The Oconee & Western was organized in 1892 as successor to the Empire & Dublin Railroad which had constructed a 40-mile rail line from Dublin to Hawkinsville in 1889-90.
In the 1894 edition of The Official Railway List, the O&W reported operating 40 miles of railroad with 3 locomotives, 1 passenger car, and 30 freight and miscellaneous cars.
According to Poors 1897 Manual, the grading for a westward extension to Grovania, 13 miles west of Hawkinsville, had been completed, and the Railroad Commission of Georgia listed the O&W in its 1893 report as a 53-mile line between Dublin and Grovania. But the extension apparently was not completed.
A brief item in the May 20, 1898 issue of the Railroad Gazette indicated that O&W president H. A. Clare of New York had inspected the property and declared it "much improved," adding:
|A project is under consideration to build an extension from the present terminus at Hawkinsville, Ga., southwest about 30 miles to Cordele, where connection will be made with the Georgia Southern & Florida, the Georgia & Alabama, and the Albany & Northern. That part of the road graded as originally projected from Hawkinsville northwest 13 miles to Grovania will be abandoned.
In its 1897 report the Railroad Commission listed the O&W as a 40-mile Dublin-Hawkinsville line. The 1898 report did not include the O&W at all, instead indicating that the route was part of the Wrightsville & Tennille Railroad.
The following note in the November 18, 1898 issue of the Railroad Gazette provides additional information:
|Oconee & Western -- At the annual meeting of the stockholders, held at Empire, Ga., Nov. 7, A. F. Daley, General Attorney for the Wrightsville & Tennille, was elected President and General Manager. He succeeds H. A. Clare as President, and Robert H. England as General Manager. The road will henceforth be operated in connection with the Wrightsville & Tennille. The headquarters are at Tennille, Ga.
As it turned out, a Hawkinsville-Grovania connection was made some 14 years later when the Hawkinsville & Western Railroad built its line to Perry, passing through Grovania on the way.
Maps, Timetables, and Other Information:
1894 mileage table (58K)
1894 timetable (121K)
1895 map (39K)
1895 timetable (66K)
1898 map (146K)