Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska

Produced by Gary Martens and Connie Snyder.

Part 1:
The Union Pacific
Part 2:
The Union Pacific (cont.)
Part 3:
The Union Pacific (cont.)
Part 4:

Burlington & Missouri River Railroad
Sioux City & Pacific Railroad
Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway Co.
The Express Companies

Part 4


   The completion and opening of a third line of railway from Chicago to Omaha marked another epoch in the history of the great metropolis and the Northwest. To the Chicago & North-Western Railway is due the credit of having been the first connecting line of the Union Pacific Railroad. Western railway enterprise rapidly developed another link by the completion of the Iowa Division of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, and that was quickly followed by the Burlington & Missouri River Railway, a continuation of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, affording three great eastern outlets to the Union Pacific via Chicago. The Burlington & Missouri River Railroad, running through the richest portion of Southern Iowa, a region abundantly supplied with timber and coal. and presenting a diversity of agricultural facilities, was projected in about 1850, but, owing to local and political causes, its progress toward completion was like a desperately fought campaign, with a succession of battles where every advantage was carried inch by inch at the point of the bayonet. The line of the road was surveyed from Burlington to Ottumwa, seventy-five miles, in 1853. It was put under contract the following year, but was not completed until 1859. Ottumwa was the Western terminus for six years, at which time, in 1865, the company recommenced operations and began to push slowly toward the advancing Union Pacific. The road was completed to Albia in 1866; to Chariton in 1867; to Afton in 1868, and the balance in December, 1869. This is one of the best constructed railroads in Southern Iowa. The road-bed and track are apparently as firm as the hills, and cars glide along in a manner rarely realized upon Western railroads. The western portion of the road is more primitive, but still very firm, the embankment being well rounded and rendered secure by an admirable system of drainage. The ties were selected with great care, and consist chiefly of oak, with a sprinkling of walnut, cherry and locust. These are laid 2,500 to the mile. The track was laid with sixty-pound rails, two and a half inches wide and four inches deep. Notwithstanding the fact that the Missouri River at Omaha is five hundred feet above the Mississippi River at Burlington, the gradients are easy, the greatest being less than seventy feet to the mile. This fact is largely due to the engineering skill of those who laid out the road. There are upward of five hundred bridges crossed by this line of road; these are of all sizes, from a single span over a miniature creek to a splendid structure half a mile long, like that over the Des Moines River. All these bridges are models of symmetry and strength, resting upon stone foundations or firmly set piles, and are entirely safe, giving no perceptible vibrations as trains pass over. To secure a supply of water for the engines, reservoirs and ponds were constructed at suitable points all along the line. This was accomplished in some instances by damming small streams. The water was elevated into tanks, holding nearly 50,000 gallons each, by automatic wind-mills. There is no danger that the supply will ever be short, as experience has demonstrated. The Burlington & Missouri Railroad connects at Ottumwa with the Des Moines Valley Railroad and the North Missouri road, and, at Pacific Junction, with the St. Jo & Council Bluffs road. Among the important branches and extensions of the road is one from Red Oak Junction to Nebraska City and the Nebraska Extension to Lincoln. The experimental trip over the road was made January 17, 1870, and was the first passenger train from Chicago to Council Bluffs by the new line. The trip of 496 miles was made in a trifle over twenty-two hours, and was a very successful one, demonstrating to the satisfaction of all the practicability and comfort of the route.

   To give an idea of the earnings of the Burlington & Missouri road in its infancy, the following statement is given: In 1861, with seventy-five miles of road, the amount of earnings was $183,983.60; in 1862, with the same number of miles, $239,182.62; in 1863, with same number of miles, $292,121.93; in 1864, with the same number of miles, $431,005.98; in 1865, with the same number of miles, $466,745.27; in 1866, with the same number of miles, $481,248.08; in 1867, with 140 miles of road, $680,986.51; in 1868, with 173 miles of road, $926,709.22. The Iowa census report of 1869 showed the aggregate of live stock and wool carried eastward from the several stations along the line of road, during the year ending April 30, 1869, to exceed that carried on any other Iowa road. The scenery along this line of railroad is everywhere diversified and beautiful, and the last twenty miles up the Missouri Valley is perfectly magnificent. The high bluffs that fringe the valley on either side, marking the ancient boundaries of a mighty river, are picturesque beyond description. The road from Burlington to Omaha traverses eleven counties and runs through the county seat of each. Everywhere along the line, new and prosperous villages soon sprang up, the most noted of these being Mount Pleasant, Fairfield, Ottumwa, Albia, Chariton, Osceola, Afton, Corning, Villesca, Red Oak Junction and Glenwood.

