SHAWNEE COUNTY, KANSAS

RAILROAD CONVENTION

A convention will be held at Topeka, Kan., on Wednesday, the 17th day of October, 1860 for the purpose of devising a system of railroad land grants for the territory, to be petitioned for at the next session of Congress. A full representation from all parts of the territory is earnestly solicited."

Topeka    
C. K. Holliday D. H. Horne E. G. Ross
Jacob Safford T. G. Thornton W. W. Ross
M. C. Dickey F. L. Crane  
     
Lecompton    
Wilson Shannon Wm. Leamer D. T. Mitchell
R. S. Stevens D. S. McIntosh John Pickering
     
Atchison    
P. T. Abell S. C. Pomeroy F. G. Adams
B. F. Stringfellow J. A. Martin Robert Graham
L. c. Challiss W. H. Grimes H. L. Davis
G. H. Fairchild    
     
Carlisle, Allen County    
John W. Scott John W. Stewart  
     
Junction City    
F. N. Blake J. P. Downer W. K. Bartlett
F. Patterson Geo. Montague R. C. Whitney
S. B. White S. B. Garrett N. S. Gilbert
Jas. R. McClure P. Z. Taylor Abraham Barry
     
Louisville    
L. R. Palmer A. P. Smith J. L. Wilson
     
Wyandotte    
E. R. Smith Byron Judd Frederick Speck
W. McAlpine Daniel Keller Rev. R. S. Nash
H. C. Long Jas. W. H. watson T. J. Barker
Silas Armstrong William McKay Dr. E. J. Bennett
W. Y. Roberts James McGrew A. C. Davis
John McAlpine Dr. J. Moon P. S. Post
Isaiah Walker Luther Wood T. T. Abrams
James R. Parr A. B. Bartlett C. Cobb
Wm. P. Overton J. N. White William Stephens
Hugh McKee Jas. H. Harris A. D. Downs
Joseph Speck L. Chaffee Frank McHenry
William Cook J. P. Root W. F. Simpson
M. Mudeater D. A. Bartlett Geo P. Nelson
M. R. Walker O. B. Gunn C. Van Fossen
William McHenry S. A. Cobb W. L. McHenry
Robert Halliford S. F. Mather S. D. McDonald
William Walker J. S. Stockton R. B. Taylor
J. B. Wood William Sozier T. J. Darling
James Cruise J. E. Zeits D. B. Hadley
R. S. Emerson Horatio Waldo Lewis Blatchley
John S. Glick Eben Smith H. H. sawyer
C. Christler Francis House John Brevator
N. McAlpine W. P. Winner J. W. Dyer
P. Washington B. Gray A. G. Walcott
C. S. Glick E. T. Hovey Matthias Splitlog
S. S. Sharp J. P. Ulden T. J. Williams
William Weer C. Stuckslagger Henry West
D. R. Smith I. D. Heath F. S. Korks
Lewis Cox J. D. Simpson  
     
Auburn    
H. Fox A. T. Reynolds D. B. emmert
J. W. Brown C. C. Moore R. Steos
     
Grasshopper Falls    
Azel Spaulding Azel W. Spaulding  
     
Pottawatomie County    
C. Jenkins J. Cotrell A. C. Hall
     
Superior City    
J. M. Winchell    
     
Emporia    
P. B. Plumb C. V. Eskridge I. e. Perley
E. P. Bancroft J. Stotler S. G. Brown
J. R. Swallow    
     
Agnes City    
A. I. Baker I. B. Segur R. M. Ruggles
E. Goddard    
     
Wathena    
B. Harding H. S. Creal J. W. Stewart
     
Wabaunsee    
Chas. B. Lines J. M. Hubbard Jr.  
     
