Colorado History and Genealogy Project

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Telegraph Lines

The first telegraph line across the continent was built by the Pacific Telegraph Company, under a government subsidy of 140,000 per year. The line was started from Brownville, Nebraska, in 1860, and was run to Omaha; thence, up the north bank of the Platte, to Ft. Kearney; thence, up the south bank of the Platte, to Julesburg and from thence, via the Old Stage Road to Ft. Laramie and Ft. Bridger, to Salt Lake, where it connects with a line that had been previously constructed eastward from San Francisco.

In the summer of 1863 Mr. Edward Creighton obtained a liberal subscription from the citizens of Denver, to aid in the construction of a branch line from Julesburg to Denver. The building of this line was commenced in August, of the same year, and completed to Denver in October, under the supervision of B. F. Woodward, who opened intermediate offices at Valley Station, Junction and Living Springs, and assumed the management at Denver, upon the completion of the line.

Two years later the Pacific Telegraph Company was merged into, and became a part of the system of lines of the Western Union Telegraph Company. Mr. Woodward still continues to represent the Western Union Company as superintendent of lines in Colorado and New Mexico. This line has stations at Golden, Central, Georgetown, and other mountain towns.

The United States and Mexico Telegraph Company

In the summer of 1867, an association of Denver gentlemen organized the United States and Mexico Telegraph Company; and, during the following winter and spring completed the first Colorado telegraph enterprise, by opening a line for business from Denver to Santa Fe. The first board of trustees were

D. H. Moffat, Jr.
Henry M. Porter
William N. Byers
Fred. Z. Salomon
George P. Shire
Samuel H. Elbert
B. F. Woodward

This line has done much towards promoting intercourse and traffic between the Territories of Colorado and New Mexico.

Rocky Mountain Directory & Colorado Gazetteer

Source: Rocky Mountain Directory and Colorado Gazetteer, 1871, S. S. Wallihan & Company, Compilers and Publishers, Denver, 1870.

 

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