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Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company Records Held by Legal Counsel in Topeka, Kansas 1879-1933 (bulk 1880-1927)

Manuscript collection no. 754

Photograph of Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific depot and track crew, Colby, KS, `1898

 

Introduction

Abstract

Railroad founded in 1847 as the Rock Island and LaSalle Rail Road Company, reorganized several times including in 1866 under the name Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad Company and 1880 under the name Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company; of Chicago, Ill.

Records documenting contractual and other relationships with subsidiary and other railroads in the region, probably entrusted to attorneys in Topeka, Kan., handling company affairs. Included are articles of agreement & consolidation; resolutions; certificates; and charters, mortgages, deeds & leases. Files are primarily from the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Co. and its affiliate, The Chicago Kansas & Nebraska Railway Co., 1880-1927; other railroads include the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad; Chicago, Rock Island & Gulf Railway; Chicago, Rock Island & Mexico Railway; The Chicago, Caldwell & Southern Railway; The Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad; Kansas City & Topeka Railway; and The St. Joseph & Iowa Railroad.

Extent: 0.6 ft. (89 items)

Creator

Chicago Rock Island and Pacific Railway.

Title

Records held by legal counsel in Topeka, Kan., 1879-1933 (bulk 1880-1927).

Identification

Ms. collection no. 754

Repository

Kansas State Historical Society (Topeka)

History

The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Ralway Company was founded in 1847 as the Rock Island and LaSalle Rail Road Company. In 1851 the firm was reincorporated as the Chicago and Rock Island Rail Road Company. The rails of the Chicago and Rock Island reached Morris, Illinois, from Joliet in 1853 and later entered Ottawa.

At about the same time, another railroad, the Mississippi and Missouri, was chartered in Iowa. It wasn't until 1854, however, that the first rail on the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad was laid. The Mississippi and Missouri operations by the end of 1865 were in a state of ruin. Its only salvation seemed to be in its acquisition by its strong connection, the Chicago and Rock Island. Arrangements were made for its sale to the Rock Island, which was consummated in 1866. At that time the company was renamed the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad Company.

From 1873 to 1882 the expansion of the system continued in Iowa through the building of more branch lines and into Missouri to Kansas City. Entrance to Kansas City was effected in 1879, through an operating agreement with The Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad which connected with the Rock Island at Cameron Junction, Missouri.

In 1880 the firm was reorganized under the name Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company, and by January, 1883, a line had been extended almost to the southern boundary of Kansas.

Nearly all of the milage owned by Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company in Kansas was built by The Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway Company, a subsidiary, during the period 1885 - 1888.

In 1888 the Rock Island system under the name of the Kansas City and Topeka Railway Company built two and a half miles of track, extending from Wyoming Street in Kansas City, Missouri, to Armourdale, Kansas (now part of Kansas City), to make connection with the Union Pacific main line.

The Rock Island obtained authorization to do business in Kansas under its own name in 1889. Seven Kansas - chartered predecessors operated in the State prior to that time: the Kansas City and Topeka Railway; The Fort Leavenworth Rail Road Company; The Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway Company (1886) and its 1888 successor with the same name; The Atchison, Saint Joseph and Northern Railroad Company; The Chicago, Caldwell and Southern Railway Company; and The Arkansas, Kansas & Colorado Railway Company.

An act of Congress in 1887 granted the charter right-of-way across Indian Territory through Texas to Galveston, and also for another line from Liberal, Kansas, across Indian Territory, Texas, and New Mexico Territory to El Paso. The line to and including Yarnell, Texas, was officially opened in 1902. The Choctaw, Oklahoma and Texas Railroad was sold to the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway Company in 1903.

The Rock Island system in the period between 1923 and 1929 enjoyed its share of the general prosperity. The freight line between Amarillo, Texas, and Liberal Kansas, was a major project in new construction. It was began in 1926 and completed in 1929, opening up a rich grain country as a source of additional revenue.

The railroad industry and business in general continued at fair levels through 1930 but in the following years, 1931 to 1935, economic collapse took its toll. The general economic depression and the repeated crop failures in its territory combined to weaken the system financially.

Scope and Content

This collection contains one series of records of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company, 1879-1933, documenting contractual and other relationships with subsidiary and other railroads in the region. The records - some of them original manuscripts, others typewritten and printed copies - were probably entrusted to a succession of staff or outside attorneys in Topeka, Kansas, handling the Rock Island’s affairs in the area. The files are primarily from the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company and its close affiliate, The Chicago Kansas and Nebraska Railway Company, ranging from 1880 to 1927. Smaller amounts of material dating from 1879 to 1926 are associated with other railway companies: the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad; Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway; Chicago, Rock Island and Mexico Railway; The Chicago, Caldwell and Southern Railway; The Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad; Kansas City and Topeka Railway; and The St. Joseph and Iowa Railroad. The records are organized into ten file units, each representing a railroad.

The type of business records contained in this collection are broad and varied: booklets of articles of agreement and articles of consolidation between the various railway companies; resolutions from boards of directors and stockholders; certificates; and charters, mortgages, deeds and leases. Most of the folders contain typewritten copies of each of the documents. There is one folder of miscellaneous material consisting of drafts, agreements and contracts between the railroad companies along with a substantial amount of unrelated letters concerning the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company. Researchers tracing the development of the Rock Island and particularly the merging of the Chicago and Rock Island with other railroads will find these records of interest.