Quindaro    
F. Johnson Amer K. Gray Wm. Oldham
John H. Mattoon G. E. Upson C. Morash
E. F. Root Wm. W. Dickinson Joseph A. Hartles
M. P. Downs A. Robinson Theodore bartles
R. Robitaille A. Tuttle Francis Kesler
E. D. Browne E. Sorter Wm. Taylor
John Stewart E. O. Fane Rev. S. D. Storrs
Alfred Gray N. M. tarritt Benj. F. Farthing
John W. Wright Wm. Totten H. Collins
John B. Dexter A. J. Totten Jacob Bartles
Geo. W. Veale C. Chadwell Wm. Stevens
F. G. Fish J. Howard Carpenter Jno. A. Johnson
J. B. Welborn Eli Mayer Fred Arms
Michael Youngman John Francis E. B. Stevens
Phillip Conrad    
     
Leavenworth    
D. R. Anthony J. L. McDowell  
     
Manhattan    
A. J. Mead S. G. Hoyt John Pipher
G. F. DeVivaldi James Kness M. L. essick
Jesse Ingraham Ambrose Todd J. W. Robinson
W. C. Dunton    
     
Fort Riley    
Robt. Wilson    
     
Lawrence    
C. Robinson S. N. Simpson J. H. Lane
N. Cobb M. F. Conway  
     
Big Springs    
Isaac N. Roberts O. E. Dole J. B. Miller
J. W. Roberts A. S. Roberts Wm. R. Frost
A. l. Wightman A. A. Miller C. Antrem
     
Council Grove    
S. M. Hays C. G. Akins A. T. lane
M. Conn. J. J. Howard J. Dunlap
S. N. Wood T. S. Huffaker H. Allen
G. W. Simcock A. c. stewart E. Mosier
Thos. White Allen Crowley June Baxter
A. J. Collier J. P. Mathews Wm. Downing
Robt. Parham F. E. Smith Wm. Lane
H. J. Espy J. H. Bradford A. S. Pollard
Geo. Biglin J. A. Robins Chas. Columbia
A. James Chipman S. E. Wright Christop'r Columbia
J. J. Hawkins Wm. Mansfield Wm. Phinney
     
Olathe    
J. P. Campbell John T. Quarles D. Martin
Josiah E. Hayes Wm. Holmes C. L. dilley
John T. Burris J. B. Hovey John Evarts
L. S. Cornwell A. B. Squires J. J. Judy
John T. Barton Chas. Sims John Hamilton
P. Craig Robert Mann jas. H. Nanham
C. A. Osgood Pat Cosgrove M. P. Randall
E. S. Nash C. B. McRoberts M. J. P. Drake
S. F. Hill John Lockhart Jas. Green
C. J. Coles A. Payne I. J. Turpin
J. B. Mohoffle A. Slaughter F. S. Wilkinson
S. B. Myrick J. J. Ford Wm. Ray
L. True D. C. Francis John M. giffen
John W. mathews G. M. Waugh  
     
Ashland    
N. B. White c. M. Barclay J. W. Brown
E. G. Robinson H. V. Williams R. Reynolds
M. D. Fisher    
     
Sac and Fox Agency    
Perry Fuller    
     
Ottumwa    
John T. Cox James Harris E. M. Hoult
J. M. Singer W. E. Casson J. G. Shaubell
"Other signatures will be added as authority to do so is received."

I include the list of the signers of this call, so that we can see who the men were who took an interest in projecting a railroad system that would meet the wants of the people - one that would subserve the interests of the young state, as well as lay the foundation of a system which would answer the future needs of a well-settled and prosperous commonwealth. The names, too, recall many pleasant recollections of those early pioneers, and revive memories of hardships and friendships that are only forgotten because the cerements of the tomb securely hide from the present the friends of the past, endeared to us by a multitude of kindly actions. The Atchison Chamption published this call and in an able and patriotic article drew attention to it in the following appeal:

