KanColl: The Kansas Historical Quarterlies

The Building of the
First Kansas Railroad
South of the Kaw River

by Harold J. Henderson

August 1947 (Vol. 15, No. 3), pages 225-239
Transcription by Harriette Jensen; HTML composition by Name withheld by request;
digitized with permission of the Kansas State Historical Society.

THE first railroad locomotive to operate in Kansas south of the Kaw river made its initial crossing of that river at Lawrence, November 1, 1867. [1]. Nosing of this "iron horse" across the Kaw was a part of the first all-out construction race in the state to cash in on county bonds before a fixed deadline. [2] In order to qualify for the bonds it was necessary for the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston railroad to lay track from Lawrence to Ottawa by January 1, 1868. [3] The race developed into a "photo finish," in which a prominent Kansas newspaper editor made a "last-minute" dash to Illinois to rush delivery of passenger cars for the railroad's opening. [4] The track was completed a day before the deadline. [5]

     The locomotive making this pioneer southward Kaw river crossing was the "Ottawa." [6] It belonged to the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston, which, by destroying its bridge behind it [7] became probably the only Kansas railroad that ever operated the greater part of two years minus a terminus with a direct rail or ferry connection.

     The Union Pacific railway, Eastern division, had been constructed westward from Wyandotte and placed in operation to Lawrence [8] before the Missouri Pacific, its original connecting line, had a continuous track in operation from St. Louis to Kansas City [9] but the Union Pacific from the first had connecting carriers in the form of Missouri river boats. [10]

     County bonds had been issued for three other Kansas railroad projects prior to the launching of the construction race by the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston [11] but the ballot proposals presented to and adopted by the voters either did not specify a time limit in which the railroads should be completed or the bonds by agreement were issued in advance of construction on a "pay-as-you-go" basis as the lines were built. [12]

     Leavenworth county had issued bonds to the Missouri River railroad [13] (the Missouri Pacific's present Kansas City-Leavenworth line) prior to its construction [14] and to the Union Pacific railway; Eastern division, for the building of a branch from Leavenworth to Lawrence with an agreement that the bonds be delivered pro rata as the work progressed. [15] Johnson county also voted bonds to aid in the construction of the Kansas and Neosho Valley railroad [16] (the Frisco's present line from Kansas City to Olathe) [17] but issued a portion of the bonds more than a year before the line was placed in operation. [18] Moreover, the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston was running trains eleven months before the Kansas and Neosho Valley was maintaining service to Olathe. [19]

     Prior problems of financing and bridging formed much of the background for this railroad construction race drama which opened its final act on November 1, 1867. The act began with the pioneer locomotive operation south of the Kaw when the "Ottawa" made its crossing at Lawrence after a temporary "low" bridge had been constructed. The span was erected solely for the purpose of getting the motive power, a small quantity of rolling stock and needed iron across the river [20] for laying a 27-mile track to Ottawa. [21]

     Less than four months after Sen. James H. Lane assumed the presidency of the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston railroad in1865, [22] Douglas county had voted on September 12, 1865, $250,000 in bonds for a subscription to the stock of the line to be made upon its completion in that county. [23] Franklin county had followed suit a little more than a year later by voting $125,000 in bonds for the projected line commonly known as "The Galveston Railroad," to be issued upon its construction in that county. [24]

     Within the week that Douglas county voted the railroad bonds, Senator Lane had presented to the directors of the Galveston road a resolution providing:

     That the executive committee be instructed to ascertain the cost of a double track railroad bridge across the Kansas river, including in connection therewith It double passenger track; and said committee is further authorized to receive special city, county and individual subscriptions of stock, payable as said work progresses, for the construction of the same. And when said committee shall obtain a sufficient amount of said stock, they are hereby empowered to contract for building said bridge, to be completed at as early a day as practicable. . . . [25]

     After Senator Lane started on a speaking tour of the South in the interests of the Galveston road with appearances planned at Memphis, Vicksburg and New Orleans, the railroad advertised for bids "for putting in the foundations and building the abutments and piers for the railroad bridge of this company across the river at Lawrence," with January 1, 1866, the final day for filing pro-posals. The Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, said that "We are informed upon reliable authority. . . that it is the confident expectation of the company to have their bridge across the river at this point completed by spring." [26]

     But ample credit and cash for railroad building was not forth-coming alone from promised county stock subscriptions to be paid for by a future bond issue. Outside capital was needed. The Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston railroad had received a land grant but title could not be obtained to any of the lands until a portion of the line was in operation. [27] The bond proposition of Douglas county was termed impracticable for railroad financing by James F. Joy, [28] president of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy and Michi-gan Central railroads, and a director of the New York Central, [29] because the proceeds could not be used until certain work was al-ready completed. He said upon a visit to Lawrence that the amount of Douglas county bonds voted could finance the grading and tieing of the road to the Franklin county line, and then rail and iron could otherwise be obtained.

