The Timpson and Northwestern Railway Company was chartered on March 12, 1901, in the interest of the Ragley Lumber Company, to connect Timpson in Shelby County with Ragley in Panola County. The capital stock was $12,500, and the principal place of business was Ragley. Members of the first board of directors were W. G. Ragley, M. J. Ragley, R. W. Wright, M. W. Byrne, A. H. Schluter, J. M. Lankford, and R. G. Andrews, all of Winnsboro. In 1901 the railroad acquired eight miles of track from Timpson to Ragley that had been built by the Ragley Lumber Company the prior year. The Railroad Commission did not recognize the railroad as a common carrier in 1902 but did so the following year. In 1903 the Timpson and Northwestern reported freight income of $3,000 and owned one locomotive and no cars. The company was renamed the Timpson and Henderson Railway Company in June 1909.