The Kansas and Gulf Short Line Railroad Company was chartered on February 18, 1880, to connect Tyler with Sabine Pass in Jefferson County. The capital stock was $4,000,000, and the principal place of business was Tyler. Members of the first board of directors were Richard B. Hubbard, James P. Douglas, Thomas R. Bonner, Henry G. Askew, E. C. Williams, Alfred W. Ferguson, and H. M. Whitaker, all of Tyler. On January 22, 1881, the company acquired the property and franchises of the Rusk Transportation Company with its seventeen mile line between Rusk and Jacksonville. Part of the roadbed of this company was utilized by the Kansas and Gulf Short Line during the construction of its line between Tyler and Rusk, which was completed on December 12, 1882. The remainder of the line, about forty-four miles between Rusk and Lufkin, was completed about July 1, 1885, giving the company ninety miles of main track. On April 29, 1887, the company was sold to the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railway Company in Texas. Both companies entered receivership on May 13, 1889, and the properties were sold at foreclosure to Louis Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald conveyed the former Kansas and Gulf Short Line to the Tyler Southeastern Railway Company on January 13, 1891.