"STATE RAILROAD CONVENTION

We publish this week a call, numerously signed by the most prominent citizens of all parts of the territory, for a state railroad convention, to be held at Topeka, on the 17th day of October and conflicting interests of different towns and sections, and united upon some general plan for railroad grants which shall be urged upon Congress, and a favorable action had by that body. The object, at least, will commend itself to every one who has the interests of the territory at heart. Whether a plan can be devised that will be pretty nearly generally satisfactory, the meeting alone can demonstrate. We think, and we certainly most earnestly hope, that such a plan can be originated, so that, by a consolidated, united effort, we may extort those rights from Congress which have been and will be denied us as long as we continue to neutralize the efforts of one another by petty jealousy and unmanly rivalry. Each section, each town, should go down to the convention prepared to sacrifice something for the general good of the territory. Conciliation, harmony, unity, should be the motto of those who meet there to determine what may be so pregnant with either weal or woe to Kansas. We are satisfied that could the people of Kansas unite upon some general system of railroad grants, Congress would accede to their demands. It must, or bear the reproach of being animated by a petty desire to avenge itself upon our people for fancied injuries they have inflicted upon the dominant party in the national legislature. But as long as we are divided into utterly diverse parties and sentiments, each laboring with fanatical zeal to prevent the success of the other, Congress will quietly ignore us, and we have nothing to expect and nothing to hope for at their hands.

"Let us, then, act like men who have the good of the whole territory more at heart than the success of a few little dirt-eating paper cities. Let us endeavor to obtain harmony and united action by conciliation and united desire for the general good. We can all afford to give up something; we can all afford to sacrifice something for Kansas, and no one knows better how much she needs it than her own citizens. Cannot all sections afford to be magnaniumous and great-hearted enough to lay down some portion of their ends to secure for the territory unlimited prosperity and infinite development? We assume to speak for the citizens of our town and county at least, when we say that there will be none who will be more earnestly desirous of its harmonious action; and none who when that unity of purpose shall have been established, will be more active or more untiring in their efforts and exertions to procure for it at the hands of Congress a successful determination than they.

"Atchison enters into the movement with heart and soul. The laboring, indefatigable men whose efforts have unaided by any outside assistance given her an Eastern railroad communication, will be at Topeka to aid by their counsels, to assist by their presence, to advance, if needs be, by their energy and their means, any scheme which will bring our territory out of her difficulties and place her upon the highway to prosperous success and unlimited greatness. Will all sho come there meet us in the same spirit of fraternal kindness and sacrificing generosity?"

The convention was held at the time and place designed. Nineteen counties were represented, as follows: Atchison, Allen, Breckinridge (now Lyon), Doniphan, Davis (now Geary), Jackson, Lykins (now Miami), Leavenworth, Morris, Anderson, Coffey, Clay, Douglas, Riley, Osage, Jefferson, Wabaunsee, Wyandotte, and Shawnee. These were the counties in which the greater number of people then resided and practically the settled portion of the territory. When we consider the fact that there were no public facilities for travel and that some of those attending the convention had to come long distances in private conveyances at large expenses, it will be conceded that the convention was a grand success, and its results far beyond the most sanguine anticipations of the most enthusiastic delegate present.

It would, perhaps, be too tedious to give the entire proceedings of the convention, as in all such bodies many things occur that are not germane to the purposes sought to be obtained. Such matters will be omitted from this paper.

I have not given the reasons for and against the different motions, as I think they will suggest themselves as the propositions are submitted. The principal details of the convention are given as they occurred.

"STATE RAILROAD CONVENTION. - The convention of the people of Kansas, called for the purpose of devising some means for securing for the territory from Congress grants of land for the construction of railroads, assembled at Museum hall, in the city of Topeka at ten o'clock A.M., on Wednesday, the 17th of October, 1860 and was called to order by Samuel C. Pomeroy, of Atchison, who, after a few preliminary remarks, nominated E. G. Ross of Topeka for temporary president. The motion was adopted.

"On motion of C. K. Holliday, of Topeka, John A. Martin, of Atchison and J. F. Cummings, of Topeka, were appointed temporary secretaries.

"After a short discussion on the mode of procedure by C. K. Holliday, S. C. Pomeroy and W. F. M. Arny, a motion was made by P. T. Abell of Atchison that a committee consisting of five members be appointed by the chair on credentials and permanent organization.

"J. E. Jones of Douglas county, moved to amend the motion by making the number thirteen.

"W. Y. Roberts, of Wyandotte, moved to further amend, by making the committee consist of seven members, to report on credentials, apportionment, and permanent organization. The amendment was adopted and on the question recurring on the motion as amended it was adopted.

