THE RAPID growth of railroads after the Civil War was both a response to an existing need and an attempt to meet the challenge of future development. The frontier was pushing across the Kansas plains, Fifty-Niners had begun the settlement of Colorado and other areas of the mountain West, and the Pacific coast was already an important and growing market.
To link these widespread regions with one another and with Eastern markets fast and reliable transportation was needed. The railroad was the ready and obvious answer. Kansas business men and political leaders even before the Civil War dreamed of rail systems which would connect their infant cities with every place of importance in the nation. However, they soon learned that private enterprise alone could not finance such costly undertakings. Particularly in those areas where settlement was sparse and investment capital was slow in yielding returns, it was found that governmental assistance was necessary. This came in the form of land grants, and sometimes cash, from the federal and state governments, and from county, city, and township bond issues which were exchanged for railroad stock and a promise that the company would build their way.
The following account of the organization of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe and the laying of its rails across Kansas is compiled from local newspapers of the time, from personal letters, and from company records. Together they tell a story of financial problems and physical hazards which might easily have discouraged men of less determination.
Cyrus K. Holliday has been credited with inaugurating the Santa Fe railroad system. He took concrete steps toward the building of a railroad to the west as early as 1859. Reflecting on the beginnings of the organization, Holliday wrote a letter to the editor of the Atchison Globe, July 23, 1891, explaining his role:
. . . I wrote the charter, every word, line, paragraph and section, near the close of the legislative session of 1859, at Lawrence, and had the whole thing complete except filling in the names of the incorporators, in the first section, before any person was aware that such a charter was being prepared. I then advised Mr. [Luther C.] Challis as to the names to be selected from the Atchison end of the line—I suggesting the names of General [Samuel C.] Pomeroy and Mr. Challis as two of the incorporators from Atchison, and he, in turn suggesting my name as one of the incorporators from Topeka.
Since territorial Kansas had no general incorporation laws, it was necessary to obtain charter authorization through an act of the legislature. The charter provided that the company be incorporated under the name of the "Atchison and Topeka Railroad Company." It further stipulated that:
The said company is hereby authorized and empowered to survey, locate, construct, complete, alter, maintain and operate a railroad, with one or more tracks, from or near Atchison, on the Missouri River, in Kansas Territory, to the town of Topeka, in Kansas Territory, and to such a point on the southern or western boundary of said Territory, in the direction of Santa Fe, in the Territory of New Mexico, as may be convenient and suitable for the construction of such railroad; and, also to construct a branch of said railroad to any points on the southern boundary of said Territory of Kansas in the direction of the Gulf of Mexico. 
A severe drought in Kansas in 1860, followed by the outbreak of the Civil War the next year, prevented the company from making any progress toward actual construction. Formal organization, however, was completed between September 15 and 17, 1860, at the office of L. C. Challiss in Atchison. The humble beginnings of the company were recalled by the Topeka Weekly Leader, November 5, 1868, after the railroad had started building:
Ten [eight] years since, when there was no bridge across the Kaw at Topeka, four of our citizens, viz:—Hon.
Two years later another newspaper, the Emporia News, September 23, 1870, provided insight as to why the organizational meeting was held in Atchison in September, 1860:
Cyrus K. Holliday received the honor of being elected the first president of the company. Peter T. Abell was made secretary and Milton C. Dickey, treasurer. Thirteen directors were named, each of whom subscribed for $4,000 in stock, thus complying with the territory's requirement of a total of $50,000 in subscriptions. At this first meeting the directors agreed that if the venture were to succeed a land grant was necessary. 
The little progress that had been made within the company, however, could hardly have justified this report of the Topeka Record, November 24, 1860:
It is with a good deal of satisfaction that we are able to announce that the Atchison and Topeka Railroad, which has been a source of so much levity with many of our contemporaries and a prolific theme for prosy disquisitions by the score, the drouth, benevolence, railroads, etc. etc., is in a fair way to realize the expectations of its projectors.
The company remained almost in hibernation for over two years until congressional aid was finally obtained in 1863. A land-grant bill was drafted by Holliday and sent to Senator Pomeroy for sponsorship. Passed by both houses and signed by President Lincoln, March 3, 1863, it provided:
That there be, and is hereby, granted to the State of Kansas, for the purpose of aiding in the construction: First, of a railroad and telegraph from the city of Leavenworth by the way of the town of Lawrence, and via the Ohio City crossing of the Osage River, to the southern line of the State, in the direction of Galveston bay in Texas, with a branch from Lawrence by the valley of the Wakarusa River, to the point on the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad where said road intersects the Neosho River. Second, of a railroad from the city of Atchison, via Topeka, the capital of said State, to the western line of the State, in the direction of Fort Union and Santa Fe, New Mexico, with a branch from where this last-named road crosses the Neosho, down said Neosho valley to the point where the said first-named road enters the said Neosho valley; every alternate section of land, designated by odd numbers, for ten sections in width one each side of said roads and each of its branches. . . . 
This act also carried the stipulation that the line, from Atchison to the Kansas-Colorado line, should be completed and in operation by March 3, 1873.
The name of the company was changed to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Rail Road Company on November 24, 1863, by a vote of the stockholders who were meeting in Topeka. Changes were made in the Santa Fe's administration on January 13, 1864. Pomeroy was elected president, replacing Holliday who took over the office of secretary. Samuel N. Wood became vice-president and D. L. Lakin treasurer.  Less than a month later the federal land grant was accepted by the Kansas legislature and approved by the governor. The Civil War, however, was still raging and little could be done except to keep the company organization intact.
Even after the war ended the problem of finding investors willing to finance the initial construction still remained and progress was slow. By fall of 1867 the project had gained enough momentum to negotiate a contract with a construction firm. An agreement was made with George Washington Beach of New York on October 12 for building the line from Parnell Junction, six and a half miles southwest of Atchison, to the western boundary of the state. This action raised the hopes of many Kansans, especially those in populated areas along the route. The Emporia News proclaimed somewhat prophetically on January 17, 1968:
The awarding of the contract also brought a response from Gov. Samuel Crawford in his message to the legislative session of 1868:
. . . The people of Kansas have reason to congratulate themselves upon the rapid advance of railway communication into and through the state. . . . The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad has been surveyed and placed under contract, with reasonable assurance that the work will be immediately commenced and prosecuted until the road is completed into the interior of south-western Kansas. The opening up of the coal fields along the projected line of this road is a matter of great importance to the entire state, as also to other railway companies. . . . 
Unfortunately, however, Beach failed even to begin construction and a new contract had to be negotiated. Cyrus Holliday reported in March that some progress was being made toward forming a new group of backers called the Atchison Associates. A letter which he wrote to Col. Preston B. Plumb was printed in part in the Emporia News, April 3, 1868:
Among the group of "Associates" was Thomas J. Peter, an able engineer and leader. He was a member of Dodge, Lord & Company of Cincinnati, who had obtained the defaulted Beach contract in 1868. The company then made an agreement with Peter whereby he became the assignee of Beach. Before accepting the position as superintendent of the railroad Peter took a trip to Kansas to investigate the feasibility of the venture. The Emporia News, May 1, 1868, commented on the tour:
Upon the return of the group to New York and the presentation of a favorable report to the prospective investors by Peter, negotiations for construction of a railroad from Topeka to Burlingame were completed. On June 25, 1868, Peter secured the Beach contract by assignment at a cost of $19,330.  By July 9 the news had reached the Freedom's Champion in Atchison:
Meanwhile another giant stride was being taken to assure the building of the line. Just west and north of Topeka, in a well-settled area, was the Pottowatomie Indian reservation. The Leavenworth, Pawnee, and Western Railroad had held a six-year option to buy a certain portion, but had failed to exercise the right. The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad then negotiated with the Pottawatomies to buy the land. The purchase, however, had to be approved by congress. When Rep. Sidney Clarke of Kansas voiced opposition to the measure the Topeka Leader, July 16, 1868, responded by printing a scathing attack on Clarke:
Federal approval was granted on July 25, 1868, and the A. T. & S. F. railroad was given permission to purchase the remaining unallotted lands of the Pottawatomies at the proposed price of one dollar per acre. The company had six years to pay, with a carrying charge of only six percent on the unpaid balance. The Indian lands consisted of nearly 340,000 acres, the sale of which would finance early construction.
The "Associates" called another meeting for September 23, 1868. In a letter to his wife, Colonel Holliday related the progress of negotiations:
With the company finally organized and backed with sufficient financial resources to begin construction, a dramatic announcement was printed in the Kansas State Record, October 7, 1868, climaxing the long awaited moment by most Kansans along the proposed route:
On the same day Holliday sent a telegram to the Freedom's Champion in Atchison which was printed with jubilant comment on October 3, 1868:
On October 10, 1868, the Champion & Press of Atchison reported that "the amount of money paid into the hands of the Treasurer of the contractors on the Santa Fe Railroad . . . was $140,000 . . . and more will be paid as soon as needed." Thus, after nearly 10 years of frustration and disappointment, the stage was set for the actual building of the railroad across Kansas. Iron for about 20 miles of the road had already been purchased and T. J. Peter arrived in Topeka in early October to take charge of the operations.
There is some question as to when the first spadeful of earth was turned marking the beginning of construction on the Santa Fe. Railroad tradition and several historians say the date was October 30, 1868, but the only contemporary notice of the event appeared in the Topeka Weekly Leader, November 5, which stated the occurrence was "this morning." Since the Leader was a weekly newspaper, however, there is a possibility that type for the article had been set before the publication date.
Chief participant in the ceremony, which took place between Fourth and Fifth on Washington street in Topeka, was Sen. Edmund G. Ross, by then recovered from the Presidential impeachment trial in which he had played so decisive a role the previous spring. Also in the crowd of about 20 persons was Cyrus K. Holliday. In part the Leader said:
After an absence of four years in the army of the Union, and three years in the United States Senate, our friend Ross returns to Topeka in time to take up the shovel and throw the first earth upon the grading of this same railroad that ten years since he helped organize.
When construction began the Santa Fe had no rolling stock whatsoever. Locomotives and cars had been ordered, to be delivered over the rails of the Union Pacific, Eastern Division, which had reached Topeka from Kansas City in December, 1865, but that road was on the north side of the Kaw river and the Santa Fe was on the south. Consequently, one of the first projects to be completed was a bridge connecting the two railroads. At the same time, grading was being pushed toward Burlingame. The Osage Chronicle, of that town, reported on December 24, 1868:
There are two pile drivers at work driving piles in the Kansas river for the bridge of the A. T. & S. F. R. R. Co. Eight to ten piles a day are being driven. Work is being pushed as fast as practicable, not only on the bridge, but in grading. The grading gangs have not stopped a day on account of the weather.
On March 20, 1869, the Chronicle gave another report on the road's progress:
The extract from the Lawrence Kansas State Journal "contained in other portions" of the issue detailed construction of the Kansas river bridge:
The bridge was completed sometime before the end of the month for on March 30, 1869, the Santa Fe's first locomotive crossed over to its parent tracks. The Topeka Kansas Daily Commonwealth, April 1, stated:
By late April track had been laid beyond Pauline. An excursion was held and guests had a merry time. The Topeka Kansas Daily Commonwealth, May 1, 1869, reported the gala affair:
By the middle of May the Santa Fe had more than doubled its trackage. The Emporia News, May 14, discussed that fact as well as the ever-present problem of finance:
The little railroad's tracks were kept warm by the constant trips of the Santa Fe's only engine bringing supplies from Topeka to end of track. The Osage Chronicle, May 15, 1869, reported:
The construction train on the A. T. & S. F. Railroad is making three trips daily from Topeka to Wakarusa. The Col. Holliday's whistle can be heard distinctly when the wind is favorable, and the music thereof accelerates one's spirits and sends the blood tingling to the end of the toes. We learn, indirectly, that a passenger coach will be put on next week and that the Topeka, Burlingame and Emporia [stage] coaches will thereafter make connection at the end of the Road.
A correspondent of the Topeka Commonwealth, writing from the end of track, was almost overcome with emotion as he described Santa Fe country in a letter which was published on May 20:
An inspection trip in reverse was made by Marsh Murdock, editor of the Osage Chronicle and later founder of the famed Wichita Eagle. He related his experiences in the Chronicle of May 21, 1869:
Cyrus K. Holliday, a founder of Topeka,
Thomas J. Peter, first superintendent, was responsible for building the road across Kansas. Courtesy Santa Fe railway.
Luther C. Challiss in whose Atchison office the Santa Fe railroad was organized, September 15-17, 1860. Courtesy Santa Fe railway.
U. S. Sen. Edmund G. Ross who turned the first spadeful of earth in the autumn of 1868 to initiate construction of the Santa Fe.
Charles W. Pierce was secretary and treasurer during the period of the Santa Fe's Kansas construction. Courtesy Santa Fe railway.
Samuel C. Pomeroy, United States senator from Kansas, succeeded Cyrus K. Holliday to become the line's second president, 1864-1868.
The Santa Fe's first general office in Topeka as it appeared in 1880. Superintendent Peter's office included the bay window on the second floor.
David L. Lakin, the Santa Fe's first land commissioner, for whom the town of Lakin was named. Courtesy Santa Fe railway.
M. L. Sargent, the line's first paymaster. The town bearing his name later became Coolidge. Courtesy Santa Fe railway.
fuel and income for the Santa Fe. Courtesy Earl Radenz.
Stock certificate in the company that built from Newton to Wichita. H. C. Sluss and J. R. Mead both played important roles in Wichita's early history. Courtesy Santa Fe railway.
End of track three miles east of Hutchinson. This photograph was taken by C. C. Hutchinson, the city's founder, in 1872. Courtesy J. M. Connell.
Great Bend in 1879, seven years after the railroad had arrived. Courtesy Paul Stanfield and the Hutchinson News.
Not everything worked smoothly, however. The Kansas Daily Commonwealth, Topeka, May 22, reported an unfortunate accident to the Cyrus K. Holliday:
The locomotive on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Road burst a valve, last evening, some ten miles from town, and the workmen were compelled to walk into town. Pretty severe on them.
But three days later the Commonwealth could state that
the railroad bridge is completed across the Wakarusa, and track-laying is progressing beyond that stream.
Track reached the Osage county line on May 27 and the Commonwealth, June 4, 1869, predicted that it would reach the coal mines by the middle of the month:
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad will be completed to the coal mines, distant sixteen miles, from Topeka, within the next ten days. The Company own and have leases on several thousand acres of coal land. The veins in these mines are from twelve to thirty inches in thickness, and the coal is said to be of superior quality. We expect we shall soon be favored with cheap coal in Topeka.
"There are over two hundred hands on the grade of the A. T. & S. R. R. R., in Osage county," reported the Commonwealth on June 16, 1869. "The road will soon be completed to Burlingame, notwithstanding the many inconveniences they have had to work against."
On June 16 the Santa Fe's first passenger cars were brought to Topeka over the Kansas Pacific. The Commonwealth, June 17, was quite proud of Topeka's railroad:
Last night's train from the east brought two splendid passenger coaches and six freight cars for the A. T. & S. F. Railroad. That's business, and don't look much as if the R. R. Company intended to "shyster."
Officials of the Santa Fe lost little time in putting the new coaches to good use. The Commonwealth, June 18, reported an excursion the day after their delivery:
An excursion party, consisting of about two hundred citizens of Topeka, and some invited friends from abroad, took a trip over the A. T. & S. F. R. R., yesterday. Among the guests outside the city, we observed Col. D. W. Houston, U. S. Marshal; Messrs. Miller, Spencer and Carriger, County Commissioners—who, by the way, were the especial guests of the Company, and recipients of particular favors from the entire party—Col. Dennis, Attorney of the Kansas Pacific Railway, and Mr. Dodds, of Osage county. We never saw a more convivial or happier crowd. TOM ANDERSON [former adjutant general of Kansas but then agent of the Kansas Pacific at Topeka] was one of the party, and of course circulated fun. TOM is as full of fun as an oyster is of meat, and an excursion party might as well be without the and so forths, as to be without him.
On June 23 Thomas J. Peter was able to announce the Santa Fe's first regularly scheduled service. His advertisement appeared in the Topeka Kansas Daily Commonwealth beginning on June 25, 1869:
Back in Topeka work on the company's combination depot and general office building continued. The Commonwealth, July 8, 1869, reported a visit of the editor:
Yesterday we visited the new depot buildings of the A. T. & S. F. R. R. Quite a number of workmen are engaged in fiitting up the house so that comfort and convenience combined, will insure success in business.
The same issue of the Commonwealth also reported that the Santa Fe could make do with building materials once used for lesser purposes:
The Velocipede Rink is being dismantled, preparatory to removing the lumber to Carbondale, where it is to be used in erecting a boardinghouse for the Santa Fe railroad men. The 'Pedes have been sold to parties who purpose inflicting them upon the citizens of some place farther west.
In spite of heavy rains work continued. The Santa Fe laid track, pushed its surveys, and purchased new rolling stock. The Burlingame Osage Chronicle, July 24, 1869, reported at length on the road's progress and mentioned the line's second locomotive:
By August 1 the Commonwealth was able to record that "track is laid three miles beyond Carbondale, and . . . the cars will soon be run to One Hundred and Ten [Mile creek], where there will be a passenger station."
Apparently the Gen. Burnside had not arrived in Kansas when the Topeka Commonwealth, August 21, 1869, reported on the road's rolling stock, its employees, finances, and other matters:
The A., T. & S. F. Railroad has been open for business since the 1st of July. Cars have been running to Carbondale, eighteen miles distant, since then. One engine, one passenger coach, one express and baggage car, and twelve flat cars comprise the rolling stock up to the present time. There are on the road hither, direct from the manufacturers, two engines,  two passenger coaches, twelve flat cars and twenty coal cars. The earnings of the road during the month of July were as follows:
The Atchison Champion ten years later, on May 4, 1880, printed an interview with M. L. Sargent about that first office and early business on the line. The article was republished in D. W. Wilder's Annals of Kansas (1886):
It is rather interesting, in view of the present colossal proportions of the Santa Fe road, to sit down and talk with M. L. Sargent, now of the Central Branch and Missouri Pacific, and speak of the days when he first came west, and joined Col. T. J. Peter, at Topeka, in administration of the A. T. & S. F. At the time of the arrival of Mr. Sargent, the only furniture in the 'general office' was a pine table and two split-bottomed chairs; there were no books except a section boss's time-book, and Mr. Sargent brought with him the first regular set of books kept for the company. The financial management was, however, very easy for a long time. The road never had any income till it reach Carbondale, when it commenced to haul coal at $10 a car. Mr. Sargent, by stepping to the door and counting the coal cars brought in by the road's only daily train, could tell what were the total receipts of the company for the day.
Those early coal interests in Osage county were explored by the Topeka Commonwealth on August 21, 1869:
Carbondale, the new mining town on the A., T. & S. F. R. R., in the northern portion of Osage county, eighteen miles from Topeka, is improving. Five houses are in process of construction there, and more will soon be built. A track has been laid from the depot at this place to the mines now being opened, one mile and a half distant. The mining lands in this vicinity have been leased to Godfrey & Co., of Hannibal, Mo., for twenty-year years. This firm are the heaviest operators in coal there are in the West. They have mines in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. They have a contract for supplying the Kansas Pacific Railroad Company with coal for fifteen years. We are assured that there is enough coal at Carbondale to supply not only the Pacific Railroad, but also all Kansas. It is expected that coal will be delivered at Topeka at about twenty-two cents per bushel. The average price the year round heretofore has been about thirty-five cents. At one time last winter it was selling in our streets for seventy-five cents. We shall hope to never again be so distressed for the want of fuel as we were during a portion of last winter. The coal in the mines that are now being worked is about twenty-five feet below the surface. The vein is twenty-eight inches thick, and is a fair quality of bituminous coal. Thirty men are now at work at the mine, and thirty more will be added to the force ere long. A boarding house capable of accommodating sixty guests is being erected near the mines, for the benefit of the miners, and will be completed in a few days. The company will be able to turn out fifty cars of coal per day, when they are fairly ready for business.
Another three weeks and the Santa Fe was knocking at the gates of Burlingame. The Commonwealth, September 15, stated:
The A., T. & S. F. R. R. is graded to Burlingame. All the material is on hand to lay the track. The masonry is done and the ties distributed to Burlingame. Unless the rain delays the laying of the track it will be completed to Burlingame by next Friday night [September 17]. It is expected that Burlingame will then give a "blow out."
Editor Murdock, at least, lived up to the Commonwealth's expectations. In his Osage Chronicle of September 18, 1869, his rhetoric was something marvelous:
The Acme of All our Hopes!
Good Bye Ye Crazy
Cars of Burlingame at Last!
NOW FOR THE NATIONAL
Hold Us, or We Bust.]
The world was made in six days, and—the Cars ran into Burlingame today. Shades of ye mighty departed aboriginal bloods—Bull-Tail, Blazing-Comet, Tadpole-Claw—how your names and deeds mystified before the bright scintillating refulgence of the fires of our glorious Iron-Horse, as he proudly swept across our corporate limits. Solemnly sighed the departed spirits of Sesostris, Rocinate, and [Henry] Tisdale's old stage horses, while old earth slowly careened in the direction of Emporia, changing her center of motion from the Poles to Burlingame and our antipodes. Six thousand years had she kept up the eternal round, but at last the Railroad reached Burlingame. Where stand the Pyramids, the Roman Acqeduct [aqueduct] and the Chinese Wall? Echo answers, "Nowhere." "Out of my sunshine," growled the cynic philosopher, as
Having arrived in Burlingame, the railroad apparently planned to push on, in spite of a financial scare on Wall street. The Atchison Daily Champion and Press, October 29, 1869, carried a welcome report:
On November 17, 1869, the Topeka Kansas Daily Commonwealth reported that surveying on the Atchison route was nearly completed:
Thomas J. Peter kept the route between Kansas and the East hot as he traveled back and forth on railroad business. The Osage Chronicle, November 27, 1869, mentioned that after contracting for 30,000 ties from Lamb & Smith in Osage county Peter had gone East for the second time that month to buy rails for the road. Apparently he had not returned three weeks later when the Kansas Daily Commonwealth, December 19, reported:
Work was, indeed, going on steadily and new hands were needed. The superintendent inserted this advertisement in the Kansas Daily Commonwealth beginning with the issue of December 31, 1869:
WANTED—Laborers and teams on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. Laborers, two dollars—Teams, three dollars and seventy-five cents per day. Board $4.50 per week.
By the end of the month track had been laid to Dragoon creek, grading was completed to Salt creek and Emporia was still a June 1 target date. The station of Peterton was established on Smith creek while Osage City grew up on Salt creek. The Commonwealth, January 30, 1870, recorded that town's early history in this letter from a local correspondent:
is making preparations, and in a few days will turn you out any article composed of iron or steel, from a "knitting needle to an anchor," and will, upon short notice, and in a neat and workmanlike manner, shoe horses, mules and jack-rabbits.
Elsewhere in the same issue of the Commonwealth it was reported that
the site [of Osage City] is said to be eligible and healthy. A gentleman reports that not a death has occurred in the city yet, and no one has been born, although there is a good prospect. The new town has a hotel, a meat market, a blacksmith shop, and twelve or fifteen houses, besides several in the process of erection; yet the first house has been built within thirty days. As trains will stop there several weeks it will give the town a
By February 18 the Emporia News could report that the railroad was surveyed to that point and through the city on Third avenue. Less than a week later T. J. Peter asked for bids on laying the track to Emporia. His advertisement appeared in the Topeka Kansas Daily Commonwealth beginning on February 22:
NOTICE TO CONTRACTORS—Sealed proposals will be received until 12 M., March 2d, at the office of the Superintendent of the A., T. & S. F. R. R. Co., for the laying, surfacing, and filling of their track from Dragoon creek to the town of Emporia, in accordance with the specifications on file in the office of the Superintendent.
On March 11, 1870, the Commonwealth reported on the progress of the Santa Fe up to that point:
Meanwhile, back in Atchison, local tempers were rising over the nonappearance of the Santa Fe in that city. The Topeka Kansas State Record, March 16, 1870, reported from first-hand information:
Most editors, and most Kansans, were proud of the railroad, its employees and its progress. The opinion expressed by Marsh Murdock in his Osage Chronicle, April 2, 1870, was typical:
The arrival of locomotive No. 3 was recorded by the Commonwealth, April 22, 1870:
One hundred and twenty tons of rail have arrived for the A. T. & S. F. R. R., and more coming. We will ere long be in direct communication with Emporia and the Valley Road [the Union Pacific Southern Branch which on May 23, 1870, became the Missouri, Kansas & Texas line]. The "Dauntless," from the works at Taunton, Mass., has arrived for the road. She is a heavy freight engine, larger than any heretofore put on.
"The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad is pushing southward," stated the Commonwealth, May 20. "The cars reached Osage City Saturday [May 14, 1870]. Hereafter trains will run through to that place."
As the railroad approached Emporia, H. W. McCune, editor of the Emporia News, began to push for an appropriate celebration. In his issue of June 3, 1870, he said:
We learn from the Osage Chronicle that from four to ten cars on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad, loaded with rails, pass through Burlingame daily, and that the track is stretching toward Emporia at the rate of a half mile per day. Is it not time to begin the work of preparation to celebrate its completion to Emporia? We move that a meeting be held for the appointment of necessary committees on Saturday evening of next week. Mr. Mayor, will you please put the motion?
While Emporia planned its celebration, some workers on the Santa Fe had more pressing things to think of, such as hostile Indians in the West. The Commonwealth, June 8, 1870, reported that the military had agreed to furnish troops to protect the line's surveying parties:
On application of Ex-Gov. [Samuel J.] Crawford, of Kansas, at the request of the Superintendent of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad, Gen. [John] Pope [commander of the Department of the Missouri] has furnished an escort of infantry to accompany the engineers while locating the above road. It is the intention of the company to run two lines: one from Fort Zarah, along the Arkansas Valley, to Ft. Dodge, and thence west and southwest to Fort Union, New Mexico; and the other from the Arkansas river, at or near Wichita, southwest to the Cimarron river, and thence in a westerly direction via Fort Union and Santa Fe.
Possibly because Emporia already had one railroad, the Missouri, Kansas & Texas which had arrived on December 7, 1869, the town and its newspaper did not immediately crow about the new arrival. Instead the News, July 22, 1870, was more concerned with the time schedule between Emporia and Topeka:
Passenger train leaves Emporia at
Arrived at Topeka at
Mixed train leaves at
Arrives at Topeka at
Mixed train leaves Topeka at
Arrives at Emporia at
Passenger train leaves Topeka at
Arrives at Emporia at
Passengers going east of Topeka will have an hour and forty minutes at Topeka before the departure of Kansas Pacific trains.
The Topeka Commonwealth, July 21, 1870, used the arrival at Emporia as an opportunity to press for the Atchison connection again:
JOSEPH W. SNELL and DON W. WILSON are members of the archives staff of the Kansas State Historical Society.
1. "Cyrus K. Holliday Collection," manuscript division, Kansas State Historical Society.
2. Private Laws of the Territory of Kansas, 1859, p. 58.
3. L. L. Waters, Steel Rails to Santa Fe (Lawrence, 1950), pp. 28, 29.
4. United States Statutes At Large (37th Cong., 3d Sess., 1862-1863), p. 772.
5. "Minutes of the Meetings of the Board of Directors," Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe archives, Topeka.
6. Topeka Leader, January 16, 1868.
7. Waters, Steel Trails to Santa Fe, p. 34.
8. "Cyrus K. Holliday Collection." manuscript division, Kansas State Historical Society.
9. The Cyrus K. Holliday was a second-hand 4-4-0 which had been built by the Niles Machine Works of Cincinnati, Ohio. Late a laborer on the Ohio and Mississippi railroad, it had to be converted from broad gage (six feet) to standard. A coal burner, the Holliday was delivered by George Beach, who stayed with the Santa Fe and piloted many of the road's early runs.—E. D. Worley, Iron Horses of the Santa Fe Trail (Dallas, 1965), pp. 18, 71.
10. The locomotive was actually purchased by Charles W. Pierce, treasurer of the railroad, from the Rhode Island Locomotive Works in Providence, about the middle of June, 1869. It was named Gen. Burnside after the Civil War general, Ambrose E. Burnside, who was governor of Rhode Island, an officer of the locomotive works which manufactured it, and a stockholder in the Santa Fe as well as in the construction company building the road. The engine, also a 4-4-0, cost $11,500.—Letter from Pierce to T. J. Peter, June 20, 1869, in "Treasurer's Letter Books," Santa Fe archives.
11. Apparently the Commonwealth was in error for the Santa Fe's third locomotive was not built until 1870. The Gen. Burnside was probably delivered to the Santa Fe's representative, Allen Burroughs, on August 11, 1869. Burroughs then ran the locomotive to Topeka.—Worley, Iron Horses, p. 19; C. W. Pierce to J. P. Mason, president of the Rhode Island Locomotive Works, August 10, 1869, in "Treasurer's Letter Books."
12. This engine was No. 3, a Taunton-built 4-4-0 named Dauntless.—Statement of Performance of Locomotives an the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railroad, Showing Full Expenditures in Detail, for the Year Ending December 31, 1877, Santa Fe archives; also reproduced in Worley, Iron Horses, pp. 18, 19.