148 HiSTORY OF TEXAS.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~_
liminary survey was made and some work
none on what was then called the Buffalo
Bayou, Brazos & Colorado Railroad, starting
from Harrisburg and going westerly; and
within the same year tile first locomotive was
set to work at Harrisburg, the first in Texas
and the second west of the Mississippi. The
company was organized June 1, 1850, at
Boston, Massachusetts, by General S!dney
Sherman, who may be regarded as the father
of railroads in Texas. The work progressed
slowly, and the Colorado was not reached till
1859, when the line was opened to Eagle
lake, sixty-five miles from the place of beginning.
By 1866 the line had reached
Columbus, the river being bridged at Alleyton.
A change in the charter made in 1870
fixed upon San Antonio as the objective
point, and since that time it has been known
as the Galveston, HIarrisburg & San Antonio
Railway, or" Sunset route," but is now incorporated
in the great Southern Pacific
system. January 15, 1877, the road reached
San Antonio, the citizens of Bexar county
having voted, in January, 1876, $300,000 in
county bonds to secure the speedy completion
of the line. In the same month the
passenger terminus was changed from Harrisburg
to Houston by a line from Pierce
Junction. The line has since been extended
to El Paso, to connect there with the Southern
Pacific, going on to the Pacific coast.
At that point it also connects with the Mexican
Central. The length of the main line
is 848 miles, and no railroad in Texas has
had more influence in the settlement and
development of the country.
The next railroad commenced in Texas was
the Houston & Texas Central. The original
charter was granted in 1848, by wich the
company was incorporated under tfe title of
the Galveston & Red River Railroad Comn
pany. Their line was to extend from Galveston
to the northern boundary of the State.
Work was begun in 1853, at Houston, by the
first incorporator, Ebenezer Allen, and at that
time the name was changed to its present
form. The rivalry between Galveston and
Houston was satisfied by a compromise, under
which arrangement the two cities were connected
by the Galveston, Houston & Henderson
Road, which was begun at Virginia
Point, and completed in 1865, and a junction
was made with the Houston & Texas Central.
In 1859 a bridge was constructed across the
bay by the city of Galveston.
Construction proceeded slowly, only eighty
miles having been made by the time of the
breaking out of the Civil war, which completely
interrupted further building. In
March, 1873, it reached Denison, forming
there a junction with the Missouri, Kansas
& Texas Road, chus opening rail communication
with St. Louis.
Houston has become the railroad center of
*the State, having at least ten trunk lines.
The Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe line was
chartered in May, 1873, as a Galveston enterprise.
Construction was commenced at
Virginia Point in May, 1875, and the road
opened for traffic as far as Richmond in
Other important systems of late introduction
are thel Missouri, Kansas & Texas, Atchison,
Topeka & Santa Fe, San Antonio &
Aransas Pass, St. Louis, Arkansas & Texas
(" Cotton Belt"), International & Great
Northern, Texas & Pacific, etc.
All the above mentioned trunk lines have
of course several branches, so that it can now
be said in familiar parlance that the State of
Texas is "gridironed" with railroads, and
still construction is going on, and many more
lines are projected.
HIISTORY F EXS
Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families. Chicago. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/. Accessed December 18, 2013.