduled date for groundbreaking for the Union depot at Sherman, to be used by the Texas Central, St. Louis Southwestern, and the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe.

08-01-06 F. G. Pettibone becomes general manager.

Jasper & Eastern Railway Company line from Kirbyville to DeRidder, La. placed in operation (different source says leased this date).

00-00-06 9.5 mile branch constructed from Davis to Sulphur, Indian Territory

04-27-07 "The Santa Fe has now obtained legislative authority from the state to merge its Texas lines, and will proceed with that work without further loss of time. The short lines of the system are to be connected by the building of a link between the Gulf, Beaumont & Kansas City and the Texas & Gulf, which are both Santa Fe properties. The southern terminus of the Texas & Gulf is Watterman, and the northern terminus of the G.B.&K.C. is Center, from which point the latter is to be extended to Timpson to connect with the Texas & Gulf. This link will be about 25 miles in length. When it is completed, the Santa Fe will have in operation an unbroken stretch of track from Beaumont northward to Longview, a distance of 220 miles. From Longview northward the route has not yet been determined, the consolidation bill authorizes and requires the extension of the road north from Longview to the Red River, with the view of connecting with the main line of the Santa Fe somewhere in Oklahoma. The route of this extension has not yet been surveyed, and nothing definite is known of it. The Gulf & Interstate, which is controlled by the Santa Fe is not included in the merger plan and will be operated under lease. The Gulf & Interstate is now having a barge constructed at Bolivar for the conveyance of cars across the bay at Galveston, and the southern terminus of the road at Bolivar. This barge will have tracks for the accommodation of 18 cars. It will be the largest car ferry of the kind on the Gulf of Mexico." (Railway & Engineering Review, 04/27/07, p. 367-8, F. M. Ellington) (Note that there is a 03/29/13 entry at p. 311 stating "The governor of Texas has permitted the A.T.&S. F. Ry. Consolidation bill to become law without his approval." I do not know if this is the same bill, vetoed in 1907, or something else.)

02-09-08 Cravens to Oakdale, Louisiana, a distance of 23.7 miles, opened for traffic. (1908 Annual Report)

03-27-09 Concho, San Saba & Llano Valley Railroad chartered. First conceived to connect the KCM&O in Concho County with the SA&AP Railway Co. in Kerr or Kendall County. Charter amended Nov. 23, 1909 to provide for a route to run from the center of Concho County north to Lubbock.

05-29-09 Tornado at Zephyr, Texas killed 34 people about midnight. Rescue train arrived by 3:30 a.m. bringing rescue crew and 7 doctors.

11-05-09 Charter amended by Directors of the company to provide for a branch commencing at Lometa and terminating at "a point on the west line of Concho County".

00-00-10 Branch constructed from Paint Rock to Miles.

00-00-10 Coleman cutoff constructed. Shortline for traffic between Texas and the Pacific, competing with Southern Pacific and Texas & Pacific.

07-22-10 "Weatherford, Tx., the G.C.&S.F. has let the contract to H.D. McCoy, Cleburne, Tx., for building a combined passenger and freight depot. The building is estimated to cost $20,000. (RAG Railway Age Gazette 07.22.10 p. 176 F. M. Ellington)

08-01-10 Line from San Angelo to Sterling City opened for traffic. (Annual Report)

Note: RAG 02/25/10 p. 428 repeated press reports that line would run west from Sterling City to Pecos for meet there with Santa Fe's Pecos Valley line. This did not occur.

10-07-10 "Belton, Tx. The G.C.&S.F. has authorized the building of a viaduct along main street that cross the company's tracks. The structure will be of a trestle construction over the tracks with earth approaches along main street on a 5% grade. The roadway will be 36' wide, and will be macadamized." (RAG 10/07/10 p. 673 F. M. Ellington)

12-16-10 "G.C.&S.F. work is now under way from the Colorado River to Brady Tx. 53 miles, and from Whiteland to Eden, 21 miles. The contractors are Levey and Owens, Galveston. The C. H. Sharpe contracting Co., Kansas City Mo. And Morey and Faulhaber, St. Louis. Part of the bridge work is being carried out by the Union Bridge & Construction Co., Kansas City." (RAG 12/16/10 p. 1167 F. M. Ellington)

12-16-10 "Somerville, Tx. The G.C.&S.F. will build a brick machine shop as an addition to its 10-stall roundhouse." (RAG 12/16/10 p. 1170 F. M. Ellington)

04-28-11 "San Saba, Tx. The G.C.&S.F. has given a contract to Charles L. Ryals, Galveston, Tx. For building a pressed brick passenger and freight station." (RAG 04/28/11 p. 1019 F. M. Ellington)

08-26-11 The Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe has awarded to Harvey Silver, Kansas City, Mo., contract for erection of its shop facilities at Galveston, Tx. The improvements will include a 16-stall engine house, a machine and blacksmith shop, a store house, power house and sand storage facilities, all of brick construction. These and other improvements will be installed by company forces and will bring the expenditure at this point to more than $100,000. (RG 08/26/11 p. 765 F. M. Ellington)

09-11-11 Line from Lometa to Brady opened for regular traffic. (Annual Report)

(First passenger special to San Saba County Fair ran August 8, 1911)

12-01-11 Entire line from Coleman to Lubbock opened for service. (Annual Report)

01-01-12 Line from Brady to Eden opened for traffic.