"William Weer of Wyandotte, moved that the committee be instructed to report as an accredited delegate to this convention every bona fide resident here present of any county which has failed to appoint delegates.

"George W. Glick, of Atchison, moved to lay the motion upon the table. Carried.

"Charles Robinson moved to instruct the committee to make the basis of apportionment the population of the territory.

"George W. Glick, moved to lay the motion on the table. Carried.

"The chair appointed the following men as the committee: B. F. Stringfellow, of Atchison; James McGrew of Wyandotte, W. F. M. Arny of Anderson, Joel Huntoon of Shawnee; George S. Hillyer of Jefferson; Thos. Means of Leavenworth county; Amory Hunting of Riley county.

"On motion, the convention adjourned until 1:30 o'clock p.m.

"Afternoon session - Meeting called to order by the president.

"General Stringfellow, on behalf of the committee on credentials, apportionment, and permanent organization, presented the following report:

"That your committee find the following counties represented: Allen, Atchison, Anderson, Breckinridge, Doniphan, Davis, Jackson, Lykins, Leavenworth, Morris, Coffey, Clay, Douglas, Osage, Riley, Jefferson, Wabaunsee, Wyandotte, Shawnee. They recommend the following basis of representation; That the delegates from each county represented in this convention shall be entitled to cast one vote on all questions before the convention, and when such delegates shall divide on any question, such votes shall be divided in proportion to the number of delegates voting from each county as they respectively represent. They recommend as permanent officers of this convention a president, seven vice-presidents, and three secretaries and recommend: For president. W. Y. Roberts for vice-presidents, w. F. M. Arny, Samuel Mediary, P. T. Abell, Charles Robinson, Thos. Ewing, Jr., A. J. Mead, W. A. Ella; for secretaries, John A. Martin, J. F. Cummings, C. F. DeVivaldi.

"Thomas Means of Leavenworth, offered a minority report (verbally), fixing the representation in the convention at one vote for every county, one additional vote for every thousand population and every fraction of 500 and upwards.

"William Weer of Wyandotte, moved that that portion of the report referring to the permanent organization of the convention be adopted. The motion was carried, and the chair appointed General Stringfellow and Judge Means to conduct Governor Roberts to the chair.

"W. Y. Roberts, on taking his seat, made an eloquent address, urging concession and harmony.

"Thomas Means moved that the minority report be adopted.

"Mr. McGrew moved to amend by inserting, 'majority.'

"George M. Beebe called for the reading of the list of delegates as reported by the committee.

"The list was read, as follows: Atchison county - S. C. Pomeroy, B. F. Livingston, John A. Martin, R. L. Pease, R. McBratney, S. D. Northway, G. W. Glick, L. C. Chaliss, J. C. Crall, H. L. Davis, B. F. Stringfellow, P. T. Abell, J. P. Carr, John M. McClun, D. O. Keef, A. J. McCausland.

"Breckinridge county - P. B. Maxson, E. P. Bancroft.

"Allen county - John W. Scott, C. P. Twiss

"Doniphan county - John Stiarwalt, Sewall Hardy, Doctor Wheeler, _____ Wilmoth, chas. Wakeman.

"Davis county - James Streeter, P. Z. Taylor, J. R. McClure, John Sanderson

"Jackson county - Byron Jewell

"Lykins county - O. C. Brown

"Leavenworth county - J. L. McDowell, J. H. McDowell, A. M. Sawyer, Thos. Ewing, Jr., A. C. Wilder, John Tams, Thos. Means, Henry Still, J. M. Hillman, John C. Douglass.

"Morris county - Thos. White, T. S. Huffaker, Chas. Columbia

"Anderson county - W. F. M. Arny

Coffey county - John T. Cox, W. A. Ella

"Clay county - S. D. Houston, ______ substitute

"Douglas county - H. W. Petriken, J. E. Jones, g. M. Beebe, S. Medary, C. Robinson, G. W. Deitzler, Josiah Miller, G. W. Smith, c. W. Babcock, Levi Woodard, S. O. Tacher, Henry Baricklow, Lyman Allen, G. F. Warren, William Hutchinson, Wilson Shannon, R. S. Stevens, William Brindle, Oliver Barber, Alford Curtis.

