RailroadsSource: Rocky Mountain Directory and Colorado Gazetteer for 1871, transcribed by J.S.
DENVER PACIFIC RAILWAYThis
road was the first to give railroad communication to Colorado. It
extends from Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, to Denver, Colorado-a
distance of 106 miles-connecting with the Union Pacific railroad at
Cheyenne, the Kansas Pacific and Colorado Central at Denver, and the
Denver and Boulder Valley at Hughes.
The advantages and benefits
accruing to Colorado, from the completion of this road, are
incalculable. New life has been infused into her mining and
agricultural industries, and vigorous vitality given to all business
enterprises. By this the tariff on freight and passenger transportation
has been so reduced, from the high rates which were peculiar to stage
and wagon lines, that it seems comparatively trifling. This has
stimulated large immigration and vast shipments of merchandise, which
have increased the revenues of the Territory, and decreased the expense
of conducting all business and mining enterprises, and the cost of
The paramount advantages to Colorado of
railroad communication, and the practical benefits derived from that
afforded by the Denver Pacific railway, are everywhere apparent, and
clearly demonstrated by the rapid increase of population, the building
towns and cities, the active development of mining property, and the
extent and prosperity of agricultural industries.
medium of this railroad Colorado first had direct communication with
all business centres, east and west; her mineral and agricultural
products found a suitable market, at small expense and with trifling
delay; and capabilities, tourists, and all classes of immigrants, were
enabled to avail themselves of her unbounded resources, without the
exposure and delay consequent upon a journey across the great plains in
a stage-coach or wagon train.
The idea of constructing this
railroad, which has afforded so much material aid toward the complete
development of the Territory, and the measures which finally secured
its completion originated with Colorado capitalists-prominent among
these, Gov. John Evans, of Denver.
In the fall of 1867 the
initial steps were taken, by the organizing of a company for the
purpose of connecting Denver with the Union Pacific railroad, at
Cheyenne, by means of a railway and telegraph line. The Board of Trade
of Denver took a prominent part in this important enterprise, and were
promptly and efficiently aided by the leading capitalists in the
Territory, who influenced capitalists from abroad, and succeeded in
raising the necessary funds. Surveys were made at once, the route of
the road decided upon, and work pushed forward so energetically that
fifty-eight miles of the road-from Cheyenne to Evans-were completed and
opened for business on the 16th day of December, 1869. The further
completion of the road was effected without needless delay, and, on the
23rd day of June, 1870, the first passenger train arrived in Denver.
The financial exhibit of the company is represented by the following figures:
|Authorized capital stock||$4,000,000|
|Total cost of railroad and equipment||8,000,000|
road and its equipments adn appurteances are, in every way,
first-class, and adapted to an extensive business. The management of
the road is entrusted to the following directors and officers:
|John Evans, Denver City, Col.||D.H. Moffat, Jr., Denver City, Col.|
|John Pierce, Denver City, Col.||Walter S. Cheesman, Denver City, Col.|
|W.M. Clayton, Denver City, Col.||Robert E. Carr, St. Louis, Mo.|
|Frank Palmer, Denver City, Col.||W.J. Parker, St. Louis, Mo.|
|R.H. Lamborn, Philadelphia, Penn.|
|John Evans, President||C.W. Fisher, Superintendent and General Ticket and Freight Agent|
|John Pierce, Vice-President|
|D.H. Moffat, Jr. , Treasurer||W. Wagner, General Accountant|
|R.R. McCormick, Secretary||James S. Porter, Road Master|
|S.C. Bradford, Master Mechanic|
well known business abiltiy and financial responsibility of these
gentlemen are sufficient guaranty to the public that this road will
always be kept in excellent condition, and the comfort and safety of
passengers, and the rapid transit of freight, be a certainty at all
Along the line of the road, nearly its entire extent,
are some of the best farming lands in the Territory, which have been
already considerably improved by colonists and settlers; and, at
different points, beds of lignite have been discovered, which promise
to be valuable.
THE UNION PACIFIC RAILROADOne
of the accomplished facts of the age is the existence of this great
trans-continental railroad, which connects the Altantic with the
Pacific, and forms an unbroken chain in connecting the old world with
the new. For many years before the commencement of this work, this
matter had been constantly brought before the people, and agitated in
Congress, by the friends and projectors of the movement. The
feasibility of the plans submitted, accompanied, as they were, by
topographical surveys of the section of country marked out for the iron
pathway, received, at first, but little notice or commendation; but
perseverance, and palpable assurances of success in the enterprise, by
those whose sympathies were enlisted, at last procured the recognition
and essential co-operation of the Government. Thus it was that a
company, comprising, among the number, many of our wealthiest esatern
capitalists, was formed, and arrangements immediately made for the
commentment of a work, the magnitude of which can hardly be realized at
this day, which witness the triumphant and successful completion of the
greatest enterprises ever inaugurated.
