The railroad was the ready and obvious answer. Years passed and, strange to say, even with this munificant endowment the work languished.
The said company is hereby authorized and empowered to survey, locate, construct, complete, alter, maintain and operate a railroad, with one or more tracks, from or near Atchison, on the Missouri River, in Kansas Territory, to the town of Topeka, in Kansas Territory, and to such a point on the southern or western boundary of said Territory, in the direction of Santa Fe, in the Territory of New Mexico, as may be convenient and suitable for the construction of such railroad; and, also to construct a branch of said railroad to any points on the southern boundary of said Territory of Kansas in the direction of the Gulf of Mexico.
Second, of a railroad from the city of Atchison, via Topeka, the capital of said State, to the western line of the State, in the direction of Fort Union and Santa Fe, New Mexico, with a branch from where this last-named road crosses the Neosho, down said Neosho valley to the point where the said first-named road enters the said Neosho valley; every alternate section of land, deated by odd s, for ten sections in width one each side of said ro and each of its branches. Even after the war ended the problem of finding investors willing to finance the initial construction still remained and progress was slow.
To link these widespread regions with one another and with Eastern markets fast and reliable transportation was needed. I wrote the charter, every word, line, paragraph and section, near the close of the legislative session ofat Lawrence, and had the whole thing complete except filling in the names of the incorporators, in the first section, before any person was aware that such a charter was being prepared. This action raised the hopes of many Kansans, especially those in populated areas along the route.
Accordingly, one bright morning, unfortunately, all the mornings were bright in those days, this party, consisting of Edmund G. Ross, now United States Senator; Col. Dan Home [compare these names with those listed in quote], set out for Atchison, which was then, as now, a "great railroad center," on paper, for the purpose of consulting meeting my Topeka distance boyfriend the celebrated eastern philanthropist and certain Atchison gentlemen, including a since noted individual, who was soon to become unenviably prominent in another scheme of philanthropy.
It was then written and introduced by myself into the council on Tuesday, the first day of February, the session began on Monday, January 3. The following of the organization of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe and the laying of its rails across Kansas is compiled from local newspapers of the meeting my Topeka distance boyfriend, from personal letters, and from company records. Changes were made in the Santa Fe's administration on January 13, Pomeroy was elected president, replacing Holliday who took over the office of secretary. The next day, Wednesday, Feb.
And on the last day of the session Feb. Since territorial Kansas had no general incorporation laws, it was necessary to obtain charter authorization through an act of the legislature.
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E[dmund] G. Ross, U. Senate, Col. Joel Huntoon, Col. Holliday, and Col. M[ilton] C. At that time the citizens of Kansas were poor they had not much ready money. However, they soon learned that private enterprise alone could not finance such costly undertakings. How these hopes were disappointed we need not remind the reader. Summer Vol. Transcribed by Barbara J. Scott; digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society. They, therefore, with a half dozen equally wealthy and liberal Atchison gentlemen, magnanimously subscribed four thousand dollars each to the capital stock of the company, and then mutually felicitated each other that at last the enterprise was on a solid financial basis!
The Emporia News proclaimed somewhat prophetically on January 17, Samuel N. Wood became vice-president and D. Lakin treasurer. Cyrus K. Holliday has been credited with inaugurating the Santa Fe railroad system.
A severe drought in Kansas infollowed by the outbreak of the Civil War the next year, prevented the company from making any progress toward actual construction. I then advised Mr. Challis as two of the incorporators from Atchison, and he, in turn suggesting my name as one of the incorporators from Topeka.
These gentlemen were "hard up,"had not money enough to pay their hotel bills, and so they laid in a supply of cooked rations to satisfy their hunger during what was then a long and toilsome journey. A terribly destructive drouth hung over our newly-cultured fields like a poisonous blight, crushing every expectation even of moderate harvests, and presaging inevitable disaster. By fall of the project had gained enough momentum to negotiate a contract with a construction firm.
But these sanguine gentlemen, with others equally sanguine, never lost heart; they nursed the enterprise through a struggling precarious infancy, and at last had the supreme satisfaction of seeing it firmly established as among the most flourishing adventures of this prolific and progressive age. The humble beginnings of the company were recalled by the Topeka Weekly LeaderNovember 5,after the railroad had started building:. The Civil War, however, was still raging and little could be done except to keep the company organization intact.
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This came in the form of land grants, and sometimes cash, from the federal and state governments, and from county, city, and township bond issues which were exchanged for railroad stock and a promise that the company would build their way. Particularly in those areas where settlement was sparse and investment capital was slow in yielding returns, it was found that governmental assistance was necessary.
Kansas business men and political leaders even before the Civil War dreamed of rail systems which would connect their infant cities with every place of importance in the nation. Our livery men kindly gave these gentlemen the use of teams without compensation.
Ten [eight] years since, when there was no bridge across the Kaw at Topeka, four of our citizens, viz:Hon. Peter T. Abell was made secretary and Milton C. Dickey, treasurer. That there be, and is hereby, granted to the State of Kansas, for the purpose of aiding in the construction: First, of a railroad and telegraph from the city of Leavenworth by the way of the town of Lawrence, and via the Ohio City crossing of the Osage River, to the southern line of the State, in the direction of Galveston bay in Texas, with a branch from Lawrence by the valley of the Wakarusa River, to the point on the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad where said road intersects the Neosho River.
At this first meeting the directors agreed that if the venture were to succeed a land grant was necessary. The charter provided that the company be incorporated under the name of the "Atchison and Topeka Railroad Company.
The birth of the atchison, topeka and santa fe, 1
It was inwhen the then inhabitants, who had endured so many sacrifices and had experienced so much of sorrow and disappointment, were looking forward to years of peaceful and profitable industry, content if only, by earnest labor, a generous soil should afford to them a moderate compensation for all that they had lost and feared and suffered. NOTE: The s in brackets refer to endnotes for this text. The little progress that had been made within the company, however, could hardly have justified this report of the Topeka RecordNovember 24, It is with a good deal of satisfaction that we are able to announce that the Atchison and Topeka Railroad, which has been a source of so much levity with many of our contemporaries and a prolific theme for prosy disquisitions by the score, the drouth, benevolence, railro, etc.
Passed by both houses and ed by President Lincoln, March 3,it provided:.
The frontier was pushing across the Kansas plains, Fifty-Niners had begun the settlement of Colorado and other areas of the mountain West, and the Pacific coast was already an important and growing market. Formal organization, however, was completed between September 15 and 17,at the office of L. Challiss in Atchison. Together they tell a story of financial problems and physical hazards which might easily have discouraged men of less determination.
Holliday received the honor of being elected the first president of the company. This act also carried the stipulation that the line, from Atchison to the Kansas-Colorado line, should be completed and in operation by March 3, The name of the company was changed to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Rail Road Company on November 24,by a vote of the stockholders who were meeting in Topeka.
He took concrete steps toward the building of a railroad to the west as early as Reflecting on the beginnings of the organization, Holliday wrote a letter to the editor of the Atchison GlobeJuly 23,explaining his role:. All honor to the resolute men who quailed not in the presence of manifold discouragements, and who, not despising the day of small things, builded better than they knew. All old settlers recollect that terrible year, the memory of which seems destined to be eternal, and which, even at this distance of time, serves as a Gorgon to affright the weak and timid.
The Charter was not written until nearly three-fourths of the time allotted for the session had expired. They were sparing of the little pocket money which they did possess, and so they slighted Jack Curtis' [father of future Vice-President Charles Curtis] ferry and forded the Kaw. Well, they reached Atchison, and found that the great Hyatt was then under a financial cloud; having no ready means at his command, he could only furnish good wishes and encouraging words, and these could not be made immediately available.
Nothing remained for them but to draw upon their own unlimited means prospective. Thaddeus Hyatt, the large-hearted philanthropist, was then at Atchison, and as he was possessed of considerable capital, the gentlemen to whom we have alluded conceived the idea of inducing him to embark in the enterprise. The company remained almost in hibernation for over two years until congressional aid was finally obtained in A land-grant bill was drafted by Holliday and sent to Senator Pomeroy for sponsorship.
Two years later another newspaper, the Emporia NewsSeptember 23,provided insight as to why the organizational meeting was held in Atchison in September, The present brilliant prospects of this mammoth railway enterprise form a al illustration of the great which often follow from inificant causes. The party provided themselves with an outfit of eatables to starting Maj.
The party neared the ferry, and while discussing the question, whether they should ask the ferryman for credit, or ford the river, the horses plunged into the watery current and after satisfying their thirst, moved on through the water and landed the four railroaders safe on the other side of the raging Kaw. They arrived safe at Atchison; the Railroad Company was organized; and safely our Topeka men returned home without accident by the way; being liberally entertained, without cost by citizens of Atchison.
An agreement was made with George Washington Beach of New York on October 12 for building the line from Parnell Junction, six and a half miles southwest of Atchison, to the western boundary of the state.