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Elser, Maximilian (1851–1933)

Carolyn Hyman Biography Entry

Maximilian Elser, railroad superintendent, was born in Bath, New York, on July 29, 1851. In 1864 he began working as a telegraph operator in the office of the Erie Railroad at Coopers, New York. He had worked at several other locations in New York and at Shreveport, Louisiana, before he moved to Texas in 1872. His first work in Texas was as superintendent of the Texas and Pacific Railway track being constructed near Marshall. In 1874 as a private venture he and a partner built telegraph lines from Fort Worth to Eagle Ford to meet the Texas and Pacific telegraph lines. He later built lines to Cleburne and Denton before Western Union gained control. He also superintended the building of the telegraph line along the Texas and Pacific right-of-way from Fort Worth to El Paso and from Cleburne to Denton. He maintained his home in Fort Worth, where he was for many years cashier of the City National Bank. He became interested in the oil business about 1910 and spent most of the remainder of his life in and around Cisco. He was married to Elizabeth Loving. Elser died in Fort Worth at the home of his daughter on November 3, 1933, and was buried on November 6 in Oakwood Cemetery, Fort Worth, where services were conducted by the Knights of Pythias.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, November 5, 1933, October 30, 1949.


  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Fort Worth

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

Carolyn Hyman, “Elser, Maximilian,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 13, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: