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Natchez, Urania & Ruston Railroad

A few native Louisianans became involved in the early lumbering industry. At age 21, Henry Hardtner of Pineville entered the lumbering scene in 1892 with $1,000 capital. Hardtner quickly parlayed his investment into a small sawmill 30 miles north of Alexandria. In 1896, Hardtner established a mill at a site that he named Urania. To provide access to new tracts of timber, a railroad was built. Although it was only 8 miles long, Hardtner listed the "Natchez, Urania and Ruston Railroad" on his letterhead. As president, he enjoyed pass privileges on other lines.

The Piney Wood Journal

Louisiana industrial

The Natchez, Urania & Ruston Railroad was an 8 mile long lumber shortline in central Louisiana.