My Present Past
A genealogical experience
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Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad
The Kansas City, Emporia & Southern, an extension south from Emporia, Kansas, was commenced in April, 1879
and built through
Eureka to the south line of Greenwood County, about 64 miles by October 10th. From the
county line the work was continued  under the name of
Elk & Chautauqua railroad to Howard, 12 miles beyond,
which town was reached December 31, 1879.
Cowley, Sumner & Fort Smith, a continuation of the Wichita & Southwestern, was started from Wichita on
May 01, 1879. The road was first built to
Mulvane, 16miles southeast, where it divided. From Mulvane, one
stem completed September 15th, went southwest 18 miles to
Wellington, whence two branches were started,
one 25 miles south to
Caldwell which was reached in September of 1880; the other branch was started west to
the county line under the name of the Wellington & Western Railroad. The second main division leading out of
Mulvane went southeast 23 miles to Winfield and then due south 12 miles to Arkansas City near the border of
Indian Territory. The road was opened for traffic from
Wichita to Arkansas City on December 31st, 1879. Now
but a few miles from the Territory and headed toward Texas, this branch was soon to blend into a main line of
much importance.
While these branches were being constructed in the southern part of the state a line known as the
Marion &
McPherson branch was building due west from Florence in Central Kansas. Beginning May 1st, the road was
constructed 47 miles to
McPherson by September 29th, 1879 Still another branch, the Manhattan, Alma &
Burlingame, 57 miles in length, was built that summer by the Santa Fe and Union Pacific companies to connect
their respective main lines between
Manhattan and Burlingame, Kansas.
In the early Autumn of 1880 the Santa Fe purchased the
Kansas City, Lawrence & Southern railroad, a small
independent system in Southern Kansas having a total of 365 miles of main track and branches. The road
comprised two stems, one extending from
Lawrence due south to Coffeyville near the state line; while the
other portion branched from the
Coffeyville division at Cherryvale in southern Kansas and ran in a westerly
direction through
Winfield and Wellington to the town of Harper. There were two branches; one from
Wellington to Hunnewell on the Indian Territory border and another running southeast from Olathe through
Ottawa to the town of Burlington. For this group of lines the Santa Fe paid $3,743,000 in its own five per cent
40 year bonds, receiving therefor the securities of the Southern Kansas company in an even exchange, dollar
for dollar. The sale was made in the name of the
Kansas City, Topeka & Western, the auxiliary company by which
the Santa Fe had gained access to
Kansas City back in 1875.
During these eventful years the aggressive activities of the Atchison
Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad had been by no means confined to the
Grand Canon war and the subsequent advance across New Mexico,
Arizona & Northwestern Mexico. To the eastward, events less
spectacular but of far reaching importance had been likewise taking
place, particularly in the state of  Kansas. This was about the time,
that my great grandfather,
Edward J. Engel and his wife Sarah Ellyn
"Sadie" Engel, chose to be a part of not only the largest westward
movement the State of Kansas has ever witnessed but also a part in
the greatest expansion of a railroad in the United States,
the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe.
Extraction of The True Republican,
Marshall County, Kansas 1890
The Southern Kansas Railway system developed from the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Fort Gibson Railroad
Company, which was incorporated under the original Santa Fe land grant of 1863, the main terms of which were
indicated on the
second page of this section. In addition to the public lands appropriated by this act, the
Leavenworth, Lawrence & Fort Gibson company was aided by a land donation under the terms of a bill passed by
Congress and approved September 14th, 1841, "An Act to approve the sales of public lands and to grant
preemption rights." The lands so designated in Kansas were especially selected by three commissioners in 1864.
By an act approved February 23rd, 1866, the Kansas Legislature after a stormy debate granted 500,000
acres equally to four railroad companies one of which was the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Fort Gibson. In addition
to this aid of 125,000 acres, the road actually received 62,509.41 acres under the provisions of the Act of
March, 03, 1863. On February 24th, 1866, the name of the corporation was changed to the
Lawrence & Galveston Railroad Company. This company built the line from Lawrence to Coffeyville, about 142
miles, which was opened for traffic August 28th, 1871. Financial troubles forced the company into foreclosure
August 9th, 1878, and reorganized as the
Lawrence & Galveston Railroad Company. On April 1st, 1879, the
Lawrence & Galveston consolidated with the Kansas City & Santa Fe and the Southern Kansas railroad
companies. The former corporation was organized March 25th, 1868 and by 1871 had built 32 miles of road
Ottawa to Olathe, which line was then leased to the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston. The Southern
Kansas had only a ten mile stretch of track from Cherryvale to Independence. With this consolidation the roads
thus named took the corporate name of
Kansas City, Lawrence & Southern Railroad Company. The extension
Cherryvale to Independence was pushed through to Harper, a distance of about 149 miles and to the
Hunnewell branch, 18 miles in length, was likewise built and opened for traffic in 1880.  Since the line
traversed Eastern and
Southern Kansas, the acquisition of the Southern Kansas lines did much to round out the
Santa Fe system in Kansas and to strengthen  its position and influence. Such in brief is the history of the
Southern Kansas railroad as acquired by the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe on December 16th, 1880. Beside
purchasing the
Southern Kansas, the Santa Fe in 1880 constructed over 400 miles of railroad which included
branches from
McPherson, Wellington and Manhattan, Kansas, a spur from Pueblo, Colorado, to the Canon coal
fields and lines in New Mexico.