   A portion of Iowa, hitherto comparatively undeveloped, was, by the building of the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad, opened up with quick and easy access to the great produce markets of the East, and now attains marked prominence on one of the great national highways. The main line of the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad in Nebraska extends from the city of Plattsmouth to Kearney Junction, where connections are made with the Union Pacific, a distance of 190 miles. This company was organized under a liberal charter, in 1869, with a capital stock of $7,500,000, which was divided into 75,000 shares, funded debt, first mortgage 8 per cent convertible bonds, dated July 1, 1869, with semi-annual interest, payable in January and July, and the principal payable July 1, 1894. On the 1st of May, 1871, the capital stock of the company was increased to $12,000,000.

   The company received a land grant from the Government amounting to 2,382,208 acres, also a grant from the State of Nebraska of 50,000 acres, and when they took possession of the Omaha & Southwestern road, they acquired the land grant made to that line by the State, to the extent of 100,010 acres. It may be proper to state here that the Omaha & Southwestern road, although chartered from Omaha to Lincoln, was only built to the Platte River, where it formed a junction with the Burlington & Missouri road, over which it secured track service into Lincoln until its transfer by lease to the latter line. On the 1st of August, 1879, the company owned and operated in the State of Nebraska 443 miles, as follows: From Plattsmouth, via Lincoln, to Kearney Junction, 190 miles, where connections were made with the Union Pacific road; from Plattsmouth to Omaha, twenty-one miles, where connections are made with the Union Pacific, Omaha & North-Western, Chicago & North-Western and Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific roads. In brief, at Omaha, connections are made with lines radiating east, west and north. From Lincoln to York, fifty-five miles; from Lincoln to Brownville, on the Missouri River, 65 miles; from Crete to Beatrice, thirty miles; from Hastings to Bloomington, sixty-nine miles. The lines above mentioned traverse the following counties, making connections with other lines at the points named: Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, Otoe, Nemaha, Lancaster, Seward, York, Saline, Fillmore, Clay, Adams, Kearney, Buffalo, Webster, Franklin and Gage; while their projected lines, some of which are under construction, traverse Hamilton, Hall, Merrick, Jefferson, Thayer, Nuckolls, Harlan, Furnas, Red Willow, Hitchcock, Dundy and Johnson Counties. The track was laid to Kearney Junction Sept 15, 1872; to Central City Feb. 1, 1880; to Columbus May 18, 1880; to Culbertson July 2, 1881.

   In brief, the Burlington & Missouri lines occupy the garden, as it were, of the Platte and Republican Valleys. This corporation has adopted and pursued, from the date of its organization, a most liberal and comprehensive policy toward the country through which its lines of road are constructed. To a much larger extent than is usual in railway corporations, it has exhibited a disposition to make its interests and that of the country through which it passes identical. In fact, the history and development of the Burlington & Missouri River road is most intimately interwoven with the development and prosperity of the great South Platte country, and the popular voice is that every movement of this corporation has tended directly toward the material advancement of that beautiful portion of the State occupied by its lines, which has made it one of the most prosperous as well as popular roads in the West. Their lines are well and safely built; their bridges and culverts are constructed upon the most approved system; their rolling stock is ample, and their passenger equipment combines all of the more modern improvements for the speed, comfort and safety of passengers.

   The construction of the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Bridge, at Plattsmouth, spanning the Missouri River, was commenced in 1879, under the supervision of George S. Morrison, Chief Engineer of that company. The channel of the river at the point where the bridge crosses it is only 344 feet, a narrowness that was secured by many years of rip-rapping by the railroad company, who constructed formidable piers and dykes of stone, on the Iowa side, in order to turn the channel permanently in the direction of the rocky bluffs on the Nebraska shore. These improvements, although attended by an enormous outlay of money, have so securely hemmed in the channel as to make the enterprise of bridging the stream an easy and comparatively cheap undertaking.

