Chartered in 1910 by entrepreneur L. P. Featherstone, the Port Bolivar and Iron Ore railroad was part of Featherstone's master plan to sell the rich Texas iron ore for contracts in Philadelphia. The plan was to transport mined iron ore from the area around appropriately-named Ore City, down the PB&IO to Port Bolivar and a connection with the Gulf and Interstate Railway, which would transport it just a bit more to the Gulf of Mexico, and then by ship to Philadelphia. Construction began and the line was completed from Longview (and a connection with the Texas and Pacific) north to Ore City, a distance of 30 miles, in 1912. The railroad was destined for Hughes Springs.
In 1914, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway (the Texas subsidiary of the AT&SF) obtained control of the line, and continued operating it. However, the line never reached Hughes Springs, as World War I halted construction. Abandonment of the line came in 1927.