International & Great Northern Railway Company

International & Great Northern Railway Company
View Inventory

The International-Great Northern Railroad Company was a major component of the Missouri Pacific lines in Texas. The I-GN itself was made up of the consolidation of two lines - the International Railroad Company and the Houston and Great Northern Railroad - on September 30, 1873.

The Houston and Great Northern was chartered on October 22, 1866, by the first legislature to meet after the Civil War, and was backed by eastern and local capital. At the time of the merger, the Houston and Great Northern owned 252 miles of track between Houston and Palestine, between Houston and East Columbia with branches from Phelps to Huntsville, and between Troup and Mineola. The mileage of the Houston and Great Northern included the former Houston Tap and Brazoria Railroad and the Huntsville Branch Railway, which had been merged on May 8, 1873.

The International was chartered on August 5, 1870, and at the time of the consolidation operated 177 miles from Hearne to Longview. Despite the financial panic of 1873, the consolidated company continued to slowly expand, reaching Rockdale in 1874 and Austin on December 28, 1876. Building resumed in 1880, and the following year the railroad reached San Antonio and Laredo on December 1, 1881. On August 5, 1879, the International and Great Northern acquired the Georgetown Railroad Company at foreclosure and merged the latter company on June 2, 1882. The Henderson and Overton Branch Railroad Company was acquired on September 27, 1880. Although operated as a part of the International and Great Northern, the Henderson and Overton Branch was not consolidated until August 31, 1911. The various predecessor companies of the International and Great Northern earned 6,432,000 acres of state land. This land was sold for a net of $4,668,850 or about seventy-two cents an acre. The charter of the International called for the State of Texas to grant $10,000 in bonds to the company for each mile completed. However, when the company applied for the bonds Comptroller Albert A. Bledsoe refused to sign and register the bonds. A compromise was worked out whereby the railroad was granted twenty sections of land per mile constructed rather than the normal sixteen sections. In addition, the railroad was exempted from state taxation for twenty-five years. The International and Great Northern entered receivership on April 1, 1878, was sold at foreclosure, and conveyed to a new company organized under the original charter on November 1, 1879. The second receivership lasted from February 21, 1889, to July 11, 1892, but the company was reorganized financially without sale or change of name. At the time of the reorganization, the railroad owned eighty-eight locomotives, sixty-one passenger cars, 1,919 freight cars, and eighty company service cars.

Jay Gould acquired control of the International and Great Northern in December 1880.

We are currently offering the following pieces from the International & Great Northern Railway Company:





All certificates are sold only as collectible pieces, as they are either canceled or obsolete. Certificates carry no value on any of today's financial indexes and no transfer of ownership is implied. Unless otherwise indicated, images are representative of the piece(s) you will receive.