Dierks Train #227

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History of Dierks Train #227

The little logging mike that sets at Broken Bow, OK next to the crossing of the TO&E R.R. and highway 259 was the last steam locomotive to operate in McMcurtain county. 

It made its final run in the summer of 1963 from Clebit, OK to Wright City, OK.  a 32 mile trip on spur #1 of the Dierks Forest Inc. logging railroad.  The spur was known locally as the Clebit Spur, it was a logging spur built off of the TO&E mainline in 1914 and the last spur taken up in 1972. 

The 227 begin it’s life at the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, PA.  When it was finished in May of 1927 it was one of the last 4-8-4 Mikado type locomotives built in Philadelphia because that plant was shut down in June of 1928. 

The 227 and it’s sister engine 226 were built for the Dierks Lumber and Coal Co. and were lettered DL^CCo.  Arrived in DeQueen, AR in June of 1927 in a Kansas City Southern train and set out on the connecting track north of the D&E depot. 

They were taken from there to the D&E shops where they were inspectd and serviced.  The 227 went to work hauling logs from a new logging campo on the Saline river north of Dierks, AR called Harper Springs Camp to the sawmill in Dierks.

 

The 227 served primarily in Arkansas until 1945, when it was transferred to Wright City to be used to haul logs from Clebit camp to the Wright City sawmill. 

In 1954 it was relettered DFInc. 277 after the Dierks Lumber and Coal Company went through a restructuring and changed to Dierks Forest Inc.  In 1956 and 57 it hauled logs to Broken Bow Mill due to a fire destroying the Wright City Mill.

The last crew to operate the 227 was

  • H.H. Allen, engineer
  • Herman James, Fireman
  • Kelly Baker, Conductor
  • John Noah, Brakeman.

In September of 1962 it was overhauled and repainted in the Wright City Shops by Willard Neal, John Claborn and Bill neal under the supervision of shop foreman Claude Benson.

The 227 made its las run in the summer of 1963 when it was replaced by a diesel locomotive.  The 227 was retired to the oil track at Wright City where it set until 1972 at which time its new owners Wyere haeuser Co. donated it to the city of Broken Bow. 

It was delivered to its present site by the TO^E local in summer of 1972, it was accompanied by two mechanics from Wright City Jerry Davis of Broken Bow and Kelly Baker of Wright city.  Kelly Baker was the same person who was the last conductor on the engine, so he got to ride on its very last trip.

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Dierks Train #227

The little logging mike that sets at Broken Bow, OK next to the crossing of the TO&E R.R. and highway 259 was the last steam locomotive to operate in McMcurtain county.

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