"Riley and adjacent counties A. J. Mead, W. C. Dunton, D. L. Chandler, A. Hunting, D. Wilson, C. F. DeVivaldi

"Osage county - S. R. canniff, D. I. Rooks, C. D. Welch, S. A. Fairchilds.

"Jefferson county - Ed Lynde, D. L. Lakin, G. D. Hillyer, J. Kunkle

"Wabaunsee county - Chas. B. Lines, H. M. Seldon, C. W. Dalby

"Wyandotte county - James McGrew, George Russell, William Weer, A. G. Walcott, Robert Halford, A. C. Davis, A. Bacon, W. Y Roberts, V. J. Lane, William Woodbury, Frank Kessler, William Levitt, Alfred Gray

"Shawnee county - C. K. Holliday, J. F. Cummings, E. G. Ross, W. E. Bowker, Joel Huntoon, J Safford, T. G. Thornton, G. B. Holmes, L. C. Wilmoth, H. C. Hawkins, F. W. Giles, M. K. Smith, d. H. Horne, J. B. Billings, M. c. Dickey, C. C. Kellam.

"The amendment offered by James McGrew was discussed by General Stringfellow, Judge Means, Colonel Abell, Lyman Allen, Governor Robinson, General Weer, governor Medary, W. F. M Arny, J. E. Jones, Judge Ewing, Geo. M. Beebe, General Davis, John McDowell, M. J. Parrott and others.

"General Weer then moved the previous question.

Judge Arny moved that M. J. Parrett of Leavenworth, who was present be invited to a seat in the convention and participate in the proceedings. Carried.

The discussion on the matter of apportionment was fully and ably maintained on both sides. Thomas Means an attorney and ex-judge made the principal argument in favor of his verbal minority report and incidentally on the railroad interests and needs of Kansas. He argued that Leavenworth city was the metropolis of Kansas; the great port of entry on the Missouri river, that all roads led to that city and the outlying counties had to go there for their supplies and hence should consult her interests and aid her in her demands. He said it was wrong an unjustifiable w3rong, for counties that scarcely have any population whose delegates represent nothing but prairie sod, to assume the same voting power in the convention. Judge Means spoke for nearly an hour. His speech was eloquent, argumentative and sometimes bitter and vindictive towards the sparsely settled counties. This caused irritation among delegates who thought they were the subject of his remarks.

b. F. Stringfellow, an attorney, and formerly attorney-general of the state of Missouri, made reply to Judge Means. General Stringfellow argued that, instead of those sparsely settled counties being under any obligations to Leavenworth, the day was not far distant when that city would be dependent on those counties for support and business. He said that those counties are rapidly settling up; that while their delegates today are only representatives of "prairie sod,' as claimed by Judge Means, the day was not far off when those counties would have large populations with improved farms, furnishing train loads of produce for the markets of the world; that it ought to be the interest of that city to aid in getting railroads to all parts of those counties to transport the products of the soil to that city, to enable her to become in fact a metropolis of our territory; that it was business that made a metropolis, and not efforts to destroy the country that furnished the articles of commerce for business and transportation.

The speech of General Stringfellow seemed to strike a responsive sentiment in the minds of the delegates and all but two counties voted to adopt the report on apportionment.

"The motion was adopted, and the question being put on the amendment of Mr. McGrew, to strike out the minority and insert the "majority," Thomas Ewing Jr., of Leavenworth moved that the roll be called and the question be taken by yeas and nays, but subsequently withdrew it and the question being put to the meeting it was carried and the original motion as amended was adopted."

At this stage of the proceedings, the delegation from Leavenworth county, and all but J. E. Jones, from Douglas county left the convention giving as a reason their disagreement with the majority on the question of apportionment and representation. C. B. Lines, of Wabaunsee, J. R. McClure, of Davis and E. P. Bancroft, of Breckinridge, also withdrew for the same reason.

"William Weer moved that the chair appoint a committee of one from each county on schedule. Carried.

