Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad
Significant Dates and Events

Compiled by Art Richardson from various sources, including

David Bridges, “A Brief History of the Railroad Through Philadelphia (MS) 1905-2008" and

Michael Palmieri “The GM&O in Louisiana” ©2004

Rev. May 10, 2014

6 Jul 1826
William C. Falkner, born in Knox County, Tennessee. (Falkner was one of the original incorporators, and the first president, of the Ripley Railroad.)
28 Mar 1829
Timothy Beech Blackstone born. (Blackstone eventually became president of the Chicago & Alton Railroad.)
Alton & Sangamon chartered in Illinois.
Jan 1848
Mobile & Ohio chartered in Tennessee and Alabama.
Feb 1848
Mobile & Ohio chartered in Mississippi and Kentucky.
Sep 20 1850
Congress passes land grant legislation to aid Mobile & Ohio and Illinois Central.
Alton & Sangamon completes line from Alton, IL to Springfield, IL.
15 Feb 1851
Jacksonville & Carrollton incorporated.
19 Jun 1852
Alton & Sangamon becomes Chicago & Mississippi
8 Feb 1853
Petersburg & Springfield incorporated.
1 Mar 1854
Petersburg & Springfield changes name to the Sangamon &North West
31 Jul 1854
First Chicago & Mississippi train operated from Bloomington to Joliet, Illinois.
15 Dec 1856
Chicago, Alton & St. Louis sold at public auction.
7 Feb 1857
Jacksonville & Carrollton name changed to Jacksonville, Alton & St. Louis
Nov 1858
Mobile & Ohio completed from Jackson, TN to Columbus, KY.
4 Feb 1859
Alton & St. Louis incorporated.
4 Feb 1859
The Sangamon & North West sold to the Alton & St. Louis
1 Sep 1859
First Pullman sleeping car operates between Bloomington and Chicago.
The Artesia-Columbus section was built in 1860 and was referred to as the Columbus Branch of M&O’s Mississippi Division.
Timothy B. Blackstone made president of Joliet & Chicago.
18 Feb 1861
The Chicago & Alton incorporated.
22 Apr 1861
Mobile & Ohio completes initial line from Mobile, AL to Columbus, KY.
10 Dec 1862
Jacksonville, Alton & St. Louis changes name to St. Louis, Jacksonville & Chicago
Timothy B. Blackstone made Director of Chicago & Alton and then President.
28 Feb 1867
Chicago & Illinois River incorporated, predecessor of C&A.
7 Mar 1867
Hamilton, Lacon & Eastern Railroad incorporated.
Mobile & Ohio Aberdeen, MS Branch built.
20 Feb 1870
Mobile & North Western chartered in AL.
20 Jul 1870
Mobile & Northwestern chartered in Mississippi.
5 Apr 1870
Hamilton, Lacon & Eastern sold to Chicago & Alton
12 May 1871
Ripley chartered by Mississippi legislature. Col. William C. Falkner, President.
30 Oct 1871
First train operates from Roodhouse to Mexico, Missouri.
6 Mar 1872
First train operated from Mexico to Fulton Missouri.
16 Mar 1872
Mississippi Legislature authorizes a name change from Ripley RR to Ship Island, Ripley & Kentucky. The change was not implemented until 1878.
16 Jul 1872
First train operates Fulton to Jefferson City.
30 Aug 1872
Ripley Railroad opened from Ripley, MS to Middleton, TN.
14 Apr 1873
The Mississippi River Bridge Co. incorporated.
13 May 1873
The Louisiana Bridge Co. consolidated with Mississippi River Bridge Co.
30 Jun 1873
Construction of Mississippi River bridge begun at Louisiana, Missouri.
24 Dec 1873
Bridge over Mississippi River at Louisiana, Missouri completed. The draw span was 446 feet in length, the longest in the world at the time.
Mobile & Ohio Starkville, MS branch opened for service.
