South Carolina Railroads - Street Railways - Anderson

The following four (4) known "Street Railways" were operational in the town of Anderson from 1905 to 1934, when the last line ceased operations.

Anderson Traction Company

Year Chartered

Year Operational

Year Ended

Length of Line

1904

1905

1909

18.9 miles

The Anderson Traction Company was chartered on June 22, 1904 by the South Carolina Secretary of State, with J. A. Brock leading the effort. Construction of the power system and the roadbed and tracks was completed by the new General Electric Company under the supervision of Mr. W.B. Crabtree. Three small single-truck streetcars were built by the Southern Car Manufacturing Company in High Point, NC and they arrived in Anderson on January 25, 1905. These cars were convertible and had windows which could be removed in the summer.

The company began formal operations on February 19, 1905 and the first three (3) streetcars left Court House Square at 11:00 a.m. in three directions - north and south on Main Street and west on Whitner Street.

The American Street Railway Investments magazine of 1905 reported that the Anderson Traction Company had 6 miles of track (electric). Officers include - President & Treasurer J. A. Brock, Vice-President F. G. Brown, Secretary C. I. Dawson, and General Manager George E. Coughlin. Information as of April, 1905.

The Street Railway Review of May 15, 1905 reported: "Anderson Traction Co., Anderson, SC. Will build two miles of new track and purchase a new engine and generator. George E. Coughlin, general manager."

The American Street Railway Investments magazine of 1906 reported: "Anderson Traction Co.—Chartered June, 1904. Municipal franchise granted Apr. 7, 1904, for 50 years. Annual meeting last Tuesday in May. The Anderson Traction Co. was originally organized and incorporated with a capital stock of $60,000, of which $35,000 was subscribed and issued. On Nov. 5, 1905, however, the Directors recommended to the stockholders increasing capital stock to $280,000 and the construction of first section of the proposed interurban road between Anderson and Greenville, SC, which extends to Belton, a distance of 10 miles. Work on this section is now (May, 1906) under way. This change in the capitalization of the company accounts for the small proportion of stock issued to the amount authorized." This company now has 5.5 miles of track (electric) completed and 10 miles of track under construction. It operates seven (7) motor cars made by Southern Car Company. Officers include - President & Treasurer J. A. Brock, Vice-President F. G. Brown, and Secretary C. I. Dawson. Information as of May 1906.

The Electric Railway Review of July 1906 reported: "Anderson Traction Company — Claude I. Dausen, secretary, Anderson. SC, writes that 5 miles of grading have been completed between Anderson and Belton, and that the line will be extended to Greenville, SC 35 miles, through Belton, Williamston, Pelzer and Piedmont. W. O. Willard has the contract for the grading, Cambria Steel Company for the rails, J. G. Brill Company for the [three] cars and trucks. General Electric Company for power and car equipments, and Virginia Bridge & Iron Company for the bridges. J. A. Brock, Anderson, is president; J. E. Sirrene, Greenville, is chief engineer."

The American Street Railway Investments magazine of 1907 reported that the Anderson Traction Company had 8 miles of track completed and 10 miles of track under construction. They operate 10 Southern Car Company motor cars. Officers include President & Treasurer Edwin W. Robertson, Vice-President F. G. Brown, and Secretary C. I. Dawson. Information as of May 1907.

The Electric Railway Review of July 13, 1907 reported: "Anderson (SC) Traction Company — The first passenger car was operated over the newly completed line from Anderson to Belton. SC, a distance of 10 miles, on July 1. The power is furnished by the Savannah River Power Company's plant at Gregg Shoals."

The Electric Railway Review of August 17, 1907 reported: "Anderson (SC) Traction Company — It is announced that as soon as the line from Belton to Donald's, 14 miles, is completed the company will electrify the road from Donald's to Due West, four miles, which has been partially completed by the Donald’s & Due West Railroad."

The Electric Railway Review of August 31, 1907 reported: "Anderson (SC) Traction Company — Surveys have been made and right of way secured for the extension from Belton to Greenville, S. C., and contracts will be let in September. The route is through Williamston, Piedmont and Pelzer, with a maximum grade of 2 per cent. William Elliott, Jr., of Columbia. SC, is general manager."

The Street & Electric Railways Census of 1907 reported that the Anderson Traction Company had 18.66 miles of track and $280,000 of capital stock.

The Street Railway Journal of November 1907 reported that the Anderson Traction Company had 18 miles of track and 11 cars.

The Electric Railway Review of March 14, 1908 reported: "Anderson (SC) Traction Company — Edwin W. Robertson of Columbia, SC, and Robert E. Ligon of Anderson were appointed receivers for this company by Judge Kleugh at Abbeville, SC, on March 4 on the application of the Anderson Machine & Foundry Company. The indebtedness of the company is stated at $200,000, including $163,000 secured by a mortgage."

