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GULF, TEXAS AND WESTERN RAILROAD

GULF, TEXAS AND WESTERN RAILROAD. The Gulf, Texas and Western Railroad Company was chartered on November 2, 1908, to build a line from Benjamin in Knox County to Burr's Ferry in Newton County, a distance of more than 400 miles; the company completed only ninety-eight miles of track, however. The capital was $500,000. The principal place of business was Dallas. The members of the first board of directors were Ben B. Cain and W. Frank Knox, both of Tyler; Oliver Loving of Graham; J. W. Pinson of Jacksboro; L. M. Dabney of Dallas; Roy C. Megargel of New York City; and J. J. Jermyn and R. B. Williams, both of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Construction began at Jacksboro and had progressed forty miles to Olney by October 1909. By June 1910 thirty-five additional miles of track had been laid to Seymour, but further construction was halted until August 1912. The line was then extended twenty-three miles and reached Salesville on March 26, 1913, but went no further. It used 22.2 miles of the Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railway for freight service from Salesville to Weatherford and 8.7 miles for passenger service between Salesville Junction and Mineral Wells.

The GT&W was financed by Joseph J. Jermyn of Scranton, Pennsylvania, who bought seventy miles of partially graded right-of-way that belonged to the Dallas and New Mexico Railway. Citizens on the line also donated about $65,000 in cash and land worth $93,000. For most of the time between 1910 and 1928 the company had an income deficit. In 1916 it reported passenger earnings of $43,000 and freight earnings of $143,000 and owned seven locomotives and 107 cars. The discovery of oil near the line increased both passenger and freight movement between 1924 and 1926 and briefly enabled the company to show a profit, but the oil industry in the area gradually declined in production and importance after 1926.

In 1930 the St. Louis-San Francisco purchased the capital stock of the GT&W. The principal sources of revenue for the line from 1933 to 1938 were freight (86 percent), passengers (2.3 percent), and mail (11.2 percent). The most important freight was cotton and cottonseed. The railroad also carried wheat, livestock, lumber, and road-building material. In its first year under St. Louis-San Francisco ownership, the GT&W earned a profit of $43,477, but it sustained an average annual loss of $330,418 between 1931 and 1938, partly because of increased competition from trucking. In 1928 the GT&W had handled 86 percent of the livestock shipped from the area, but by 1937 it was carrying only 21 percent. In 1939, because of the continued loss in revenue, the St. Louis-San Francisco decided to abandon the line. Despite state opposition, the Interstate Commerce Commission granted the application in June 1939. In 1940 the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway absorbed seventy-six miles of the abandoned Gulf, Texas and Western.

Elizabeth Lee Bass

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Elizabeth Lee Bass, "GULF, TEXAS AND WESTERN RAILROAD," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/eqg27), accessed April 20, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.