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Leavenworth Depot and Railroad Company Records

ATSF Freight Depot, LeavenworthManuscript Collection No. 104

 

Introduction

The Leavenworth Depot and Railroad Company was organized in 1887 by the Missouri Pacific Railway Co.; the Union Pacific Railway Co.; the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railway Co.; the Kansas Central Railway Co.; the Kansas City, Wyandotte, and Northwestern Railway Co.; and the Leavenworth, Topeka, and Southwestern Railway Co. to operate a joint depot facility in Leavenworth, Kansas. The depot company was active until approximately 1960. The company was only responsible for providing services and maintenance at the depot and divided costs and profits among member companies on a proportional basis.

Scope and Content

The minutes of the stockholder and board of directors meetings provide information about the official actions of these groups on behalf of the company including election of directors and company officers, determining general policies, salary changes, and the like. The stockholder and board of directors material also includes calls for meetings and proxies for directors unable to attend the meetings. The bulk of the information about the company is found in the correspondence files of the depot superintendent and company officials. Topics discussed range from correspondence about periodic payments to retire the company’s debt, personnel problems, accident and damage claims against the depot company, to correspondence with the United States Railroad Administration during World War I. These files contain letters about a prolonged controversy between the depot company and the Chicago and Great Western Railroad Co. regarding its failure to pay bills assessed by the depot company. Several groups of letters illustrate the procedure, including investigations when necessary, for settling claims regarding accidents and / or damages. When Leavenworth experienced a typhoid epidemic, federal health officials inspected the depot and recommended changes. Efforts to comply with these recommendations are detailed in the correspondence files. The correspondence also depicts some of the day-to-day problems of depot operations, such as requests for passes, the selection of paper drinking cups, handling mail from the trains, installing coin-operated stalls in the restrooms, bonding employees, and purchasing insurance to cover depot property and operations. Communications with federal (Interstate Commerce Commission) and state regulatory and taxing agencies are represented in the general files, while reports and returns to these agencies are filed separately.

In addition to the depot superintendent materials are correspondence files relating to depot maintenance and to the activities of the ticket agent. There are leases and contracts for depot concessions or repair and remodeling work required at the depot. World War I is represented in the collection by the U. S. Railroad Administration in the general files, in the circulars and bulletins it issued, various reports prepared for the administration, and a separate set of accounting books for the period of its existence. The collection also contains some correspondence and daily reports of troop movements through Leavenworth Depot during World War II.

The financial records in the collection consist of monthly “statements of operations,” journals that summarize company transactions on a monthly basis, ledgers that served as the original entries for specific items in specific accounts, cash books, voucher and bills collectible registers, letterpress copies of bills and vouchers, and time books for employees. Sample forms used in daily operations and bills with information about local businesses have also been retained.

The collection gives a fairly detailed picture of the activities of a depot company, though the bulk of the material is from approximately 1900-1925. It can provide information about the specific company, depot companies in general, depot companies in relation to railroads, relationships between the railroad industry and state and federal governments, and information about Leavenworth, Kansas to enumerate a few topics.

May 5, 1977

Contents List

Box 1
Minutes of Stockholder and Board of Directors Meetings (Includes correspondence relating to meetings-proxies, calls for meetings, etc.) 1886-1914
Box 2
Minutes of Stockholder and Board of Directors Meetings 1915-1918
 
Correspondence files of the depot superintendent and company officials 1885 - Sept. 1902
Box 3
Correspondence files of the depot superintendent and company officials Oct. 1902-1904
Box 4
Correspondence files of the depot superintendent and company officials 1905-1907
Box 5
Correspondence files of the depot superintendent and company officials 1908-1909
Box 6
Correspondence files of the depot superintendent and company officials 1910
Box 7
Correspondence files of the depot superintendent and company officials 1911
Box 8
Correspondence files of the depot superintendent and company officials 1912-June, 1913
Box 9
Correspondence files of the depot superintendent and company officials July, 1913-July 1915
Box 10
Correspondence files of the depot superintendent and company officials August, 1915-July, 1917
Box 11
Correspondence files of the depot superintendent and company officials August, 1917-February, 1919
Box 12
Correspondence files of the depot superintendent and company officials March, 1919-January, 1920
Box 13
Correspondence files of the depot superintendent and company officials February, 1920-September, 1920
Box 14
Correspondence files of the depot superintendent and company officials October, 1920-September, 1921
Box 15
Correspondence files of the depot superintendent and company officials October, 1921-1934 (correspondence is scattered - 1923 on)
Box 16
Correspondence files of the depot superintendent and company officials 1935-1963
 