The Electric Railway Review of May 16, 1908 reported: "Anderson (SC) Traction Company — Judge Pritchard of the United States circuit court at Asheville, NC, has turned over to Robert E. Ligon, Edwin W. Robertson and Frank R. Frost, as receivers, the property of the Anderson Traction Company. This action was taken on complaint of the International Trust Company of Baltimore, Md, and supersedes the previous action whereby the properly was placed in the hands of Mr. Robertson and Mr. Ligon as receivers on application of the Anderson Machine &. Foundry Company."

The American Street Railway Investments magazine of 1908 reported: "On Mar. 4, 1908, this property was placed in the hands of Edw. W. Robertson and Robt. E. Ligon as receivers, but under complaint of the International Trust Co. of Maryland, on Apr. 16, 1908, Judge Prichard turned over the property to Robt. E. Ligon, Edw. W. Robertson and Frank R. Frost as receivers."

The same magazine reported that the Anderson Traction Company had 18 miles of track (electric) and 11 Southern Car Company motor cars. Officers include the receivers named directly above. Date of information - May 1908.

The American Street Railway Investments magazine of 1909 reported that the Anderson Traction Company had 18.9 miles of track (electric) and 11 Brill cars with Westinghouse motors. Receivers were Edward W. Robertson, Frank R. Frost, and Robert E. Ligon. Date of information - April 1909.

The American Street Railway Investments magazine of 1910 reported: "On Mar. 4, 1908, this property was placed in receivership, and on Oct. 12, 1909, was sold under foreclosure and purchased by a syndicate, which, it is reported, will organize the Greenville, Anderson & Spartanburg Traction Co. to take over the property and extend the road." Date of information December 1909.

Greenville, Spartanburg & Anderson Railway

Year Chartered

Year Operational

Year Ended

Length of Line

1910

1909

1912

18.9 miles

The Greenville, Spartanburg & Anderson Railway was chartered by the South Carolina Secretary of State on March 10, 1910. Planned to be an electric-powered interurban railroad between many towns in South Carolina, the company was authorized to acquire the assets of the Anderston Traction Co., then to extend line to Greenville and Spartanburg.

The Electric Traction Weekly magazine of January 15, 1910 reported: "The Greenville, Spartanburg & Anderson Railway Company has been incorporated with a capital of $300,000. The company, which is backed by the Duke syndicate, proposes to extend the lines of the Anderson Traction company, of Anderson, SC, from Belton, through Williamston, Pelzer and Piedmont on the Greenville and thence 30 miles to Spartanburg. The total length of the system when completed will be 65 miles. The incorporators are J. B. Duke, B. N. Duke, Ellison Smyth, W. J. Thackston, H. J. Haynesworth, and Lewis W. Parker."

The Electric Railway Journal of February 11, 1911 reported: "Greenville, Spartanburg & Anderson Railway, Anderson, SC — The Duke interests propose to incorporate the Piedmont & Northern Railway with a capital stock of $5,000,000 to take over the Greenville, Spartanburg & Anderson Railway and other properties which they control but which are not yet specified. The company will be incorporated by J. B. Duke, Somerville, N. J.; B. N. Duke, New York City; Samuel McRoberts, New York City; W. S. Lee, Charlotte, NC; Ellison A. Smyth, Greenville, and Lewis W. Parker, Greenville."

The McGraw Electric Railway Manual of 1912 reported: "Greenvllle, Spartanburg & Anderson Railway — Acquired the Anderson Tracton Co., sold at foreclosure on Oct. 12, 1909. Municipal franchise in Anderson granted Apr. 7, 1904, for 50 years. Operates local line in Anderson and an interurban road to Belton, 10 miles, and has under construction an extension from Greenwood via Belton to Spartanburg. The Piedmont Traction Co., Charlotte, NC, is closely allied with this company, and it is intended to connect the two and operate them as one system."

The same manual reported that the company operated 18.9 miles of track (electric), 11 motor cars, and 1 service car. Capital stock $4,000,000. Officers include President J.B. Duke, New York, NY; Vice-President & Chief Engineer W. S. Lee; and, Secretary Thomas F. Hill, Anderson, SC.

The McGraw Electric Railway Manual of 1913 reported that the Greenville, Spartanburg & Anderson Railway operated 77.82 miles of track (electric), 31 motor cars, 2 service cars, and 2 electric engines. Officers same as reported in 1912.

