Other County Histories | Civil War | 1886 | 1913 Vol. 2 | 1916 | Depression |
Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 1. History

by Major A. J. Roof. 1913

Table of Contents

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter




Page 111

The first move ever made in the proposed construction of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, known for the last two decades or longer as part of the great Burlington system, was at a meeting held in the spring of 1846 in the office of John M. Clemens, father of Mark Twain, at the corner of Bird and Hill streets, in the town of Hannibal. Hon. Z. G. Draper presided and R. F. Lakenan was made secretary.

The enterprise had a small beginning but it succeeded. It was at first contemplated to run the road through Palmyra, Shelbyvllle, Bloomington, Linneus, Chillicothe, Gallatin - all county seats - and on to St. Joseph.

The newspapers of the towns through which it was thought the road would be built favored it; those located off the line were opposed to it, and the people divided with the newspapers. The St. Joseph Gazette of November 6, 1846 in an article favoring the building of the road, said: "We suggest the propriety of a railroad from St. Joseph to some point on the Mississippi, either St. Louis, Hannibal or Quincy." The People of Hannibal were interested in having their town made the initial point; St. Joseph only cared to be the terminus. It was important, therefore, that Hannibal should watch carefully, and not allow any other Mississippi river town to step in and take the prize. An effective ally in favor of Hannibal was secured in the person of Hon. Robert M. Stewart, of St. Joseph. In the year 1846 he was elected to the state Senate, and promised to work for the procurement of a charter making Hannibal the initial and St. Joseph the terminal point.

The state Senator from the Marion district was Hon. Carty Wells; the Representative, Hon. John Taylor, of Palmyra. To secure their support it was necessary to make Palmyra a point on the line. Mr. Lakenan drew up the following charter, which was approved by other parties, and passed by the legislature in February, 1847:

"Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri, as follows: - Section 1. That Joseph Robidoux, John Corby, and Robert J. Boyd, of St. Joseph, in Buchanan county; Samuel J. Harrison, Zachariah G. Draper and Erasmus M. Moffitt, of the city of Hannibal; Alexander McMurtry, of Shelby county; George A. Shortridge and Thos. Sharp, of Macon county; Wesley Haliburton, of Linn county; John Graves, of Livingston county; Robert Wilson, of Daviess county; and George W. Smith, of Caldwell county; and all such persons as may hereafter become stockholders in the said company, shall be, and are hereby created a body corporate and politic in fact, and in name and style of the 'Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad Company,' and in the same title, the stockholders shall be in perpetual succession, and be able to sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded in all courts of record and elsewhere, and to purchase, receive, have, hold, enjoy to them and their successors, lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods, chattels, and all estates, real, personal and mixed, of what kind or quality soever, and the same from time to time to sell, mortgage, grant, alien and convey, and to make dividends of such portions of the profits as they may deem proper, and also to make and have a common seal and the same to alter or renew at pleasure, and also to ordain, establish and put in execution such by-laws, ordinances and regulations as shall appear necessary and convenient for the government of said corporation, not being contrary or repugnant to the Constitution and laws of the United States or of the State of Missouri, and generally to do all and singular the matters and things which to them it shall lawfully appertain to do for the well being of the said corporation, and the due management and ordering of the affairs of the same; provided always, that it shall not be lawful for the said corporation to deal or use or employ any part of the stock, funds or money in buying or selling any ware or merchandise in the way of traffic, or in banking, or brokering operations.

"Section 2. That the capital stock of said corporation shall be two millions of dollars, divided into twenty thousand shares of one hundred dollars each, and it shall be lawful for said corporation, when and so soon as in the opinion of the individuals named in the foregoing section a sufficient amount of stock shall have been taken for that purpose, to commence and carry on their said proper business and railroad operations under the privileges and conditions herein granted.

"Section 3. That the said company are hereby authorized and empowered to cause books for the subscription stock to be opened at such times and places as they may deem most conducive to the attainment of the stock required.

"Section 4. The said company (shall) have power to view, lay out and construct a railroad from St. Joseph's, in Buchanan county, to Palmyra, in Marion county, and thence to Hannibal in said county of Marion, and shall in all things, be subjected to the same restrictions and to entitled to all privileges, rights and immunities which were granted to Louisiana and Columbia Railroad company, by an act entitled, 'An act to incorporate the Louisiana & Columbia Railroad Company,' passed at the session of the General Assembly in 1836 and 1837, and approved January 27, 1837, so far as the same are applicable to the company hereby created, as fully and completedly as if the same were herein re-enacted.

"Section 5. Nothing in this act, nor in that to which it refers shall be construed so as to allow said company to hold or purchase any more real estate than may be necessary and proper for the use of the road and the business transacted thereon. J

"This act to take effect and be in force from and after its passage.

"Approved February 16, 1847."

The act was passed by the legislature with some opposition. The leading workers in its favor were Colonel R. M. Stewart, James Craig and J. B. Gardenhire, of Buchanan county, and Carty Wells and John Taylor, of Marion.

