On February 4, 1852, the state of Tennessee chartered the Nashville & Memphis Railroad to build a line between Memphis and Paris, Tennessee, roughly 60 miles west of Clarksville and 130 miles east of Memphis. On Dec. 16, 1853, the Tennessee Legislature passed an act allowing the railroad to change its name to the Memphis & Louisville Railroad. On Jan. 24, 1854, the railroad's board of directors decided to change its name once again, this time to the Memphis & Ohio. The line would ultimately connect with the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville at Paris. The Louisville & Nashville seized an opportunity to buy the line on July 1, 1867, after the Memphis & Ohio Railroad defaulted on its interest payments.
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