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The Rail Archived
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Fall & Winter 1996
Fall & Winter 1996

Mount Pleasant East
Submitted by: Jill Cook (Mount Pleasant Historical Society)

Texas in Pennsylvania

The East End of Mount Pleasant was called Texas after the Mexican War of 1946-48. By 1872, two railroads, The Broadford and Mt. Pleasant Branch of the Baltimore & Ohio and the Southwest Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad served the town - industry thrived.

According to the Old Home Week souvenir program of July 4-10, 1910, the following industries were located in Texas:
  • O.P. Shupe (flour mill) - 20 employees
  • Standard Coke Works - 2000 employees
  • Mount Pleasant Supply Co. - 500 employees
  • Bryce Brothers (glass) - 1000 employees
  • Tool Works (shovels) - 50 employees
  • Pittsburgh Brewing Co. - 50 employees
  • Husband Lumber Co.
  • Standard Distilling
  • Stouffer's Creamery
  • Armour & Co. (meat packing & stockyard)
  • Miller & Tighe (produce w/RR Siding & "up-to-date" cold storage)

Of the above-named industries, six buildings remain standing today. One of them, The Husband Lumber Company Planing Mill is now the location of Cook Lumber, home of an extensive Train & Hobby Shop.

Jim & Jill Cook are very involved with the past, present and future of Mount Pleasant. Jill has written an extensive history of the town, and both are active in the activity surrounding the Highlander events in Mount Pleasant.

One visit to the Train & Hobby Shop will convince any visitor that the Cook's are serious "rail fans." Like so many other individuals and business owners, the Cook's are active participants in the effort to revitalize their community by combining the rich history of the past with the opprotunities of the present.

The Railroads

With the building of the railroads, stragecoaching to the East and wagoning on the pikes, were eventually abandoned. The first railroad to seriously challenge the great turnpikes in the field of transportation across the mountains was the Baltimore and Ohio line in 1828.

Fierce competition developed between the Baltimore & Ohio and the Pennsylvania Railroad. By about 1862, both lines succeeded in providing continuous rail transportation in western Pennsylvania, causing many of our highways to become unused and neglected.

But Mt. Pleasant was not to be stranded. In 1846, the Pennsylvania Railroad (considered to be one of the greatest transportation systems in the world) chartered to build a line from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh. It was completed in 1852 with numerous branches to nearby points along its line. The Southwest Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad began at Greensburg ran through Hempfield Township and then southeast through East Huntingdon Township from Mt. Pleasant to Scottdale.

A branch of the B & O, the Mount Pleasant and Broadford Railroad was completed in 1871. From then until 1904, it was leased to the Pittsburgh and Connellsville Railroad Company. This line extended from near Scottdale, passing through the southern portion of East Huntingdon Township, Bridgeport and Mount Pleasant to the Standard Mines in Mount Pleasant Township.

Mount Pleasant found itself near the center of the largest coal and coke operations in the world. As the coal and coke industries expanded, so did the population and the accompanying rail traffic. On occasion, passenger trains also served Mount Pleasant.

 
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