     Newspaper discussion and statements of public men pointed to the probability that not more than 50 percent of the par value of the county bonds could be realized by their sale. This brought the suggestion that the state endorse such county bonds or lend its credit to the counties, the state itself being barred by constitutional provisions from issuing bonds for internal improvements. State bonds were credited with bringing near par. [30]

     Financial arrangements had not been completed for the construc-tion of the Lawrence bridge nor for the complete building of the road when Senator Lane was reelected president of the railroad in June, 1866, and one of his "last works" before his death July 11 was to send Maj. B. S. Henning east to interest capitalists in the construction of the Galveston road. [31]

     These efforts finally resulted in definitely enlisting the interest of Chicago and New York capitalists in the projected road early in November, 1866. [32] Then followed a series of moves that led to the establishment of a deadline for the completion of the road to Ottawa, if county stock subscriptions were to be made through issuance of bonds, and the ensuing construction race.

     With the naming of these capitalists to the board of directors on November 29, the new company officials and board headed by William Sturges of Chicago and including Cyrus H. McCormick of New York, asked Douglas county to increase its proposed stock subscription in the Galveston road to $300,000, declaring that "in most of the projected enterprises in this region, the people offer, by way of contribution, what is equivalent to one-third of the cost of construction." [33]

     Douglas county voters on February 6, 1867, authorized an increase in the proposed stock subscription by the county to $300,000 and the issuance of a like amount of bonds to the company, contingent upon the railroad completing and equipping 24 miles of track by January 1, 1868. [34]

     . In February announcement was made that iron for the Leaven-worth, Lawrence and Galveston had been purchased in Liverpool, England, and late in the following month the contract had been awarded for the masonry for the first ten miles of line. By April 28 it was reported 30 hands were cutting ties for the railroad. [35]

     Heavy rains in late May forced contractors to reduce grading forces in the Wakarusa bottom but it was estimated that a fourth of the grading had been completed to the Franklin county line and considerable stone had been delivered for the 140-foot Wakarusa river bridge. Two miles had been graded on the south side of the Wakarusa river along Coal creek and portions of the grading done along the route towards Baldwin City. "Beyond the Santa Fe Ridge, hands are strung all along the line of the work," the Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, said. [36]

     By mid-July, with less than six months to meet the deadline, Col. J. B. Vliet, engineer of the Galveston road, estimated that the road-bed for the first 24 miles of the line could be made ready for the rails in three weeks. And following a directors' meeting in Chicago, Major Henning was sent east to purchase locomotives and rolling stock for the road, but no construction had been undertaken to bridge the Kaw. [37]

     Meanwhile, Franklin county was asked to increase its proposed bond issue from $125,000 to $200,000 to aid in completing the rail-road through to Ottawa.38 On August 14 it was reported that grading would be completed in ten days to the Douglas-Franklin county line but there remained a mile and a half gap immediately south of Lawrence. [39]

     By September factors in the construction race for the county bonds were taking more definite shape.

     Early in the year Douglas county had increased the amount of its proposed bond issue to aid in financing the road and stipulated the January 1 deadline for completion. [40] Original provisions in 1866 for Franklin county's proposed $125,000 bond issue specified no time limit for completing the road but provided for delivery of half of the issue upon completion of the line to Ottawa. [41]

     On September 2, 1867, the Franklin county commissioners issued a notice for an election September 23 on the proposal to authorize, an increase in the contemplated issue to $200,000, but with the added provision that the road be completed to Ottawa by January or no bonds would be issued at al1. [42] When the voters approved this proposal later the same month, the Galveston railroad thus faced the task of completing the road to Ottawa by New Year's or not only lose the original $125,000 in bonds promised by Franklin county but an additional $75,000 as well. [43]

     Early in September, it was reported that iron for the road had been shipped and two locomotives purchased. By September 11 three carloads of the rail and track material had passed through Quincy, Ill. Three days later seven carloads had reached Leavenworth. [44]

     Still no means had been procured for crossing railroad equipment over the Kaw and less than four months remained to bridge the river, finish construction of the roadbed and lay the rail to Ottawa by January 1.

     So vital had become the problem that the laying of temporary rails over the Babcock wagon bridge was considered as a means of moving locomotives to the south bank of the Kaw. [45]

     Neither Quincy [46] nor Leavenworth had railroad bridges [47] but the rolling stock brought west via these points could be transferred across the Mississippi and Missouri rivers by boats. Leavenworth had a ferry connection with a Missouri railroad at East Leaven-worth. [48] But Lawrence at this period did not have a ferry, the Babcock wagon bridge having been constructed in 1863 and the steam ferry was not placed in service until 1871. [49]

     "Three car loads of iron have arrived at the Lawrence depot for the Galveston railroad. It will keep coming," was the announcement of the Kansas Daily Tribune of Lawrence, October 1.

     Building of a railroad bridge across the Kansas river was discussed by the directors of the company at a meeting at Lawrence October 9 and a resolution was passed instructing the chief engineer to make plans and estimates for the bridge. The Tribune in reporting the directors' meeting said:

     There is no shadow of doubt of the speedy completion of the road to Ottawa. The iron horse can be watered in the Marais des Cygnes on New Year's day, and our Franklin county friends can get up a grand celebration and barbecue, if they want to.

     Three engines have been purchased, and one of them has already reached the Missouri opposite Leavenworth, and was to have crossed the Missouri river yesterday. The construction cars are on the way, a few car loads of the iron is at the Lawrence depot, a hundred car loads are near Leavenworth--we don't know on which side of the river. . . . [50]

     Plans for a temporary bridge were revealed on October 15 after the engineers of the road had made a survey the previous day. A Lawrence newspaper gave the following description of the plans for the structure, just above the Babcock wagon bridge, and its con-necting track:

     The road starts from the U. P. road, west of the bridge, and will thus cross this temporary bridge, and the engine and construction train pass under the Babcock bridge (so called), and thence along the river bank till near Sparr's old brick yard, and around the hill by Speer's place. The bridge is to be a temporary structure, the stringers set on cribs loaded with stone, and is to be used only for the transportation of the iron, cars, etc., used in the construction of the road. The water is only about two feet deep and the bridge will be easily made. The hands will be at work on the grading to-day. [51]

     The next day grading on the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galves-ton was started on the north side of the Kansas river for the track to be laid from the Union Pacific to the temporary bridge, and cribs for the temporary structure were being placed in the water. The last crib was constructed on October 23 and the first track-laying on the road started the preceding day. Stringers on the bridge had been placed within ten days after work on the span started and track-lay-ing across the bridge was completed on October 29. The Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, reported:

     The track-laying across the railroad bridge was completed yesterday. Con-struction cars are run across by hand with iron, but the locomotive will not be placed on it for a day or two. The ties are also in place for a considerable distance on the south side of the river . [52]

     The locomotive "Ottawa" made its first crossing over the tem-porary bridge on November 1 with five cars of iron, shortly after its arrival from Leavenworth the same afternoon. However, preliminary to the actual crossing of the locomotive the strength of the bridge was tested by a truck loaded with iron which was detached from the train at the upper part of the grade on the north side of the river and "coasted" across the bridge. The crossing of the locomotive was made a celebration and after the initial trip onlook-ers accepted an invitation to ride across the river and back. [53]

     The Kansas Daily Tribune of November 2 gave this description of the eventful crossing:

     The first raid on Southern Kansas by a railroad train was made yesterday. A locomotive was brought down from Leavenworth, and in the afternoon, with five carloads of iron, successfully crossed the Kaw, being the first train that ever made its appearance on Southern Kansas soil. A truck loaded with iron was first detached at the upper part of the grade on the north side of the river, to make the experiment trip to test the bridge, its own weight giving it sufficient impetus to carry it across in beautiful style, checking its speed only when the brakes were applied. The locomotive with its five cars and a large number of persons aboard then backed slowly across, and on reaching the south side awoke the echoes of Southern Kansas with its shrill whistle of triumph. The bridge bore the immense weight without giving in the least. It appears to be very solid and strong, capable of sustaining any weight that may be placed on it. A large crowd gathered on the wagon bridge and river banks to witness the crossing.

