Texas and St. Louis Railway

By: Chris Cravens

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: October 1, 1995

The Texas and St. Louis Railway Company in Texas was chartered on December 1, 1871, as the Tyler Tap Railroad Company. By charter amendment, the name was changed to the Texas and St. Louis Railway Company on May 17, 1879, and to the Texas and St. Louis Railway Company in Texas on August 16, 1881. Led by Maj. James P. Douglas, the Tyler Tap had completed a twenty-one mile narrow gauge railroad from Tyler to Big Sandy on October 1, 1877. The line was not as successful as had been hoped, but Douglas was able to interest St. Louis capitalist James W. Paramore in the enterprise. Paramore and his associates amended the charter of the Tyler Tap, changing the name to the Texas and St. Louis Railway Company with authority to build to the Texas state line near Texarkana and from Tyler west to Waco. Initial capital was set at $1,000,000, and the business office was located at Tyler. Members of the first board of directors included Thomas R. Bonner, Samuel H. Boren, J. H. Brown, W. J. Goodman, A. W. Ferguson, and H. G. Askew. By July 12, 1880, the Texas and St. Louis had completed 107 miles of narrow gauge track from Texarkana to Big Sandy. Before the end of the year an additional thirty-seven miles were opened from Tyler to Athens, and Waco was reached on September 11, 1881. The following year forty-six miles were added between Waco and Gatesville, giving the Texas and St. Louis 305 miles of main track. Although Paramore had originally only planned to build in Texas, the lack of a friendly connection at Texarkana forced them to organize the Texas and St. Louis Railway Company in Missouri and Arkansas and to construct a line across Arkansas in 1882 and 1883. The system was unable to meet its obligations, and the Texas properties went into receivership of January 16, 1884. The Texas segment was acquired by the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railway Company in Texas, which took possession on May 1, 1886.

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

Chris Cravens, “Texas and St. Louis Railway,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 30, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/texas-and-st-louis-railway.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 1, 1995