My Present Past
A genealogical experience
Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad
Background:
North Missouri & Eastern Kansas
Business Guide for 1867-68
S. B. Wykoff
Construction of the railroads in Missouri did not begin again
until the passage of the Union Pacific Railroad bill in May,
1862. The bill provided one main branch from Kansas City
with a branch to St. Joseph by way of Atchison, one to
Omaha, Nebraska and one to Sioux City, Iowa and authorized
the Leavenworth, Pawnee & Western Railway Company to
construct a line from that city to intersect the main line of
the Union Pacific, on the same terms as the branches were
built. In June of 1862 Ross Steele & Company took the
contract to build three hundred fifty miles of the road and
soon thereafter commenced operations at Leavenworth on
the
Leavenworth, Pawnee & Western branch. The company
had very little backing and work did not get very far

until June of 1863 when General John C. Fremont and Samuel
Hallett took the contract to build the main line and bought
out the franchise of the Leavenworth, Pawnee & Western
branch. On July 7th, ground was broken in Kansas City for the
Union Pacific and by November, forty miles had been graded
when there arose a controversy between Samuel Hallett on
one side and John C. Fremont and Ross Steele & Company, on
the other, which stopped active operations.
In discussing the Galveston Railroad project it was soon discovered that the country northward of Kansas City
would like to have the road extended through their section. On January 12, 1856 the books were opened for
subscription to the stock of the Kansas City, Hannibal & St. Joseph railroad. It was then expected the road
could be located by March and constructed in two years and it would prove the most important line for the city
because of the impact to immigrants to the State of Kansas. On January 16 a meeting was held and Joseph C.
Ranson, John C. McCoy and Jesse Riddlesbarger were appointed to correspond with E. M. Samuels of Clay
County, Missouri for the purpose of a survey. Clay County had already proposed to pay half the expense if
Kansas City would pay the other, which was promptly accepted. On July 05, 1856 the directors of the Kansas
City, Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad engaged Robert J. Lawrence to survey and locate the line. The work was
begun the next week and an agent accompanied Mr. Lawrence to solicit subscriptions to the stock. The previous
day, Colonel Samuels had addressed the citizens of Liberty on extending the line to Keokuk, Iowa and on the
9th he addressed the people of Kansas City on the same subject. On July 19th the survey of the route of the
Kansas City, Hannibal & St. Joseph was finished by Mr. Lawrence to Fishing Creek and on the 26th, Joseph C.
Ransom made the first call upon subscribers to the expense of the survey. On October 04, 1856 the directors
of this road resolved to organize under the general incorporation law of the State as the Keokuk & Kansas City
Railroad and asked the people to assemble and memorialize the Kansas City Council to order an election to vote
$150,00 stock in it. The election occurred on the 14th and the proposition carried with Keokuk voting for
$45,000 with $50,000 of individual subscription from Kansas City and the same amount from Clay County. On
November 10 in Kansas City a convention on the interest of this road was called and a subsequent meeting at
Linneus, Missouri on November 20th for the same interest. The report of the survey by Robert J Lawrence
was presented at both meetings and the line was regarded as exceptionally favorable however the survey only
extended the line of the Hannibal & St. Joseph line. At the convention at Linneus on the 20th, it was
determined the line was necessary and must be built, so they raised a committee to obtain a charter from the
Missouri Legislature. That committee consisted of E. M. Samuels of Clay County, Kersey Coates and R. T. Van
Horn. W. Y. Slack of Chillicothe was appointed agent and an assessment of $3,000 was made to pay for a
preliminary survey to be made by the Hannibal & St. Joseph Company. This convention was followed by many
enthusiastic meetings and subscriptions of stock by most of the counties along the proposed line. On December
of 1856 General Duff brought up the entire stock of the Kansas City & St. Joseph Railroad and on March 03,
1857 a bill was introduced by General Reid into the Missouri Legislature which passed and signed appropriating
$75,000 for it under the name of the Platte County Road by which it was afterwards known. One half of the
sum was to be expended between Kansas City and St. Joseph and the other half extending into Iowa. On the
2nd of January 1857, General John W. Reid of Kansas City introduced into the Missouri Legislature a bill to
incorporate the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad and it passed on January 6th. As soon as the Governor signed
the charter, the company opened the books in Kansas City and two hundred and fifty shares of stock were
subscribed by the people. In January of 1857, the Missouri Legislature chartered the Kansas City & Galveston
Railroad. This road was to extend northward to Lake Superior and John J. Shoemaker commenced the survey
from Kansas City, north through Platte and Clinton counties, with meetings being held in Plattsburg, Smithville
and Barry. In February of 1857 the Kansas City, Galveston & Lake Superior Railroad Company was formed to
build a road from Lake Superior to Galveston Bay through Kansas City. Dr. Lykins was elected President,
Robert T. Van Horn, Secretary and Kersey Coates, Treasurer. On March of the same year the Louisiana
Legislature passed a bill to incorporate the New Orleans, Shreveport & Kansas City Railroad, the line to touch
the points named and run along the line between Arkansas and the Indian Territory, Kansas and Missouri.
Among the incorporators named in the bill were Kersey Coates, Dr. Lykins and E. M. Samuels of Clay County.