Mobile & Ohio passes into hands of receivers.
Ripley RR begins using name Ship Island, Ripley & Kentucky
9 Apr 1879
Steel bridge over Missouri River completed at Glasgow, Missouri. The date missed by just a few weeks marking the opening of the first thru steel bridge; that honor went to the CN&W for a bridge in Chicago.
5 Sep 1879
Chicago & Illinois River sold to the Chicago & Alton Railway Co.
15 Sep 1879
Isaac Burton Tigrett born. (Tigrett’s original career in banking led him into the railroad business.)
20 Mar 1882
Litchfield, Carrollton & Western incorporated.
1 May 1882
Mobile& Ohio Railroad completes line from Columbus, KY to Cairo, IL, giving access to Ohio River ships.
Mobile & Ohio acquires St. Louis & Cairo and changes it to standard gauge.
2 May 1889
The Litchfield, Carrollton & Western name changed to the Litchfield, Carrollton and Western Railway Co.
1 Aug 1889
Col. Falkner buys 38 miles between Pontotoc, MS and Ripley, MS to add to Ripley Railroad.
5 Nov 1889
Col. Falkner shot in Ripley, MS by R. J. Thurmond.
6 Nov 1889
Col. Falkner dies in Ripley, MS.
20 Feb 1890
Ship Island, Ripley & Kentucky becomes Gulf & Chicago
20 Feb 1890
Mobile & Northwestern name changed to Mobile, Jackson & Kansas City
18 Jul 1892
Litchfield, Carrollton & Western Railway Co. incorporated.
29 Apr 1895
The Mississippi River Bridge Co. sold to Chicago & Alton
18 Feb 1896
St. Louis, Peoria & Northern Railway Co. incorporated.
22 Nov 1896
Glen Porter Brock born on a farm near Alden, IA. (Brock’s lifelong railroad career would lead him to the presidency of the GM&O.)
MJ&KC reached Merrill, MS.
30 Jun 1898
Tuscaloosa - Montgomery (“Peavine”) branch of the M&O opened for service.
Mobile & Bay Shore completed and acquired by Mobile & Ohio.
7 Sep 1899
St. Louis, Jacksonville & Chicago sold to Chicago & Alton , creating second mainline between Bloomington and Alton.
7 Sep 1899
The Alton & St. Louis sold to Chicago & Alton
26 May 1900
Timothy B. Blackstone, president of the C&A during its most prosperous years, dies at age 71.
31 Jan 1901
Southern Railway acquired control of Mobile & Ohio and continued hold unti1 1932.
MJ&KC open to Laurel, MS.
17 Nov 1902
Mobile, Jackson & Kansas City in service Mobile, AL to Hattiesburg, MS.
1 Jul 1903
Mobile, Jackson & Kansas City buys Gulf & Chicago.
Chicago & Alton under the control of the Union Pacific and Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific (Rock Island) - Harriman group.
20 Jun 1904
Gulf & Chicago line between New Albany, MS and Pontotoc, MS opened as standard gauge.
26 Jun 1904
Mobile, Jackson & Kansas City line from Beaumont, MS to Newton, MS in service.
30 Sep 1904
The Litchfield, Carrollton & Western Railway co. sold to Chicago & Alton
MJ&KC line completed to Philadelphia, MS; silver spike ceremony on Burnside trestle.
9 May 1905
NOGN incorporated in Mississippi.
1 Jun 1905
New Orleans Great Northern buys East Louisiana Railroad.
14 Sep 1905
The Atlanta & Lawndale incorporated.
8 Mar 1906
The second Chicago & Alton incorporated.
14 Mar 1906
Chicago & Alton consolidated with Chicago & Alton Railway Co.
16 Apr 1906
Mobile Jackson & Kansas City began service over its entire line from Mobile, AL to Middleton, TN. Eight months later it was in receivership.
6 Aug 1906
New Orleans Great Northern incorporated consolidating two previous charters.