A vigorous canvass was immediately opened along the line to secure subscriptions from the several counties. Meetings were held in every county seat and town. A large meeting, or convention, was held at Chillicothe, June 2, 1847, according to previous and general notice.

The convention organized in the courthouse, which then stood in the public square, at 11 o'clock, by calling Hon. Austin A. King, of Ray county (then judge of the fifth judicial circuit and afterward governor of the state, member of Congress, etc.,), to the chair, and electing Doctor Cravens, of Daviess county, and Alexander McMurtry, of Shelby county, vice- presidents, and Henry D. LaCossitt, of Marion county, and Chas. J. Hughes, of Caldwell the secretaries.

It was moved the delegates in attendance report themselves to the secretaries, whereupon the following gentlemen gave their names and took their seats:

B. F. Loan and Lawrence Archer, from Buchanan county; Absalom Karnes, from DeKalb; Robert Wilson, John B, Conner, Volney E. Bragg, William Peniston, James Turley, Thomas T. Frame, Jacob S. Rogers, M. F. Greence, John Mann, Woody Manson and John Cravens, from Davies county; George Smith, Patrick Smith, Jesse Baxter, A. B. Davis and C. J. Hughes, from Caldwell county; A. A. King, from Ray county; John Cravens, Thomas B. Bryan, Elisha Hereford, John Harper, F. L, Willard, F. Preston, John L. Johnson, S. Mansur, John Bryan, B. F. Tarr, Thomas Jennings, Wm. Hudgins, William Hicklin, Wm. L. Black, Jas. H. Darlington, Robert Mitchell, John Austin, James Austin from Livingston county; Doctor Livingston, from Grundy county; W. B. Woodruff, James C. Moore, James Lintell, John J. Flora, Jeremiah Phillips, and Wesley Haliburton, from Linn county, George Shortridge, A. L. Gilstrap and Benjamin Sharp, from Macon county; Alexander McMurtry, from Shelby county; Z. G. Draper, James Waugh, Henry Collins, H. D. LaCossitt and Wm. P. Samuel, from Marion County.

On motion from Colonel Peniston, it was resolved that a committee consisting of one member from each county represented in the convention be appointed for the purpose of reporting upon what subjects this convention shall act. The president appointed Robert Wilson, L. Archer, A. Karnes, G. Smith, F. L. Willard, Doctor Livingston, W. B. Woodruff, Geo. Shortridge and Z. G. Draper.

On motion, it was resolved that a committee, consisting one member from each county here represented, be appointed to report a basis upon which to vote in this convention. The president appointed A. L. Gilstrap, B. F. Loan, Wm. P. Peniston, Thomas Butts, Thos. R. Bryan, Doctor Livingston, W. Haliburton and James Waugh.

George Smith, of Caldwell, presented the following propositions for the consideration of the convention, and moved to lay the same upon the table, which was done:

"Whereas, The people of Northern Missouri are in favor of the project of a railroad from Hannibal to St. Joseph; therefore,

"Resolved, By the delegates (their representatives) that we recommend the following as the best method to procure the means for the construction of the same:

"First - A liberal subscription by the citizens of the State to the capital stock of said company.

"Second - That Congress be petitioned for a grant of alternate sections and all parts of sections of vacant lands ten miles each side of said road, when located.

"Third - That the company procure a subscription to the stock by Eastern capitalists, and, should the foregoing means prove inadequate, we then recommend that the Legislature pass an act authorizing the company to issue bonds, to be indorsed by the Governor or Secretary of State, for the residue; the company to give a mortgage on the whole work to the State, for the liquidation of said bonds."

The convention then adjourned till afternoon.

At the opening of the afternoon session, it was resolved that the rules for the government of the House of Representatives of Missouri, be adopted for the government of this convention.

A report was adopted, by which the basis of voting in the convention was fixed as follows: that each county represented in the convention be entitled to one vote for every 100 votes therein, by which rule the county of Marion was allowed 15 votes; Shelby, 7; Macon, 9; Linn, 7; Livingston, 8; Grundy, 6; Daviess, 9; Caldwell, 4; Ray, 15; DeKalb, 3, and Buchanan, 22.

The committee to whom was referred the duty of submitting subjects for action of this convention reported:

"1. To appoint a committee of three members to draft an address in the name of this convention to the people of Western Missouri setting forth the advantages to be derived from the contemplated railroad from St. Joseph to Hannibal.

"2. To appoint a committee of three, whose duty it shall be to petition the Legislature of Missouri for such aid in the undertaking as can be afforded consistently with the rights of other sections to the State.

"3. To appoint a committee of three to petition Congress for a donation of alternate sections of lands within six miles on each side of said road when located.

"4. To appoint a committee whose duty it shall be to superintend the publication and distribution of the proceedings of this convention, together with the charter of the road, and the address to the people of Missouri.

"5. Said committee to be appointed by the president and the members of each committee be nearly contiguous as practicable."

The convention then adjourned till the following morning, when, on reassembling, the five above-mentioned resolutions were unanimouslv adopted, with the exception of the fifth, which was adopted with an amendment striking out all after the word "president."

