My Present Past
A genealogical experience
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Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad
Halstead, Kansas is located in Harvey County, on the south bank of the Little Arkansas River, ten miles in a
westerly direction from Newton, Kansas also the  county seat. It is also the junction of the
St Louis & San
Francisco Railroad and the main line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. In the spring of 1872 a
settlement was made in the vicinity of what is now known as Halstead, by Samuel Leeper, James Popkins, Frank
Brown, David Patrick, and John Corgan, who located earlier. In the summer of the same year, the first attempt
was made towards laying off a town site by Capt. John Sebastian, a large stockholder of the
A.T. & S. F. Railroad, who laid off a town site one and one-half miles east of the present site. In the fall of 1872
the Halstead Town Company was organized with H. D. Allbright as president. A tract of 480 acres was
purchased and in the spring of 1873 the present town site of Halstead, Kansas was laid off.
The A.T. & S. F. branch of the Harvey County Railroad was completed on December 31, 1881.
1887 Town map of Halstead, Kansas
Living and working in Halstead, Kansas in 1882, Edward & Sadie became
friends with many people in the community.
Below are two such people they became acquainted with.
1912 Kansas Cyclopedia
Halstead, Kansas  Page 802  
Jno Z Roraback
Halstead, Kansas
November 17th, 1882

Edward John Engel arrived at Halstead, Kansas in the summer of 1882 from Emporia, Kansas as an operator for
the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe. He left Halstead in the spring of 1883 to take a similar position with the
Santa Fe in Argentine, Kansas.
P. K. Dillenbeck
Halstead, Kansas
December 03, 1882
John Z. Roraback was born December 23, 1853 to
John O. and Elizabeth P. (Johnson) Roraback in
Albion, Orleans County, New York.

He married Virginia Lois Weed on April 19, 1883 in
Kansas City, Missouri. She was the daughter of
Henry Jesse
Elizabeth Weed.

Virginia died
July 17, 1898 in Kansas City, Missouri and is
buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St Louis, Missouri
Along with his success with the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, John Z. Roraback and partner James M.
Edgar held patents and inventions for locks and their movements that would be used in the railroad industry.
Among them were patent
#458,125, an invention for an indicator lock mechanism dated August 18, 1891. On
March 31, 1891 they submitted patent
#449,314 for an indicator lock. John then submitted patent #449,334
on March 31, 1891 for the mechanical movement inside the lock. On January 02, 1894 they submitted yet
another patent for an indicator lock,
#512,169. On March 26, 1896, John Z Roraback submitted his final patent
#638,397 for an indicator lock.

He was also involved in a legal battle,
Hughes vs. Ewing that was heard by the Supreme Court of Missouri,
Division 2 on March 26, 1901.

John Z. Roraback died
July 26, 1923 in Kansas City, Missouri and is buried at
Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri
1900 Census                            John Z Roraback
1920 Census                                                 John Z. Roraback
John Z. Roraback was domiciled with Edward J. Engel at
Halstead, Kansas as an operator with the Atchison Topeka
and Santa Fe railroad in 1882.

In 1885 he was the
Freight Agent in Argentine, Kansas for
the A. T. & S. F.

1895 he was promoted to Division Superintendent of
Terminals with the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe in
Kansas City, Missouri

On the left is one of his personalized conductors lanterns.