26 Dec 1906
Mobile, Jackson & Kansas City in receivership.
Chicago & Alton Rock Island stock sold to Toledo, St. Louis & Western (Clover Leaf).
1 Dec 1909
New Orleans, Mobile & Chicago assumes Mobile, Jackson & Kansas City and Gulf & Chicago property through foreclosure.
1 Jul 1911
Birmingham & Northwestern Railway Co. begins construction.
NOM&C reached Middleton, TN.
1 Feb 1912
Construction begun on Meridian & Memphis Railway Co.
1 Mar 1912
New Orleans, Mobile & Chicago begins operations into New Orleans, LA over New Orleans & North Eastern trackage.
1 Jun 1913
Trackage agreement between New Orleans, Mobile & Chicago and New Orleans & North Eastern for trackage rights into New Orleans, LA canceled.
14 Jan 1915
Atlanta & Lawndale sold to Chicago & Alton
late 1916
Gulf, Mobile & Northern incorporated.
1 Jan 1917
Financial obligations of Gulf, Mobile & Northern predecessors reorganized to allow GM&N President W.F. Owen to begin period of growth.
New Orleans, Mobile & Chicago reorganized as Gulf, Mobile & Northern.
18 Jan 1917
Isaac B. Tigrett elected to Board of Directors of Gulf, Mobile & Northern to represent interests of the City of Jackson, TN.
1 Jan 1918
U.S. railroads come under control of the United States Railroad Administration.
Jan 1918
Operation of the Meridian & Memphis assumed by the Gulf, Mobile & Northern.
Okolona, Houston & Calhoun City in operation.
2 Sep 1919
GM&N opened for service from Middleton, TN to Jackson, TN.
24 Oct 1919
Isaac B. Tigrett elected president of Gulf, Mobile & Northern.
1 Mar 1920
U.S.R.A. relinquishes control of railroads.
GM&N line between Hattiesburg and Beaumont leased by Mississippi Central.
4 Nov 1921
First issue of GM&N News issued. Publication of the employee newspaper would continue, with few interruptions, until IC-GM&O merger.
Chicago & Alton in receivership.
15 Oct 1922
Gulf, Mobile & Northern operates first through passenger train Mobile to Jackson, Tennessee
15 Nov 1923
Gulf, Mobile & Northern pays first dividend on preferred stock.
Tatum Lumber Co. Buys GM&N line between Hattiesburg and Beaumont and operates it as the Beaumont & Hattiesburg Southern.
1 Aug 1926
Gulf, Mobile & Northern enters into joint traffic agreement with Chicago Burlington & Quincy, providing through service to Paducah, Ky. and points north.
GM&N acquires Jackson & Eastern and access to Jackson, MS and New Orleans, LA.
8 Aug 1926
Mobile & Ohio inaugurate’s Gulf Coast Special between Mobile and East St. Louis.
Chicago & Alton sold under foreclosure. Baltimore & Ohio acquires control. Renamed The Alton Railroad.
Late 1929
The Gulf Mobile & Northern decided to protect its access into New Orleans by acquiring control of the New Orleans Great Northern through an exchange of stock.
Feb 1930
GM&N had acquired 92% of the NOGN’s stock. One of the first things the GM&N did to improve the NOGN was build a yard of its own in New Orleans.
1 Mar 1930
Milepost 12.20 Covington to Folsom (Shore Line Branch) abandoned.
3 Jun 1932
M&O enters bankruptcy for the second time.
1 Aug 1932
NOGN defaults on bonds; falls into receivership.
Canal Yard completed and ended the dependence on the Southern Railway for freight and locomotive terminal facilities in the Crescent City.
1 Jul 1933
Gulf, Mobile & Northern leases New Orleans Great Northern for 99 years.
8 Jul 1933
Gulf Transport Co. begins bus operations between Louisville and Laurel, MS replacing rail service for the first time.
