Greene County Arkansas

Paragould, Arkansas

Centennial Edition Section 2


      The Way We Work                 



   Here came

          the trains !


    Greene County

    would never be

    the same again

Scrap wood fueled the salvaged steam locomotives used by the Greene County "dummy lines" that linked sawmills with prime timber-cutting areas. According to the name on the side of the wood bin, this engine was used -- or at one time owned -- by the J. A. Bratt Lumber Co. According to railroad buffs, the small timber lines bought cast-off locomotives from the bigger railroad companies.


                                                                    Photo courtesy: The Big Picture Files


                                                                                                    Photo courtesy: Glenda Barry


Photo courtesy: Dr. C.W. Starnes


Photo courtesy: Talma Buchanan Hayes                                                              Daily Press photo by: Mark Prout



Paragould's Union Station was built in 1906 to serve passengers and freight customers of both the Cotton Belt and the Iron Mountain railroads. At first, the two lines had separate depots; the Iron Mountain called its station Parmly for several years. A joint wooden depot was built sometime before 1895, but replaced later by the brick structure that was torn down in 1975. Today, only a metal sign in the railroad right of way welcomes passing freight trains. Even the freight depot is in the process of being torn down.

The Paragould Southeastern railroad, started as a local operation, was taken over by the Cotton Belt line in 1914, although that company had held a controlling interest since 1893. After a shaky start as the Paragould and Buffalo Island Railway Co., its name was changed in 1893 with extensions added in 1895, 1897, 1903 and 1907.
Above left, the tents of a work camp during the 1897 extension. Above, laying the Hornersville extension. Far left, an excursion led by one of the PSE's two locomotives. Cotton Belt abandoned the PSE track in recent years and dismantled track and ties can be seen in the railroad right of way.

The location of a Iron Mountain roundhouse in Paragould gave the town another boost, making its headquarters for a number of railroad crews. Located off Pekin Road not far from the junction of the two railroads, it was closed in the 1950s and dismantled. Below, in an unidentified picture, a host of railroaders climb aboard an engine to pose for a group picture.


Building Bridges


Transcribed from the 1983 Centennial Edition by : PR Massey

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