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John E. Loeffler Railway Collection

Identifier: MSS 0117

Scope and Contents

This collection comprises of documentation of and materials related to the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos, and Colorado Railway which began operation in 1851. Ledgers, maps, reports, photographs and clippings depict the growth of the railway and its relation to the to the industry. Historical narratives and accounts add further insight into the railway, which was later part of the Galveston, Harrisburg, San Antonio Railway, and ultimately a section of the Southern Pacific. Highlights of the collection include information on Andrew Brisco, a historical Texas figure, who invisioned the creation of such a railway and General Sidney Sherman who helped raise capital to build the railroad, and was the namesake for the first locomotive to be operated on the track in 1852.


  • 1851-1967

Conditions Governing Access

Open except in the case of materials needing preservation. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the John E. Loeffler Railway Collection must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

John E. Loeffler, a historian focusing on Buffalo Bayou, Brazos, and Colorado Railway (BBB&C), also created sketches of the trains in operation on the railway. Rails Around Houston author Douglas L. Weiskopf described him as an “amature historian whose lifelong passion was to document the early motive power of the BBB&C.”

Douglas L. Weiskopf, Rails Around Houston ( Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2009), p. 12.


1.5 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into three series. Series 1, Reports and Data Binder, is comprised of documentation from a binder included in the collection titled “Reports and Data.” The binder contents were separated by tabs, several labeled with a district number and name; presumably the director of the district at the time [of binder creation or time of content]. Some of the documents appear to be typed copies of information originally from the 1850s.

Series 1 Reports and Data Binder Series 2 Railway Memorbilia Series 3 Ledgers

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by John E. Loeffler in 1978.

Related Materials

RG D 0004 Santa Fe Railway Collection
MSS 0117 John E. Loeffler Railway Collection
Abra Schnur
September 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center Repository


(832) 393-1662

The African American Library at the Gregory School
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Houston, Texas 77019
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Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002
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