   The bridge is constructed of steel spans, of 300 feet in length each. Thin spans are supported in the center and at the ends by piers of great solidity, constructed of stone and iron. The substructure of these piers is the bed rock, which at that point is reached at fifty feet below low water mark. This work was effected by compressed air, the machinery for which was purchased at a large cost The pier on the Nebraska shore, however, rests on the bed of the rock bluffs, which is at about low water mark. The bridge is approached from the Iowa side by a high grade of considerable length, while on the Nebraska side it is approached through a deep cut in the bluffs. The bridge is fifty feet above high water mark, thus doing away with the necessity of a draw.

   Omaha & Southwestern Railroad.--The initial proceedings in the organization of this corporation have been outlined in the organization of the North-Western road (see history of the C., St. P., M. & O. R. R.), and it is unnecessary to here repeat what has already been detailed. The public meetings held, and which were addressed with great eloquence by many of Omaha's most distinguished citizens, were primarily convened in the interests of the Southwestern, but finally gave birth to that and the Northwestern. The people felt that they needed both, that both were alike necessary to Omaha, and that both should be constructed with as little delay as possible.

   The company was organized on the 27th of November, 1869, with a capital stock of $1,000,000, of which amount, as in the case of the North-Western, $100,000 was ordered to be paid in by installments, as the money should be needed for the work as it progressed. On the same day, the articles of incorporation were promulgated before Milton Barlow, a notary, and the following officers elected: S. S. Caldwell, President; Henry T. Clark, Vice President; Enos Lowe, Treasurer, and A. S. Paddock, Secretary; George W. Frost, Enos Lowe, Clinton Briggs, S. S. Caldwell, John Y. Clopper, H. T. Clark, Ezra Millard, Jonas Gise and Alvin Saunders, Directors; S. S. Caldwell, G. W. Frost., Enos Lowe, Alvin Saunders, Henry T. Clark and Jonas Gise, Executive Committee.

   Under the direction of these officers, the affairs of the road were conducted with signal ability, with a view solely to the completion of the first ten miles before the 1st of February, 1870.

   The work of grading was let severally to Smiley & Meson, McCarthy & Fleming, William Knight and John Green, and commenced without delay, so that its completion was reached and the last rail laid on the evening of January 29, 1870, at a total cost of $195,000.

   The celerity with which this and the North-Western road was incepted, pushed forward and completed the desired number of miles, was something marvelous, and exceeds any undertaking in these respects in the annals of railroad enterprise. Sixty days previous to their completion, the ties of both roads were in the primeval trees of the forest and virgin to the ax; the iron composing the rails was in a crude state, untouched by the hand of man, and the necessary preliminary manufacture to place them in their future location transpired 600 miles away from where they were subsequently to be laid. The reflection of these facts almost induces one to the conclusion that the fanciful doings of mythologic ages or the astounding scenes detailed in Aladdin have been realized at a later day.

   The roads were duly accepted by the commissioners appointed to inspect them, and the lines were added to the transportation resources of the country.

   The road became a branch of the Burlington & Missouri Railroad, and, in connection with the Atchison & Nebraska and Missouri & Pacific Railways, forms a through line from Omaha to St. Louis on the west side of the Missouri River.

   The Nebraska Railway, now owned and operated by the Burlington & Missouri River road, which extends from Nemaha City, in Nemaha County, on the Missouri River, to Central City, in Merrick County, passing in its course through Brownville, Nebraska City, Syracuse, Palmyra, Bennet, Lincoln, Seward, York and Aurora, was organized in 1871, under the title of the Midland Pacific Railroad. The line was built from Nebraska City to Lincoln, a distance of fifty-eight miles, in 1871, and extended to Seward, eighty-three miles from Nebraska City, in 1874. It was the intention of the original company to build the line to Fort Kearney, or to some point farther east on the Union Pacific road. A branch was also projected from the main line, at some point in Otoe County, to Fort Riley, in Kansas. The line was, however, sold under foreclosure, and the company re-organized under the title of the Nebraska Railway, and was operated as such until it passed into the hands of the Burlington & Missouri Company, in 1876, who extended the line west from Seward to York, and from Nebraska City to Nemaha City, its present southeastern terminus. It was subsequently extended westward from York to Aurora, in Hamilton County, from whence it turns abruptly to the north to Central City, the county seat of Merrick County. The line passes through the rich farming counties of Nemaha, Otoe, Lancaster, Seward, York and Hamilton, connecting at Brownville, on the Missouri River, with the Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs road, at Lincoln with the entire system of railroads radiating from that center, at Seward with another branch of the Burlington & Missouri, and at Central City with the Union Pacific. The original company were the recipients of a land grant to aid in the construction of their line from Nebraska City to Seward, of 10,184,448 acres. By an act of the State Legislature, approved February 22, 1875, the company were also granted a certain amount of saline lands, but, as it did net comply with the conditions of the grant, such lands reverted back to the State.