Upon completion of the Greenville, Spartanburg & Anderson Railway line to Greenwood, SC in 1912, the company released the local Anderson Traction Company streetcar lines to be operated by Southern Power Company, which had also owned the Greenville, Spartanburg & Anderson Railway. Southern Power Company established a subsidiary in 1913 - the Southern Public Utilities Company, which operated the streetcar systems of both Anderson and Greenville in South Carolina, among others in North Carolina.

North Anderson Street Railway

Year Chartered

Year Operational

Year Ended

Length of Line

1913

1913

1925

2 miles

The North Anderson Street Railway was chartered on October 23, 1913 by the South Carolina Secretary of State, to be led by John W. Linley and C. G. Boleman. This streetcar line was a subsidiary of the North Anderson Development Company, which had plans to build a new neighborhood west of North Main Street. This two-mile line was quickly constructed and operations formally began on October 31, 1913. Two maroon streetcars with cream trim around the windows were operated one at a time every half hour from 7:00 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. at five (5) cents per trip.

The Electric Railway Journal of June 14, 1913 reported: "North Anderson Development Company, Anderson, SC — Work will be begun at once by this company on its interurban railway between North Anderson and Anderson."

The Electric Railway Journal of July 19, 1913 reported: "The North Anderson Development Company has asked the City Council for a franchise for an electric railway from a point on North Main Street where it will meet the present line beyond the city limits of Anderson to the park in the lands now being developed by the company. This is part of a plan to build a 1-mile electric railway between North Anderson and Anderson."

The Electric Railway Journal of July 26, 1913 reported: "Anderson, SC — The franchise has been accepted for the proposed electric railway extension from Greenville and North Main Streets in Anderson to the property of the North Anderson Development Company, by M. M. Mattison, J. H. Anderson, J. D. Brown, John W. Linley and G. N. C. Boleman. It will be over 1 mile long and will be constructed and operated by the Greenville Traction Company."

The Electric Railway Journal of August 30, 1913 reported: "North Anderson Street Railway, Anderson, SC — Chartered in South Carolina to build an electric railway between Anderson and North Anderson. Capital stock, $15,000. Incorporators: John W. Linley, G. N. C. Boleman, J. D. Hammett, J. H. Anderson and J. D. Brown."

The North Anderson Street Railway was formally chartered on October 23, 1913 by the South Carolina Secretary of State.

The Electric Railway Journal of October 25, 1913 reported: "North Anderson Street Railway, Anderson, SC — This company has completed and will soon place in operation the 1-mile extension of its North Anderson line between Anderson and North Anderson. Under the arrangements with the North Anderson Development Company, the new line was constructed and will be operated by the Greenville, Spartanburg & Anderson Railway as a part of the regular city line."

The Electric Railway Journal of June 20, 1914 reported: "North Anderson Street Railway, Anderson, SC — A 5-mile extension is being built by this company to Brown Park."

The Electric Railway Journal of January 3, 1925 reported that the North Anderson Street Railway ordered, in 1924, one (1) passenger car of the one-man type, with a single truck, two (2) motors, and 28'-0" in length to seat 33 people.

Per Mr. Thomas Fetter in his book entitled "Palmetto Traction - Electric Railways of South Carolina" (1978), this line continued until about 1925, when a bus was purchased and replaced the streetcars. When North Anderson was annexed by Anderson about 1928, the bus was replaced by a Duke Power Company busline to serve the area.

Southern Public Utilities Company / Duke Power Company

Year Chartered

Year Operational

Year Ended

Length of Line

1913

1913

1934

19 miles

The Poor's Manual of Public Utilities and Street Railways of 1915 reported: "Southern Public Utilities Co. — Incorporated in March, 1913, in Maine for the purpose of acquiring public service properties in North and South Carolina. The company now owns the following properties: 1) Charlotte, NC — The electric light, gas and street railway properties; (2) Greenville, SC — The electric light, gas and street railway properties; (3) Winston-Salem, NC — The electric light and street railway properties; (4) Anderson, SC — The electric light, water and street railway properties; and (5): The electric light properties in the towns of Thomasville, Belmont, Mount Holly, China Grove, Bessemer City and Hickory, NC, and Chester, Greer and Fort Lawn, SC. "

"The above properties were formerly owned by the following companies all of which have ceased to operate: Charlotte Power Co., Charlotte Gas and Electric Co, Charlotte Electric Ry. Co., all of Charlotte, NC; Greenville Gas and Electric Light and Power Co., Greenville Traction Co., Greenville, SC; Fries Manufacturing and Power Co., Winston-Salem Power Co., Winston-Salem, NC, Anderson Water, Light and Power Co., Anderson, SC, Chester Power Co., Chester, SC; Thornton Light and Power Co., Hickory, NC, and the Southern Power Co."