     After the unloading of the iron was completed, Col. Vliet invited the citizens to a ride across the river and back. Several hundred persons availed them-selves of the privilege, and the cars were speedily filled to their utmost capa-city with gentlemen, ladies and children. The train ran over to the junction and back, the passengers enjoying it hugely, judging from the general hilarity. As soon as the train arrived back at the starting point, Mayor Kimball pro-posed three cheers for the Galveston railroad, which were given with will, fol-lowed by three more for Mr. Sturges, three for Maj. Henning and three for Col. Vliet.

     The "Ottawa," described as a "grim old engine," in the succeeding days made daily and sometimes hourly trips across the cribbed bridge over the Kansas river, moving track materials. [54]

     By the middle of November less than four miles of rail had been laid from the Lawrence terminus. Timbers and iron for a Howe truss pattern bridge made in Chicago for erection over the Wakarusa river, had arrived at Lawrence, and a second locomotive, the "Osage," had crossed the Missouri river at Leavenworth. "The iron is laid a little past the summit between Lawrence and the Wakarusa, and the engine is on the down grade for the Wakarusa bottom," the Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, reported. [55]

     Track laying was completed to the Wakarusa river on November 20 but the bridge was not finished for nearly a week and the construction locomotive did not cross until November 27. Meanwhile, the second locomotive was placed on the job. [56]

     With five weeks remaining in which to qualify for the county bonds, the Galveston railroad management faced the task of building four more iron bridges and laying more than twenty miles of rail. John Speer, editor of the Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, although admitting in an editorial he had feared the deadline might not be met, now expressed confidence that the company would qualify for the bonds, in these words:

     Everything on the road is now in fine working order. We have really been despondent about this work, not that we had any doubt but the work would be done, but a fear that it might fail to be accomplished within the time required by the counties of Douglas and Franklin, and thus retard the work beyond Ottawa. We now have no fears. Nothing but an interposition of Providence could prevent it. [57]

     Meanwhile, the "Osage" had the honor of making the first ex-cursion trip down the line, transporting a number of Lawrence citizens and visitors as guests of Mr. Sturges, president of the road, down toward Coal creek where "two thousand feet of railroad was laid down" in an afternoon and the force "so completely organized that at least" a mile a day can be laid." [58]

     By December 8 the completed track was nearing the half-way mark and it was stated that track laying "is now on the up-grade for the Santa Fe ridge, and will reach Baldwin City this week" [by December 14]. [59] Laying of the rails to Baldwin would mark the completion of more than 14 miles of the 27-mile stretch to Ottawa, after more than 40 days had elapsed following placing of the first construction locomotive in service. It was estimated that laying 16 miles of rail in 20 working days was the task in order to reach the Ottawa townsite by January 1. [60]

     However, newspapers indicated a stepping up of rail laying. The Western Home Journal, Ottawa, said: "Two sets of hands-one for day, and the other for night work-are laying down over a mile of track a day." "Mr. Cooley, the new superintendent of track-laying," the Tribune said, "is a go-ahead man, as we were convinced by see-ing his hands at work an hour or two yesterday [December 7]. On Friday [December 6] he laid a mile and two hundred feet, and Sat-urday a mile and three hundred and fifty feet." [61]

     Work was progressing when the locomotive, "Osage," ran off the track on December 16 while "shoving a heavy train up to the summit of the Santa Fe ridge, near Baldwin." The pilot was badly smashed and other damage sustained. This made it necessary to operate the engine, "Ottawa," night and day to carry material as one engine was "scarcely sufficient, even when constantly employed." Nevertheless, the rail was laid to Prairie City, south of Baldwin, by December 17, and to the county line by December 20, and the grading to Ottawa had been done a few days previously. [62]

     The construction score then read: Approximate mileage completed, 18; approximately 9 miles to go in 11 days. [63] Bridges had been completed except one over "what is known as Ottawa Jones's creek." Cooley was quoted as promising to put down a mile and a half of track a day "from there on." The disabled engine was repaired just before Christmas and on that day it was announced track laying was completed to West Ottawa creek, within five miles of Ottawa, and the intention to run the construction train into Ottawa, Saturday, December 28, was made known. [64]

     Delivery of two passenger cars and a baggage car to the Galveston road had been expected in the first week in December but as the month was running out they failed to appear. The cars had been manufactured at Trenton, N. J. The approaching deadline for the completion of the road prompted John Speer, editor of the Kansas Daily Tribune and a director of the road, to make a last-minute trip to Quincy, Ill., to hurry the delivery of the coaches and the baggage car. On December 29, he reported they had been brought west as far as Leavenworth and would be run to Lawrence the following day by special train so as to be available for use on the first train into Ottawa on December 31. [65]

