The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 11, July 1907 - April, 1908

Texas Historical Association Quarterly.

NOTES AND FRAGMENTS.
THE OLD G. H. & H. RAILROAD.-The Galveston, Houston and
Henderson Railroad, as the original charter named it, was char-
tered in 1854. The line of road, as projected by the charter, called
for a direct line as straight as the bird flies from Galveston to
Henderson, in Anderson county; Henderson at that time being
the county seat of Anderson county.
In December, 1835, the first installment of timber for the road,
consisting of fourteen schooner loads, arrived at Galveston
from Pensacola, Florida, and was rafted from Galveston to Vir-
ginia Point. When the last lot of timber had been grounded on
the flats at Virginia Point, an easterly gale came on and swept it
all away, scattering it over West Bay, and very little of it was
recovered.
In 1856 the grading of the roadbed commenced at Virginia
Point and was completed to Clear Creek. Here the graders had to
stop; for, as a big embankment was required on the east side of
the creek, they could not go any further with their spades and
shovels. In order to complete this part of the work, the services
of Messrs. Kyle and Terry, who were large planters on the Brazos,
were called into requisition, and they, with some fifty or sixty
of their plantation negroes, finished the grading. At that date
the present well-known railroad scraper was not in use, and the
large embankment was constructed by these negroes, first by plow-
ing up the ground and then by carrying the dirt in improvised
pans, which were borne on top of their heads, to the fill. In
this way one of the best railroad embankments in the State was
build for the G., H. & H. R. R., and it stands today a solid monu-
ment to their efforts.
Track laying was commenced at Virginia Point, in March, 1857,
and twenty-five miles were completed by the latter part of May,
the same year. The road was completed to Houston in 1858, at
which time the first locomotive ever used on the road was re-
ceived. It went by the name of the "Perseverance." Prior to
the advent of this engine all the hauling on the newly laid tracks

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 11, July 1907 - April, 1908. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101045/. Accessed August 20, 2014.