Research: Tram & Railroad Database

Code: 338
Corporate Name: Brown Hardwood Company
Folk Name: “Fletcher” tram
Ownership: Brown Hardwood Company. R. G. Brown and J. J. Flewellen.
Years of Operation:
Track Type:
Standard Gauge Wooden Rails
Track Length:
Locations Served: Hardin
Counties of Operation:
Line Connections:
Track Information:
Tram Road Logging / Industrial Common Carrier Logging Camp
History: Brown Hardwood Company was the creation of R. G. Brown and a partner, Flewellen, of Longview, Texas, during the 1880s. During the next thirty years, the company expanded into Panola, Hardin, and Jefferson counties. The last named mill was a crosstie mill that John Henry Kirby contracted with Brown Hardwood to build on his property at Fletcher, near Voth, in Jefferson County. The mill's product would help Kirby to meet his contractual obligations for crossties to the Santa Fe Railroad. The ties were to be made of tupelo, gum, by, and elm, each measuring 8-feet by 6-inch by 8-inch. Many of the ties were to be sent to Kirby for experimental purposes; they were to be marked with bright paint so the Santa Fe treatment plant at Somerville could distinguish them for other ties. The Brown company did its own logging over the Kirby tram road, known as the “Fletcher tram.” Kirby officials were very displeased with the performance of the Brown mill. Several executives cited the mill as a good example not to allow any more tie mills within Kirby territory for the simple reason that Kirby could not “control them.” Kirby did try to buy Brown's tie mill but before an official could offer the proposition, Brown had his mill dismantled and loaded onto rail cars. Kirby did not bother “at all” to proceed further and apparently let Brown haul his mill back to the Longview area.