     On the morning of the last day of the year-hours before the county bond deadline-there remained a third of a mile of rail to be laid to the Ottawa townsite. That morning the construction train with one passenger car and three carloads of iron ran to the end of the track. Included in its passengers were George P. Lee, an officer of the Chicago & Northwestern railway and a director of the Galveston road, and Daniel L. Wells, the principal contractor for building the railway from Lawrence to Ottawa. Mr. Sturges, president of the road, had gone down on an engine at daylight to the end of the rail. [66]

     The construction train literally laid its own track into Ottawa to beat the January 1 deadline. A newspaper account said:

     The train took down iron for eighteen hundred and sixty feet of road, and from the moment that the cars were stopped till it was unloaded, laid down, well spiked, and the train run over it, was precisely an hour, and this done with a single set of track-layers-being a third of a mile and one hundred feet. . . .

     This visit of passengers was unheralded to the citizens of Ottawa; but it was known that the iron rails would cross the city line and the cars enter the city that day, and four or five hundred of the citizens of the town and surrounding country were there to witness that interesting event, and when the passenger cars arrived, loud cheers for Ottawa and Lawrence and the Gal-veston Railroad Company greeted the visitors. The crowd principally stayed on the ground till the track was down, and as the rails crossed the city line, the welkin rang with cheers, and soon the passenger car entered the city of Ottawa. Mr. Sturges remained only till he saw the cars within the city limits, and then took an engine and left to make connection with the Union Pacific road, and made the trip to Lawrence in one hour and twelve minutes. His departure was very generally regretted, but important business compelled him to return east. [67]

     Daily passenger and freight service to Ottawa was inaugurated on New Year's and by January 4 the Galveston road was carrying the mail, the stages having been taken off north of Ottawa. [68]

     Razing of the temporary Kansas river bridge was under way two weeks later. Workers began removing rails from the bridge and by January 16 the sills and timbers were being taken up and loaded on cars for removal down the road. The whole structure was being razed to the level of the ice, leaving only a small part of it in the river, and the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston was left without a direct railroad or boat connection. [69]

     No further construction work of consequence toward extending the road south of Ottawa was attempted before the summer of 1869 and it was not until August of that year that material was received for the erection of a bridge over the Marais des Cygnes at Ot-tawa. [70] However, the business on the railroad even without direct connection was shown to be on the increase. In February an ad-dition had been built to the Ottawa depot and the trains were crowded with both passengers and freight. [71]

     May saw negotiations opened by other railroad owners to acquire an interest in the Galveston road and James F. Joy, railroad capi-talist and then director of the Missouri River, Fort Scott and Gulf railroad (Frisco), was exhibiting interest in the road. [72]

     The Galveston road had acquired another engine, "The Comet," to pull the passenger train. By June 11 the locomotive was stand-ing across the Kansas river in North Lawrence. But not having had a bridge at Lawrence for nearly a year and a half, the railroad faced the problem of getting it across. A temporary track on blocks or the procurement of a boat from Kansas City to ferry it over were two means considered. Purchase of material for two flatboats apparently was the answer of the engineer, Col. J. B. -Vliet. While in Chicago for a directors' meeting he obtained the material for the construction of two boats that were also to be used in crossing cars and materials over the river for the contemplated extension of the railroad. It was announced that each boat would have a capacity of two loaded cars. Construction of the railroad ferry was under way in July. [73]

     On June 30 Joy and five Boston capitalists-Nathaniel Thayer, Sidney Bartlett, H. H. Hunnewell, W. F. Weld and John A. Burn-ham-associated with him as directors of the Missouri River, Fort Scott and Gulf railroad assumed control of the Galveston road and Joy became its president. In July grading was in progress south of Ottawa to the Pottawatomie river. [74]

     Leavenworth was displaying an interest in obtaining a direct connection with the southern Kansas trade and the Leavenworth board of trade requested the county commissioners of Leavenworth to transfer the county's Kansas Pacific railroad stock to aid in the construction of the Lawrence bridge. [75]

