LEGENDS OF KANSAS

 

History, Tales, and Destinations in the Land of Ahs

 

Railroads of Kansas

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Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad (1859-1880)

Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railroad (1885-1891)

Chicago, Kansas and Western Railroad (1886-1901)

Chicago and Rock Island Railroad (1847-1980)

Kansas Central Railway (1871-1879)

Kansas Central Railroad (1879-1897)

Kansas & Neosho Valley Railroad (1865-1868)

Kansas City, Emporia and Southern Railroad (1877-1882)

Kansas City, Fort Scott and Gulf Railroad (1879-1888)

Kansas City, Lawrence & Southern Kansas Railroad

Kansas City, Pittsburg & Gulf Railroad (1890-1899)

Kansas City Southern Railroad (1890-????)

Kansas Pacific Railroad (1863-1880)

Kansas Valley Railroad Railroad

Leavenworth, Pawnee & Western Railroad (1855-1863)

Leavenworth & Lecompton Railroad

Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway (Katy) (1868-1888)

Missouri Pacific Railroad (1869?-1930)

Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad

Nevada & Minden Railroad

Palmetto and Roseport Railroad Company (1860-1862)

Rock Island Railroad (1886-1888)

Southern Kansas Railroad

Southern Pacific Railroad

St. Joseph and Western Railroad (1860-1884)

St. Joseph and Denver City Railroad (1862-1877)

St. Louis, Fort Scott and Wichita Railroad (1880-1887)

St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad (1853-1890)

Union Pacific Railroad (1862-Present)

 

 

Missouri-Kansas-Texas train under several feet of water,1904

Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway train under several feet of water, 1904.

This image available for photographic prints & downloads HERE.

 

 

 

Chanute, Kansas Harvey House Depot

Harvey House Restaurants could once be found all along  the Atchison,Topeka and Santa Fe Railway through Kansas and on into  the Southwest. These were  developed by Leavenworth entrepreneur, Fred Harvey. This continues to stand in Chanute, Kansas, now serving as a library.

This image available for photographic prints and downloads HERE.

 

 

On the 20th of March, 1860, the first iron rail for a railroad on Kansas soil, was laid at Elwood in Doniphan County, Kansas just opposite of St. Joseph, Missouri. This rail was laid on the Elwood & Marysville Railroad, which later became the St. Joseph & Western Division of the Union Pacific Railway. On April 28th, the track on this road had been completed to Elwood, five miles distant, and on that day, the locomotive "Albany," an engine which had been used from Boston to the Missouri River, as railroads had successively wended their way toward the occident, was brought over the river from St. Joseph on a ferry boat and placed on the new railroad track. This was the first iron horse that ever touched Kansas soil. The next day several cars were brought over, and a grand jubilation was held at Elwood over the completion of what was claimed to be the first section of the Great Pacific Railroad.

 

Railroad Companies:

 

Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railroad (1885-1891) - It was established in 1885 with Marcus Low, a former attorney for the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad, as its president. The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad advanced the new railroad about twenty-five million dollars to begin construction in exchange for nearly all of the stock in the new company, essentially making the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad the owner from the outset. The Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railroad laid almost 1400 miles of track by 1888, mostly in Kansas and Missouri. However, by 1889, the railroad was struggling and failed to make its interest payment. The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad soon began foreclosure proceedings, eventually taking by June 17, 1891.

 

 

 

Chicago, Kansas and Western Railroad (1886-1901) - This railroad was formed by combining the charters of ten smaller railroads on May 31, 1886. At this time, the Santa Fe Railroad and the Missouri Pacific Railroad were in stiff competition to build lines in new territory. The Chicago, Kansas and Western Railroad was busy building many disconnected lines all over Kansas and then leased them to one of the two competitors. The company continued until it was sold to the Santa Fe Railroad in April, 1901.

 

Kansas Central Railway Company (1871-1879) - Incorporated in June, 1871, its object was to build a railroad and telegraph line from Leavenworth to the western Kansas boundary. It was initially built as a narrow gauge railroad because the owner thought the issue would pass easier if the cost per mile was less. Its first train ran to Holton, Kansas in 1872. The railroad continued to push westward but was struggling financially and in April, 1879, the property was sold at a foreclosure sale in Leavenworth County to C. K. Garrrison and L. T. Smith. This pair soon reopened the line as the Kansas Central Railroad Company.

 

Kansas Central Railroad (1879-1897) - Formerly the Kansas Central Railway Company, it was purchased at a foreclosure sale by C. K. Garrrison and L. T. Smith in April, 1879 and reopened as the Kansas Central Railroad. The railroad continued the task of the former company to build a railroad and telegraph line to the western Kansas boundary. The tracks finally reached Clay Center in 1881.In 1890, the railroad converted to standard gauge rails from the narrow gauge railroad built by its predecessor. However, this company too, struggled financially and went into foreclosure. It was sold to the Leavenworth, Kansas and Western Railway Company in September, 1897. On May 25, 1908, it was again sold, to the Union Pacific Railroad Company. In March 1935, the Union Pacific Railroad disbanded the Leavenworth, Kansas and Western Railway from Knox, a station near Leavenworth, to Clay Center.

 

The Kansas & Neosho Valley Railroad (1865-1868) - Incorporated in March, 1865, the railroad’s objective was to build a line from Kansas City south into the Neosho Valley of eastern Kansas, and then continue south all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Bonds were issued for the project and by the spring of 1866, work commenced in Kansas City and grading and bridging was completed to Olathe, Kansas. That same year, a treaty was made with the Cherokee to cede the Cherokee Neutral Lands to the United States. The land, located in Crawford, Cherokee and Bourbon Counties, was then to be sold for the benefit of the Indians. However, this created a number of disputes between white settlers who had "squatted" on the land and those that were trying to by property. During this time the directors of the Kansas & Neosho Valley Railroad were unable to obtain the needed property to build through the Cherokee Neutral Lands. However, the property was obtained by a Boston group represented by a man named James F. Joy, president of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad system in August, 1868. The previously issued bonds were then withdrawn and given over to Joy and his group, who obtained the railroad. The name was then changed to the Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad Company in August, 1868, and subsequently  to the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad Company.

 

Kansas City, Fort Scott and Gulf Railroad (1868-1888) - First established as the Kansas & Neosho Valley Railroad in March, 1865, it was taken over by Boston group represented by a man named James F. Joy, president of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad system in August, 1868. It was first called the  Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad Company, but quickly changed its name to the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Gulf Railroad. Continuing the objectives of the Kansas & Neosho Valley Railroad to build build south through Indian Territory. The tracks from Kansas City to Olathe opened in December, 1868, made it to Fort School by December, 1869, and to the border of Kansas and Indian Territory in May, 1870. The total cost to build the line was more than five million dollars. The the original design had called for continuing the line all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, but this was not completed as another agreement had been made between the United States and the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway. 

 



 

Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser/Legends of Kansas, updated March, 2015.

 

 

                                                                                                                                            Also See: Railroads of Kansas 

 

 

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