Research: Tram & Railroad Database

Code: 154
Corporate Name: Beall, Smithers & Co tram road
Folk Name:
Ownership: Beall, Smithers & Co. John T. Smithers.
Years of Operation: 1891
Track Type:
Standard Gauge Wooden Rails
Track Length: Unknown
Locations Served: Probably near Dodge Walker
Counties of Operation: Walker
Line Connections:
Track Information:
Tram Road Logging / Industrial Common Carrier Logging Camp
Equipment: 1891: one tram engine and ten tram cars.
History: J. A. Hays and Webb owned a lumber company and sawmill in Walker County in 1890. That year they defaulted on loans and had to sell their mill and equipment. Included was their tram road operation, consisting of a tram engine, ten tram cars, and three-quarters of a mile of tram road. The engine and six of the tram cars had been bought from Peter and Frank Josserand of Montgomery County. On February 3, 1891, John T. Smithers of Beall, Smithers & Co. purchased the tram engine and tram cars from Ben Campbell, trustee for J. A. Hays. James A. Hays was a postmaster at Dodge, in Walker County, when he began sawmilling about 1882. William Webb, Sr., soon became his partner. Hays bought his tram stock from the Josserand Brothers when the left Deckers Prairie in Montgomery County to go sawmill at Josserand, in Trinity County. Mounting financial difficulties began to plague the company, and it defaulted in 1891. The company was auctioned on the steps of the county courthouse to J. T. Smithers. Ball, Smithers Company operated a sawmill in Walker County. Smithers had sold a log wagon to sawmiller C. D. Oliphant sometime before 1898. John T. Smithers bought at a public auction much of the equipment that Hays & Webb lost at default, including a boiler, a steam engine, a log wagon, a log cart, ten tram cars, a four-head planer matcher, a two-saw trimmer, a saw carriage and fixtures, a tram engine, and thirty oxen. Hays was soon back in business at or near Phelps (see entry in ETSMDB).