     In September the railroad ferry on the Kaw was taking cars and iron over the river and "working well." The Kansas Daily Tri-bune, Lawrence, reported "some ten or twelve car-loads [of iron] were brought across the river on the ferry boat yesterday [October 1] , and a portion run down to Ottawa. The cars and all are crossed, and after being unloaded the cars are recrossed and sent back. . . . The loaded cars are crossed with greatest dispatch." [76]

     However, the railroad soon showed a preference for a bridge, and construction of a temporary span was under way in October. It was nearly completed in early November, a large force of workmen and a pile driver having been employed for several days. A description of the road's second temporary Kansas river bridge was given by the Kansas Daily Tribune:

     The bridge is located a short distance below the wagon bridge, and angles across the river to allow the cars to run alongside the high bank, on the south side. Five substantial log cribs, filled with stone, have been con-structed on the south side, on a rock bottom, with the exception of the last, which rests on sand. For the rest of the way piles were driven into the sand to a depth of twelve feet, and standing high enough to give the bridge an altitude of eight feet above low-water mark. Dirt embankments are thrown up at each end to the water's edge. The work is of a very substantial character, and will doubtless serve the purpose until a permanent bridge can be erected. The cost will not exceed twelve or fifteen hundred dollars.

     The old ferry boat, with the tracks built to accommodate it, together with attendant expenses cost the company in all about ten thousand dollars. Hence, there is no question as to the economy of a bridge, to say nothing of the increased facilities for crossing cars and materials. [77]

     By December another locomotive, the "Torrent," was received by the Galveston road from Detroit. In January, 1870, the motive power of the road had been increased to eight engines, with the recent arrival of four new locomotives from the Manchester works. Four of the engines were second-hand. Meanwhile, the track of the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston had been laid two miles south of the Franklin-Anderson county line. [78]

     Joy soon expressed the hope that a permanent bridge could be constructed at Lawrence and on February 22 announced the bridge would be built at once. The span was not constructed immediately, but late in the summer of that year the road received a direct con nection from another direction. The Kansas City and Santa Fe railroad was completed from Olathe to Ottawa on August 22, 1870, and use of the Missouri River, Fort Scott and Gulf railroad tracks; from Olathe to Kansas City gave the Galveston road a continuous rail connection to the Missouri river. [79]

     By the spring of 1871 the Galveston road was attempting to compete with the Kansas Pacific for freight and passengers to Kansas City over the longer route via Ottawa and Olathe by reducing rates and advertising that "passengers will please observe that by taking this route [via Ottawa and Olathe to Kansas City] they will not be obliged to cross the river at Lawrence." [80] However, the road had not given up the idea of a Lawrence bridge. In the 1871 annual report, the directors said:

     In order to make connections with the Kansas Pacific Railroad, at Lawrence, thereby getting direct connections with Leavenworth, over the Leavenworth branch of that road, as well as to transact with convenience the business coming from or going to the main line of that road, it has become necessary that a bridge be constructed at Lawrence, across the Kansas river. [81]

     In May, 1871, newspapers announced the Kansas Pacific and the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad Company had made a contract to build a railroad bridge across the Kansas river "cojointly." [82]

     By October of that year the boat upon which the pile driver was to be placed was in position on the south side of the river. After interruptions of winter, work was under way on the second span of the structure in January, 1872, and it was completed two months later. [83]

     In March, 1873, the dream of through service over the new Kansas river bridge to Leavenworth, the northern terminus of the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston railroad under the terms of its 1864 amended charter, was realized. After extended negotiations it was announced that a contract had been signed between the Kansas Pacific and Galveston road to operate jointly through trains from Lawrence to Leavenworth and the first through train passed through Lawrence over the branch to Leavenworth the same month. [84]


HAROLD J. HENDERSON is research director
of the Kansas State Historical Society.

     1. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, November 2, 1867.

     2. Ibid., November 26, 1867.

     3. Douglas county, board of commissioners, "Commissioners' Record," v. "B," pp. 133, 134; "Special Election" notice in Kansas Weekly Tribune, Lawrence; January 17, 1867; Kan-sas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, February 8, 1867; "Special Election' notice in Western Home Journal, Ottawa, September 4, 1867, election returns in September 26, 1867, issue.

     4. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, December 29, 1867.