Among the resolutions offered at this session of the convention, the following by Judge King, of Ray, was unanimously adopted by way of amendment to a similar one offered by Doctor Grundy, of Livingston:

"Resolved, That, whereas, this convention has adopted a resolution authorizing a memorial to Congress for donation of alternate sections of land to aid in the construction of the contemplated railroad; also, authorizing a memorial to the Legislature for such aid in the undertaking as can be afforded consistently with the rights of other portions of the State; therefore, we, the delegates, pledge ourselves to support no man for Congress who will not pledge himself to the support of the proposition aforesaid, nor will we support any man for Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, or member of the Legislature, who will not pledge himself to give such aid in the construction of the said railroad consistent with the rights of other portions of the State; as contemplated by the resolution aforesaid."

'Mr. George Smith, of Caldwell, offered the following resolution, which was read and adopted:

"Resolved, That the committee appointed to petition the Legislature be instructed to ask for an amendment to the fourth section of the act incorporating the Louisiana and Columbia Railroad Company (being the law by which the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad Company are to be governed), so as to give the power to the president and directors of the last named company to call in an amount not exceeding 10 per cent every 60 days, and change the notice from 60 to 30 days,"

The following resolution by Mr. Sharp, of Macon, was adopted:

"Whereas, it is not only extremely important to the agricultural and commercial interests of the immediate country that a good wagon road be opened from St. Joseph to Hannibal, but the United States mail stages can not be put in motion on said route until said road shall be opened. And

"Whereas, It is of the utmost importance, as well to the whole intermediate country as to the two extremes, that mail facilities be speedily obtained in stages through said counties. Therefore,

"Resolved, by this convention, That it be recommended to each county through which said road may pass, immediately to open, bridge and put in good repair the said road, in order that mail stages may be immediately started, according to the act of Congress establishing said road."

Mr. Tarr, of Livingston, moved to reconsider the vote adopting third proposition reported by the committee on business which was agreed to.

He then offered the following amendment to said third proposition:

"Adding to third proposition by the committee on business, as follows: 'Also to petition Congress that should any of the alternate sections on the road or within six miles on either side thereof to be sold at any time subsequent to the 16th day of February, 1847, and before the action of Congress in relation to these lands, that other lands be granted as nearly contiguous as possible in lieu thereof.' " This was agreed to, and the third proposition as amended was then adopted.

Doctor Livingston, of Grundy, offered the following resolution, which was adopted:

"Resolved, That the proceedings of this convention be signed by the president, vice-presidents and secretaries, and that the president be requested to transmit a copy thereof to each of our representatives in Congress, requesting them to use their utmost endeavors to obtain from Congress the grant of land contemplated by the proceedings of this convention.

The president then announced the following committees:

1. To address the people of Northern Missouri – Archer, Bragg and LaCossitt.

2. To petition Congress in accordance with the resolution of the convention - Cravens, Halliburton and Shortridge

3. To petition the Legislature – Tarr, George Smith of Caldwell, and Doctor Livingston.

On motion, it was resolved that the thanks of the delegates and constituents are due to the officers of this convention for the able manner in which they have discharged their duties in this convention.

The convention then adjourned sine die.

For a year or two afterward interest in the enterprise flagged and there was a time when some of its friends thought best to abandon it. But in 1850 real and earnest efforts were renewed to secure subscriptions to the capital stock of the company. Such of the directors as were lukewarm gave way to those who were more zealous and enthusiastic. Each county through which the road was expected to pass was recanvassed. The measure was made popular, and candidates were elected to the Legislature, and even to Congress, because they pledged themselves to favor it whenever the opportunity should offer.

In February, 1851, the Missouri Legislature granted the credit of the state to the road to extent of $1,500,000 in bonds, on condition that the company expend a like amount, in installments of $50,000 each. In 1851 Marion county subscribed $100,000, and Hannibal $50,000. Other counties and localities subscribed but not so largely.

The first subscription of Livingston was August 15, 1848,when the county court ordered John Graves, as agent of the County, to subscribe "to an amount not exceeding the amount already paid over, and to be paid, of the fund arising from the sale of the 500,000 acres of land donated by the United States to this State, and by this State divided among the counties thereof by an act of the Legislature approved March 27, 1845." To this order judge John Stone entered his protest.

Other action by the county court may thus be summarized: At the August term, 1851, a majority of the voters of the county having assented thereto, it was ordered that stock to the amount of $25,000 be taken. September 13 following, the following order was made:

"Robert M. Stewart, as the agent of the Hannibal and Joseph's Railroad Company, appeared in court and moved the court to subscribe on behalf of the county of Livingston, to 250 shares of the stock of said railroad. Which motion the court assents to, and accordingly subscribes to the books of said company, in behalf of said county for 25O shares of said stock (of $100 per share), the installments of which, as called for by said company, are to be paid by the county's assigning the notes of said county, payable in twenty years, or sooner, at the discretion of the county court of said. county, and to bear six per cent per annum from date, to be paid annually, and which are to be delivered to said company - to which terms and conditions the said Stewart, as the agent of said railroad company assents to. (Record B, p.30.)"