   The general officers of the Burlington & Missouri Company, located in Omaha, are: G. W. Holdrege, General Superintendent; George B. Harris, General Freight Agent; H. M. Smith, Assistant General Freight Agent; C. D. Dorman, Auditor; J. G. Taylor, Assistant Treasurer; L. E. Calvert, Chief Engineer; P. S. Eustis, General Ticket Agent, George Hargreaves, Purchasing Agent; George W. Sharpless, Car Accountant at Lincoln; J. D. McFarland, Land Commissioner; John C. Bonnell, Assistant Land Commissioner; C. Ernst, Cashier Land Department; C. E. Yates, Superintendent of Telegraph, at Plattsmouth; D. Hawksworth, Master Mechanic; C. S. Dawson, Store-keeper.

   The officers in charge of the operations of the four divisions are: Burlington & Missouri Railway Division and Nebraska Railroad Division, D. E. Thompson, Assistant Superintendent; C. P. Olsen, Foreman of Bridges; J. P. Taylor, Roadmaster between Omaha, Plattsmouth and Lincoln, including Plattsmouth and Omaha yards; J. H. Daily, Roadmaster between Lincoln and Kearney, including Lincoln yards; P. Leahy, Roadmaster between Nemaha and Central City.

   Atchison & Nebraska Railroad Division, J. McConniff, Assistant Superintendent; C. B. Coon, Foreman Bridges and Roadmaster.

   Republican Valley Railroad Division, A. Campbell, Assistant Superintendent; P. Olsen, Foreman Bridges; C. B. Rodgers, Roadmaster between Hastings and Culbertson; E. F. Highland, Roadmaster between Crete and Amboy.

   For all divisions, T. McAlpine, Chief Operator, Lincoln office.

   The following new lines have been constructed:

            Line                     Dist.      Approx. Cost.
   Beatrice to Wymore . . . . . . .  12.3 . . . $ 182,816 80
   Endicott to Wymore . . . . . . .  27.1 . . . . 398,457 80
   Table Rock to Wymore . . . . . .  38.2 . . . . 569,753 00
   Nemaha to Calvert . . . . . . . .  9.6 . . . . 143,328 00
   Indianola to Nebraska and Col-
      orado State Line . . . . . . . 91.8 . . . 1,321,349 40
                                     ____       ____________
                                    179.0      $2,616,349 40

   The Omaha passenger traffic of the Burlington & Missouri has increased wonderfully in the past year, and the managers of the company have taken several important steps looking to the proper care of this important and constantly increasing business. It will be noticed, among other changes, that an additional local train has been running for several months past between Omaha and Lincoln, arriving in Omaha when business commences in the morning, and leaving after the close of business in the evening, thus opening up to Omaha the trade of all that section of the State between here and Lincoln. In addition to this, the through train on the road is now run so that connections are made through in one day to all parts of the Burlington & Missouri's system of lines east of Red Cloud and Kearney.

   The company's land sales for the year 1881 were 124,979.54 acres, for the sum of $617,399.94, being a trifle less than $5 per acre.

   Rolling Stock: Passenger cars, 36; combination cars (passenger and baggage), 11; mail and baggage cars, 6; baggage cars, 5; mail cars, 2; officers' car, 1; pay car, 1; way cars, 31; box cars, 1,631; stock cars, 366; flat cars, 684; coal cars, 387; locomotives, 70.

   Agencies, 114. Number of men on rolls, November, 1881, 4,080; in machine shops, Plattsmouth, 791.

   Miles of Road in Operation: 938 in Nebraska, 40 in Kansas, 5 in Iowa.


   The Sioux City & Pacific Railroad has, during 1881, built and opened for business in the State about 110 miles of main track. Of the above, twelve miles was an extension of the Niobrara Division from Plainview to Creighton, which is in the heart of Knox County, and a must inviting section of country for immigration. The remaining 100 miles was an extension of the main line of the Elkhorn Valley from Neligh to Long Pine. This runs through a part of Antelope County, and also through Holt, and into an unorganized section of high rolling prairie, which is excellent soil and well watered, and now open to homesteading. All the above extensions open up trade to Omaha, the future of which can only be measured by similar events of other sections of the State by this and other roads. This road has now in operation 280 miles of road in Nebraska; has fifty miles more graded, which will be ironed to Fort Niobrara as soon as the opening spring will permit track-laying--by May at the furthest. Its officers are: Oliver Ames, President; P. E. Hall, General Manager; J. E. Anesworth, Chief Engineer, in charge of construction; J. S. Wattles, Superintendent; J. R. Buchanan, General Passenger Agent; K. C. MacLean, General Freight Agent.