6 Jan 1935
Gulf, Mobile & Northern “Railplane” placed in service between Jackson and Tylertown, MS.
15 May 1935
Lord Baltimore 4-4-4 makes first run on Lincoln Limited over Alton Railroad.
1 Jul 1935
“Abraham Lincoln” makes first run Chicago to St. Louis. It replaced “Lincoln Limited” as afternoon and morning trains from Chicago and St. Louis respectively
10 Jul 1935
“Little Rebel” streamliners make first run on GM&N between New Orleans and Jackson, TN revolutionizing passenger travel in the South. The little train featured a hostess, and was one of the country’s first diesel-electric streamliners.
Okolona, Houston & Calhoun City abandoned.
16 Jan 1938
“Little Rebel” streamliners make first run on GM&N between Mobile, AL and Union, MS.
GM&N replaced motorcars on the Shore Line Branch with busses.
13 Sep 1940
Gulf, Mobile & Northern merged with Mobile & Ohio to form Gulf Mobile & Ohio
20 Sep 1940
GM&O’s first diesel locomotive, passenger unit DL105 #270, is delivered from Alco. (Unit had been ordered by M&O.)
29 Oct 1940
Diesel powered streamliner, Gulf Coast Rebel makes first run, replacing steam powered heavyweight Gulf Coast Special.
Dec 1940
GM&O’s first freight diesels, S1 switchers, delivered from Alco.
Alton Railroad returned to receivership.
5 Apr 1942
The Rebel’s northern terminal was moved from Jackson, Tennessee to East St. Louis, IL.
28 Apr 1942
Gulf, Mobile & Ohio terminates passenger service between Union and Mobile; buses are substituted.
31 May 1947
Alton Railroad merged into Gulf, Mobile & Ohio
15 Jan 1948
Gulf. Mobile & Ohio paid dividend on common stock - first in thirty years.
15 Oct 1949
Last steam locomotive operated on the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio terminates at Columbus, MS. GM&O becomes the first major US railroad to completely dieselize its locomotive roster.
24 Apr 1950
The Rebel’s northern terminal was moved back to Jackson on 24 April 1950.
27 Dec 1951
East Hardin Branch (III.) abandoned.
7 Nov 1952
Isaac B. Tigrett becomes Chairman of Board of the GM&O, Frank M. Hicks becomes President of the GM&O.
late 1953
The GM&O asked the appropriate regulatory bodies in each of the three states served by the Rebel for permission to discontinue the train. Mississippi approved first.
21 Feb 1954
The Rebel was discontinued in Mississippi. “Rebels” make their last runs.
8 Mar 1954
Rebel ended operation between Slidell and New Orleans.
16 Apr 1954
Terminal Station (Canal Street Station) closes, New Orleans Passenger Terminal opens.
2 May 1954
Isaac B. Tigrett dies at age 74.
20 May 1954
Rebel discontinued in TN.
28 Feb 1955
Milepost 7.70 in New Orleans (trackage rights to Terminal Station) abandoned.
18 May 1955
Final run of “Little Rebel” equipment to Jackson, TN to be scrapped.
4 May 1957
Glen Porter Brock named President of GM&O.
14 Oct 1958
Passenger service terminated south of St. Louis.
12 Feb 1959
Frank M. Hicks, President of GM&O, dies in Mobile
30 Dec 1968
On the morning of December 30, 1968, the Midnight Special pulled into St. Louis and Chicago with the last revenue Pullman sleeping cars operated by the GM&O, thus ending an association that had endured for more than a century
30 Apr 1971
Last GM&O passenger train out of St. Louis (on eve of Amtrak). Details of the movement are: Engines 103A and 100, coach 209, baggage-mail 451, baggage 64, baggage 450, baggage 416, and mail 455. Crew was: Engineer Sutherland, Fireman Snow, Baggage Masters, Flagman Jackson and Conductor Huber.
10 Aug 1972
Gulf, Mobile & Ohio merges into Illinois Central becoming Illinois Central Gulf.
