Research: Tram & Railroad Database

Code: 14
Corporate Name: Emporia & Gulf
Folk Name:
Ownership: Emporia Lumber Company with S. F. Carter, J. P. Carter, and M. T. Jones
Years of Operation: 1894 to 1906
Track Type:
Standard Gauge Wooden Rails
Track Length: 15
Locations Served: Emporia (Angelina)
Counties of Operation: Angelina
Line Connections:
Track Information:
Tram Road Logging / Industrial Common Carrier Logging Camp
Equipment: One locomotive, one Shay engine, 20 tram cars, and possibly a steam loader. Keeling: two geared locomotives on a narrow gauge road
History: The Emporia Lumber Company, consisting of brothers S. F. Carter, J. P. Carter, and partner M. T. Jones, built a a large sawmill facility at Emporia, just south of Diboll, in Angelina County, about 1893. Located on the Houston East & West Texas, Emporia Lumber operated its own logging railroad, the Emporia & Gulf. From the beginning of operations, Emporia Lumber operated logging trams. On August 18, 1900, the Emporia & Gulf was chartered. Its logging road ran fifteen miles east to Crooker. The mill operated no later than September, 1906. The Texas Railroad Commission reclassified it as a logging operation the following year. With the destruction of the mill in 1906, the railroad was abandoned. The certain knowledge about the operations of the Emporia & Gulf is that it employed two engineers. W. T. Block, working from secondary sources and possessing a good knowledge of East Texas tramming operations of the turn of the century, infers the following about the logging and tram operations of the Emporia Lumber Company. Block reasons, “the tram probably had about six to eight miles of steel track, with probably one locomotive and one Shay engine [working] on the spurs, and probably twenty tram cars in use for logs. . . . although a steam loader was eventually added, most of the forest labor was done with horses, mules and oxen, and two-wheeled carts. Car houses, bolted onto rail flat cars, were used on the spurs to house the loggers because of the ease of movement.” With the close of the mill, the tram road would have been either abandoned or picked up and sold along with the rolling stock. Keeling lists the company with two geared locomotives.