October 18, 1852, the county court, in response to two distinct calls of the president of the road, issued the county's note for $2,640, due 20 years after date, and bearing 6 per cent interest.

In April, 1853, Thomas R. Bryan was ordered to subscribe on the books of the company the sum of $25,000 "in lieu of former subscription."

November 7, 1853, $1,400 was subscribed "in lieu of the said sum subscribed by a former court." What sum is meant by "said" sum is not clear. If it means the sum of $1,400, no record of any former subscription of that amount can be found. If it means the total amount of the county's subscription, $25,000, the meaning is certainly not well expressed.

October 14, 1854, the county's note for $5,000 was given to pay two assessments (Record B, p. 92), but in February, 1855, this note was returned and cancelled (B, p. 98.).

The board of directors, as reorganized for the years 1851-52-53, was composed of R. M. Stewart, John Corby, Rob S. Boyd, ---Tolbert, Z. G. Draper, J. D. Dowling, Thomas E. Thompson, R. F. Lakenan and E. M. Moffitt. The officers were: R. M. Stewart, president; Washington Jones, secretary; E. M. Moffitt, treasurer; and R. F. Lakenan, attorney.

In the fall of 1851 occurred at Hannibal the formal ceremony of "breaking ground" for the new railroad. November 3d was the day appointed and the occasion called forth a large crowd, and many distinguished persons from all parts of the state were present. A considerable delegation came from St. Louis. The day was opened by the firing of cannons, the ringing of bells and great rejoicing. A meeting was regularly organized. Col. R. F. Richmond, of Hannibal, was president; L. L. Hawkins, of Palmyra, secretary. Hon. Joseph B. Crockett, of St. Louis, was the orator of the day, and delivered a most eloquent address, which was published and circulated

A large procession was formed, headed by Hon. A. W. Lamb as chief marshal, and marched out to Draper's meadow, selected as the site for the breaking of ground, and the serving of a bountiful dinner. Amid the close attention of the large concourse, a few shovelfuls of dirt were thrown up by

Col. R. M. Stewart, Hon. James H. Lucas, of St. Louis, and Hon. L. M. Kennett. Then there was great cheering. Among the many prominent men of the state present on the occasion were Lieut-Gov. Thomas L. Price, Hon. James B. Bowlin, Hon. Carty Wells, Gen. John B. Clark, Sr., Hon. Clairborne F. Jackson, Hon. James S. Greene and Hon. Willard P. Hall. At this ceremony Livingston county was represented by W C. Samuel, who was sent down by the county court, expressly as the county's representative.

Work, however, on the new road progressed slowly. The route was not definitely located, and the subsidies not all secured. Besides, not as much was known about railroad building in those days as is known now. The board of directors, in 1851, memorialized Congress for a large grant of the public lands to aid in building the road, and made earnest efforts to secure this result. The president, Hon. R. M. Stewart, and attorney, Mr. R, F. Lakenan, in 1852, visited Washington to aid in securing the favorable action of Congress.

A bill was introduced in Congress for this purpose, and came up for action in May, 1852. Hon. Willard P. Hall, of Buchanan county, then chairman of the committee on territories in the House of Representatives, had charge of this bill. The scene on the passage of the bill was very exciting. There were strong opponents to the measure, and they were working hard to defeat it. It came near being lost by an amendment being offered by Hon. W. A. Richardson, of Quincy, who desired that the eastern terminus of the road should be at his town, and sought to have the officers of the road agree that it should run to Quincy eventually, at any rate. His amendment was to grant a like quantity of land to a proposed railroad in Illinois, Congress had already granted an immense domain of valuable land to the Illinois Central Railroad, and Richardson's amendment excited strong opposition to the Hannibal and St. Joseph's grant.

Stewart promised Mr. Richardson that if he would withdraw his amendment a new company should be formed to build a branch from Palmyra to Quincy. Hon. Stephen A. Douglas had left his seat in the Senate to urge his friends in the House to support the measure, and he kindly interfered and induced Richardson to withdraw the amendment, the latter saying did not design to injure the measure. The bill then passed the House by a vote of 103 to 76, and in the Senate it had but little opposition. The provisions of the act of Congress gave alternate sections of land to the state of Missouri in trust for the benefit of a railroad from Hannibal to St. Joseph, and the state turned these lands over to the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad Company.

The grant of 600,000 acres of fine agricultural land settled the fact that the road would eventually be built; the people knew it was a mere question of time. In August, 1852, a contract was made with Duff & Leamon, of New York, to build the entire line, This contemplated the "Northern Route" through Bloomington, then the county seat of Macon county. Afterward, at a meeting of the directors at Glasgow, March 10, 1853, the "Southern Route" - on the present line - was chosen, and the contract relet to John Duff & Co., of New York, at $23,000 per mile.

