The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 185
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deal of documentary reviewing, of the men who conceived, built,
and operated the road; of the interrailway strategy of such titans
as B. F. Yoakum, E. H. Harriman, and James J. Hill for its
control; and of the social and economic conditions which influ-
enced construction and were in turn influenced by the road.
The road was conceived and begun by E. M. House, who
obtained construction funds from the Old Colony Trust Com-
pany of Boston at the rate of o per cent commission plus io
per cent interest on advances. The first section of the road,
twenty-six miles from Hillsboro to Hubbard City, was begun
in 1903. It proceeded ultimately through Cleburne to Fort
Worth and southeastward through Mexia and Teague to Houston
and Galveston, with an extension from Teague to Dallas. Con-
nections with Dallas and Houston were completed in 1907 with
a number of joint track operation agreements.
In its many ramifications, the book touches the devastating
effect of the boll weevil (from which the road got its nickname)
on early revenues of the T. & B. V., and the compensating wind-
falls of the Mexia and Corsicana oil fields; it explains the nam-
ing of all the stations on the line; it contains vivid pen pictures
of Dallas and Houston at the end of the nineteenth century;
it glances at highway construction and at freight and passenger
transportation before the railroads. Everywhere the author's
chief interest is in the men who did the work-managers, finan-
ciers, officials, train operators, engineers, and surveyors. Three
interesting chapters describe Mr. Allhands' own specialty of grad-
ing and construction forty years ago. The first is the Team Camp;
the second is an amusing but sincere appreciation of the Mule;
the third is a directory of the "earth movers," the contractors
who cleared the right of way, built the bridges and roadbeds,
and laid the track.
In i931 Mr. Allhands published privately a similar book,
Gringo Builders, on the building of the St. Louis, Brownsville
c& Mexico Railroad. While both books are incidentally auto-
biographical, the author is too self-effacing; and, personally, this
writer would like to see a third book, lifting him out of his
objective background and putting him and his experiences and
observations in the center of the stage. It would be an interest-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/227/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.