   This road, (the big four), which connects Omaha with the vast lumber region of Wisconsin and the great milling interests of Minnesota, is one of the leading lines running into Omaha and is the popular route to the principal points of the great Northwest. The general offices, located at St. Paul, Minn., occupy one of the handsomest brick buildings there.

   Officers of the company: H. H. Porter, President, Chicago, Ill.; E. W. Winter, Assistant President, St. Paul, Minn.; R. P. Flower, Second Vice President and Treasurer, Oshkosh, Wis.; C. F. Hatch, General Superintendent, St. Paul, Minn.; T. B. Clark, General Traffic Manager, St. Paul. Minn.; J. H. Hiland, Assistant Traffic Manager, St. Paul, Minn.; W. H. Truesdale, Assistant Traffic Manager, St. Paul, Minn.; C. D. W. Young, Auditor, St. Paul, Minn.; H. H. Atray, Assistant Auditor, St. Paul, Minn.; G. A. Hamilton, Local Treasurer, St. Paul, Minn.; T. W. Teasdale, General Passenger Agent, St. Paul, Minn.; W. H. S. Wright, Purchasing Agent, St. Paul, Minn.; C. W. Porter and W. H. Phipp, Land Commissioners, Hudson, Wis.; J. H. Drake, Land Commissioner, St. Paul; F. M. Luce, Car Accountant, Chicago, Ill.

   The Nebraska Division, Sioux City to Omaha, including its branches, under the able management of its present officers, is doing a very large passenger and freight business.

   The construction of the Norfolk Branch, which leaves the main line at Emerson, running west forty-nine miles, and will terminate at Norfolk, is being pushed forward as rapidly as possible; also work on Florence Cut-off is rapidly approaching completion. Florence Cut-off is about six miles north of Omaha and will save a heavy grade.

   The stations opened during the year 1881 are Wakefield, Wayne, Flournoy, Craig and Hiland. A beautiful passenger depot has been built by the C., St. P., M. & O. and S. C. & P. R. R., at Blair.

   General offices of Nebraska Division are located at Omaha, in Creighton Block.

   Officers for the division: George V. Morford, Superintendent, Omaha; J. A. Munroe, General Agent, Omaha.

   Omaha & Northwestern Railway.--On the 15th of February, 1869, the Legislature of Nebraska appropriated 2,000 acres per mile to any railroad which should complete ten miles of its route within one year, the grant in no case to exceed 100,000 acres. The members of the Legislature, appreciating the importance of prompt action and realizing that railroads alone could effect the desired end, wisely concluded upon the action, appropriating altogether 500,000 acres of land for the purpose of internal improvements. Movements to take advantage of this act were inaugurated during the summer of 1869 in various portions of the State, while Omaha remained quiescent, so to speak Finally, at what might be called the eleventh hour, her citizens awoke, and, with that energy and enterprise which are the characteristics of Western men, succeeded in completing twenty miles of road leading to the southwest and northwest, which have become two of the most important lines in the Western country.

   Early in October, 1869, James E. Boyd, one of the directors of the Central National Bank, made, through the public press, a proposition, the substance of which was that he would be one of twenty men to advance $10,000 for the purpose of constructing the Omaha & Northwestern road. A route was projected from Omaha to the Niobrara River, which forms the northern boundary of the State; the route was designed to be up the Missouri Valley some twenty-five miles, and, crossing the divide, descend into the beautiful and fertile valley of the Elkhorn River, which it would follow to a point some twenty miles distant from its terminus, thence cross the divide between the waters of the Elkhorn and Niobrara to the mouth of the latter. This point is 250 miles by river above Sioux City, and must open to Omaha the entire trade of the Upper Missouri country to Fort Benton and is in direct communication with the various Indian reservations and military posts of Northern Nebraska and Dakota Territory.

   The proposition of Mr. Boyd met with favorable responses from C. H. Downs, George M. Mills, William F. Sweesy and Jonas Gise, but, as this included but one-fourth of the required number, the project was abandoned, and, for a time, nothing mere was done.

