Colorado History and Genealogy Project





Kansas Pacific Railway

The acts of Congress incorporating the Union Pacific Railway Companies, approved July 1, 1862, and July 2, 1864, authorized the construction of this road under the name of the Union Pacific railway. Eastern Division (name changed to Kansas Pacific railway by joint resolution of Congress, March 3rd, 1869), from the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas Rivers, by the way of Fort Riley and the valley of the Republican River, to a junction with the Union Pacific railroad at the 100th meridian.

The bonds and lands granted by the Government to this company were the same per mile as those authorized for the Union Pacific railroad east of the Rocky Mountains, viz.: $16,000 in bonds and 12,800 acres of land for every mile of road, the lands being the alternate odd-numbered sections, for twenty miles, on each side of the road.

By an amendment to the original act, approved July 3, 1866, this company was released from the obligation of connecting with the Union Pacific railroad at the 100th meridian, and authorized to change their line west wardly up the Smoky Hill River from Fort Riley, on condition that they should only receive the same amount of bonds from the United States, to aid in the construction of their new line, that they would have been entitled to if they connected with the Union Pacific railroad at the 100th meridian, as was required in the original act of incorporation ; also, that they should join the Union Pacific railroad at a point not more than fifty miles west of the meridian of Denver, in Colorado. This company has accordingly followed the general route of the Smoky Hill branch of the Kansas River from Fort Riley to the city of Denver, and from that point northwest to a connection with the Union Pacific railroad. By the survey made by Major Howell, U. S A under instructions from the President of the United States, the distance for which the company was entitled to bonds of the Government was found to be 393 15-16 miles, measured from the boundary line of Missouri and Kansas, at the mouth of the Kansas river, to the 100th meridian on the Union Pacific railroad.

The land grant, under the acts of Congress, extends the whole length of the present line, from the initial point to the junction with the Union Pacific railroad west of Denver. By authority of Congress, the lands and franchises of that portion of the line from Denver to the junction with the Union Pacific railroad at Cheyenne, a distance of 106 miles, were transferred to the Denver Pacific railroad and Telegraph Company, which is now completed and in operation from Denver to Cheyenne, making another through line to the Pacific Ocean.

The Kansas Pacific railway company has made careful surveys, by the way of New Mexico, and the thirty-fifth parallel, to the Pacific coast, and contemplate extending their road by that route if Congress grants the necessary authority and aid in lands.

The following are the connections of the Kansas Pacific railway:
At Kansas City, with the Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs railroad.
At Kansas City, with the Hannibal & St. Joseph railroad.
At Kansas City, with the North Missouri railroad.
At Kansas City, with the Pacific (of Missouri) railroad
At Kansas City, with the Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf railroad.
At Lawrence, with the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston railroad.
At Leavenworth, with the Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs railroad.
At Leavenworth, with the Leavenworth, Atchison & Northwestern railroad.
At Leavenworth, with the Pacific railroad (of Missouri).
At Topeka, with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad.
At Junction City, with the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroad.
At Denver, with the Denver Pacific railroad.
At Denver, with the Colorado Central railroad.

The land grant to the company amounts to over 6,000,000 acres, and comprises some of the most fertile and valuable lauds in Kansas and Colorado. A portion of their lands were opened for sale January 1, 1868, and the company have already sold over 600,000 acres, and the sales would have been much larger, but that a large portion of the lands in western Kansas and Colorado have never been surveyed by the Government until the present year (1870). The lands are sold for cash, or part cash and part notes, the latter bearing interest at six per cent, per annum and payable in from one to five years.

Officers of The Road

John D. Perry, President, St. Louis, Missouri.
Adolphus Meier, First Vice-President, St. Louis, Missouri.
Robert E. Carr, Second Vice-President, St. Louis, Missouri.
Carlos S. Greeley, Treasurer, St. Louis, Missouri.
Sylvester T. Smith, Auditor, St. Louis, Missouri.
Chas. B. Lamboon, Secretary, St. Louis, Missouri.
A. Anderson, General Superintendent, Lawrence, Kansas.
Geo. Noble, Assistant General Superintendent, Lawrence, Kansas.
T. F. Oakes, General Freight Agent, Kansas City, Missouri.
R. B. Gemmell, General Ticket Agent, Lawrence, Kansas.
G. W. Gushing, Superintendent Machinery, Armstrong, Kansas.
J. P. Devereux, Land Commissioner, Lawrence, Kansas.

The completion of this road to Denver was a most important event in the history of Colorado, and was duly celebrated by our citizens, the capitalists connected with the enterprise, and the "Press" of the western country generally. By this, direct communication has been opened with the great prairie regions east of the "Plains," and with the Middle and Southern States, and millions of acres of good agricultural and grazing lands made available to settlers. It has already substantially advanced all Colorado industries, and inaugurated a new and permanent era of progress. The management of the road, under Superintendent General A. Anderson, has been acknowledged as nearly faultless as possible; and notwithstanding the difficulties which surround railroad travel across the great plains during inclement seasons, passengers and freight are transported safely and with dispatch at all times. As a permanent source of advantage to Colorado, this railway has no successful rival, and, besides our Territory, a large section of country is largely benefitted by its construction.


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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