25 Mar 1977
Milepost 27.70 Slidell to New Orleans (trackage rights); milepost 2.00 New Orleans (Canal Yard); milepost 38.70 Wanilla Byram (Jackson District) abandoned.
9 May 1977
Glen P. Brock retires after 65 years of service with GM&N, GM&O, ICG.
29 Aug 1980
Milepost 37.20 Rio to Lexie (Bogue Chitto Branch) abandoned.
17 Dec 1980
Milepost 3.30 Lexie to Tylertown (Bogue Chitto Branch)abandoned.
14 Dec 1981
Ackerman to Woodland segment abandoned 1 March 1982 by ICC order of 14 Dec 1981.
26 Feb 1982
Louisville-Houston local pulled off.
1 Mar 1982
Ackerman to Woodland segment abandoned 1 March 1982 by ICC order of 14 Dec 1981.
4 May 1983
The ICC approved the merger of the NOGN into the ICG.
1 Aug 1984
Gibson County (TN) RR Authority purchases Jackson, TN-Kenton, TN segment of former M&O mainline from ICG, to be operated by West Tennessee Railroad
10 Jul 1985
Gulf & Mississippi purchases most remaining former GM&N and M&O track south of TN
1 Nov 1985
Milepost 3.70 Beckville to Elton (Jackson District) abandoned.
31 Mar 1986
Mid-South Rail Corp purchases former IC Meridian-Shreveport line from ICG.
19 Apr 1987
Glen Porter Brock, Sr. dies in Mobile, AL nursing home at age 90.
28 Apr 1987
Chicago Missouri & Western purchases all former GM&O track north and west of St. Louis from ICG.
ICG reverted to the IC name.
Norfolk Southern purchases Jackson, TN-Corinth, MS segment of former M&O mainline.
14 Apr 1988
SouthRail subsidiary of Mid-South Rail Corp purchases Gulf & Mississippi
30 Sep 1989
Southern Pacific purchases Joliet, IL-E. St. Louis, IL route from Chicago Missouri & Western.
9 Jan 1990
Gateway Western purchases Kansas City line from Chicago Missouri & Western.
2 Jul 1991
Milepost 29.14 Colt (Slidell) to Covington (Shore Line Branch) abandoned.
5 May 1997
Kansas City Southern purchases Gateway Western.
4 Jun 1993
Kansas City Southern purchases Mid-South Rail Corp, acquiring control of most of the existing former GM&O track south of Corinth, Mississippi.
26 Jan 1994
Milepost 3.60 Slidell sold Norfolk Southern.
31 Jan 1994
Milepost 17.34 North Slidell to Talisheek (New Orleans District) abandoned.
20 Jun 1994
Milepost 14.85 Talisheek to Lee’s Creek (Bogalusa) (New Orleans Dist) abandoned.
Southern Pacific merges into Union Pacific. (UP now controls Joliet, IL-E. St. Louis, IL route).
1 Aug 2001
West Tennessee RR leases Jackson, TN -Corinth, MS line from Norfolk Southern.
Authority to abandon the Houston to New Albany segment granted by the STB. Covered mileposts 281.0 (near Houston) to 324.2 (just south of New Albany, about ¾ mile south of Interstate 78 in Union Co. MS).
Permission granted by the STB to abandon an approximately 19.4 mile line of railroad between milepost 367.5 (approximately 25 feet north of the centerline of Thryson Krump plant entry road in Hardeman Co. TN) and milepost 348.1 (approximately 1663 feet north of the centerline of Industrial Park Road at the northern end of Ripley, Tippah Co. MS).
Permission granted by the STB to abandon an approximately 1.36 mile line of railroad between milepost 325.56 (approximately 25 feet north of the BNSF Railway Co. Diamond in New Albany, Union Co. MS) and milepost 324.2 (approximately ¼ mile south of Interstate 78 in Union Co. MS).

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