Colorado History and Genealogy Project





Denver Pacific Railway

This road was the first to give railroad communication to Colorado. It extends from Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, to Denver, Colorado, a distance of 106 miles, connecting with the Union Pacific railroad at Cheyenne, the Kansas Pacific and Colorado Central at Denver, and the Denver and Boulder Valley at Hughes.

The advantages and benefits accruing to Colorado, from the completion of this road, are incalculable. New life has been infused into her mining and agricultural industries, and vigorous vitality given to all business enterprises. By this the tariff on freight and passenger transportation has been so reduced, from the high rates which were peculiar to stage and wagon lines that it seems comparatively trifling. This has stimulated large immigration and vast shipments of merchandise, which have increased the revenues of the Territory, and decreased the expense of conducting all business and mining enterprises, and the cost of living generally.

The paramount advantages to Colorado of railroad communication, and the practical benefits derived from that afforded by the Denver Pacific railway, are everywhere apparent, and clearly demonstrated by the rapid increase of population, the building of towns and cities, the active development of mining property, and the extent and prosperity of agricultural industries. Through the medium of this railroad Colorado first had direct communication with all business centers, east and west; her mineral and agricultural products found a suitable market, at small expense and with trifling delay; and capitalists, tourists, and all classes of immigrants, were enabled to avail themselves of her unbounded resources, without the exposure and delay consequent upon a journey across the great plains in a stage-coach or wagon train.

The idea of constructing this railroad, which has afforded so much material aid toward the complete development of the Territory, and the measures which finally secured its completion originated with Colorado capitalists prominent among these, Gov. John Evans, of Denver.

In the fall of 1867 the initial steps were taken, by the organization of a company for the purpose of connecting Denver with the Union Pacific railroad, at Cheyenne, by means of a railway and telegraph line. The Board of Trade of Denver took a prominent part in this important enterprise, and were promptly and efficiently aided by the leading capitalists in the Territory, who influenced capitalists from abroad, and succeeded in raising the necessary funds. Surveys were made at once, the route of the road decided upon, and work pushed forward so energetically that fifty-eight miles of the road-from Cheyenne to Evans, were completed and opened for business on the 16th day of December, 1869. The further completion of the road was effected without needless delay, and, on the 23rd day of June, 1870, the first passenger train arrived in Denver.

The road and its equipments and appurtenances are, in every way, first class, and adapted to an extensive business. The management of the road is entrusted to the following directors and officers:


John Evans, Denver City
Col. D. H. Moffat, Jr., Denver City
Col. John Pierce, Denver City
Walter S. Cheesman, Denver City
W. M. Clayton, Denver City
Robert E. Carr, St. Louis, Missouri
Frank Palmer, Denver City
W. J. Palmer, Denver City
R. H. Lamborn, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Present Officers

John Evans, President
John Pierce, Vice-President
D. H. Moffat, Jr., Treasurer
R. R. McCormick, Secretary
S. C. Bradford, Master Mechanic
C. W. Fisher, Superintendent and General Ticket and Freight Agent
W. Wagner, General Accountant
James S. Potter, Road Master

The well-known business ability and financial responsibility of these gentlemen are sufficient guaranty to the public that this road will always be kept in excellent condition, and the comfort and safety of passengers, and the rapid transit of freight, be a certainty at all seasons. Along the line of the road, nearly its entire extent, are some of the best farming lands in the Territory, which have been already considerably improved by colonists and settlers; and, at different points, beds of lignite have been discovered, which promise to be valuable.

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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