On June 02, William M. McPherson of the Pacific Railroad visited Jackson County and promised to complete
the road to Kansas City in eighteen months, if Kansas City would give $150,000 and Independence $50,000
and it was promptly voted in. The Kansas City & Keokuk Railroad Company completed its organization on
July 6th by electing Kersey Coates, President, Joseph C. Ranson, Vice President, S. W. Bouton, Secretary and
Robert J. Lawrence, Engineer. The survey of the Kansas City, Galveston & Lake Superior road was to the line
of the Hannibal & St. Joseph road by Mr. Shoemaker on July 11th and the cost of construction was estimated
at $22,000 per mile. In May of 1858 there was a renewed interest in locating the northern line from Kansas
City and straight up through Platte City and then to St. Joseph, bypassing Liberty entirely. An engineer was put
on the project and a survey was completed on the newly proposed line. During this time there was not much
road building but a lot of debate between the different locations between Kansas City and St. Joseph on what
direction the line was going to take. At the session of the Missouri Legislature in 1859-60, the Missouri Pacific,
Iron Mountain and North Missouri Roads were all in a condition that they could not go forward without further
State aid. The Legislature labored without doing anything. Kansas City felt this to be a most calamitous blow.
Indignation meetings were held in Kansas City and other locations and Governor Stewart was urged to recall
the Legislature, which was recalled to meet on February 27, 1860. During this time, Kansas City organized the
Kansas City & Gallatin Railroad Company to build a road to a connection with the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad
at the latter location but it waited the action of the Legislature in regards to the Pacific Railroad. Soon after,
the Legislature approved the aid for the Pacific road and this stimulated renewed interest in the Pacific Road.
However the Governor of Missouri, Robert M. Stewart, who was the father of the Hannibal & Joseph road,
vetoed the bill due to a technicality, the Legislature adjourned and railroad prospects were again plunged into
gloom. The people were tired of being between hope and fear with the railroads. The Governor had been put
into office because of his interest and involvement in the railroads but his actions on this particular bill would
be the death knell of his political career. In March of 1860, Dr. Johnson Lykins at a Council meeting in Kansas
City offered a resolution, which was adopted, creating an executive committee to foster the railroad interests
and to correspond with other places to that end. It at once opened a correspondence with the people of Clay
County relative to this road and to the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad. The result was that in a few days a
company was organized called the Kansas City & Cameron Railroad Company. Meetings were held and thus an
interest awakened along the line. On April 27th, Kansas City voted it $200,000 and Clay County voted it
$200,000 on June 12th, with the survey beginning on April 27th. In July Kansas City Mayor Maughs and E. M.
Samuels and Michael Andrews of Clay County went to Boston, Massachusetts and affected a contract with the
Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad Company to start building the road on August 7th, 1860. The contract for the
work was let to W. J. Quealy on August 16th and work was to begin on October 8th, 1860. In the following
January of 1861, work was about one third done. There were about six hundred men employed and it was
expected to have two thirds done by April and the cars running by June. The war, however, stopped the work
and the road was not finished until its close. Meanwhile the Pacific Company, having failed to get State aid,
affected a shift by which it was able to command the necessary means and went on with its road. Ground was
broken in Kansas City on July 25th, 1860 and the work was progressing rapidly, with every prospect of
completion in 1861, when it too, was stopped by the war.
The Chicago Burlington & Quincy line that runs through Liberty, Clay County, Missouri in 1945 was originally
built under the Kansas City & Cameron Railroad, which was chartered in March of 1860. However, the
beginnings of this road actually started with the incorporation by the Missouri Legislature in 1855 of the
Kansas City, Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad Company, the object of which was to build a road to the nearest
point on the Hannibal & St. Joseph line. The incorporators were Dr. Benoist Troost, Washington H. Chick,
Milton J. Payne, Andrew J. Martin, Thomas H. Swope, Joel Walker, H. J. Richards, Jesse Riddlesbarger,
Alexander Gilham, Gains Jenkins, William J. Jarboe, Joseph C. Ranson, John W. Ammons, Samuel W. Bouton, Dr.
Johnston Lykins, Dr. Thomas B. Lester, David K. Abeel, John W. Summers, J. A. Fenley and William A. Strong.
Governor Price vetoed the bill but it was passed over his veto. The line was never actually built under this
charter, however the passage of its charter started the inception of the road from Kansas City to Cameron,
Missouri. To understand how and why this line was built through Liberty, you will have to explore the entire
railroad situation in the State of Missouri and the adjoining rail lines including the Pacific Railroad. Railroads
began to reach St. Louis, Missouri around 1849 and it was known that to extend the westward expansion of our
young unsettled country, a means of transportation other than wagons and riverboats were needed. So a
convention was held in St. Louis that same year and the Pacific Railroad was chartered from St. Louis to the
western line in 1852, which included the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad. On December 01, 1855 the Missouri
Legislature passed a bill giving State aid to certain railroads, among which was the Pacific. This gave great
satisfaction here, as it was expected and anticipated that the road would be immediately pushed through and
Kansas City was sanguine of success in securing its terminus. The talk of a railroad to Galveston Bay began to
grow in early 1855, which included almost every town in western Missouri and eastern Kansas. Projected
railroads began to spring up from Parkville, Missouri to Leavenworth, Kansas.