The road was located by Maj. James M. Bucklin, chief engineer, a very superior engineer, but addicted to drink, and who, in two or three years, became a confirmed drunkard, and was discharged. He lay around the old Virginia Hotel, on the levee, in Hannibal, John Toncray, proprietor, drinking at Toncray's saloon, until he became a wreck. The town of Bucklin, Linn county, was named for him. The preliminary survey had been made by Simeon Kemper and Col. M. F. Tiernan, who were accompanied by Col. R. M. Stewart. The latter gentleman's indefatigable efforts in behalf of the interests of the road contributed more than those of any other man to their ultimate accomplishment. His services in behalf of the road also made him governor of the state in 1857, when he was elected on the democratic ticket over Hon. James S. Rollins, whig, of Boone. Stewart's majority was only 334, which it is said was accomplished by whig votes from the strong whig counties of Marion, Monroe and Macon and other counties along the line of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, which votes were cast for him out of friendly consideration for what he had done in aid of the new enterprise.

Early in the year 1857 work was begun at the St. Joseph end. In March of that year the track extended east from St. Joseph seven miles. The first fire under the first engine that started out was kindled by M. Jeff. Thompson, afterward the Missouri Confederate brigadier.

The Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad was completed February 13, 1859. The next day the first through passenger train ran out of St. Joseph. Of this train E. Sleppy was engineer and Benjamin H. Colt, conductor. The first engineer to run a train into St. Joseph was George Thompson, who ran first a construction train, then a freight train. At that time the equipment consisted of fourteen freight cars, six passenger coaches and four engines. The superintendent lived at Hannibal and his name was J. T. K. Hayward. He was a great American, a man of strong force of character. Hannibal was the general headquarters of the road. For many years John L Carson was general manager. The final work on the road was not done by Duff & Co., but by J. M. Ford and others.

According to the regulations on the time card, no freight train was permitted to run faster than eighteen miles an hour except on special orders. The passenger trains west bound left Hannibal at 10:30 A. M. and reached St. Joseph, a distance of 206 miles, at 9:30 P. M.

Several towns long since forgotten were given on the card as stations. Hudson was the name for the place now known as the city of Macon. Meadville was known as Bottsville. New Cambria was called Stockton. Then there were not half as many stations as there are now. Hannibal, Hudson (Macon), Brookfield, Chillicothe and St. Joseph were the principal stations.

Eleven engines were in service on the road, and they were given names instead of numbers. The names were as follows: Hannibal, Stranger, Missouri, Chippewa, Oneida, Mohegan, Ottawa, Seneca, Omaha, Miami and Apache. In those days the engines covered about 3,000 miles a month. Now there are about 170 engines on the road, and their mileage will each average 7,500 miles a month.

The firemen on the coal burning engines received $1.50 a day and the firemen on the wood burners only received $1.25 a day. No trains ran on Sunday.

Something like twenty years ago the Hannibal & St. Joseph lost its identity by being absorbed by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, and afterwards becoming a part of the great Burlington route. The "old guard" had to go, and with them came the resignation of W. R. Woodward, the picturesque superintendent, as well as J. H. Barnard, at that time general manager. The result was that W. F. Merrell became the new general manager, and S. E. Crance superintendent of the Hannibal & St. Joseph. The coming of Crance brought a lot of followers, and for a few years they continued to come from Aurora, from the famous Fox river division; from Galesburg and from the St. Louis line of the C., B. & Q. For about six years Superintendent Crance was general superintendent of the entire Missouri lines, with headquarters at St. Joseph.

About the time of the coming of Superintendent Crance from the C., B. 1& Q., came a new general manager, W. F. Merrell. He was a college graduate, a man of fine sensibilities, a polished gentleman. But after a few years, with the order of things, Mr. Merrell was promoted by the Burlington system and went to Chicago, afterwards resigning to accept a higher official position with the Pennsylvania system.

Mr. Merrell was succeeded by W. C. Brown at St. Joseph and with the coming of Brown came new ideas. As a railroad manager he soon demonstrated that he was a pacemaker. He captured everybody with whom he came in contact. Railway men liked him for what he knew. The public generally

admired him for his brilliancy and push. Brown kept on climbing up the great ladder of the railway world. He was promoted and went to Chicago. The Lake Shore or Vanderbilt system took a notion they wanted him for their vice-president and general manager. They got him and the former Missourian went to Cleveland. And later was vice-president and general manager of the New York Central.

Then there was a successor to be appointed to succeed Mr. Brown as general manager of the Missouri lines of the Burlington route. At the time Howard Elliott was general freight agent, like Mr. Brown, he had come up from the bottom round of the ladder. The first work in railroading done by Mr. Elliott after graduating from Harvard College was carrying a chain with a surveying corps. When Mr. Elliott was made general manager all who knew him said he would be equal to the emergency. With his administration the general manager's headquarters were moved to St. Louis from St. Joseph. Mr. Elliott was made a director of the St. Louis World’s Fair and was a strong factor in the promotion of the greatest exposition the world has ever seen - when suddenly it was announced in the St. Louis papers that Mr. Elliott's true worth had been recognized by the great Burlington system whereby he was appointed vice-president with headquarters at Chicago.

The Hannibal & St. Joseph is looked upon as the greatest single track in America, in point of business, handling more trains in proportion to its mileage than any other line of the Burlington system.

