My Present Past
A genealogical experience
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Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad
On July 15th, 1879 the Rio Grande Company moved to vacate the Court order of June 25th but Justice Miller
refused the motion, declaring the Company in contempt of court. He declared the Denver Rio Grande people had
taken forcible possession of their property, which abuses no judge or court could tolerate.
On July 16th, Mr. Risley turned the Denver Rio Grande property back to the Santa Fe but on the same day
Judge Usher of the Rio Grande counselors filed a motion for an order to restrain the Santa Fe from operating
the railroad; and he moved that a receiver be appointed to take over and conduct the leased lines until his
Company could prepare its arguments for the cancellation of the lease. The road was handed over to the Santa
Fe on the 21st of July. July 24th, Judge Hallett granted a receiver in response to Usher's motion and
appointed Lewis C. Ellsworth of Denver to the position. The latter was instructed to give a bond for $200,000
and retain W. W. Borst of the Santa Fe as general superintendent. On the 15th of August. Mr. Ellsworth took
over the property as an independent receiver and began to operate the railroad to the apparent satisfaction of
all. Ellsworth was to present to the Clerk of the Court, within thirty days, a full inventory of the property in his
possession and was to carry out the lawful contracts of both companies and operate the road.
In early September it was reported from Pueblo that Chief Engineer A. A. Robinson had been ordered to locate
a Santa Fe Line from Pueblo to Denver. On September 15th, Jay Gould who now controlled the Kansas Pacific
was negotiating to purchase a large interest in the Denver Rio Grande. Messengers Gould & Sage offered to
buy every share of stock for $22.00 per share, payable in either cash, Kansas Pacific stock or mortgage bonds.
This offer was quickly accepted and on September 29th, the Gould interests came into possession of half of
the Denver Rio Grande, while the other half was controlled by William J. Palmer. Until the Santa Fe lawsuits
were concluded, the new syndicate was to spend $5,000,000 of funds already subscribed in extending the main
line southward from Alamosa through New Mexico. Early in October it was reported that negotiations had been
opened between Mr. Gould and Messengers Strong and Nickerson of the Santa Fe.
For final settlement in the case involving payment for expense and work the Santa Fe had performed in the
Canon, the cost of whatever railroad had been constructed between Canon City and Leadville and whether there
was room for two railroads in the Canon, a report was submitted October 20th, by a Board of Commissioners
consisting of George E. Gray of California for the Rio Grande, Sooey Smith of Chicago for the Santa Fe and
Judge Hallett had chosen A. N. Rogers of Colorado Springs. On account of illness to Judge Hallett, the court
would not hear the case until the first of the year.
On January 02, 1880, the Circuit Court for Colorado decided that the Denver Rio Grande should have and
continue to hold the prior right of way for locating and constructing a railway from the entrance of the Canon to
the mouth of the South Arkansas River. It could take the railroad already constructed by the Santa Fe in the
Canon by paying whatever amount the Commissioners might determine. If such payment were made, all
injunctions and restraining orders hitherto in effect should be dissolved, while the Pueblo & Arkansas Valley
Company was permanently enjoined not to interfere. From the South Arkansas to the town of Leadville, the
Santa Fe or its subsidiary, the Pueblo & Arkansas Valley, was granted prior right because of having first
located a line between these points. Andrew N. Rogers of Colorado was appointed Commissioner to determine
where the road already or partly built might be connected with another line and to compute as soon as possible  
the cost of all work that had been performed. The three mile stretch between Canon City and the entrance to
the Canon was held not to be in dispute in these suits. The Denver & Rio Grande could accept or reject the
Commissioner's report within ten days after it was filed. If it chose to accept, it must deposit within sixty
days in the Chemical National Bank of New York City, the amount stipulated by Mr. Rogers, whereupon it would
be given full possession. This opinion was rendered by Judge McCrary, who sat in for Judge Hallett.
Impatient of further delays, the Denver Rio Grande attorneys appeared before the United States Supreme
Court on January 05, 1880 and succeeded in getting an early day appointment for a hearing an application for a
writ of mandamus, which application had already been made. This writ, if granted by the higher court, would
compel Judge Hallett to execute the original Supreme Court decree of April, 1879, without requiring the
Denver Rio Grande people to make payment of any kind for work performed by the Santa Fe and without any
conditions whatever. It was pleaded that the Circuit Court had not placed the Denver Rio Grande Company in
possession of its prior right of way as ordered but on February 02, 1880, the Supreme Court denied the
petition on the ground that the lower court was at liberty to exercise its judicial discretion and that in such a
case the remedy for errors lay in appeal and not by mandamus.