"The chairman appointed the following committee: William Weer of Wyandotte county, C. K. Holliday, of Shawnee county; T. S. Huffaker, of Morris county; S. C. Pomeroy of Atchison county; J. E. Jones of Douglas county; J. W. Scott of Allen county; W. F. M. Arny of Anderson county; Ed. Lynde of Jefferson county; Byron Jewell of Jackson county; O. C. Brown of Lykins county; P. B. Maxson of Breckinridge county; J. T. Cox of Coffey county; L. D. chandler of Riley county; C. H. Welch of Osage county.

"The committee retired and in their absence, Samuel Medary, W. Y. Roberts, A. C. Davis and g. m. Beebe favored the convention with speeches. After which General Weer from the committee submitted the following report and the whole report as amended was unanimously adopted as follows:

"SCHEDULE AS ADOPTED - Resolved, That a memorial be presented to Congress asking an appropriation of public lands to aid in the construction of the following railroads in Kansas: First, a railroad from the western boundary of the state of Missouri where the Osage Valley & Southern Kansas railroad terminates, westwardly by the way of Emporia, Fremont and Council Grove, to the Fort Riley military reservation; second a railroad from the city of Wyandotte (connecting with the P. G. R. railroad and the Pacific railroad) up the Kansas valley by the way of Lawrence, Lecompton, Tecumsch, of the territory; third, a railroad running from Lawrence to the southern boundary of Kansas in the direction of Fort Gibson and Galveston bay; territory in the direction of Santa Fe; fifth, a railroad from Atchison to the western boundary of Kansas.

"C. K. Holliday, of Topeka, offered the following resolutions:

"That there be a committee of five appointed to memorialize Congress in behalf of the railroad schedule recommended by this convention and that the delegates representing each of the respective routes contemplated in the schedule nominate a member of said committee. Said committee shall also issue an address to the people of Kansas upon the subject of railroad grants.

"Resolved. That a standing committee of five be appointed by the chair, whose duty it shall be to adopt such measures as they may deem best, by the appointment of subcommittees or otherwise to obtain the signatures of the people of Kansas to be presented to Congress in favor of the schedule of roads adopted by this convention and adopt such other measures as they may deem best calculated to carry out the objects of this convention.

"The vote, being called by counties, was carried unanimously.

"John A. Martin of Atchison county, offered the following resolution:

"Resolved. That the proceedings of this convention be entrusted to Hon. M. J. Parrott, our delegate in Congress, and that he be requested to present the plan of railroads and memorial adopted to that body for their favorable consideration.

"The vote, being called by counties, was carried unanimously.

"The different delegations present, at the suggestion of the chair, nominated the following members of the committee contemplated by C. K. Holliday's resolutions.

"COMMITTEE ON MEMORIAL, - W. Y. Roberts, Kansas Central railroad; C. K. Holliday, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad; John T. Cox, Jefferson City & Neosho Valley railroad; D. W. Houston, Lawrence & Fort Gibson railroad; B. F. Stringfellow, Atchison & Pike's Peak railroad.

"EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE - C. F. DeVivaldi, Kansas Central railroad; E. G. Ross, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad; S. C. Pomeroy, Atchison & Pike's Peak railroad; James Blood, Lawrence & Fort Gibson railroad; W. F. M. Arny, Jefferson City & Neosho Valley railroad.

"B. F. Livingston moved the adoption of the following resolution, which was carried unanimously:

"Resolved, that the thanks of the convention be tendered to the president and secretaries for the faithful and impartial manner in which they have discharged the duties of their respective positions.

"A. C. Davis moved that the papers of the territory be requested to publish the record of this convention. Carried.

"On motion, the convention adjourned sine die.

John A. Martin W. Y. Roberts, President
C. F. De Vivaldi,
J. F. Cummings
Secretaries

The memorial to congress was prepared by General Stringfellow. It was a full, complete and masterly presentation of the subject, with reasons and arguments showing the importance of the roads named in the schedule and the necessity for their construction.

