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A Map about an unrealized Future

Map
A portion of an 1868 map has Texarkana and a town called Epperson (LOC).

This small part of a much larger map from 1868, titled "Map of the route of the Southern Continental R.R. with connections from Kansas City Mo., Ft. Smith Ark. and Shreveport La.," shows a portion of the Red River Valley from Shreveport westward. It can be found at the Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/item/98688808/


This is a map about an unrealized future, drawn to indicate where the Texas & Pacific Railroad would pass once it was built west of Shreveport. The route suggested as a dark line between Marshall (Henderson County, Texas) and Fort Washita (Indian Territory, now Bryan County, Choctaw Nation, Oklahoma) was never completed.


Here's some more interesting and head-scratching parts to highlight: Texarkana, purportedly founded in 1873, is shown on the Texas side in this much earlier map. McKinney (Collin County) should be placed on the East Fork of the Trinity along the dark line that indicates the proposed route of the Houston & Texas Central Railway (which parallels the Preston to Dallas Road).


Then, there's a little spot called "Epperson" that looks to be at the Elm Fork of the Trinity River but above the misplaced McKinney. I cannot find any references for a town/village/post office called "Epperson," whether in Denton, Cooke, Grayson, or Collin counties. I'm thinking Alton?


As I was researching this unknown place, I came across several mentions of Representative B.H. Epperson from Red River County, an attorney who owned a tannery and saw mill and, by 1867, served as the president for the Memphis & El Paso Railroad. His biography is here: https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/epperson-benjamin-holland


Interestingly, the proposed right-of-way for the Memphis & El Paso Railroad, which he bolstered ad infinitum, ended up being the actual route of the Texas & Pacific Railroad. Oddly, though, the proposed route of the Memphis & El Paso Railroad is not drawn on this map at all. But if it had been, it would reach from Texarkana to Epperson!


Don't believe me? See the North Texas portion of this map, which doesn't show Epperson nor Texarkana but does show the Memphis & El Paso Railroad: https://www.loc.gov/item/2002622358/


Perhaps "Epperson" on this map is a nod to B.H. Epperson, Esquire? It's a stretch, but so are the proposed routes of the railroads west of Shreveport in 1868!




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