Miscellaneous undated material
 
Correspondence relating to upkeep of depot property 1921-1930
 
Ticket Agent Correspondence 1918-1919
Box 17
Ticket Agent Correspondence 1920
 
Correspondence relating to troop movements during World War II 1941-1945
 
Daily reports of troop movements through the depot during World War II Oct. 1942-July, 1943
Box 18
Daily reports of troop movements through the depot during World War II Aug. 1943-Sept. 1945
 
Deeds relating to company property
 
Leases and contracts pertaining to Leavenworth Depot (Includes insurance policies, bonding of employees, lunch counter, etc.) 1887-1895
Box 19
Leases and contracts pertaining to Leavenworth Depot 1896-1931
 
United States Railroad Administration - Communications (General) 1918-1919
Box 19
United States Railroad Administration - General Orders
(cont.)
United States Railroad Administration - Office of the Director General - Circulars
 
United States Railroad Administration - Division of Capital Expenditures - Circulars
 
United States Railroad Administration - Division of Public Service and Accounting
 
United States Railroad Administration - Division of Transportation
 
United States Railroad Administration - Miscellaneous circulars and printed material
Box 20
Various Reports to the U. S. Railroad Administration(some reports are stored in the oversize portfolio)
 
Final Settlement with the U. S. Railroad Administration
 
Interstate Commerce Commission -Annual Reports to 1906-1913
 
Box 21
Interstate Commerce Commission - Annual Reports to 1914-1924
Box 22
Interstate Commerce Commission - Annual Reports to 1925-1948 (In 1926, the same report was sent to the ICC and the appropriate Kansas regulatory agency and this practice was followed thereafter.)
Box 23
Interstate Commerce Commission - Annual Reports to 1949-1959
 
Miscellaneous Reports to the ICC
 
Annual Report to the Kansas Board of Railroad Commissioners 1902, 1904, 1907
Box 24
Annual Report to the Kansas Board of Railroad Commissioners 1908-1911
 
Annual Report to the Kansas Public Utilities Commission 1912-1915
Box 25
Annual Report to the Kansas Public Utilities Commission 1918-1923
 
Monthly Reports to the Court of Industrial Relations, Kansas March, 1920-April, 1922
 
Monthly Reports to the Public Utilities Commission, Kansas April, 1922-May, 1925
 
Corporate Income and Profits Tax Returns (Federal and State) 1917-1939
Box 26
Corporate Income and Profits Tax Returns 1940-1959
 
Annual Domestic Corporation Report (to state) ca. 1914-1958
 
Capital Stock Tax Returns 1924-1926, 1933-1944
 
Leavenworth County Taxes and miscellaneous tax forms Statement of Operations (monthly) 1900-1909, 1912-1917, 1920-1921
Box 27
Statement of Operations (monthly) 1922-1929, 1939-1956
 
Union Depot Time Cards (scattered dates) 1909-1921
 
Miscellaneous materials (Articles of incorporation of other depot companies, ICC material, etc.)
Box 28
Sample forms used by the depot company and copies of bills with information about local businesses, etc.
 
Letterpress Books of outgoing correspondence Jan. 1887-Feb. 1890
Box 29
Letterpress Books of outgoing correspondence Feb. 1890-June, 1900
Box 30
Letterpress Books of outgoing correspondence June, 1900-Dec. 1904
 
Accounting Journal Nov. 1888-Sept. 1917
Box 31
Accounting Journal Oct. 1917-Dec. 1957
Box 32
Accounting Ledger 1911-1949
 
Cash Book Dec. 1888-May 1899
Box 33
Cash Book Mar. 1916-Nov. 1949
 
Voucher Register July 1896-Dec. 1925
Box 34
Voucher Register Jan. 1926-Dec. 1950
 
Bills and Vouchers (Letterpress copy) July 1889-Dec. 1892
Box 35
Bills and Vouchers Dec. 1892-June 1897
Box 36
Bills and Vouchers June 1897-Dec. 1901
Box 37
Bills and Vouchers Dec. 1901-March 1905
Box 38
Bills and Vouchers April 1908-Oct. 1914
Box 39
Time Books (payroll) 1892-1961
 
Reports to Railroad Retirement Board 1947-1949
Box 40
U. S. Railroad Administration Account Books (Journal, Ledger, Cash Book, Voucher Register, Copies of Bills and Vouchers)
Oversize Portfolio
Income tax returns
 
Reports to U. S. Railroad Administration and other agencies
Oversize Volumes
Bills Collectible (3 volumes) Aug. 1901-June 1947
 
Ledger 1888-1910
 
Cash Book May, 1899-Feb. 1916