Houston, Mississippi

Chickasaw County

Population: 877 in 1900

                    1400 in 1910

                    1408 in 1920

Town incorporated:  5-9-1837

Post office: 12-5-1837 to present

Railroads: MJ&KC- NOM&C- GM&N- GM&O

Next Town North- Thelma

 

Milepost 280.5 in 1905

Milepost 281.87 on valuation map

(from Mobile)

 

Next Town South- Anchor

1915 soil survey map

1974 USGS topo map

HISTORY by Tony Howe: 

Houston was founded in 1836-37 as the county seat of Chickasaw County on land donated by Judge Joel Pinson with the stipulation that the town be named for his childhood friend, Sam Houston. The first railroad through Houston was built by the Southern Railway from Okolona to Calhoun City in 1902-03. It was operated by the Mobile & Ohio, which was controlled by the Southern at the time. The first train reached Houston in November 1903, with the line officially opened between Houston and Okolona in March 1904. The branch was completed west to Calhoun City on December 12, 1906. In April 1933, this branch was sold to the newly-formed Okolona Houston & Calhoun City Railroad, which lasted until it was abandoned in 1939. The track was removed in 1940. 

The second railroad through Houston was built from Pontotoc through Houston, Ackerman and Louisville by the Gulf & Chicago Railroad in 1903-06, which was controlled by the Mobile Jackson & Kansas City RR until the two railroads merged on December 1, 1909 to form the New Orleans Mobile & Chicago Railroad. This railroad was reorganized on January 1, 1917 to become the Gulf Mobile & Northern Railroad.   This railroad, in turn, merged with the Mobile & Ohio on September 13, 1940 to form the Gulf Mobile & Ohio Railroad. This railroad operated until it was merged with the Illinois Central Railroad on August 10, 1972 to form Illinois Central Gulf RR. ICG received permission to abandon the railroad from Woodland to Ackerman on December 14, 1981, and was officially abandoned on March 1, 1982. The remainder of the former GM&O lines in Mississippi was sold off to the newly formed Gulf & Mississippi Railroad on July 10, 1985, who abandoned the railroad from Houston to Woodland shortly afterwards. Gulf & Mississippi RR was bought by Midsouth Rail on April 14, 1988, which was then bought by Kansas City Southern RR in 1994. In 1998, KCS sold the line from Houston to Middleton TN to North American Railnet, Inc., who formed the Mississippi Tennessee Railnet to operate the line. In 2003, Mississippi-Tennessee Railnet was sold to Ironhorse Resources, Inc., who changed the name to Mississippi Tennessee Railroad. In 2004, this company filed to abandon 43.2 miles of track from New Albany to Houston. The track was removed and a recreational trail, known as the "Tanglefoot Trail" is being built on the right-of-way. 

A number of newer industries (post-1950's, anyway) were located about a mile north of downtown, including a grain elevator. A new passing track called "Oaks" was built here by that time. 

 

INDUSTRY -

Philip J Toomer Lumber Co,- sawmill was located north of the M&O-GM&N crossing in 1925; to Ashton Toomer Lumber Co. by 1943, also shown as Houston Planing Mill Co. on val map

Houston Hardwood Mill- shown on 1925 Sanborn Map on M&O

J. H. Jamison- hardwood mill located on M&O on 1925 Sanborn Map

Houston Water & Light Plant- located on M&O east of depot on 1925 Sanborn Map

Standard Oil Co.- located on M&O east of depot on 1925 Sanborn Map

Houston Warehouse Co.- cotton warehouse located on spur between M&O and GM&N on 1925 Sanborn Map; to Hattiesburg Compress Co. by 1943

D. A. Box Saw & Planing Mill- located on M&O west of depot on 1925 Sanborn Map

Houston Ice Plant- located on M&O behind depot on 1925 Sanborn Map

Houston Grocery Co.- located behind GM&N depot

Gulf Refining Co.- located behind GM&N depot

Kraft-Phenix Cheese Corp.- on 1943 Sanborn Map south of GM&O depot

Texas Co. (Texaco)- on GM&O northeast of depot in 1943

Chickasaw Cotton Oil Co.- located across from GM&N depot

Hercules Buggy Co.- located north of Toomer Lumber, spur was removed May 1, 1920

S. S. Collins Lumber Co.- located north of Hercules Buggy Co., leased spur 1-13-1941

 

Postcard of former GM&N depot about 1970. 

