Kosciusko & Southeastern Railroad

On May 18, 1916 a charter was granted to the Kosciusko & Southeastern Railroad to construct a railroad from Kosciusko to Ayers, Mississippi. The officers of the company were listed as S. H. Bolinger and B. H. Bolinger of Shreveport, Louisiana, A. L. Franklin of Reeves, Louisiana, and R. N. Steedman of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The charter stated that the line must be built in one year. The company had capital stock of $35,000.00 with shares valued at $100.00 each.

The railroad was built and connected with the Illinois Central Railroad (currently the Kosciusko and Southwestern Railway) at mile post 19. The east end of the wye connecting the two railroads lies where Highway 35 currently crosses the Kosciusko & Southwestern Railway. The turntable and engine shop for the K&SE was located behind what is currently Pylates Machine Shop on Natchez Street in Kosciusko.

The Kosciusko & Southeastern Railroad ran eastward, parallel and about a quarter of a mile south of the Illinois Central line for approximately two miles. It then turned southeast and cross Highways 14 and 19 about one half mile east of their junction with each other. The line then continued to the community of Zama.

According to the book "Kosciusko-Attala History", the line had a passenger train known as the Yellow Dog. The line was built to supply a saw mill across the Lobutcha Creek from Ayers. The new town was named Zama after A. L. Franklin's oldest daughter.

The following is from the Interstate Commerce Commission Abandonment proceedings for the railroad.

(ICC Finance Docket No. 9091 Submitted Feb. 12, 1932. Decided Nov. 1, 1932)

Certificate issued permitting the Kosciusko & Southeastern Railroad Company to abandon, as to interstate and foreign commerce, its entire line of railroad in Attala County, Miss.

The Kosciusko & Southeastern Railroad Company, on December 28, 1931, applied for permission to abandon its entire line of railroad, which extends from Kosciusko in a general southeasterly direction to Zama, 16.3 miles, all in Attala County, Miss. No representatives have been made by any State authority and no objection to the application has been offered.

The applicant was chartered by the State of Mississippi on May 18, 1916, and constructed and began operation of its railroad shortly thereafter. Construction was primarily for the purpose of transporting supplies and materials to the Bolinger-Franklin Lumber Company’s lumber mill at Zama, and to provide facilities for shipping outbound forest products of that company. On June 24,1924, the W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Company purchased the lumber mill and affiliated properties of the Bolinger-Franklin Lumber Company, and also acquired all of the applicant’s capital stock.

The traffic from the lumber operations has represented more than 99 percent of the applicant’s freight traffic during the existence of the railroad. All of the available timber in the tributary territory has been cut, and sawing operations were discontinued about 18 months ago. Since then the lumber company has been disposing of its stock on hand, as well as its mill equipment, preparatory to the permanent cessation of operations by the end of February, 1932. It is stated that after that date operation of the railroad will not be required.

There are only two incorporated towns on the line, Kosciusko, population 3,237, also on the Illinois Central Railroad, and Zama, population 150. It is stated that after the lumber company’s operations are definitely at an end the population of Zama will not exceed 40 people. The population of the tributary territory, exclusive of Kosciusko, is estimated as 500.

Passenger revenue gradually decreased from $2,272.28 in 1927 to $1,062.82 in 1930. In 1931 it was $191.40. Practically the only passengers carried have been employees of the lumber company and their families, and the persons who had business to transact with that company. There are a few small farms in the territory but the products thereof are raised for home consumption, except a small amount of cotton, which is hauled to Kosciusko on the farmers’ trucks and wagons.

The applicant’s net income for 1927 was $4,454.70, and for 1928 was $4,454.70, and for 1928 was $2,281.75. The deficit in net income was $8,701.15 in 1929, $10,063.45 in 1930, and $23,595.36 in 1931.

The applicant’s general balance sheet as of December 31, 1931, shows a cost of road and equipment $86,356.95, cash $2,337.75, miscellaneous accounts receivable $14,818.31, other assets $722.62, capital stock $35,000, depreciation of road and equipment $86,356.95, other liabilities $8,261.79, and corporate deficit $25,183.11.

It is apparent from the record that the railroad has served the purpose for which it was constructed, and that its abandonment will not result in public inconvenience.

We find that the present and future public convenience and necessity permit the abandonment by the Kosciusko & Southeastern Railroad Company, as to interstate and foreign commerce, of its entire line of railroad in Attala County, Mississippi, described in the application. An appropriate certificate will be issued. Such certificate will provide that it shall take effect and be in force from and after 30 days from its date. Suitable provision will be made therein for the relocation of concurrences and powers of attorney, and for the cancellation of tariffs applicable to interstate and foreign commerce (information provided by David Price)

Stations

Locomotives

Number Builder Type Serial # Build Date Notes
2 Heisler   1205 1910 SI&E 2023
6 or 100 Brooks 2-6-0 1250 7-1887 SI&E ?, CCC&StL 357
8 Brooks 2-8-0 2415 3-1894 SI&E 2082, SI&E 1817
8 Lima 2-6-0 1071 8-1908 W&LC 109, SI&E 1849
12 Brooks 2-6-0 1251 7-1887 SI&E 1152, SI&E 1850
? Lima 4-2-2 Shay 2561 6-27-1912 SI&E 1409, SI&E 1851
? Lima Shay 2179 5-1909 to W P Brown & Sons Lbr

CCC&StL = Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway
SI&E = Southern Iron & Equipment Co.
W&LC = Woodworth & Louisiana Central Railway

September 15, 2008