Lott, Uriah (1842–1915)

By: J. L. Allhands

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: June 19, 2020

Uriah Lott, businessman and railroad promoter, was born in Albany, New York, on January 30, 1842. In 1867 he arrived at Brazos Santiago, Texas, and proceeded by way of Brownsville to Corpus Christi, where he found employment in a commission house. He established his own commission and forwarding business in 1871 and chartered three sailing vessels to transport wool and hides to New York. As one of the directors of the Corpus Navigation Company, he worked to improve the Corpus Christi channel. Lott was particularly interested in railroad development; with the help of Mifflin Kenedy and Richard King, he built the Corpus Christi, San Diego and Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Railroad from Corpus Christi to Laredo. The project required seven years and was jeered as "Lott's Folly." In 1884 Lott went to San Antonio and played a leading role in projecting and building the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway. Continuing his railroad promotion, he became president of the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway, which reached Brownsville on July 4, 1904. Lott was essentially a promoter, not a financier, and he spent his last years in poverty. He died in Kingsville on March 28, 1915, and was buried there. He had played a significant part in developing transportation in the Corpus Christi and Rio Grande Valley sections as well as South Texas generally. The town of Lott in Falls County was named for him.

James Lewellyn Allhands, Gringo Builders (Joplin, Missouri, Dallas, Texas, 1931). James L. Allhands, Uriah Lott (San Antonio: Naylor, 1949).

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

J. L. Allhands, “Lott, Uriah,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 17, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/lott-uriah.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 19, 2020