Omaha, Neb., located on
the western bank of the Missouri river, was selected as the initial
point; and here, on the 5th day of November, 1865, ground was broken,
with appropriate ceremonies, and the work commenced with vigor.
the act of 1862, the utmost limit extended, in the completion of the
enterprise, was July 1, 1875; and the opinion became general, with a
large class, that the labor involved would prevent the work from being
brought to a successful issue within the time alloted, though time and
subsequent events have fully eradicated that impression.
work, on its inception, was necessarily slow and retarded, through the
absence of available machinery and material essential in the
prosecution of so great an enterprise. Shops were to be built, forges
erected, and tools to be manufactured, and an army of mechanics and
laborers to be procured; all of which occupied time. However, these
obstacles were soon met and overcome, and the work pushed forward with
alacrity. As an evidence of the rapidity with which the work
progressed, it is proper to mention that, by the first of January,
1866, forty miles of road had been constructed, which was increased,
during the year, to 265 miles; and, in 1867, 285 miles more were added,
making a total of 550 miles on January 1, 1868. From that time, the
work proceeded with greater energy, and the following May witnessed its
completion as far as Promontory Point, Utah Territory, where it met the
Central Pacific railroad-the last 534 miles having been constructed in
a little more than fifteen months, being an average of one and
one-fifth miles per day. Although the world is generally acquainted
with the history of the road, yet few can form an adequate conception
of the immense amount of labor performed in obtaining the material to
construct the first portion of it.
The nearest railroad was 150
miles east of Omaha, and all the road material and supplies for the
laboring force had to be brought from the Eastern cities; thus, the
only means of transportation to be had was through the agency of
freight teams, at the most exhorbitant and extortionate prices. The
laboring force was transported by the same means. As the country 600
mile west of Omaha is completely barren of lumber, save a scanty supply
of cottonwood in the vicinity of Platte river, the company was obliged
to purchase ties cut in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York, at prices
averaging as high as $2.50 per tie. It was not too long, however,
before these obstacles were removed, and the work proceeded
advantageously, on a more economical basis.
The 10th day of May,
1869, was an eventful one in the history of the Union Pacific railroad;
for it was then that the connection was made that joined the Union with
the Central Pacific road.
At a place called Promontory, a town
(?) composed of about thirty board and canvass structures, including a
number of saloons and restaurants, the great work of weary months was
brought to a final and successful completion. The ceremonies of laying
the last tie, and driving the last spike, were not only impressive, but
attended with the utmost enthusiasm. It was a curious and motley group
that gathered on that bright May day, to view the consummation of one
of the grandest of modern enterprises-an occasion of great national
importance. It was a day that was to demonstrate the final triumph of
the friends of the road over their croaking opponents; and it was
resolved to give the utmost effect to the proceedings, and arrangements
were made accordingly, and carried out with great eclat.
will be remembered, on this occasion, that the last tie laid was
manufactured from California laurel, with silver plates bearing
suitable inscriptions, while, of the last spikes driven, there was one
of pure gold, one of silver, and another of gold, silver and iron.
the locomotives of the two lines approached, and finally came together
and "kissed," the excitement was great, and the flow of wine greater.
cost of this gigantic enterprise has been variously estimated; but the
estimate we publish is correct, as showing the amount of material used.
In the construction of the whole line, there were used about 300,000
tons of iron rails, 1,700,000 fish-plates, 6,800,000 bolts, 6,126,375
cross-ties, and 23,505,500 spikes. Besides this, there was used an
incalculable amount of sawed lumber, boards for building, timber for
trestles, bridges, etc. Estimating the cost of the road, complete, by
that of other first-class roads ($105,000 per mile), we have the sum of
$181,650,000 as the approximate cost of this work.
readers may be enabled to form some idea of the amount of rolling-stock
required to successfully operate a road of this magnitude, we present
the following exhibit, as showing the number of engines and different
kinds of cars now in use:
|Locomotives||150||Fast freight cars||108|
|Passenger cars||40||Derrick and wrecking cars||3|
|Emigrant cars||22||Powder cars||2|
|Mail and express cars||16||Pay cars||2|
|Caboose cars||62||Officers' cars||3|
|Baggage cars||11||Fruit cars||12|
|Box cars||1,032||Hay stock cars||48|
The number of ties to a mile is 2,650, on this road; but, on the eastern roads, the number is far less.
