On the evening of March 2, 1913, an explosion destroyed the Houston, East & West Texas Railroad depot at this site, disrupting the town's vital source of transportation and trade. Although a body was not discovered, it was presumed a railroad employee had been killed in the mishap. He was later declared legally dead and his stepmother collected on his insurance. In 1916, however, he was returned to Lufkin by Judge E.J. Mantooth, a local attorney acting on behalf of the insurance firms. The railroad employee stood trial for insurance fraud, but was subsequently acquitted.