The Galveston, Houston and Northern Railway Company was chartered on March 30, 1899. On April 27, 1899, the company acquired the former Galveston, LaPorte and Houston Railway Company, which had been sold under foreclosure to L. J. Smith on October 4, 1898, and operated by Charles S. Broadhead of the Mississippi Valley Trust Company as trustee. The members of the first board of directors included Broadhead, Delacey Chandler, and John H. Atkinson, of St. Louis; William Benjamin Munson, Sr., J. T. Munson, and J. R. C. Foster, of Denison; L. J. Smith and David W. Rider of Kansas City, Missouri; and F. Hucko and John M. Durrance, of Houston. On May 1, 1899, the company began operating the fifty-six miles between Brady station and Galveston, and in 1900 built about 1¼ miles from Brady to Magers. The 1900 Galveston storm destroyed the two-mile bridge across Galveston Bay, which was not replaced by the railroad. Most GH&N earnings came from freight hauling, but the road also offered passenger service. In 1903 it reported passenger earnings of $98,000, freight earnings of just over $1 million, and other earnings of more than $25,000. In 1903 the line owned four locomotives, nine passenger cars, and ninety-four freight cars; three other cars were in the company's service, for a total of 106 cars in operation. On September 28, 1905, the GH&N was merged into the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway Company.