rails are "fished," making one continuous rail, thus adding to the
smoothness of the road, and securing an easy and pleasant motion to the
cars. Since its completion, the companies have been active in finishing
up and ballasting their tracks, so that, to-day, there exists no better
road-bed in the United States than that of the Union Pacific.
principal works of the company are located at Omaha, and consist of
machine shops, round-house, blacksmith shop, foundry, car and paint
shop, stationary engine and water tank, and store-rooms.
company is now actively engaged in the erection of a railroad bridge
across the Missouri, from Omaha to Council Bluffs, Iowa. The bridge is
of the pattern known as the "Post patent," and will be of iron, a half
mile in length. There will be eleven spans, of 250 feet each. It will
rest fifty feet above high water, and seventy feet above low water. The
piers are to be hollow cylinders-instead of stone-filled in with
concrete, rocks, etc., and similar in construction to the bridge
crossing the Harlem river, New York. This work will involve a
cost of $2,000,000, and will be completed this year.
railways which connect at the eastern terminus of this road, at Omaha,
and form, with it, a continuous line of communication to all the great
commerical centres of the Atlantic, Middle, and Southwestern States,
are. The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific; Chicago &
Northwestern; Burlington & Missouri; and St. Joseph & Council
Bluffs. At the western terminus, the Central Pacific forms the giant
link in this monster chain that binds together the shores of a
continent. Its connections which is most important to the inhabitants
of Colorado, is that with the Denver Pacific, at Cheyenne. By this, the
first railway communication was made between the great cities of the
east, and the queen city of the plains-Denver. It is impossible to
calculate the importance of this line, which has already done more
toward developing our unrivaled resources than all other causes
combined, and has placed our vast extent of agricultural lands, and
untold mineral wealth, within the reach of all mankind.
The management of this road is, at present, entrusted to the following officers, with their principal business office at Omaha:
President - Hon. Oliver Ames
Vice-President - John Duff
Treasurer - M.S. Williams
Assistant Treasurer and Secretary - E.H. Rollins
Chief Engineer - T.E. Sickles
Auditor - J.W. Gannett
General Superintendent - T.E. Sickles
Assistant General Passenger Agent - W.C. Thompson
General Freight Agent - H. Brownson
these gentlemen, and, more especially, to the present efficient
superintendent and chief engineer, the traveling public are largely
indebted, as the road is always kept free from delays by snow, or other
causes, and in excellent condition; thus ensuring safety and comfort.
Freights over this road are always pushed forward rapidly, as the
rolling-stock is ample, and thoroughly adapted to meet all requirements.
KANSAS PACIFIC RAILWAYThe
acts of Congress incorporating the Union Pacific Railway Coompanies,
approved July 1, 1862, and July 2, 1864, authorized the construction of
this road under the name of the Union Pacific railway, Eastern Division
(name changed to Kansas Pacific railyway by joint reolution of
Congress, March 3d, 1869) from the confluence of the Missouri and
Kansas rivers, by the way of Fort Riley and the valley of the
Republican river, to a junction with the Union Pacific railroad at the
The bonds and lands granted by the Govenment to
this company were the same per mile as those authorized for the Union
Pacific railroad east of the Rocky Mountains, viz.: $16,000 in bonds
and 12,800 acres of land for every mile of road, the lands being the
alternate odd-numbered sections, for twenty miles, on each side of the
By an amendment to the original act, approved July 3,
1866, this company was released from the obligation of connecting with
the Union Pacific railroad at the 100th meridian, and authorized to
changed their line west-wardly up the Smoky Hill river from Fort Riley,
on condition that they should only received the same amount of bonds
from the United States, to aid in the construction of their new line,
that they would have been entitled to if they connected with the Union
Pacific railroad at the 100th meridian, as was required in the original
act of incorporation; also, that they should join the Union Pacific
railroad at a point not more then fifty miles west of the meridian of
Denver, in Colorado. This company has accordingly followed the general
route of the Smoky Hill branch of the Kansas river from Fort Riley to
the city of Denver, and from that point northwest to a connection with
the Union Pacific railroad. By the survey made by Major Howell, U.S.A.,
under instructions from the President of the United States, the
distance for which the company was entitled to bonds of the Government
was found to be 393 15-16 miles, measured from the boundary line of
Missouri and Kansas, at the north of the Kansas river, to the 100th
meridian on the Union Pacific railroad.