   Some time after, the public became aware of the true condition of the railroad question, when meetings were held and largely attended, and at last the ball was put in motion, which resulted in the building of the Northwestern and Southwestern roads. The first meetings were called in the interest of the latter; but a short time subsequent, at a private meeting of wealthy and influential citizens, including the five gentlemen above mentioned, it was determined that if any road was built, the Northwestern should be included. After this meeting, the matter was thoroughly canvassed and agitated, and the general feeling obtained that one was equally as important to Omaha as the other. When the question of voting county bonds was brought up, the Northwestern took precedence and was voted one-half more important than the other.

   On the 19th of November, 1869, the articles of incorporation were drawn up, and, on the 27th of the same month, they were signed before L. L. Maguire, notary public, by the following gentlemen, who were the corporators: J. A. Horbach, Ezra Millard, J. E. Boyd, J. S. McCormick. H. Kountze. C. H. Downs, J. H. Millard, J. A. Morrow, W. A. Paxton, Jonas Gise, E. Creighton and A. Kountze. The first meeting of the incorporators and stockholders followed, at which it was decided to commence building the road at once on the most practicable route. At the same meeting, James E. Boyd, Ezra Millard, J. A. Horbach, John A. Morrow, Jonas Gise, John I. Redick, A. Kountze and J. S. McCormick were elected directors. To conform to the requirements of the charter, $100,000 of the capital stock of $1,000,000 had been previously subscribed and 10 per cent of that amount paid in. At the same meeting, the Board of Directors elected James E. Boyd, President; J. A. Horbach. Vice President; J. H. Millard, Treasurer, and A. M. Motherhead, Secretary. Notices asking for proposals for grading the road were ordered to be published in the daily papers, same to be opened in December.

   On the 29th of November, a meeting was held at which the "Mill Creek" route was adopted; 10 per cent of the amount subscribed in addition to that already paid was called for, and it was further agreed that the balance should be called in by instalments of 10 per cent as fast as the necessities of the road required. Subsequently, J. E. House was appointed Chief Engineer of the company, and, on December 1, bids for grading were opened and the contract let to William A. Paxton, at 45 cents per cubic yard.

   The work progressed with wonderful rapidity, and, on February 3, 1870, the road was completed ten miles on its route and in running order, at a cost for materials of $198,000.

   During 1870, twenty-six and one-half miles of road were completed to De Soto and a lease entered into with John I. Blair of a branch of the Missouri & Pacific road, known as the "De Soto Plug," by which communication between Omaha and Blair became direct and regular. Business grew in proportions, the country contiguous to the line contained a population of 40,000, and was being rapidly settled by an energetic, industrious class of farmers and business men. The road received $200,000 in 10 per cent twenty-year bonds from Douglas County; $150,000 in 8 per cent twenty-year bonds from Washington County for the building of the road from the south to the north line of the latter county; in addition, 2,000 acres per mile from the State and liberal donations from other northern counties. It was proving a valuable auxiliary to Omaha and rapidly bringing Northern Nebraska into full communion with the East. The financial condition of affairs was at this time most satisfactory. The cost of the road had been thus far $450,000, for which cash was paid and no mortgage bonds issued. October 7, 1871, the road was completed to Herman, on the line of Washington and Burt Counties, and located seven miles north to Tekama, with the prospect of extending a branch by way of Logan Creek and Elkhorn Valley to the mouth of the Niobrara.

   During 1872, the road-bed to Tekama was graded, but the high price of iron and equipments precluded the furnishing and operation of this extension. On January 1, 1873, the liabilities of the corporation included $470,000 worth of bonds, $320,000 of which were held by seven of the original incorporators as security for funds advanced on former construction account, and $150,000 were owned abroad. The assets consisted of the road-bed, equipments, etc., and the remainder of unsold lands donated by the State, aggregating altogether about $600,000. This year occurred the memorable financial panic, resulting, in a large measure, from the withdrawal of the active wealth of the country from immediate circulation. These, with other causes, which precipitated, in a greater or less degree, the catastrophe of 1857, brought about the crisis of 1873. Work was suspended and so continued through 1874, when the dire effects of the monetary stringency suggested were supplemented by those incident to and growing out of the grasshopper plague. On July 1 of this year, payment of interest on the first mortgage bonds of $470,000 was not made, and trouble commenced. The completion of the road to Tekama was again delayed and not consummated until August 26, 1876, at which time the company received $45,000 in bonds from Burt County. The following year, the Union Trust Company, as Trustees for certain of the bondholders, filed a bill in chancery praying for a decree of foreclosure and sale of the road to satisfy their claims. The decree was entered May 10, 1878, and, on October 5 of the same year, the Northern Nebraska Railway Company was incorporated by John A. Creighton, John A. Horbach, H. W. Yates, Frank Murphy and Herman Kountze, stockholders in the Omaha & Northwestern road, in anticipation of the sale of the latter road, as provided for in the decree. The latter took place on the 24th of October following, when it was purchased by the Union Trust Company for $105,000, and taken and operated by the new corporation, which, in May, 1879, put the line from Tekama to Oakland, in Logan Creek Valley, sixty-four miles from Omaha, under construction, and completed and placed the same in operation during the ensuing December.