Though a few time tables now in existence show when shortly after the road was built, there was but one passenger and one freight train carded to run over it, each way, every twenty-four hours, at the present time through and separate passenger trains run between St. Louis and Kansas City, St. Joseph, Omaha, Denver and Portland, between Chicago and Kansas City, St. Joseph, Atchison and Leavenworth, in addition to through cars between St. Louis and Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco, via St. Joseph and Kansas City - all running to and from these points.

To give an idea what is being done on this piece of railroad in a more condensed form, there is an average of 285 trains each twenty-four hours, running over parts or between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, on this less than 300 miles of the Burlington system. It is no uncommon thing for meat, stock, and merchandise trains to run over the line between St. Joseph and Hannibal, or Kansas City and Quincy, in less time than passenger trains were carded to make the run between the same points previous to the putting on of the pioneer fast passenger train between Chicago and the Missouri river, ("The Eli,") in 1887.

Not long since a train of cattle left Kansas City for Chicago in the afternoon, contended with other trains, consumed the necessary running time over the Missouri and Mississippi river bridges, made the stops for railroad crossings, junctions, fuel, sidetracked for passenger trains, changed engines and train crews, etc., and made the run between Kansas City and Quincy in eight hours. The next day another train made the run between the same points in seven hours and thirty-five minutes.

This is an illustration of the progress that has been made in single track railroading in Missouri between the year 1859, when the first steel bond was made between the "Father of Waters" and the "Big Muddy," and the present time.

Speaking of the "Eli," perhaps no train on the entire Burlington system has contributed more to its name and fame than this train. Back in the days of 1887 Henry B. Stone, the leader of the great strike, was the general manager of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, and the promoter of the fast Chicago-Kansas City train through Chillicothe. P. H. Houlahan, at that time trainmaster, went to Kansas City to come out on the first east bound "Eli," riding to Quincy to where the trains met and then back to Kansas City - in other words twice across the state in a night.

There has perhaps no railway in the country contributed more to history than the Hannibal & St. Joseph. General Passenger Agent Daniels of the New York Central, America's greatest railway system, saw the first cars in his life run over the Hannibal & St. Joseph when he was a lad in Macon county. Elihu Root, secretary of war, was once a $40 a month clerk in a Hannibal & St. Joseph office.

John B. Carson, long ago general manager of the "Old Reliable" with headquarters at Quincy, went to Chicago and became a millionaire, while his son "Jimmy" blew barrels of money upon actresses and made a fool of himself after his father died.

W. H. McDoel, another former Hannibal & St. Joseph official, later became president and general manager of the Monon route.

Thus North Missouri's old historical railway has been a maker of history in men. Go where you will to any railway division town in the United States, from Vermont to Texas and to Old Mexico, and you will find former employes of the "Jo."

Some have gone higher, while others have bumped against unkind fates. Some have risen in the railway world, others "held their own," while others have not done so well; and still others have "given up the fight" and, been shipped over yonder in a sealed box, to sleep out on that silent city of the hillside beside their kin.

It is an interesting story, that of the Hannibal & St. Joseph. It is a link in the endless chain reaching from the Great Lakes the Golden Gate of the Pacific.

On the 22d of February, 1859, occurred at St. Joseph, the celebration of the completion of the road. Not less than six hundred invited guests were feasted at a grand banquet given in the spacious apartments of the Odd Fellows' Hall, on the corner of Fifth and Felix streets. The road was completed through this county in February, the month of its final completion.

The road did a big business the first two years. It had no competition, charged five cents a mile for passengers, and sometimes more, and had all the business it could well do. During the war it suffered severely. Its officers were loyal and early in the day the entire management was known to be on the side of the government. The principal stock was held in Boston, and nearly all various superintendents and other officers were Northern men.

The secessionists of the state, therefore, attacked it, and injured it no little. September 3, 1861, the bridge across the Platte river was destroyed by them, and a train containing men, women and children ran into the chasm, and some were killed. In December following, the Charition bridge was burned. It became necessary to station detachments of troops at every bridge and trestle work. The bushwhackers tore up the track, ditched the trains, burned cars and stations, from time to time, and the road came out of the war, like other property in the state, much the worse for the conflict.

In the early fall of 1861 the military authorities compelled the union of the tracks of the Hannibal & St. Joseph and the Quincy & Palmyra, at the latter city, and Quincy became the terminus, practically, although Hannibal was and yet is the nominal and legal terminus, according to the charter. March 2, 1867, the Quincy & Palmyra passed into the hands of the Hannibal & St. Joseph. This was done under authority of the act of the Legislature of that date, all stock of the Quincy & Palmyra (having been previously acquired: being merged into that of the Hannibal & St. Joseph, under the charter of the latter corporation.

In 1867-1868 was built a "feeder" of the road from Kansas City to Cameron. The road was chartered before the war and was originally called the Kansas City, Galveston & Lake Superior. Afterward the name was changed to the Kansas City & Cameron. February 14, 1870 this road was merged into the Hannibal & St. Joseph, and still is a part of the same. The first train over the railroad bridge across the Missouri at Kansas City passed July 4, 1869.