The land grant, under
the acts of Congress, exends the whole length of the present line, from
the initial point to the junction, with the Union Pacific railroad west
of Denver. By authority of Congress, the lands and franchises of that
portion of the line from Denver to the junction with the Union Pacific
railroad at Cheyenne, a distance of 106 miles, were transferred to the
Denver Pacific railroad and Telegraph Company, which is now completed
and in operation from Denver to Cheyenne, making another through line
to the Pacific ocean.
The Kansas Pacific railway company, has
made careful surveys, by the way of New Mexico, and the thirty-fifth
parallel, to the Pacific coast, and contemplate extending their road by
that route if Congress grants the necessary authority and aid in lands.
Grading was commenced at Wyandotte in September, 1863, and the road was completed as follows:
|To Lawrence, 38 miles, in July 1865||To Ellsworth, 223 miles, in July 1867|
|To Topeka, 67 miles, in January 1866||To Hays, 289 miles, in October 1867|
|To Junct'n City, 189 miles, in Oct. 1866||To Sheridan, 405 miles, in August 1868|
|To Salina, 185 miles, in May 1867||To Denver, 689 miles, in August 1870.|
The gross earnings have been as follows:
|For the year 1865||$70,525.80|
|For the year 1866||442,327.20|
|For the year 1867||1,811,458.11|
|For the year 1868||1,910.161.88|
|For the year 1869||2.225,850.11|
|For ten months, 1870||2,927,477.99|
Rolling stock, December 19, 1870: Locomotives, 76; passenger cars, 43; baggage, mail and express cars, 15; freight cars, 1,158.
The following are the connections of the Kansas Pacific railway:
|At Kansas City, with the Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluff's railroad|
|At Kansas City, with the Hannibal & St. Joseph railroad|
|At Kansas City, with the North Missouri railroad|
|At Kansas City, with the Pacific (of Missouri) railroad|
|At Kansas City, with the Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf railroad|
|At Lawrence, with the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston railroad|
|At Leavenworth, with the Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluff's railroad|
|At Kansas City, with the Leavenworth, Atchison & Northwestern railroad|
|At Kansas City, with the Pacific railroad (of Missouri)|
|At Topeka, wiht the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad|
|At Junction City, with the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroad|
|At Denver, with the Denver Pacific railroad|
|At Kansas City, with the Coloardo Central railroad|
land grant to the company amounts to over 6,000,000 acres, and
comprises some of the most fertile and valuable lauds[sic] in Kansas
and Colorado. A portion of their lands were opened for sale January 1,
1868, and the company have already sold over 600,000 acres, and the
sales would have been much larger, but that a large portion of the
lands in western Kansas and Colorado have never been surveyed by the
Government until the present year (1870). The lands are sold for cash,
or part cash and part notes, the latter bearing interest at six per
cent. per annum and payalbe in from one to five years.
Officers of the Road.
John D. Perry, President, St. Louis, Mo.
Adolphus Meier, First Vice-President, St. Louis, Mo.
Robert E. Carr, Second Vice-President, St. Louis, Mo.
Carlos S. Greeley, Treasurer, St. Louis, Mo.
Sylvester T. Smith, Auditor, St. Louis, Mo.
Chas. B. Lamboon, Secretary, St. Louis, Mo.
A. Anderson, General Superintendent, Lawrence, Kan.
Geo. Noble, Assistant General Superintendent, Lawrence, Kan.
T.F. Oakes, General Freight Agent, Kansas City, Mo.
R.B. Gemmell, General Ticket Agent, Lawrence, Kan.
G.W. Cushing, Superintendent Machinery, Armstrong, Kan.
J.P. Devereux, Land Commissioner, Lawrence, Kan.
completion of this road to Denver was a most important event in the
history of Colorado, and was duly celebrated by our citizens, the
capitalists connected with the enterprise, and the "Press" of the
western country generally. By this, direct communication has been
opened with the great prairie regions east of the "Plains," and with
the Middle and Southern States, and millions of acres of gold
agricultural and grazing lands made available to settlers. It has
already substantially advanced all Colorado industries, and inaugurated
a new and permanent era of progress. The management of the road, under
Superintendent General A. Anderson, has been acknowledged as nearly
faultless as possible; and notwithstanding the difficulties which
surround railroad travel across the great plains during inclement
seasons, passengers and freight are transported safetly and with
dispatch at all times. As a permanent source of advantage to Colorado,
this railway has no successful rival, and, besides our Territory, a
large section of country is largely benefited by its construction.