However this decision by the higher court was of no importance because on the same day the two sides had
come together and ceased litigation. The Santa Fe relinquished the lease and the receiver was to be
discharged. The shares of the Denver Rio Grande and the Pueblo & Arkansas Valley Companies were to be
re-exchanged. The Rio Grande road was restored to its owners and that Company was to have the line through
the Grand Canon to Leadville on payment to the Santa Fe of $1,400,000 and interest, for the work and
material which the Santa Fe had already expended in the Canon, together with a bonus of $400,000. The Pueblo
& St Louis railroad project was to be dropped and the Denver Rio Grande agreed to discontinue its extension
into north central New Mexico at a point about 50 miles from Santa Fe. In return the Santa Fe was not to
build into Leadville or Denver nor to any place on or west of the Rio Grande main line except a 33 mile spur
from Pueblo to the Canon coal fields. The coal thus reached could be shipped over the Santa Fe lines only for
railroad use and for sale in the Arkansas Valley. It was further stipulated that all eastern traffic originating at
Leadville and in Denver Rio Grande territory in southern Colorado should be delivered, one half to the Kansas
Pacific and one half to the Santa Fe; while one fourth of all shipments between Denver and points east should go
over the Santa Fe lines via Pueblo. These terms were agreed to by all parties, all suits were withdrawn and
peace was declared. W. B. Strong's campaign in Colorado for two years had absorbed the energies of the
Denver Rio Grande, brought satisfactory terms from Jay Gould and the Kansas Pacific. But more importantly,
the Santa Fe had won the right through Raton Pass which would become beneficial in securing an outlet west.
Yesterday morning the last coach went out of Las Vegas for Santa Fe.
The officers were removed to Canoncito from whence the stage will
hereafter run to Santa Fe until the railroad is built to that point. We
are sorry to see them go. The stage men and employees looked like they
were leaving their earthly treasures. This stage line was a great and
ancient institution. It came in after General Kearney's army in 1846. At
first it was mail every six months brought through under armed guard.
The service was soon increased to a monthly and finally to daily, and
previous to the construction of the railroads across the plains these
were halcyon days. Gradually the iron horse has been driven down the
Santa Fe Trail and at each extension, shortened up the stage line. Now
it is reduced to a short 15 mile run, to disappear forever in another
week. It will be an institution of the past, but will always be
remembered by the old inhabitants of New Mexico.

Las Vegas Gazette January 20th, 1880
In January of 1879, the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, descending
from the south slope of Raton Mountain drove into New Mexico. The work was
conducted under the charter of the New Mexico & Southern Pacific Railroad
Company. On July 04, 1879, Las Vegas was reached, 114 miles from the
Colorado boundary. July 14th a tunnel 2,011 feet in length was completed
through the summit of Raton Mountain, which had been crossed with difficulty
by means of a switchback since December 07, 1878. On September 07, 1879,
the tunnel was opened for regular traffic and with the steep grades thus
greatly reduced, the Rocky Mountains has ceased to be a serious hindrance. At
the same time, important building operations were going on in the great plains
(1) As thus constituted, the Atlantic & Pacific company was to begin and complete the Western Division as soon
as practicable; and this line when finished was to be operated jointly by the Santa Fe and Frisco  companies as a
continuous through line to and from the Mississippi and  Missouri rivers and the Pacific coast. (2) In order to
construct its Western Division the
Atlantic & Pacific Company was to issue first mortgage bonds upon all its
Western Division property and franchises at a rate not exceeding $25,000 per mile; and non-cumulative,
income bonds at not more than $18,750 per mile. The Atchison and the St. Louis Companies each had a right to
dispose of one-half of the foregoing securities and the funds thus raised were to be used in constructing,
equipping, maintaining, and operating the Western Division, and in meeting interest obligations on bonds
maturing before the road was completed. (3) When the Central Division of the Atlantic & Pacific road was built
from Vinita through the Indian Territory both the Santa Fe and the
St. Louis & San Francisco Companies were
to furnish one-half the cost and enjoy one-half the profits accruing from the enterprise. (4) No new lines were
to be built in Kansas except by mutual consent, with joint ownership and joint cost. (5) The lines of the two
railroads were to connect at Wichita, afterwards changed to Halstead Kansas. (6) For thirty years, all business
to and from the Western Division of the
Atlantic & Pacific was to pass over the Atchison road between the Rio
Grande river and Wichita; from Wichita all St. Louis business was to go over the Frisco and all Chicago business
should be routed over the Santa Fe lines to the Missouri River.  (7) The interest on the
Atlantic & Pacific first
mortgage bonds would be paid as a part of the cost of construction until one year after the road was opened to
the Coast. Then, if net earnings were not enough to meet such interest charges, each company was to
contribute in equal proportion to make up the deficiency, but this amount need not exceed 25 per cent, of the
gross earnings each road received upon the business interchanged with the Western Division. (8) It was agreed
that the proceeds of the
Atlantic & Pacific land grant should be used to pay the interest and bonded
indebtedness of that company.
On January 31st, 1880, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and the St. Louis & San Francisco Companies entered
into two agreements. By the terms of the first, which was preliminary to the second, the Atchison Company
acquired without cost to it, one-half of the capital stock and a joint and equal control of the
Atlantic & Pacific
Company. Both the Santa Fe and the St. Louis Companies were then to convey their shares to three trustees
who would hold them and manage in the common interest. The second part of the arrangement was a tripartite
agreement whose terms, in brief, were as follows:
1880 Poors
New Mexico & Southern Pacific
Pages 962-963