   In the previous October, negotiations were commenced between the Northern Nebraska Railway and the St. Paul & Sioux City Railway Companies for a consolidation of their several interests, resulting in a contract therefor, dated November 29, 1879, under which the sale of the Nebraska Railway franchises to the St. Paul Railroad Company was perfected and concluded in March, l880. During that year, the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad Company was organized in Wisconsin and purchase made thereby of the Chicago, St. Paul & Minneapolis, the West Wisconsin, North Wisconsin and St. Paul & Sioux City roads. Since that date, the Omaha Northwestern road has been owned and operated by the new corporation, which owns 180 miles of track, equipped with furniture, tackle and apparel in Nebraska, including the Norfolk Branch, a line of road from the main line at Emerson Junction to Norfolk, a distance of forty-seven miles, commenced in 1880 and finished in 1881.


   Omaha is the business and financial headquarters of the Pacific Express Company.

   The Pacific Express Company, which grew out of the express department of the Union Pacific Railway, was incorporated under the laws of Nebraska in November, 1879. The business has grown from one line of railway until it now covers over ten thousand miles of railway, besides many miles of stage lines. Having about twelve hundred agencies and lines extending from the Gulf of Mexico on the south to Montana on the north, and as far north as Toledo and Detroit. Through way bills are made to all the principal cities of the Union.

   The principal offices, including the auditing of the accounts, are in Omaha, and all remittances come to this City.

   About two thousand five hundred employes are on the pay-rolls, fifty of whom are employed in and about Omaha; 225 men are employed as express messengers.

   The gross earnings of the company for the year 1881 were not less than $2,500,000. (All moneys come to Omaha.)

   The officers and Directors for 1881 were: T. L. Kimball, President, Omaha; A. L. Hopkins, Vice President, New York; J. W. Gannett, Secretary and Treasurer, Omaha; Sidney Dillon, New York; Jay Gould, New York; E. M. Morsman, General Manager, Omaha; W. F. Bechel, Auditor, Omaha; L. A. Fuller, Superintendent, St. Louis, Mo.; J. K. Johnston, Superintendent, Kansas City, Mo.; W. R. Bresie, Assistant Superintendent, Springfield, Ill.; M. T. Geutsch, Assistant Superintendent, Salt Lake City; James Aiken, Assistant Superintendent, Texarkana, Ark; H. D. Colvin, General Agent, Chicago, Ill.; H. Chapin, General Agent, Toledo, Ohio; R. Stanberry, General Agent, Galveston, Texas.

   The American Express Company operates the B. & M., the S. C. & Pac., and the St. P., M. & Omaha Railway in Nebraska; also, the C., B. & Q., and the Chicago & Northwestern, going east. Increase in business for 1841, 30 percent. W. J. Hancock, Superintendent, Council Bluffs; H. H. Browning, Agent, Omaha. The office of the United States Express Company is located at 1215 Farnham street. Their business for 1881 increased 33 per cent over 1880. They employ twelve hands and five teams in this city. Officers: T. C. Platt, New York City; H. Kip, General Superintendent, Buffalo, N. Y.; J. Shepard, Superintendent Western Division; W. H. Quick, Superintendent Iowa and Nebraska Division; S. A. Huntoon, Local Agent.

   The total local business of the three companies is estimated at $300,000 for the year, a remarkable exhibit, equal to the combined business of the cities of Des Moines, Burlington, Dubuque and Keokuk, Iowa, and Peoria, Ill.

   Telegraph facilities, of course, exist in all parts of the State where civilization has advanced.

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