Contents List

These records are organized into ten file units, each representing a railroad:

File no. 1 (box 1, folder 1): Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Co. Records. 1905-1926. 5 items.
File no. 2 (box 1, folder 2): Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway Co. Records. May 14, 1902, and undated. 2 items.
File no. 3 (box 1, folder 3): Chicago, Rock Island & Mexico Railway Co. Mortgage. July 2, 1902. 37p
File no. 4 (box 1, folder 4): The Chicago, Caldwell and Southern Railway Co. Records. Sept. 1886–Aug. 1887. 4 items.
File no. 5: The Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway Co. Records. 1886-1891. 6 folders (4 in.)
box 1, folder 5: Articles of Agreement. Oct.-Dec. 1889. 2 items.
box 1, folder 6: Charter. March 19, 1886. 3 items.
box 1, folder 7: Contract. May 15, 1886. 6p.
box 1, folder 8: Leases. 1886-1888. 3 items.
box 1, folder 9: Mortgage. 1886-1891. 2 items.
box 1, folder 10: Resolutions, 1886-1891. 7 items.
File no. 6: Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Co. Records. 1880-1931. 5 folders (1 in.)
box 1, folder 11: Articles of Agreement. 1885-1909. 4 items.
box 1, folder 12: Articles of Consolidation. 1880-1889. 5 items.
box 1, folder 13: Certificates. 1902-1931. 3 items.
box 1, folder 14: Deed. June 25, 1917. 16p.
box 1, folder 15: Resolutions. 1888-1927. 10 items.
File no. 7 (box 2, folder 1): The Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad Co. Records. Dec. 4, 1879. 3 items.
File no. 8 (box 2, folder 2): Kansas City and Topeka Railway Co. Records. Jan. 1-7, 1889. 3 items.
File no. 9 (box 2, folder 3): The St. Joseph & Iowa Railroad Co. Records. 1886-1893. 9 items.
File no. 10 (box 2, folder 4): Miscellaneous. 1894-1933. 21 items.

Related Records or Collections

Sources

Barnes, Lela (Elmendorf), comp. . . . Railroad Collection (1855-1959), 1961- [ca. 1971]. Kansas Historical Society microfilm MS 1312-1313B.

“1852-1952: 100 Years of Progress,” Rock Island Lines News Digest, October 1952, 3-15. (Kansas Historical Society Library call number K 388.3 W84)

Related collections

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company collection, partial finding aids available
Lela Barnes Railroad collection; 3 microfilm rolls, MS-1312, 1313A-B; available through interlibrary loan; finding aid on the microfilm or available separately
Ross Burns/Howel Jones collection, no. 227, partially on microfilm, finding aid available
Hiram Price Dillon collection, no. 329
Charles Goebel collection, no. 176, finding aid available
Kansas Town & Land Company collection, no. 130; partially on microfilm, MS 1024-36; finding aid available
Leavenworth Depot and Railroad Company collection, no. 104, finding aid available
Railroads history collection, no. 632
Rivers history collection, no. 635

Index Terms

Access Points

Business records-Kansas-Topeka.
Charters-United States.
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company-Sources.
Chicago, Caldwell and Southern Railway Co.-Sources.
Chicago, Kansas, and Nebraska Railway-Sources.
Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway Company-Sources.
Chicago, Rock Island and Mexico Railway Company-Sources.
Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad Company (1866-1880) (co-creator)
Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad Company (1866-1880)-Archives.
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company-Archives.
Contracts-Middle West.
Corporate resolutions-Middle West.
Deeds-North America.
Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad Company-Sources.
Kansas.
Kansas City and Topeka Railway Company-Sources.
Lawyers-Kansas-Topeka.
Leases-Middle West.
Middle West.
Mortgages-Middle West.
North America.
Railroad companies-Middle West-Sources.
Railroad liens-Middle West-Sources.
Railroads-Kansas-Sources.
Railroads-North America-Sources.
Railroads-Mergers-North America-Sources.
Railroads-North America-Records and correspondence.
Railroads-United States-Sources.
St. Joseph & Iowa Railroad Co.-Sources.
Shawnee County (Kan.)
Topeka (Kan.)
United States.

Additional Information for Researchers

Provenance

Records from the legal files of the donor, formerly an attorney for the railroad in Topeka, Kan.

Access

Unrestricted

Publication rights

The Kansas State Historical Society does not own literary property rights to these records. According to the donor, the Legal Department of the Chicago Pacific Corporation, holder of copyright at the time of donation, approved of their donation to the society, but literary rights were not transferred.

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (title 17, U.S. Code). The user is cautioned that the publication of the contents of this microfilm may be construed as constituting a violation of literary property rights. These rights derive from the principle of common law, affirmed in the copyright law of 1976 as amended, that the writer of an unpublished letter or other manuscript has the sole right to publish the contents thereof unless he or she affirmatively parts with that right; the right descends to his or her legal heirs regardless of the ownership of the physical manuscript itself. It is the responsibility of a user or his or her publisher to secure the permission of the owner of literary property rights in unpublished writing.

Preferred citation

[identification of individual item and/or file unit]; Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Co.; Records Held by Legal Counsel in Topeka, Kans.; ms. collection no. 754; Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka.

Acquisition information

Clayton M. Davis of Davis & Bennett (Topeka, Kans.), gift, 1985; manuscript collection no. 754.

Processing history

Jason Schmidt, volunteer, arranged the collection and wrote the history and scope and content notes, 1996; container list and other descriptions by Robert L. Knecht, 1998.

Notes

Title supplied by processor.