In 1862 Congress made a grant of lands and United States bonds to aid in the construction of the Union Pacific railroad, including a grant for the Kansas division, which was to connect with the Union Pacific in Nebraska by way of the valley of the Republican River. This law was changed so that the Kansas division could build direct to Denver and connect with the Union Pacific at Cheyenne, Wyo. This system has now with its branches in Kansas, 2962.74 miles, the Kansas mileage being 950.36. Similar aid to that given the Union Pacific was also given the Hannibal & St. Joseph railroad to enable it to extend its line west from the city of Atchison for 100 miles to a connection with the Kansas branch of the Union Pacific in the Republican valley. This road afterward assigned its rights to the Atchison & Pike's Peak Railroad Company now known as the Central Branch Union Pacific. This branch was built the 100 miles to Waterville by January 20, 1868, and has since been extended so that the main line and its branches give transportation facilities to the most of the counties in northern Kansas, giving that magnificent country railroad connection with all parts of the United States. It has 388.19 miles of road.

The Atchison & Topeka railroad having now the word Santa Fe added to its name, was another line recommended by the convention. This system has now 4674.44 miles in all, with the main line and branches in Kansas aggregating 2605.17 miles. It received a grant of land to aid in its construction but no bonds. In 1864 the writer then a member of the Kansas legislature introduced and secured the passage of a memorial to congress asking for a land grant to this company. Senator Pomeroy by whose efforts the grant was secured, told the writer that this memorial and the one previously prepared by General Stringfellow materially aided him in securing the passage of this grant.

The railroad from Lawrence south, now called the Southern Kansas railroad, secured a grant of land in the name of the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston company, but the public land was already mostly taken by settlers and the grant was not large. This road also received a grant of about 125,000 acres of the 500,000 acres ceded to Kansas for public schools, or as it was claimed for public improvement. The railroad on the north line of the state (now known as the St. Joseph & Grand Island), the Missouri, Kansas & Texas and the road from Kansas City to Fort Scott (now called the St. Louis & San Francisco) got the rest of the 500,000 acres.

The writer earnestly opposed this disposition of the 500,000 acres of land for the reason that he regarded the act as a violation of the constitution of the state and though he still holds the same belief he has no hesitation now forty years after the act was passed in saying what he has often said before, that the donation was of vast benefit to our state. The people have condoned the breach made in our constitution.

The first line of road mentioned in the schedule adopted by the convention seems to have had no friends after the convention adjourned, though the country traversed by its imaginary line is now well supplied by various roads.

With this exception, the results of that first great railroad convention in Kansas have proven the prophetic wisdom and foresight of the men who signed the call as well as of those who participated in its proceedings. Few of them may not be living but the desire of the writer in submitting this paper is in a measure to help perpetuate the names of those men who helped lay the foundation for the great railroad system of Kansas. They have erected a monument to themselves which time only can efface. It would gladden the hearts of those delegates who have passed beyond could they break away from the cerements of the tomb to view the grand results of their handiwork - the grant continental lines of railroad which have made Kansas famous, and connected her with the entire railroad system of the United States.

It is only justice to say that Kansas is greatly indebted to B. F. Stringfellow, Ed G. Ross, C. K. Holliday, and W. Y. Roberts for the magnificent results secured by that convention and to the work and efforts of Senators Pomeroy and Lane in the United States senate for making that work effective by the forms of law.

While the original Pacific Railroad bill was pending in the senate, Senator Henderson of Missouri amended it in the form of a proviso so as to allow with the consent of the legislature of Kansas what is now the Central Branch Union Pacific railroad to be constructed from the city of St. Joseph to a junction with the Union Pacific from Omaha. This amendment was on its face so fair that the Kansas senators could not prevent its adoption. It was known as the Henderson amendment and was a source of great concern for the people of northern, southwestern and eastern Kansas. If the Kansas legislature had consented to this change, the road would have been constructed from the city of St. Joseph to the northwest and would scarcely have touched our state, thus seriously, if not permanently injuring the magnificent railroad system now existing in northern and western Kansas, and might have greatly crippled the business interests of that part of the state.

The contract waged to transfer this railroad terminal from Atchison to St. Joseph was made during the session of 183. Edward Russell then a representative from Doniphan county led the contest for St. Joseph and the writer was selected to champion the interests of Kansas and resist the transfer of the initial point of this proposed railroad from Atchison to that city.

