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TEXAS, OKLAHOMA AND EASTERN RAILROAD

The short line Texas, Oklahoma and Eastern Railroad (TO&E) was incorporated in 1910 by the Dierks Lumber and Coal Company, headquartered in Kansas City and owned by the brothers Hans and H. L. Dierks. Their company owned vast logging operations, sawmills, and related industries in the area around the town of DeQueen, Arkansas, which had been started after the main line of the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf (Kansas City Southern) had been constructed through the area. To connect their hardwood empire with the world, the Dierks brothers chartered a railroad of their own, the DeQueen and Eastern, in 1903. When they extended their operations west of DeQueen and into eastern Oklahoma, they incorporated a new railroad in 1910, under the laws of the new state of Oklahoma: the Texas, Oklahoma and Eastern Railroad. It was a wholly owned subsidiary of their DeQueen & Eastern.

The TO&E began construction at its western end of the Frisco main line at Valliant (east of Hugo) and reached Broken Bow in 1911. The stretch from there to DeQueen was only opened in 1921, altogether some fifty miles long. Although an industrial line in the first place, the company was a common carrier and did operate regular passenger trains for a long time. In 1996 the TO&E was dissolved and incorporated into the parent DeQueen and Eastern. One other line of the Dierks empire in Oklahoma was the Oklahoma and Rich Mountain Railroad, which in 1926 opened a seventeen-mile line from Page, on the Kansas City Southern main line, southwest to Pine Valley. In 1942, after the timber in the area was exhausted, the line was abandoned.

SEE ALSO: HIGHWAYS, RAILROADS, TRANSPORTATION.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Preston George and Sylvan R. Wood, The Railroads of Oklahoma, Bulletin No. 60, The Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, Inc. (Boston, Mass.: The Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, Inc., 1943). Donovan L. Hofsommer, ed., Railroads in Oklahoma (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1977).

Augustus J. Veenendaal, Jr.

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