     5. Ibid., January 1, 1868.

     6. Western Home Journal, Ottawa, November 7, 14, 1867.

     7. Ibid., January 15, 18, 1868. Four western tributaries to the north and west of the Kaw had been bridged on the north side of the stream but a railroad span had never been erected across the Kansas river except from west to east after the river's bend northward near the state line to empty into the Missouri river.
     The Blue river was spanned near Manhattan in the summer of 1866 and the first passenger train crossed on August 20. -- Manhattan Independent, August 25, 1866; Kansas Daily Tribune, August 29, 1866. The Republican river was bridged near its mouth in the fall of the same year and the first passenger train entered Junction City, November 10. -- Junction City Union, October 27, November 17, 1866. The Union Pacific also bridged the Solomon in March, 1867, and the Saline river on April 16, 1867. -- Ibid., March 30, April 20, 1867.
     Driving of piles for the Union Pacific's first Kaw river bridge and trestle near the state line was in progress by October, 1863, and regular service across the Kansas river east to the state line was established in December, 1864. -- Wyandotte Commercial Gazette, October 10, 1863, December 31, 1864, see advertisements of train schedules; Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, December 23, 1864.

     8. Ibid., November 27, 1864.

     9. The Kansas City (Mo.) Daily Journal of Commerce, September 21, 1865; Wyandotte Commercial Gazette, September 23, 30, 1865; R. E. Riegel, "The Missouri Pacific Railroad To 1879," in The Missouri Historical Review, Columbia, v. 18, pp. 11, 18.

     10. Wyandotte Commercial Gazette, February 13, 1864. The first load of iron and first locomotive for the Union Pacific, Eastern division, were delivered by the steamboat Majors at the Wyandotte levee in February, 1864. A mention of the Majors is made in Kansas Historical Collections, v. 9, p. 306.

     11. State of Kansas, auditor of state, First Biennial Report (Topeka, 1878), table of "Municipal Debt," Johnson and Leavenworth counties, pp. 234-236.

     12. "Election Notice" in Leavenworth Daily Bulletin, January 3, 23, 1865, "Election Proclamation," June 27, 1865; Leavenworth Daily Times, June 13, 1865; Leavenworth Daily Conservative, July 1, 1865; Olathe Mirror, September 5, 1867.

     13. Leavenworth Daily Bulletin, August 23, 1865.

     14. State of Kansas, board of railroad commissioners, First Annual Report (Topeka, 1884), p. 152.

     15. Leavenworth Daily Times, June 13, 1865; Leavenworth Daily Bulletin, June 15, 1865; Leavenworth "Daily Conservative, December 13, 1865. The $250,000 in stock of the Union Pacific Railroad Company acquired by Leavenworth county in issuing bonds for the construction of the Leavenworth branch, was voted to the Kansas Central railroad under proposals approved at a special election on August 15, 1871. -- Leavenworth Daily Commercial, July 15, August 18, 1871. Construction of the main line of the Union Pacific up the Kaw valley had been financed with the aid of United States bonds and land grants. This was also true in the building of the first 100 miles of the Central Branch Union Pacific railroad (Missouri Pacific). -- State of Kansas, board of railroad commissioners, First Annual Report, pp. 811; 171.

     16. Kansas City (Mo.) Daily Journal of Commerce, November 9, 1865.

     17. State of Kansas, board of railroad commissioners, First Annual Report, pp. 143,149, Sixth Annual Report, p. 300: H. V. & H. W. Poor, Poor's Manual of the Railroads of the United States, 1902 (New York, 1902), pp. 751, 752.

     18. Olathe Mirror, September 5, October 24, 1867, Johnson county commissioners' proceedings; State of Kansas, auditor of state, First Biennial Report, p. 234; Weekly Journal of Commerce, Kansas City, Mo., December 19, 1868.

     19. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, December 31, 1867; Weekly Journal of Commerce, December 19, 1868. Construction trains were operating from Kansas City to Olathe as early as December 8, 1868, but regular service was not inaugurated until December 11, 1868. -- Ibid., December 12, 19, 1868.

     20. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, October 15, November 2, 1867.

     21. Ibid., March 18, 1869; Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad Time Table No.2 [1875], p. 2.

     22. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, June 7, 1865.

     23. Douglas county, board of commissioners, "Commissioners' Record," v. "B," pp. 40, 41; Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August 17, September 20, 1865.

     24. Western Home Journal, Ottawa, October 11, November 15, 1864.

     25. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, September 17, 1865.

     26. Ibid., October 10, November 17, 29, 1865.

     27. State of Kansas, Session Laws of 1864, ch. 70.

     28. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August 19, 1866.

     29. Henry V. Poor, Manual of the Railroads of the United States for 1869-70 (New York, 1869), pp. 21, 64, 206. Joy was also chairman of the board of the Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad. -- Ibid., p. 414.

     30. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August 19, October 80, November 14, 1866.

     31. Ibid., June 5, July 12. 25, 1866.

     32. Ibid., November 10, 1866.

     33. Ibid., December 1, 22, 1866, January 19, 1867.

     34. Kansas Weekly Tribune, Lawrence, January 17, 1867, "Special Election Notice"; Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, February 8, 1867.

     35. Ibid., February 22, March 26, April 28, 1867.

     36. Ibid., May 25, 1867.

     37. Ibid., July 17, 21, 1867.

     38. Ibid., July 17, 1867; Western Home Journal, Ottawa, August 15,1867,

     39. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August 14, 1867.

     40. Kansas Weekly Tribune, Lawrence, January 17, 1867; Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, February 8, 1867.

     41. Western Home Journal, Ottawa, October 11, 1866.

     42. Ibid., September 4, 1867.

     43. Ibid., September 4, 26, 1867.

     44. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, September 7, 11,14, 1867.

     45. Ibid., September 15, 1867. .

     46. The cornerstone of the Quincy bridge was laid on September 25, 1867, and it was completed the following year. --Leavenworth Daily Conservative. October 1, 1867; Murray, Williamson & Phelps, pub., The History of Adams County, Illinois (Chicago, 1879), pp. 490, 491.

     47. Work on the first Leavenworth railroad bridge approaches was started July 20, 1869, and on the superstructure in July, 1871. Opening of the bridge was celebrated on April 18, 1872, after an official test earlier that month. -- Leavenworth Daily Commercial, April 18, 1872.

     48. See schedule of Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad boat under "Railroad Time Table" in Leavenworth Daily Conservative, August 15, 1867. The Missouri Valley railroad WAS running trains to East Leavenworth. -- Ibid., September 1, 1867.

     49. George A. Root, "Ferries in Kansas," in Kansas Historical Quarterly, v. 2, p. 285.

     50. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, October 10, 1867.

     51. Ibid., October 15, 1887.

     52. Ibid,. October 17, 20, 23, 24, 30, 1867.

     53. Ibid., November 2, 1867; Western Home Journal, Ottawa, November 7, 1867.

     54. Lawrence State Journal, reprinted in Western Home Journal, Ottawa, November 14, 1867.

     55. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, November 14, 22, 1867.

     56. Ibid., November 20, 22, 26, 1867.

     57. Ibid., November 26, December 22, 1867.

     58. Ibid., November 27, 1867.

     59. Ibid., December 8, 1867.

     60. Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad Time Table No. 3 [1875], p. 2; Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, November 2, December 8, 1867.

     61. Western Home Journal, Ottawa, December 12, 1867; Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, December 8, 1867.

     62. Ibid., December 17, 18, 21, 1867.

     63. Ibid., December 21, 1867; March 18, 1869.

     64. Ibid., December 22, 24, 25, 1867.

     65. Leavenworth Daily Conservative, December 28, 1867; Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, November 26, December 29, 1867.

     66. Ibid., January 1, 1868.

     67. Ibid.

     68. Ibid., January 1, 8, 4, 1868.

     69. Ibid., January 15, 17, 1868.

     70. Ibid., August 8, 1869.

     71. Ibid., February 12, 18, 1869.

     72. Ibid., May 12-14, 1869; Manual of the Railroads of the United States for 1869-70, p. 407.

     73. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, June 11, 26, July 22, 1869.

     74. Ibid., July 3, 18, 1869; Manual of the Railroads of the United States for 1869-70, p. 407.

     75. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, August 25, 1869.

     76. Ibid., September 9, October 2, 1869.

     77. Ibid,. October 26, November 2, 1869.

     78. Ibid., November 26, 1869, January 1, 22, 1870.

     79. Ibid., February 25, 1870; Report of the Directors of the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad Company (Chicago, 1871), pp. 19, 20.

     80. Kansas Weekly Tribune. Lawrence, April 27, May 18, 1871.

     81. Report of the Directors of the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad Company (1871), p. 21.

     82. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, May 7, 1871.

     83. Ibid., September 28, 1871; January 9, 31; March 15, 17, 1872.

     84. Session Laws, 1864, ch. 70; Kansas Daily Tribune, March 5, 11, 1873.

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