Note: RAG 02/25/10 p. 428 repeated press reports that the line would be extended to San Angelo. This did not occur.

05-00-12 Galveston Causeway opened. (Annual Report)

00-00-13 New General Office building constructed in Galveston.

10-10-13 First colonists arrive in Pine-Land Colonization project. 4368 acres of cut-over timber land cleared of stumps and divided into 88 farms of 50 acres, targeted at Hungarian and German steel workers from Lackawanna and Buffalo, 40 arrived this date and more in following months. Project failed.

(Waters 253)

08-00-14 Panama Canal opened for traffic. Company noted some freight diversion.

09-27-15 Ardmore, Oklahoma disaster. Explosion of casinghead gas stored in a tank car. 48 fatalities, 504 injuries. 1514 property claims. As of May 1916, company had paid $938,546 in claims, using a citizen appointed arbitration and award panel.

00-00-15 Hurricane hits Galveston. "Partially destroying the causeway connecting it with the mainland and injuring us in many minor ways" (Annual Report)

04-19-17 W. W. Weaver, Pilot Engineer, makes report to W. G. Corrin, Assistant Field Engineer titled "Letter History of Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway Company." Prepared in connection with ICC survey. Letter focuses on roadbed construction and maintenance details from Galveston to milepost 104, speaks of difficulty with continual flooding in Brazos river bottom. Full text on computer at GC&SF.sfe.

08-01-18 W. E. Maxson becomes general manager, Pettibone being temporarily posted to Dallas to serve U.S. Railway Administration during World War I. USRA assumed temporary control of company in 1917 (12-26-17 date indicated in 1920 annual report).

03-01-20 Pettibone returns to position as general manager in Galveston.

00-00-22 6 crafts strike Cleburne Shops. (See Virble Lankford transcript)

00-00-24 Construction of Jobbers terminal at Dallas - 4 square blocks.

02-09-24 Chief Engineer's office at Galveston issues statement showing ICC inventory quantities of material in depot at Carthage (among others). Interesting summary of a typical depot's contents. Full text on computer at Invent.sfe.

12-31-24 "In common with other railroads it is found that automobiles and bus lines are taking a large amount of the company's passenger traffic." (A.T.&S.F. Annual Report)

12-31-25 "Drought in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas very greatly curtailed grain crops." (A.T.&S.F. Annual Report)

00-00-26 Healdton & Santa Fe line purchased. Line from Ardmore to Ringling with branch to Healdton, 36 miles total.

12-31-26 "The passenger revenues continued to decrease, as in the past, due to the increasing use of automobiles and busses which affected seriously all local travel. Through passenger business, however, is growing is felt that the bottom has now been reached and that a growth in total passenger business may normally be expected henceforth.your company alone has handled over 13,000 carloads of wheat to Galveston since July 1 st , compared with 412 cars for the same period the preceding year. For 50 days the midsummer wheat loading averaged 1,050 cars per day, with the largest day's loading 1,569 cars." [notes drop in cotton price from 21 cents to 12 cents] (A.T.&S.F. Annual Report)

12-15-28 ICC authorized construction of line connecting Magnet, on Cane Belt Branch, to Thompsons, on Galveston main line to serve the Texas Gulf Sulphur Company mine at Boling. Cane Jct. (near Magnet) to Sena Jct., a distance of 17.79 miles, placed in service July 22, 1930, and from Sena Jct. To Thompsons, 15.95 miles placed in service Jan 15, 1931. (A.T.&S.F. Annual Report, ICC Examiner's Report)

00-00-31 Substantial addition to Galveston General Office Building

12-01-31 Trackage rights McGregor - Waco taken out of service.

(Approved by ICC 10-24-31 Finance Docket 8951)

01-10-33 Authority granted by Railroad Commission of Texas to discontinue passenger service, mixed train, between Cleburne and Weatherford.

10-26-33 Branch Gary - Grigsby taken out of service.

(Approved by ICC 09-19-33 Finance Docket 9681)

12-31-33 "Largely as a result of the Depression, and to some extent increased water, highway and airway competition, there was a decline in the gross revenues.your company during the depression has not borrowed any money from any source whatsoever or deferred the payment of any of its bills. The severe drought in substantial portions of the southwest served by your company, particularly in grain producing territory, and lack of purchasing power of those who consume products grown in Santa Fe territory, were important factors in curtailing its freight tonnage. In Kansas the wheat crop was less than half the average and in Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle only 55 per cent of 1932 we handled 108,274 cars of grain, principally wheat, and in 1933, 66,100 cars, a decrease of 39 per cent. The ten per cent wage reduction agreement with the representatives of the employee's organizations which has been in effect since February 1, 1932, has been extended to June 30, 1934, and is applied to all officers and employees.

