Okolona, Houston & Calhoun City Railway

Standard Gauge

Headquarters: Houston, MS (Chickasaw County)

Years of Operation: 1933-1939

Predecessor road: Mobile & Ohio

Successor road: none 

Miles Operated: 37.34

Locomotives Owned: 2



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History by Gil Hoffman:

The Okolona, Houston & Calhoun City Railway was incorporated in Mississippi on April 17, 1933, by W. N. Ethridge, of West Point; T. A. Rhodes, of West Point, and Eugene B. Ethridge, of Meridian, with $5,000 in capital stock. Officers of the company were: W. N. Ethridge, president and T. A. Rhodes, vice president, secretary and treasurer. On May 15, 1933, for $30,000 the company purchased from the Southern Railway the branch line of the Mobile & Ohio running from Okolona through Houston to Calhoun City, Mississippi, 37.34 miles. Motive power and rolling stock were purchased on May 16, 1933 from the receiver of the Mobile & Ohio, consisting of one locomotive, one combination passenger-baggage car and eight freight cars.

in 1934 a gasoline powered railbus was put into service to carry passengers. This railbus was rebuilt from an old Greyhound bus at the Jackson, Tennessee Shops of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad.

In 1933 the schedule showed a daily, except Sunday, round trip between Okolona and Calhoun City. In March 1938, because of decline in business, the railroad reduced service to two round trips per day by its passenger railbus and one round trip three times a week by a mixed steam train. Loss of traffic was attributed to competition from highways.

On October 27, 1938, the OH&CC applied to the Interstate Commerce Commission for permission to abandon its entire line. On July 26, 1939 the I. C. C. decided that if no prospective buyer for the line could be found within 40 days, abandonment could proceed. No buyer was found, so the line was abandoned. Operations did not cease until the fall of 1939. Track was completely torn up by early in 1940, at which time No. 9, the remaining locomotive, was sold. The company was officially dissolved on January 5, 1940.

The father of James Carlisle, of Amory, Mississippi, was engineer and superintendent of motive power on the OH&CC. After abandonment, he went to work for the Mississippian Railway, at Amory, Mississippi.


1.   “Okolona, Houston & Calhoun City Railway Company Operation,” Finance Docket No. 9942, Interstate Commerce Commission Reports, Vol. 193, p. 89-92.

2.    “Okolona, Houston & Calhoun City Railway Company Abandonment,” Finance Docket No. 12219, Interstate Commerce Commission Reports, Vol. 233, p. 594-600.

For more information: 

See David Bridges article on the OH&CC in Issue #90 (1999) of the GM&OHS News.

The former OH&CC depot at Calhoun City had been converted to a church by 1940.

OH&CC Number 9 at Okolona.




STEAM ROSTER by Gil Hoffman:




Road No.












Dri. Dia.





Previous Ownership




















Mobile & Ohio #184

Okolona, Houston & Calhoun City #184,,

on 5/16/1933. Cost $3,000.


Scrapped 1939 at Houston, MS.


















Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia #9

Birmingham Rail & Locomotive Co.

Mississippi Eastern Ry. #9, Quitman, MS,

on 2/26/1923.

Okolona, Houston & Calhoun City #9, ca. 1934.

Baldwin class 10-30 D 657


Cornell-Young Co., by 3/1940.

Buffalo, Union-Carolina #9, Union, SC.










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