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JASPER AND EASTERN RAILROAD. On November 11, 1904, the Jasper and Eastern Railroad Company was chartered by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe. The road was planned to connect Kirbyville, which was on the Gulf, Beaumont and Kansas City Railway in Jasper County, to a point on the Sabine River seventeen miles to the northeast, then to continue twenty-one miles northeast to DeRidder, Louisiana, on the Kansas City Southern Railway, thence to build sixty-one more miles northeast to Alexandria. Five branch lines were planned for construction in Louisiana. The Jasper and Eastern was incorporated under Texas law and had a capital of $200,000. Its main office was at Kirbyville. The members of the first board of directors were E. P. Ripley of Cook County, Illinois; W. C. Nixon, John W. Terry, F. G. Pettibone, A. C. Torbert, C. F. W. Felt, J. E. Baxter, and T. J. Lee, all of Galveston County; and W. E. Maxson of Jefferson County. By August 1, 1906, the thirty-nine-mile stretch to DeRidder had been constructed. Another eighteen miles of track was completed to Cravens, Louisiana, by June 1, 1907. The final twenty-four additional miles, to Oakdale, Louisiana, was finished by February 9, 1908. Of the total length, eighty-one miles, only seventeen miles was located in Texas.

The line was leased to the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe on August 1, 1906, and operated by the GC&SF from 1906 until 1948. During a period of prosperity from 1907 to 1916, the lumber industry in East Texas offered great opportunity to short-line railroads. The value of J&E stock increased to $700,000 by 1917 and was divided into 7,000 shares at a par value of $100 each. By December 31, 1923, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe had spent $1,370,592 constructing and improving the J&E. According to Moody's Transportation for 1935, the J&E had a debt of $1,425,000, which was represented by one bond, issued in 1926 to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company in satisfaction of a like amount of indebtedness for advances. The Jasper and Eastern operated as an AT&SF subsidiary until the smaller road was bought by the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway, itself an AT&SF subsidiary, in 1948. The J&E continues to operate as part of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe, which was taken over by the parent AT&SF in 1965. The former J&E remains in service from Kirbyville to DeRidder, Louisiana. The line east of DeRidder has been abandoned.

Robert S. Maxwell and Robert D. Baker, Sawdust Empire: The Texas Lumber Industry, 1830–1940 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983).
Glenn Justice

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Handbook of Texas Online, Glenn Justice, "Jasper and Eastern Railroad," accessed November 18, 2017,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.