On December 1, 1933, basic passenger fares on all railroads in the west were reduced to 3 cents per mile in sleeping and parlor cars, and 2 cents per mile in coaches. Round trip fares were reduced to 1 ½ and 2 ½ cents per mile, depending upon the return limit and class of equipment view of the curtailed buying power of the public it has seemed necessary to make some adjustment in passenger fares.In 1930 your company as an experiment put into service its first air-conditioned dining car. The result was so encouraging that diners with improved system have been added until there were 23 such cars in service in 1933. (A.T.&S.F. Annual Report)

01-15-34 Branch Bragg - Saratoga taken out of service

(Approved by ICC 12-15-33 Finance Docket 10051)

09-04-34 Authority granted by Railroad Commission of Texas to discontinue passenger service, certain trains between Temple and San Angelo.

12-31-34 "In much of the territory served by your company there occurred the most severe general drought in the history of this company.The 10 per cent wage reduction which has been in effect since February 1, 1932, was modified effective July 1, 1934, making the reduction 7 ½ per cent from that date to January 1, 1935, and 5 per cent to and including March 31, 1935, at which time the basic rates will be restored." (A.T.&S.F. Annual Report)

07-01-36 W. E. Maxson succeeds Pettibone as general manager.

03-01-37 Forth Worth & Rio Grande Line purchased. Line ran from Birds (Fort Worth) to Brady, thence parallel to G.C.&S.F. line to Whiteland, thence southwest to Menard. 216 miles long. "Will permit the reduction by about 117 miles of the haul between Fort Worth and points in West Texas and New Mexico as compared with the route via Temple." (Annual Report)

12-31-37 "The Railroad Retirement Act of 1937.provides annuities with a maximum of $120 per month based on wages and years of service.the voluntary system established by your company on January 1, 1907, was terminated at the close of May 31, 1937." (A.T.&S.F. Annual Report)

04-16-37 Branch Miles - Paint Rock taken out of service

(Approved by ICC 03-16-37 Finance Docket 11369)

Flood had taken out bridge, G.C.&S.F. did not reconstruct it.

04-05-38 Authority granted by Railroad Commission of Texas to discontinue passenger service, Trains 73 & 74, Temple - Brownwood.

05-01-38 Authority granted by Railroad Commission of Texas to discontinue passenger service between Dallas and Cleburne

05-02-38 Authority granted by Railroad Commission of Texas to discontinue passenger service, Trains 27 & 28, Fort Worth - Oklahoma.

07-10-38 Branch Ladonia - Honey Grove taken out of service.

(Approved by ICC 05-31-38 Finance Docket 11794)

09-21-38 Authority granted by Railroad Commission of Texas to discontinue passenger service between San Saba and Menard.

12-15-38 Branch Davis - Sulphur taken out of service.

(Approved by ICC 11-04-38 Finance Docket 11845)

09-01-39 R. B. Ball becomes general manager.

09-16-40 Branch Eldridge - Bonus taken out of service.

(Approved by ICC 07-19-40 Finance Docket 12826)

07-20-41 Authority granted by Railroad Commission of Texas to discontinue passenger service, mixed train between Galveston & Beaumont (Via Port Bolivar)

01-22-42 Galveston - Port Bolivar Ferry Service ended. Port Bolivar to High Island taken out of service. (Approved by ICC 12-12-41 Finance Docket 13203)

07-20-42 Authority granted by Railroad Commission of Texas to discontinue passenger service, mixed train between Thompsons & Cane Junction.

04-25-43 Branch Wiergate - Newton taken out of service.

(Approved by ICC 04-06-43 Finance Docket 14071)

05-11-46 Authority granted by Railroad Commission of Texas to discontinue passenger service, Trains 73 & 74 Fort Worth - Brownwood.

07-10-46 Authority granted by Railroad Commission of Texas to discontinue passenger service, Motor Car Service, Brownwood - San Angelo.

06-05-48 75th anniversary celebrated at Galveston with banquet at Galvez hotel. A.T.&S.F. President Fred Gurley in attendance, long speech. Full text on computer at diajub.sfe. Also full text of address by Col. Ernest O. Thompson, Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas. Contains statement that there were over 1000 company employees at Galveston at that time.

12-31-48 "In appraising the necessity for higher railroad charges, it is appropriate to observe that the rise in the levels of wholesale prices of commodities in general began long before there were any general increases in freight rates. Wholesale commodity prices have increased over 1939 by 105%, contrasted to an overall increase averaging 52% in railroad rates.the prices of materials bought by the railroads for their own use have increased over 1939 by 118% and the average straight time hourly rate for all railroad employees has increased by 83%.Eight subsidiary corporations dissolved: Cane Belt; Concho, San Saba & Llano Valley; Fort Worth and Rio Grande; Gulf, Beaumont & Great Northern; Gulf Beaumont & Kansas City; Healdton & Santa Fe; Jasper & Eastern, and Texas and Gulf. (A.T.&S.F. Annual Report)

02-19-49 Authority granted by Railroad Commission of Texas to discontinue passenger service Trains 73 & 74 Brownwood - San Angelo.

Corporate Chronology (continued)

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