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Collection Title: Bonhomie & Hattiesburg Southern Railway Photographs

Collection Number: M347

Dates: 1944

Volume: 2 items

Provenance: Donated by Mr. Thomas M. Hinton.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

In 1923 W.S.F. Tatum, owner of the Tatum Lumber Company of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, established the Bonhomie & Hattiesburg Southern Railway Company in order to purchase the Hattiesburg Branch from the Gulf, Mobile, & Ohio Railway. This twenty-seven mile branch connected Hattiesburg to the GM&O main line at Beaumont, Mississippi. Using the Hattiesburg Branch Tatum would be able to gain access to a new logging operation near Denco, Mississippi and transport lumber from Bonhomie, Mississippi, where Tatum owned a sawmill, to the GM&O junction at Beaumont where there was a connection to Mobile, Alabama.

The Interstate Commerce Commission approved the sale on January 5, 1925, and the Bonhomie & Hattiesburg Southern Railway went into operation on January 17, 1925. The entire capital stock of $335,000 was sold to the Tatum family, and all equipment for the railroad was leased from the Tatum Lumber Company including five locomotives, three of which were new Baldwin locomotives. The B&HS showed a profit for several years, but slipped into financial deficit as its profit from lumber traffic declined. Tatum's logging operation near Denco ended when the GM&O abandoned its Blodgett Branch, a dummy line from Denco to Piave, Mississippi. In 1953 Tatum sold the then unprofitable B&HS to the Fernwood, Columbia, & Gulf Railway.

Scope and Content:

This collection contains two color photographs of Engine 200 of the Bonhomie & Hattiesburg Southern Railway Company. Engine 200 was one of three new Baldwin steam powered locomotives purchased by the Tatum Lumber Company to be leased to the B&HS. This engine, weighing fifty tons, is described as a "dainty little passenger engine" a nd has a 440 configuration meaning it has four small wheels in front, four large driver wheels (62" diameter), and no wheels beneath the wood box. Baldwin first tried this steam locomotive on March 3, 1925, and shipped it to the B&HS on March 25, 1925. Once it arrived a misspelling of Hattiesburg (Hattiesburgh) had to be corrected. When W.S.F. Tatum sold the B&HS to Fernwood, Columbia, & Gulf Railway in 1953, Engine 200 was sold for scrap.

Photograph 1 is a 3"x5" photograph of Engine 200 with the locomotive's front and side shown. Also pictured are four men, possibly crewmen.

Photograph 2 is a 3"x5" photograph of Engine 200 with the locomotive's rear and side shown.

Related Collections:

M316 Tatum Family Collection

M169 Railroad Collection 1913-1937

M272 Hoffman (Dr. Gilbert) Papers 1870-1992

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