Looking north at former GM&N depot at Houston on March 12, 1988. 

The freight section of the depot had been torn down by the time of this photo dated March 12, 1988. 

Houston Grocery Co. warehouse was located behind the GM&N depot. Dec 22, 1993.

Former M&O depot at Houston was a farm equipment dealer in this photo dated 6-7-1992. 

Former overpass of Highway 15 over the M&O branch still existed in 1992, even though the cut the railroad went through had been partially filled in many years before. 

 

1917 ICC Valuation Map         click map for larger version               David Bridges Collection

1917 ICC Valuation Map         click map for larger version               David Bridges Collection

1917 ICC Valuation Map         click map for larger version               David Bridges Collection

1917 ICC Valuation Map         click map for larger version               David Bridges Collection

1917 ICC Valuation Map         click map for larger version               David Bridges Collection

1917 ICC Valuation Map         click map for larger version               David Bridges Collection

1917 ICC Valuation Map         click map for larger version               David Bridges Collection

1917 ICC Valuation Map         click map for larger version               David Bridges Collection

1917 ICC Valuation Map         click map for larger version               David Bridges Collection

BUSINESSES (per R.G. Dun & Co.)- 

S. I. Ashby, grocery & provisions 1866-74

__ Ashby, saloon 1873

J. L. Atkinson, confections 1868

T. W. Atkinson, drugs 1873-74-75

A. Barton, grocery 1873

Mrs. A. Barton- millinery 1874-75

A. C. Beard, carriage factory 1868

A. C. Beard, boots & shoes 1873-74

A. C. & J. A. Beard- boots & shoes 1875

D. P. Black, hotel 1873-74-75

T. J. Buchanan & Son, dry goods 1868

Burket & McNamee- paper 1874-75

J. M. Chenault, general store 1873-74

John Dancer, jeweler 1873-74-75

Dibbrell & Houseman, general store 1868

R. N. Dominick, mill 1868-73-

Dulaney & Scott, dry goods 1873-74-75

Wm. Ellis, dry goods & grocery 1868-73-

Mrs. A. H. Foster, dry goods 1866

Mrs. Emily Foster, hotel 1873-74

Wm. T. Harland, tannery & saddlery 1866-68-73-

D. E. Hickman & Co., dry goods & grocery 1873-74-75

Wm. Hill, miller 1868-73-74-75

Hill, Shell & Bro.- dry goods & grocery 1874-75

W. I. Howell, drugs 1866

P. A. & F. P. Hughes, carriage mnfg 1866

James Miller, tin factory 1866-68

A. J. Jimerson, hotel 1873-74-75

Wm. McName & Co.- drugs 1875

E. F. Medlin, grocery 1873-74

James E. Miller, tinner 1873

Mitchell & Bro., dry goods 1868

Mitchell & Hill, general store 1873-74

M. C. Mitchell & Co., general store 1873-74

R. G. Mitchell & Co., dry goods 1868

J. P. Montgomery, physician 1868

Simon Myers, dry goods 1866-68

Myers & Houseman, dry goods 1873-74-75

Myers & Mehrback- dry goods 1875

Park & Stovall, dry goods 1868

Porter & Hill- dry goods 1874

John A. Purkey, physician 1868-75

J. J. Ruff, blacksmith 1873-74

Shell Smith & Shell, grocery 1873

M. C. Shell- dry goods & grocery 1874

Robert S. Smith, confections 1873

J. J. Ruff- blacksmith 1875

J. H. Tabb, miller 1873-74-75

C. E. Taft, sewing machines 1873

C. E. Taft- saddler 1875

Geo. W. Tittle, stables 1868

C. E. Toft, saddler 1868-74

B. G. Underwood, 1873

Walker & Evans, drugs 1868

Walker & Gray, drugs 1866

J. E. Whitley- 1875

A. G. Wood- 1875

D. K. Woodall, cabinet maker 1866-68-73-74-75

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any corrections or additional info, we would love to hear from you! We are always looking for additional photos, too. Find our contact info below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For more information contact Tony Howe at tonyhowe76@yahoo.com or David S. Price at dsprice46@bellsouth.net