In the summer of 1872, the Hannibal & St. Joseph Company commenced the building of a branch or extension of the road from St. Joseph to Atchison, Kansas, a distance of twenty-one miles. This branch was completed in October of the same year.

The completion of the road was the occasion of a jubilee. The track-laying gangs from the east and those from the west met at a point on the east side of section 4, on the S. B. Mumpower farm, three miles east of Chillicothe on the 13th day of February, 1857. Besides the gangs of workmen there was present William Kent, S. B. Mumpower, George Babb, Sol. Hoge, George Kent, now of Oklahoma, Jerry Kent, now of Nevada and many others whose names are not available. Four railroad locomotives occupied positions within a few rods of the closing link and as the last rail was put in place and the spikes driven home, these engines set up a screech and howl of whistles that echoed and re-echoed over the country for miles. Then from every farmhouse for miles around farmers and their families in wagons, on horseback and on foot came to witness the triumphant completion of the old Hannibal & St. Joseph railroad and join in the celebration. From Mr. S. B. Mumpower who was present and participated in the celebration, we are informed that the great number of people present joined the screeching whistles of the engines with their cheers, but all was peaceable and orderly and no whiskey as heretofore erroneously reported and nobody under the influence,


Page 129

March 1, 1851, the North Missouri, now Wabash Railway, was chartered by the Legislature and the company was authorized to build, equip and operate a road from St. Louis in the direction of Des Moines, Iowa, by way of St. Charles. The road was finished to St. Charles in August, 1855,and thence north to Macon in February, 1859.

1860 a company styling itself the Missouri River Valley Railroad Company, was incorporated and authorized to construct a line from Randolph county to Brunswick in Chariton county and thence through Carroll, Ray and Clay counties to Platte county, The Chariton & Randolph Railroad Company was also organized a year previous, the late Gen. Sterling Price, who became famous in defense of his southern rights principles, was prominently connected with the last named enterprise. With one aim in view the two organizations combined for the purpose of building a road from Moberly, through Brunswick and along the north bank of the Missouri river. The two companies were consolidated in 1864 by an act of the Legislature, the line being built and completed to Kansas City in 1869, the road having been finished to Brunswick in December, 1867.

The Chillicothe & Brunswick Railroad Company was incorporated by an act of the Legislature approved January 26, 1864, and empowered to construct and operate a road between the two points named. The first board of directors was composed of J. B. Leeper, J. B. Bell, Benj. Berry, D. G. Saunders, S. K. Alexander, Thos. T. Eagles, W. A. Love, W. S. Davis, S. B. Deland, and John Smith of Livingston county; W. H. Plunkett, Thos. Anderson, John H. Blue, Adamantine Johnson, W. E. Moberly, John Ballentine, John H. Davis, James McFarren and David Loud, of Chariton county; W. R. Creel and W. A. Delany, of Carroll county.

On the fifteenth of May, 1866, Livingston county voted on the question of taking $200,000 stock in the Chillicothe& Brunswick Railroad, and the proposition was defeated by the following vote: For taking stock, 451; against, 536. But April 25, 1867, another election was held to decide whether or not the county should take stock in the road to the amount of $150,000, and the proposition carried by the following vote: For, 1064; against, 678. The county court made the subscription May 7 following, agreeing to issue 8 per cent bonds of the county as follows: When the first ten miles of track shall be completed, $25,000 for every additional five miles of track. The bonds were dated August 1, 1868, and not signed or issued till that time. The last of these bonds was paid by the county in the year 1885.

The road was constructed in 1869-70, and on its completion to Chillicothe, there was great rejoicing, and a large excursion to Brunswick.

The St, . Louis, Chillicothe & Omaha Railroad Company was organized June 18, 1867, to build a road from Chillicothe to the Iowa line. The first board of directors was composed of W. R. King and St. A. D. Balcombe, of Omaha; C. P. Chouteau and E. W. Samuels, of St. Louis; J. B. Bell, C. V. Meade, L. D. Murphy, J. H. Hammond and Peter Markey, of Chillicothe; D. H. Solomon, of Glenwood, Iowa; J. S. McIntire, of Clarinda, Iowa; W. C. Stewart, Gallatin, Missouri, and C. V. Comstock, of Albany, Missouri, On the fourth of June, 1869, the name of the company was changed to Chillicothe & Omaha Railroad Company. September 13, 1870, the St. Louis, Council Bluffs & Omaha Railroad Company was incorporated in the State of Iowa to build a road from Council Bluffs to a connection with the Chillicothe and Omaha, on the state line. A week later, September 20, the Chillicothe & Omaha and St. Louis, Council Bluffs & Omaha were consolidated under the name of the latter.

Going back to the Old North Missouri Company, it must be said that in 1871 that corporation became bankrupt, and sold its property to M. K. Jessup, of New York. The following year Jessup sold it to the St. Louis, Kansas City & Northern Railway Company, which was organized the same year, for the purpose of purchasing the road, and operated it until November 7, 1879, when it consolidated with the Wabash Railway Company, and the new organization was called the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific, commonly called Wabash. The old Wabash originated in the Toledo & Illinois Railway, which was organized in the State of Ohio, April 25, 1853, to build a road from Toledo to the western boundary of the state.

