Brownwood North and South Railway

By: Jeanne F. Lively and Chris Cravens

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: May 1, 1995

The Brownwood North and South Railway Company was chartered on January 29, 1910, by the citizens of Brown County to build a road eighteen miles from Brownwood, the county seat, north to May. Brooke Smith was the main promoter and president of the company, and he and other Brownwood businessmen hoped to extend the line eventually to Cisco, to link the cotton-producing regions of northern Brown and southern Eastland counties. The capital was $30,000, and the business office was located in Brownwood. Members of the first board of directors included Smith, J. A. Walker, Y. C. Yantis, A. L. Self, G. N. Harrison, R. B. Rogers, Will H. Mays, Henry Ford, and J. J. Timmins, all of Brownwood. The company made an agreement to use the tracks of the Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railway Company from a half mile east of Pecan Bayou into Brownwood. Work began on the construction of the road but was stopped when some of the subscribers to its stock failed to pay. At that time B. L. Winchell, then president of the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad Company (Frisco), agreed to complete the line and was given all of the Brownwood North and South assets and liabilities. The eighteen miles to May was placed in operation in November 1911. The line went into receivership along with the other Frisco properties in 1913. In 1916 its earnings included $3,160 in passenger revenue and $5,222 in freight revenue. By 1926 the BN&S was listed as a Class III railroad by the Railroad Commission and owned no equipment. Earnings for that year included $858 in passenger revenue and $8,652 in freight revenue. The road never was a financial success and was abandoned by 1927.

Thomas Robert Havins, Something about Brown: A History of Brown County, Texas (Brownwood, Texas: Banner Printing, 1958).

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

Jeanne F. Lively and Chris Cravens, “Brownwood North and South Railway,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 18, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995