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UVALDE AND NORTHERN RAILWAY

UVALDE AND NORTHERN RAILWAY. The Uvalde and Northern Railway Company was chartered on March 14, 1914, to build from Uvalde to a point near the headwaters of Camp Wood Creek in Real County. The capital was $60,000, and the business office was located four miles south of Barksdale in Real County. Members of the first board of directors included L. J. Smith and E. H. McVey of Kansas City, Missouri, L. J. Wardlaw of Sonora, F. J. Rheiner and F. A. Piper of Uvalde, and Will A. Morris, Fred C. Adams, W. F. Brice, and J. J. Ford, all from San Antonio. Adams, Norris, and R. C. Walker of Austin advanced the funds to finance the proposed project to transport kaolin and cedar posts. Fifty work teams assembled a few miles north of Uvalde in late May, and ground was broken on May 29, 1914. About eleven miles were graded when work stopped that summer to await the acquisition of additional right-of-way, and work on the railroad was further delayed by the outbreak of World War I. The Uvalde and Northern was reincorporated on May 11, 1920, due to the fear that the delay in construction may have voided the original charter. Financing was provided by San Antonio capitalist Harry H. Rogers. Rogers formed the Townsite Company with W. A. Thompson and laid out the township of Camp Wood at the northern terminus of the railroad. The Uvalde and Northern was completed on March 19, 1921. At this time the president of the railroad was R. T. Walker, the superintendent and general manager was J. C. Haws, and the agent was F. B. Kirchner. While piloting a Canuck aircraft in late March 1924, Charles Augustus Lindbergh mistook the Nueces River and the Uvalde and Northern for the Rio Grande and the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway Company, respectively, and followed the track north before discovering his mistake and landing in an open field near Camp Wood. In 1926 the company owned one locomotive and three passenger cars and was classified as a Class III road by the Railroad Commission. Earnings for the year were $1,891 in passenger revenue, $41,667 in freight revenue, and $1,155 in other revenue. The railroad was sold to William T. Eldridge in 1929, and it became a subsidiary of Sugarland Industries. For nearly two decades the railroad was used to transport cedar posts, wood, and mohair. However, a suitable market for kaolin deposits was never developed, the market for cedar posts declined, and the wool and mohair began moving by truck. Passenger service was discontinued in 1932. In its last years much of the traffic over the railroad was petroleum products for the bulk stations at Camp Wood. After suffering several washouts along its route and deficits in most years, the Uvalde and Northern ran its last train on August 8, 1941. Shortly thereafter Y. O. Coleman removed the rails, and Jim McKinnery took up the railroad ties.

Ruben E. Ochoa

Citation

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

Ruben E. Ochoa, "UVALDE AND NORTHERN RAILWAY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/equ02), accessed October 01, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.