For some time after its completion the Brunswick & Chillicothe Railroad was operated by lessees, but in a few years it and the St. Louis, Council Bluffs & Omaha were absorbed by the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific.

On the twenty-seventh of May, 1870, an election was held to test the sense of the qualified voters of the municipal township of Chillicothe as to the propriety of a subscription of the county court, in behalf of the township, of the sum of $12,000 in aid of the Chillicothe and Omaha road. The election resulted: For the subscription, 320; against, 50. On the tenth of April, 1871, bonds of the county in behalf of the township, were issued to the amount of the subscription, which was $12,000. The bonds numbered twenty-four, of $500 each, bearing interest at 8 per cent.

The First National Bank of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, purchased the bonds soon after they were issued, on which the county paid the interest until in February, 1877, when the county court, understanding that a recent decision of the United States supreme court had declared similar issues of bonds null and void, refused longer to pay. The bank therefore brought suit, and the case is now in the United States supreme court, having been decided in favor of the bank in the courts below. At the time of the voting of the bonds Rich Hill was a part of Chillicothe township.

The extension of the road north from Chillicothe was begun in 1870 and was completed to Plattsburg the following year. In 1879, when the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific took charge of the old Chillicothe & Omaha, work was resumed, and during that and the following year the road was extended to Council Bluffs, Iowa.


PAGE 132

The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, was located latter part of March, 1886. The project was first broached in the fall of 1885. A survey of the line was made through the county in October, running diagonally through the county from northeast to southwest, by way of Chillicothe near Dawn, and through the southeastern portion of Caldwell by Polo. The road in this quarter is a portion of the extension of the main line from Ottumwa, Iowa, to Kansas City, and was completed April 1, 1887.

The county obtained the road on very liberal terms. The railroad company merely asked for the right-of-way through the county, with the depot grounds at Chillicothe, and even this was not insisted upon as a condition precedent to the location f the road. Upon the citizens of Chillicothe mainly fell the burden of defraying the expenses. Not until the first of March did they set fairly to work, but in a short time they had subscribed the sum of $18,000 and a committee had gone over the route surveyed and bargained with the owners for the right-of-way. The latter, as a rule, were selfish and exhorbitant, asked the very highest prices for their lands and were unwilling to make any concessions to the enterprise or to their fellow citizens. The citizens of Dawn subscribed $2.500, although their town was more than a mile from the proposed depot.

A few of the owners of the land through which the road runs generously donated the right-of-way - notably Mr. P. H. Minor and Joseph Slagle, of Chillicothe township, who gave several acres in all of valuable land. The right-of-way committee, who did the most and best work were H. C. Ireland, J. W. Butner, W. H. Mansur, and C. W. Asper.

A division of the road was established in Chillicothe and for a number of years train crews worked both ways out of the city, which naturally resulted in a boom for the county capital. The town took on new life and the eastern portion of the city soon began to improve; many fine modern residences were erected by employees of the road and others. A decade ago, however, the railroad company decided to move the division to a more central point and it was soon after located in the village of Laredo, which is midway between Ottumwa and Kansas City, and sixteen miles northeast of Chillicothe. The citizens regretted the loss of the division, but with their spirit of enterprise and push they were not "cast down" and today the city is the most prosperous and livliest burg in all North Missouri and acknowledged the best town between the rivers.

Several other railroads were projected to run through this county, namely the Chicago & Southwestern, now known as the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific. In February, 1870, by a vote of 1,733 to 726 the people authorized the county court to subscribe $200,000 to the stock on condition that it should be built through the county, making Chillicothe a point on the route. Fair promises were made to our people only to be broken when the line was located, not through but near Gallatin. In July of the same year, the vote was rescinded and at the same time a like amount was authorized to be subscribed to the Ottumwa, Chillicothe & Lexington Railroad. This proved to be an air bubble for the town and county, for the road was never built. Still another railroad project, known as the Utica & Lexington road, fizzled the next year, but the people were crazy and ready to vote bonds for any projected railroad. An effort was also made in the early '80s to secure an extension of the Burlington, which eventually was built through Laclede and on down to Bogard and Carrollton. The people worked hard to secure this road, but it was afterwards learned that the company had no intention of building through this county.


Another railroad enterprise was projected a year or two after the line was completed from Chillicothe to Brunswick, known as the Chillicothe & Des Moines Railroad, the contemplated line extending north to Trenton,, a distance of twenty-six miles, and thence to the capital of Iowa. The grading to Trenton was finished in 1869, many of the culverts and bridges having been built. The enterprise, however, was later abandoned, although many attempts have been made since to repair the old grade and equip the line, but each effort resulted in a failure. The discovery and development of extensive coal areas in and around Cainesville, Missouri, has resulted in reviving the project and at the present time (1913) capitalists are only waiting for the local managers to secure the right-of-way, after which construction work will begin.