In the spring of 1881 work on the Florence, El Dorado and Walnut Valley extension south from El Dorado,
Kansas, was begun. As the road approached
Augusta, Kansas an election was held in which several townships
voted railroad bonds with enthusiasm. Considerably wrought up over the prospect of getting a railroad, the
Southern Kansas Gazette of Augusta came out with an inspiring editorial headed:

"Another Boom Bonds Carry All Along the Line"
God made the country, and man made the cities and one of the greatest helps in developing the country and assisting man in building
large and magnificent cities is the railroad. Communities cry for them as children cry candy. For without railroads farm lands are
valueless, cities and towns sink into ruin and oblivion, while their neighbors, who are blessed with these roads, enjoy the pleasures
of life and realize that their property has a fixed value, readily convertible into cash. Desiring all reasonable and attainable
facilities for the transaction of business; and all possible auxiliaries for the development, growth and prosperity of our county
and cities, the people of August, Walnut, and Douglass townships have voted the aid asked by the A T & S F company ($40,000) for
the extension of the Walnut Valley branch through their respective townships. The road will be completed by August 1st and the
building thereof will furnish employment for a large number of men at good wages for ninety days. Augusta will be the contractors'
headquarters. Here the supplies will be purchased and all the general business relating to the construction of the road transacted.
. . . This in connection with the present boom in building and general business will make our city the liveliest town in the State. It
is useless at this time to refer to the benefits to be derived from the completion of the road. Suffice it to say that no town in
the state will have the advantage of us, and that with our magnificent farming country to back us up, Augusta will soon take rank
among the most important cities of the State.

While it is to be feared that Augusta has never realized these high ambitions, this sentiment fairly typified the
extravagant hopes with which the prairie towns welcomed an approaching railroad. Late in the summer as the
line reached Douglass, a tiny hamlet eleven miles south of Augusta, a welcoming celebration was planned.
The local paper has left an interesting description of the affair, a part of which account follows:
As soon as it became evident that the efforts of the A. T. & S. F. R. R. Company to complete a branch road to Douglas by the first
of August would be a success, the people of our town determined to celebrate in honor of the event, and at once directed their
efforts to pleasantly entertain all that might be with us on the day chosen for the occasion.
Tuesday, August 2nd, was the day of merriment and no atmosphere more pure ever existed and no brighter sun ever rose in its
grandeur to light the course of a happy people than Tuesday's sun, to endure, but the splendor of the day is not often surpassed. . .
. The Railroad Company not forgetful in attributing to the people's pleasure, kindly gave a free excursion from El Dorado and
return. The cars were prepared and kept in readiness at El Dorado, and early Tuesday morning the people began to gather at the
and those desiring were permitted to join the crowd on the road until the number was swelled to probably two thousand people when
the train arrived at Douglass. Waiting the arrival of the train were perhaps as many more making in all some four thousand people
assembled at Douglass to view the growing town, observe the surrounding country, listen to the orators of the day, meet friends
and have a good time in general. For some reason the orators of the day were not present, but their places were ably filled by
Messrs. E. N. Smith and A. L. Redden, of El Dorado, and others. The El Dorado band furnished the music and the program was
carried out apparently to the satisfaction of all.
At two o'clock the new store building of J. M. Wilson was occupied by the young people who engaged in dancing until a later hour.
At night Lowe's Hall was opened for a ball and was completely filled by those that like to assemble where the merriment of the
young goes on. At four o'clock the excursion train returned to El Dorado, when those that desired were permitted to go as far as
Augusta and return on the evening train. All day the different places of business were a scene of life, and it was the beginning of
a new era for our men of trade, the incentive to action long needed, the dispeller of discouragement long felt. No act of
turbulence, no flagitatious scene marred the pleasure of the things of people from whose faces there radiated the expression of
joy. And Douglas realized a day long looked for, not soon to be forgotten.