Description[Railroads]. The New Orleans, Opelousas and Great Western Railroad Co.'s Bonds, Mortgage, Sinking Fund, Etc., Etc. New Orleans: Clark & Brisbin, Printers, 1859. First edition. 8vo. Slim pamphlet. 18 pages. Tan printed wrappers with some minor chipping to top edge of rear cover; splitting along spine. Pamphlet has been folded in half vertically, with light crease running the length of the booklet. Minor bends to leaves. "B. A. Shepherd / Houston Texas" in ink on front cover. (Houston banker Benjamin Armistead Shepherd, 1814-1891, was a close friend of Colonel Paul Bremond, the Father of the Texas Railroad, and was heavily involved in railroads and land speculation in the state.) Very good. Scarce.
Chartered in 1852, the New Orleans, Opelousas and Great Western Pacific railroad was eventually bought by rail and shipping magnate Charles Morgan, who saw it as a vital route to Texas for goods received at his port in New Orleans. The concern was renamed Morgan's Louisiana and Texas Railroad and Steamship Company, and it eventually became part of the Southern Pacific's main line. From the papers of B.A. Shepherd.
Benjamin Armistead Shepherd was born in Virginia on May 14, 1814. Due to the poor conditions of the land and a dwindling family fortune, he left Virginia in the 1830s and arrived in Galveston, Texas. He married Mary Dobson in 1841 and settled in the growing town of Houston. A personal friend of General Sam Houston (whom he had met at age 19), Shepherd established himself as a prominent landowner and one of the foremost citizens of Houston, involving himself in many entrepreneurial adventures before founding and serving as president of the First National Bank of Houston in 1866. In 1875, he arrived in the newly formed San Jacinto County where he organized the town of Shepherd along the proposed Houston, East, and West Texas Railway. He died in Houston in 1891.
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