The Dierks Lumber and Coal Company's Railroads

by Ken Humphreys

The Dierks Lumber and Coal Company built the DeQueen and Eastern Railroad around 1900. The railroad ran from Howard County, Arkansas to DeQueen, Oklahoma where it interchanged with the Kansas City Southern Railroad. Then around 1910, Dierks built the Texas, Oklahoma and Eastern Railroad. Dierks owned extensive timber holdings in southeast Oklahoma and built the TO&E to link their holdings to lumber mills and to connect to the Kansas City Southern. John C. Leeper was Chief Engineer for construction of both railroads, surveyed the routes and supervised their construction. The two railroads were connected at DeQueen Oklahoma in 1921. Many photographs were taken of the construction of the two railroads. Recently some of the photos and the negatives were passed on to Andrew Malinowycz of Hickory, NC, a distant relative of John C. Leeper. Andrew has kindly given these historic photos to the Piedmont & Western Railroad Club so that we can share them with you. Most of the photos are not identified as to which of the two railroads is depicted in the scenes but they nevertheless show much about the difficulty of building railroads around the turn of the last century. We thank Andrew for the donation of these rare glimpses into the past.

Click on each image below to see its full sized version and related photos. Hit your back button to return and view the next group of photos.

NOTE: Because of the age of these photos, picture quality is not always as good as might be desired. Please be understanding. If you were as old as these pictures, you also would not be in top condition.

Grading the roadbed
Building trestles
Cars and trucks to bring workers and supplies to the construction site
MOW equipment laying track
Wreck crane working to correct a derailment
Various scenes on the railroads
The railroads are operating with 4-6-0 power

©2012 Piedmont and Western Railroad Club