"Officers: Z. V. Taylor, Pres.; A. V. Harrill, Vice-Pres.; E. C. Marshall, Treas.; J. R. Cherry, Asst. Sec., Charlotte, NC; W. C. Parker, Sec., New York, N. Y. General Office, Charlotte, NC."

The Electric Railway Journal of July 10, 1915 reported: "Southern Public Utilities Company, Greenville, SC — Material has been received and work will be begun at once on the reconstruction of this company's tracks on Whitner Street and South Main Street, Anderson."

The Electric Railway Journal of October 30, 1915 reported: "Southern Public Utilities Company, Charlotte, NC, has ordered from the Southern Car Company five one-man arch-roof cars for the street railway system at Anderson, SC. Three of these cars will be equipped with GE-219-B motors and the other two with Westinghouse "Wee" motors. Taylor trucks with 7-ft. 6-in. wheelbase and 30-in. wheels, will be furnished. The length of these cars is to be 26 ft. They will be all-steel, having steel framing and steel siding. The doors are to be operated by the motorman, and will be folding with a folding step on Southern Car Company's door and step ball-bearing mechanism. Fare boxes are to be located in each end of the car. Ohmer fare registers, Peacock adjustable brakes of the McWhirter type and the Railway Utilities Company's exhaust type ventilators are also specified. This railway company is also having constructed by the Southern Car Company, a one-man car for operation between Belmont and Belmont Junction."

The Electric Railway Journal of April 21, 1917 reported: "The Southern Public Utilities Company after trying out two one-man cars on the lines of the Anderson (SC) Street Railways, has found that the average total operating expenses for the first five months of one-man car operation were only 5.7 cents per car-mile as compared with 13.2 cents for the same period of the previous year when the two-men cars were operated."

The Electric Railway Journal of May 25, 1918 reported: "Southern Road Increases Wages — Increases in pay of from 2 to 5 cents an hour for motormen and conductors of the Southern Public Utilities Company, which operates in Greenville, Anderson, Winston-Salem and numerous other cities in the Carolinas, was announced on May 8. The increase, effective from May 1, will depend on length of service."

The Electric Railway Journal of September 28, 1918 reported: "The Southern Public Utilities Company increased its fare in Anderson, SC, from 5 cents to 7 cents on Sept. 16 with the approval of the City Council."


Anderson, SC Streetcar Tracks - 1920

Click Here to view / download a three-page article in the Electric Railway Journal of March 20, 1920 about rigid streetcar tracks standardized in Anderson, SC.

The Electric Railway Journal of April 17, 1920 reported: "The Southern Public Utilities Company contemplates an extension of its line in Anderson, SC.

The Electric Railway Journal of January 1, 1921 reported that the Southern Public Utilities Company ordered six (6) 28'-0" safety cars in 1920.

The Electric Railway Journal of September 15, 1923 reported: "Losing steadily, the car service of Anderson may be abandoned, according to Harry A. Orr, manager of the system. For the first five months of this year the loss has been $7,051. This is not including depreciation, overhead, taxes and bonded interest. The system is operated by the Southern Public Utilities Company, a subsidiary of the Southern Power Company."

The Electric Railway Journal of October 27, 1923 reported: "A public meeting was held recently in Anderson, SC, at which the entire railway situation was gone into in an effort to devise some means to lighten the burden on the Southern Public Utilities Company. Efforts are being made to avert, if possible, the threatened suspension of service. It was brought out that revenue from street car service is not now sufficient to pay for operation, to say nothing of interest on bonds, taxes, depreciation, etc. No definite plan to aid the company to keep the system in operation was decided upon, but it was intimated that Council might relieve it of a part of its tax burdens and of its street paving assessments."

The McGraw Electric Railway Directory of 1924 reported that the Southern Public Utilities Company operated 9.51 miles of track in Anderson, SC, with ten (10) motor cars and two (2) other cars. Officers include - President E. C. Marshall and Vice-President A. V. Harrill.

Southern Power Company was renamed to Duke Power Company on November 18, 1924, however, in many cases the Southern Public Utilities Company name was continued to be used for the street railway operations for several more years.

The Electric Railway Journal of February 27, 1926 reported: "The Southern Public Utilities Company, Anderson, SC, plans to replace its line to North Anderson with bus service. The line to North Anderson has been in service since the development of the northern suburb began several years ago. It was not stated whether the line had been operated at a loss or not, but it was said that the bus would prove more beneficial to the residents of that suburb."

The Anderson streetcar system ceased all operations on November 4, 1934, when all nine (9) cars were parked.



© 2018 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved