William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas


[TOC] [part 8] [part 6] [Cutler's History]


On the 3d of November, 1865, the Union Pacific Railway Company, Southern Branch, was organized at Emporia. The corporators were as follows: Robert McBratney, James R. McClure, T. S. Huffaker, S. M. Strickler, G. M. Simcock, R. B. Lockwood, E. Goddard, R. H. Abraham, P. B. Maxson, J. H. Watson, G. R. Harper, Peter Harvey, M. M. Baker, John T. Cox, Harrison Kelley, S. S. Prouty, F. W. Potter, John B. Scott, A. V. Coffin, N. S. Goss, I. W. Dow and James Crane. The charter for this company was filed with the Secretary of State, September 25, 1865. At the meeting at Emporia on the 3d of November, 1865, officers of the company were elected as follows: J. H. Watson, President; N. S. Goss, Vice President; S. S. Prouty, Secretary; Robert McBratney, Corresponding Secretary; P. B. Maxson, Treasurer.

December 12, 1865, Hon. S. C. Pomeroy, one of the Senators from Kansas, introduced a bill in the United States Senate, providing for a grant of Government land to this company, consisting of alternate sections on each side of the proposed road, within a distance of ten miles therefrom (sic), and also for a Government bond subsidy, to the amount of $16,000 per mile, for the whole distance of the road. The bill specified that the road should commence at, or near, Fort Riley, Kan., and run down the valley of the Neosho River to Fort Smith, Ark., via Fort Gibson, Indian Territory. January 2, 1866, O. B. Gunn, an engineer, made a preliminary survey of the route for the road, from Junction City to Burlington. On the 10th of January, 1866, Hon. C. V. Eskridge, State Senator, introduced a concurrent resolution in the Senate of the State of Kansas, requesting Congress to pass the Pomeroy railroad bill, which resolution was adopted January 13, 1866, the first board of directors of this company was elected at Emporia as follows: Robert McBratney, T. S. Huffaker, P. B. Maxson, P. B. Plumb, Harrison Kelley, I. W. Dow, J. R. McClure, William Downing, G. R. Harper, S. S. Prouty and N. S. Goss. February 21, 1866, Hon. Sidney Clarke, Representative in Congress from Kansas, introduced a bill in the House of Representatives, providing for a Government land grant to the company, and a guaranty by the United States of the payment of interest on construction bonds, to be issued by the company, to the amount of $20,000 per mile. During the winter of 1865-66, Robert McBratney, N. S. Goss and S. S. Prouty visited Washington, as agents of the railroad company, to assist Messrs. Pomeroy and Clarke, in their efforts to procure Government aid for this enterprise.

Neither bill of Senator Pomeroy or Representative Clarke became a law, but on the 26th of July, 1866, the President of the United States approved an act granting to this railroad company lands embracing the odd sections of the first ten miles on either side of the proposed road, and the odd and even sections of the second ten miles as indemnity. On the 9th of the following August, this land grant was accepted by the directors of the company, at a meeting at Emporia, and a preliminary survey of the road from Junction City to the southern boundary of the State, was ordered at that meeting.

On the 19th of March, 1866, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company transferred and assigned to the Union Pacific Railway Company, Southern Branch, all its rights, title, interest, authority for construction, etc., of a railroad from a point on the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division, at or near Fort Riley, down the Neosho River to where the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad may intersect the Neosho Valley. The projected road embraced in this transfer was known as the Neosho Branch of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. On the 5th of February, 1866, an act of the Kansas Legislature providing for the sale of 500,000 acres of land granted to the State for purposes of internal improvement, was approved. By this act, the proceeds of the sales of these lands were divided between four railroad companies, viz.: St. Joseph & Denver; Union Pacific Railway, Southern Branch; Missouri River, Fort Scott and Gulf; Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston. The number of acres of land that came into the possession of the Union Pacific Railway Company, Southern Branch, by the transfer from the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company of the 19th of March, 1866, was 130,176.

At the annual meeting of the stockholders of the company, held at Emporia, May 16, 1866, Robert McBratney, J. R. McClure, A. I. Akin, T. S. Huffaker, P. B. Plumb, P. B. Maxson, John T. Cox, S. S. Prouty, John B. Scott, N. S. Goss and I. W. Dow, were elected Directors; N. S. Goss, President; A. I. Akin, Vice President; P. B. Maxson, Secretary; S. S. Prouty, Corresponding Secretary; P. B. Plumb, Treasurer. October 31, 1866, President Goss and Secretary Maxson made a treaty at Tahlequah, with the Cherokee Nation, wherein the right-of-way to the railroad through the Cherokee Territory was granted, and a donation made to the company to aid in the construction of the road through the Indian country, consisting of the proceeds of the sales to be made of 250,000 acres of land. At the meeting of the directors at Emporia, December 5, 1866, this treat was ratified, and it was also voted to extend the line of the road from Fort Riley, up the valley of the Republican River, to Fort Kearney, Nebraska. During the same month, President Goss, at his own expense, visited Little Rock, Ark., Memphis and Nashville, Tenn., and New Orleans, La., for the purpose of enlisting the co-operation of the commercial interests of the South in the advancement of this railroad enterprise. He was cordially received by the boards of trade of those cities, and all promised to memorialize Congress for bonded aid. Gov. Brownlow, of Tennessee, manifested a warm interest in the project, and gave it a hearty endorsement. Unfortunately for the company, most of the Southern States were not represented in Congress at that time, and projects for Southern Pacific Railroads were not then especially popular among a large majority of Congressmen. Senator Pomeroy made repeated efforts to obtain subsidies in Government bonds for the company, but his efforts were unavailing.

In the summer of 1867, counties voted bonds, to exchange for capital stock of the company as follows: Davis, $165,000; Morris, $165,000; Lyon, $200,000; Coffey, $200,000; total, $730,000. The people of Woodson County voted twice on the proposition to issue $70,000 of its bonds as a subscription to the capital stock of the company, but both efforts failed.

August 27, 1867, A. F. Beach entered into a contract at Emporia, with the railway company for the construction of the railroad from Junction City to the north line of the Osage lands, in Allen County. The work was to commence on or before October 15, 1867, and to be completed January 1, 1872. The contracting party represented by Mr. Beach, consisted of Richard McMichael, of Saratoga Springs, N. Y.; Robert C. Dunn, of Schenectady, N. Y., J. J. Dull and James Gowan, of Harrisburg, Penn., I. V. Baker, of Troy, N. Y.; L. M. Crane and A. F. Beach, of Ballston, N. Y. In consideration of the performance of the work stipulated in the contract, the railway company agreed to transfer all of its franchises to the contracting party. These franchises were supposed to consist of 1,300,000,000 acres of land, $730,000 in county bonds, and the proceeds of the sales of 125,000 acres of land, worth at least a quarter of a million dollars in money. On the 15th of October, 1867, ground was broken for the road bed at Junction City, with imposing ceremonies. The first shovelful of dirt was cast by A. F. Beach. In the evening, a banquet was given at the Hale House, in the city, by the citizens, to the railway company and invited guests, when addresses were made by ex-Gov. Carney, George T. Anthony, Gen. Grierson, of the U. S. Army, R. M. Shoemaker, Rev. Dr. Reynolds of the U. S. Army, N. S. Goss, Orson Kent, P. B. Plumb and others. A little grading was done on the road at Junction City at that time, enough to comply with the terms of the contract requiring such to commence on or before October 15. No more work was done on the road by this contacting party. Within a year, they sold their interest in the contract to the Land Grant Railway & Trust Company of New York City, a corporation charted by the State of Pennsylvania, and authorized to transact business in any State in the Union excepting Pennsylvania. Prominent in this company were Levi Parsons, George Dennison, David Crawford, Jr., J. B. Dickinson and Francis Skiddy. In the fall of 1868, Levi Parsons and others of this company, accompanied by Monsieur Frignet, of Paris, France, financial agent of the Rothschilds, visited Kansas and met the Directors of other railway company at Emporia. They went to Emporia via Junction City, leaving the railroad at the latter place, and accomplishing the balance of the journey, distance sixty miles in carriages, following the valley of the Neosho, the route of the proposed road. The franchises of the company were inspected by Judge Parsons and Monsieur Frignet, but no new contract was made at that time. In November, 1868, the directors were requested to meet the members of the Land Grand Railway & Trust Company in New York City, which request was complied with by a majority of the board. Six of the directors, viz., Thaddeus H. Walker, P. B. Plumb, S. S. Prouty, T. S. Huffaker, Hiram F. Hale and P. Z. Taylor, went to New York and entered into a new contract with the railroad. By the terms of this contract, the work was to be commenced at Junction City in December, 1868, and to be completed to the southern boundary of the State by the 1st of January, 1873. All of the interest of the company in the franchises were immediately transferred to the new contracting company, who, on the 14th of November, 1868, mortgaged them to the Rothschilds as security for a loan of $2,960,000. Work was now commenced on this road in earnest and was pushed with extraordinary vigor. By the fall of 1869, the road was completed to Council Grove, 37 miles, from Junction City; January, 1870, to Emporia, 62 Miles; February, 1870, to Burlington, 90 miles; June 1, 1870, to the southern boundary of the State, 185 miles. The work under the contract was completed two and a half years ahead of time; an event doubtless unprecedented in the annals of railroad building. On the first of January, 1873, the contracting company had not only completed the road to the southern boundary of Kansas, which was required to be completed to that point by that time, but they had also extended the road to Dennison, Texas, 238 miles farther, and had also constructed a branch from Hannibal, Mo., to Parsons, Kan., 301 miles. Total number of miles constructed within the four years, the limit of the original contract, 773; number of miles construction for November, 1868, 185.

The Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company was organized April 7, 1870, by the consolidation of the Union Pacific, Southern Branch, chartered November 20, 1865; the Tabo & Neosho, of Missouri, chartered June 18, 1870; the Labette & Sedalia, chartered May 7, 1870, and the Neosho Valley & Holden, opened in 1871. The St. Louis & Santa Fe Railroad, Holden, Mo. to Paola, Kan., chartered December 1, 1870, was purchased at foreclosure sale April 29, 1872, and the Hannibal & Central Missouri, Hannibal to Moberly, 72.5 miles, chartered February 13, 1865, was purchased in the year 1874.

In the spring of 1870, an exciting race occurred between the Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf and the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad Companies, in the effort to reach the Indian Territory. Section 8 of the act of Congress, approved July 25, 1866, says:

That said Kansas & Neosho Valley (Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf) Railroad Company, its successors and assigns, is hereby authorized and empowered to extend and construct its railroad from the southern boundary of Kansas south, through the Indian Territory to Red River, at or near Preston in the State of Texas, so as to connect with the railway now being constructed from Galveston to a point at or near Preston, in said State; and the right of way through the Indian Territory, wherever such right is now reserved or may hereafter be reserved to the United States by treaty with the Indian tribes, is hereby granted to said company, etc.

Section 11 of the same act says:

That any railroad company chartered under any law of the United States, or of the state of Kansas, which may have been heretofore or shall hereafter be recognized and subsidized by any act of the Congress of the United States, may connect, unite and consolidate with this railroad company, after the same shall be located to the valley of the Neosho River, upon just, fair and equitable terms, to be agreed upon between the parties, and shall not be against the public interest or the interest of the United States; nor shall any road authorized to connect as aforesaid, charge the road so connecting a greater tariff per mile for freight or passengers than is charged for the same per mile by its own road; And provided further, that should the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Fort Gibson Railroad Company, or the Union Pacific Railway Company, Southern Branch, construct and complete its road to that point on the southern boundary of the State of Kansas shall be authorized, upon obtaining the written approval of the President of the United States, to construct and operate its line of railroad from said point to a point at or near Preston, in the State of Texas, with grants of land according to the provisions of this act, but upon the further special condition, nevertheless, that said railroad company shall have commenced in good faith the construction thereof before the said Kansas & Neosho Railroad Company shall have completed its said railroad to said point, etc.

The Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad reached the Indian Territory first, but the point of entrance was in the Spring River Valley, about sixteen miles west of the Neosho River. The Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad struck the Indian Territory in the Neosho Valley, and the President of the United States decided that this road having been the first to reach the Indian Territory at the point provided by law for the entrance of a railroad therein, was entitled to the exclusive right of constructing its road through that territory to Texas. Thereupon the, Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway proceeded expeditiously upon its march to Red River, while its disappointed and chagrined competitor, the Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad tarried on the border of the promised land and regard with envy the march of its triumphant rival.

This company met with serious financial reverses in the loss of franchises, during the progress of the work on the road. It lost the bonds of Davis County, amounting to $165,000, owing to the failure of completing the road to the south line of the county within the prescribed time. The delay was only a few days, and was caused by a flood in the Smoky Hill River, washing away the railway bridge crossing it and doing other damage to the road. The bonds were refused by the County Commissioners, and their position was sustained by the Supreme Court of the State. The Commissioners of Coffey County also refused to issue the bonds voted to the company by that county, amounting to $200,000, on the ground that the Land Grant Railway & Trust Company, the contracting party, had no legal right to transact business in the State of Kansas, and their position was also sustained by the Supreme Court. The next and most serious misfortune was the loss of the Osage ceded lands, the particulars of which are given fully in the sketch of the Kansas City, Lawrence & Southern Kansas Railroad.

The mileage of the road is as follows: Hannibal, Mo., to Dennison, Texas, 576 miles; Dennison, Texas to Gainesville, Texas, 41 miles; Dennison, Texas, to Minneola, Texas, 103 miles; Fort Worth, Texas; to Hillsboro, Texas, 55 miles; Jefferson, Texas, to Greenville, Texas, 124 miles; Dallas, Texas, to Denton, Texas, 37 miles; Hillsboro, Texas, to Temple, Texas, 68 miles; Whitesboro, Texas, to Fort Worth, Texas, 71 miles; Junction City, Kansas, to Parsons, Kansas, 157 miles; Holden, Mo., to Paola, Kansas, 54 miles; total number of miles 1,286. Number of miles in Kansas, 235.

The cost of the road was over $50,000,000. On the 1st of December, 1880, the road was leased to the Missouri Pacific Railway Company, the rental paid being the net earnings of the road.

The officers are Jay Gould, President, New York; R. S. Hayes, First Vice President, St. Louis, Mo.; N. L. McCready, Second Vice President, St. Louis, Mo.; H. B. Henson, Secretary and Treasurer, New York; A. A. Talmage, General Manager, St. Louis, Mo.; Directors: Jay Gould, Sidney Dillon, A. G. Dulman, Samuel Sloan, Thomas W. Pearsall, Russell Sage, William Bond, George J. Forrest, N. L. McCready, Thomas T. Eckert, New York City; David Kelso, Parson, Kan.; F. S. Bond, Philadelphia, Penn.; F. L. Ames, Boston, Mass.; R. S. Hayes, St. Louis, Mo. Principal office and address, Parsons, Kan.


The total mileage of the Missouri Pacific Railway is as follows: Missouri Division, 904 miles; Kansas & Texas Division, 1,232 miles; Central Branch Division, 388 miles; St. Louis Division, 291 miles, Arkansas Division, 432 miles; Gulf Division, 351 miles; San Antonio Division, 425 miles; total number of miles, 4023. The total number of miles operated in Kansas by this company is 840, of which 235 are of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas; 388 of the Central Branch Union Pacific; 78 of the Kansas & Arizona Division; 21 of the Ottawa Branch of the Kansas & Arizona Division; 21 of the St. Joseph Branch of the main line; and 97 miles of the main line of the Missouri Division.

The work on the main line of this road in Kansas was commenced at the State line between Missouri and Kansas, near Kansas City, Mo., in 1865, and the road was completed to Leavenworth July 1, 1866. The road was constructed by the Missouri River Railroad Company, which was chartered February 17, 1865, the corporators being A. M. Clark, John Wilson, C. M. Palmer, Charles S. Stettauer, Josiah Kellogg, G. J. Park, E. H. Marsh, W. C. Lobenstein, John F. Richards and James B. Laing. L. T. Smith was the first President, and John F. Richards the first Secretary. The Atchison extension, called the Leavenworth, Atchison & Northwestern Railroad, was commenced at Leavenworth, in March, 1869, and completed to Atchison in September of that year. These roads were operated by the Missouri Pacific. In 1880, they were purchased by Jay Gould, who consolidated them under the name of the Kansas City, Leavenworth & Atchison Railroad, and soon afterward combined it with the Missouri Pacific system.

Leavenworth County subscribed $250,000 in bonds to the capital stock of the Missouri River Railroad Company, and the city subscribed a like amount of bonds. This company purchased of the Delaware Indians 110,000 acres of land, at $2 per acre, from which was realized upward of $1,000,000. The stock held in the company by Leavenworth County and city, aggregating $500,000, was donated to the Leavenworth, Atchison & Northwestern Railroad Company, to aid in the construction of its road to Atchison.

The Nebraska extension of the main line of the Missouri Division was completed in 1881. The Kansas & Arizona Division was completed to Leroy in the latter part of 1878. The Ottawa Branch was completed in 1878.

Officers are: Jay Gould, President, New York City; R. S. Hayes, First Vice President; St. Lois, Mo.; A. L. Hopkins, Second Vice President, New York City; A. F. Calef, Secretary and Treasurer, New York City; A. A. Talmage, General Manager, St. Louis, Mo.; F. Chandler, General Passenger and Ticket Agent, St. Louis, Mo.; Warder Cumming, Superintendent Missouri Division, Sedalia, Mo.; T. M. Eddy, Superintendent Kansas & Texas Division, Sedalia, Mo.; W. W. Fagan, Seperintendent (sic) Central Branch Division, Atchison, Kan. Directors: Jay Gould, Russell Sage, Sidney Dillon, W. F. Buckley, Thomas T. Eckert, George J. Forrest, George Gould, A. L. Hopkins, H. G. Marquad, Samuel Sloan, New York, N. Y.; F. L. Ames, South Easton, Mass.; S. H. H. Clark, Omaha, Neb.; R. S. Hayes, St. Louis, Mo.


On the 1st of January, 1883, this road was completed to El Dorado, Butler county, Kan., 133 miles west of Fort Scott. The railroad company was organized in 1880, the charter having been filed February 23, 1880. The first board of directors were as follows: Ira D. Bronson, O. W. Fox, Topeka, Kan.; Moses Neal, Humboldt, Kan.; A. W. Ayers, Quinton Campbell, Indianapolis, Ind.; F. Tiernan, J. D. Hill, A. Popkis, A. M. Ayers, Urbana, Ill. Officers: Francis Tiernan, President; A. M. Ayers, Vice President; Ira D. Bronson, Secretary and Treasurer. A construction company, consisting of Messrs. Bronson, Tiernan, Hill and Ayers, built eighty miles of the road during the year ending in March, 1882. March 10, 1882, Messrs. Bronson, Hill and Ayers sold their interest in the company to L. M. Bates, when the company was re-organized as follows: Directors - F. Tiernan, D. S. McKay, W. H. Stout, Isaac Stadden, J. P. Roberts, Moses Neal, A. Popkis, Daniel C. Moran and L. M. Bates. Officers: F. Tiernan, President and General Manager; W. H. Stout, Vice President; M. Chenault, Treasurer; Q. Campbell, Secretary; ;J. D. Hill, General Superintendent. Principal office and address, Fort Scott, Kan.


This road is now known as the Kansas Division of the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad, it having been purchased and being now operated by the company owning the latter road. The number of miles of road in Kansas of this division and branches is 195.50.

The St. Louis, Wichita & Western Railroad Company was chartered March 21, 1879, and the first directors were B. F. Hobart, C. O. Perkins, H. S. Coley, C. M. Condon, Oswego, Kan.; and Charles W. Davis, Coronado, Kan. The charter authorizes the construction of a railroad and telegraph "from some point at or near the city of Oswego, in Labette County, in the State of Kansas, westwardly, through the counties of Labette, Montgomery, Wilson, Elk, Greenwood, Butler and Sedgwick, to or near the city of Wichita, in said State," etc. The road was completed to Wichita in 1881.

Officers of the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad Company: Leland Stanford, San Francisco, Cal.; Edward F. Winslow, Jay Gould, A. S. Hatch, C. P. Huntington, W. L. Frost, James D. Fish, William F. Buckley, New York, N. Y.; Albert W. Nickerson, Boston, Mass.; Charles W. Rogers, R. S. Hayes, St. Louis, Mo., Directors. Edward F. Winslow, President, New York City; C. W. Rogers, First vice President and General Manager, St. Louis, Mo.

[TOC] [part 8] [part 6] [Cutler's History]