Caucuses were held by the friends of each side, and efforts made to ascertain the intentions of the various members of the house, which failed with many outside of those whose immediate interests were involved. Those from Leavenworth and Douglas counties for some unexplained reason gave their influence and votes to the scheme to construct the road northwest from St. Joseph. The resolution purposing to give the consent of the legislature for the transfer got only seventeen votes. The negative had the rest. This contest was waged with great vigilance and earnestness, but engendered no bitterness or ill feeling. The defeat of the "consent" resolution ended all railroad controversies in the state. The railroad systems and lines projected by the pioneers of 1859 and 1860 have given Kansas her magnificent railroad system, the pride of our state, affording transportation and business facilities to almost every town and village that dots the prairies of our beautiful Kansas.

Looking over the list of delegates to that railroad convention it will be seen that it contains the names of our most eminent men - those who laid the foundation broad and deep for the state we are pleased to call home, our own beloved Kansas. They were among the foremost of those whose wisdom and energy started her on the road to prosperity and greatness with the result that our towns and villages are bedecked with churches and school houses, while our broad prairies are covered with farms, the pride and glory of our young commonwealth.

The list contains the names of three territorial governors of Kansas - Wilson Shannon, Samuel Medary, George M. Beebe; three men who became governors of Kansas - Charles Robinson, John A. Martin, and George W. Glick, two who became United States senators - Samuel C. Pomeroy and Edmund G. Ross; one who became the first lieutenant-governor of Kansas - James McGrew; two became judges of the Kansas Supreme court - Thomas Ewing, Jr., and Jacob Safford; two were attorneys general of the territory of Kansas - Wilson Weer and A. C. Davis. Thomas Ewing Jr., William Weer, John A. Martin and G. W. Deitzler became colonels and did active service in the civil war, while Thomas Ewing, Jr., and G. W. Deltzler were made brigadier-general; A. C. Wilder became a member of Congress; Marcus J. Parrott was then the delegate in Congress from the territory of Kansas; Solon O. Thacher became a judge of a district court and a state senator; Edmond G. Ross was a major and served during the Civil War and in 1885 was appointed Governor of New Mexico by President Cleveland; James R. McClure was a captain in the Civil War , did gallant service, and was crippled for life; G. W. Smith was a member and speaker of the Kansas home of representatives; R. S. Stevens and G. M. Beebe became members of Congress from New York; Mr. Stevens built the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroad while a resident of Kansas; W. Y. Roberts was an ex-lieutenant-governor of Pennsylvania; V. J. Lane was a member of the Kansas house of representatives and the editor of the Wyandotte Herald for the past forty years; James L. McDowell was the first United States marshal of Kansas; John Stiarwalt; Wm. Hutchinson, S. D. Houston, E. G. Ross and S. O. Thacher helped to make the constitution of our state; C. F. DeVivaldi was made a consul to a South American port; W. F. M. Arny served as secretary and acting governor of New Mexico; P. B. Maxson, P. Z. Taylor, and many others whose names I cannot now recall, served in our legislature and as officers and privates in the civil war.

Samuel C. Pomeroy worked and secured the passage of every land grant made to Kansas railroad during his first term as senator. The work and labors of Mr. Pomeroy have been worth millions to Kansas. Every important line of railroad in Kansas owes a lasting debt of gratitutude to him.

Great credit is due to Cyrus K. Holiday for his work in the organization of the company to build the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad. By his efforts the construction of that great railroad was started and his usefulness to that company was demonstrated by the fact that he was one of its directors up to the time of his death. He did much to secure the construction of our state capitol.

There was no politics in that convention. Democrats, Republicans, free state and pro-slavery men composed its personnel and all worked together in one patriotic and harmonious body for the welfare and the future glory of Kansas.





(Source: Transactions of the Kansas State Historical Society 1905-1906, Edited by Geo. W. Martin, Secretary, Vol. IX, 1906, pages 468-480)

back to Index

Copyright © 2012 to Kansas Genealogy Trails' Shawnee County host & all Contributors

All rights reserved