Marker location: Travis & Crockett Sts., Columbus
Marker erected: 1973
The Buffalo Bayou, Brazos & Colorado--first railway built in Texas--in the 1850s mapped its route from Houston to Austin through Alleyton (3 mi. E), bypassing Columbus. To retain their town's supremacy in its trade area, Columbus citizens projected a railway of their own, to tap into the B.B.B. & C., at Alleyton. Organizers were a A. M. Campbell, John G. Louge, George W. Smith, C. W. Tait, Isam Tooke, and J. W. E. Wallace--influential planters, merchants, physicians, and judges. Columbus Tap Railway was chartered on Feb. 2, 1860. John G. Logue became president, soon succeeded by E. P. Whitfield. C. W. Tait was treasurer; C. Windrow, clerk. Bonds were issued and construction plans made. The Civil War, beginning in 1861, disrupted plans. Although the railway proved to be needed by the Confederate Army, and Gen. J. B. Magruder ordered (1863) impressment of 100 men to work on its roadbed, the project failed to reach completion in the war years. After war ended in 1865, the line was built to the river, where ferry gave the city rail service. Later the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio (corporate successor of the B.B.B. & C. and the Columbus Tap) ran its line from Columbus to San Antonio. In 1880s this became part of the Southern Pacific System.
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