O'Fallon, James H. Lucas, Louis A. Labeaume,
Edward Walsh, James E. Yeatman, George Collier,
Daniel D. Page, and L. M. Kennett.
On the following day the directors met and elected
Thomas Allen president, and Louis A. Labeaume
secretary pro tern. There were then twenty-nine
million two hundred and sixteen thousand acres of.
land in Missouri open to private entry which, as
stated in the memorial of the directors to Congress,
remained unsold. 1
Mr. Allen, the president of the company, who, as
we have seen, had been one of the most prominent
and efficient promoters of the enterprise from the
start, addressed himself to the work before him with
characteristic energy and vigor, and under his able
direction the affairs of the company soon took shape.
On the 22d of April it was announced that James P.
Kirkwood, of New York, had been appointed chief
engineer of the road.*
Mr. Kirkwood was then superintendent of the New
York and Erie Railroad. Under his direction three
parties of engineers were started on the surveys.
Three different routes were surveyed, and a very full
and able report made by the engineers, and published
with the first annual report of the board of directors.
The preliminary surveys were commenced on the 24th
of May, and closed on the 29th of November, 1850.
Five different lines were surveyed, embracing in the
whole over eight hundred miles of survey.
During the progress of the surveys the president,
Mr. Allen, personally visited and addressed the people
and the county courts of nearly every county from St.
Louis to the western boundary, and also laid his plans
before the Governor of the State, which the Gov-
ernor, after due consideration, substantially adopted.
The city and county of St. Louis and the county of
Jackson subscribed to the stock. Petitions to Con-
gress in behalf of a grant of land, as applied for by
the company, were circulated and numerously signed
in all the counties along the proposed line, and in due
time transmitted to Congress.
At the session of Congress held in 1850-51 a bill
passed the Senate of the United States granting for
1 At this time not a single railway touched the Mississippi
on either side at St. Louis. The Erie Railroad was not com-
pleted, and only seven thousand miles of railroad had been con-
structed in the United States.
2 " Pacific Railroad. The commencement of this great and,
to our city, important work we presume will take place imme-
diately. Mr. Kirkwood, late engineer of the New York and
Erie Uailroad, now engineer of the Pacific Railroad, arrived in
our city yesterday morning accompanied by two assistants. In
a very short time the corps of engineers will be organized and
the reconnoissance and the location commenced." Republican,
May 21, 1850.
the railroad alternate sections of land for a space of
six miles in width on each side, but was not reached
in the House of Representatives. In the same winter
of 1850-51, the president of the railroad company
having been elected to the State Senate, a plan for
a complete system of railroads for the State was laid
before the Legislature by him, including a form of
State aid by a loan of the public credit. This plan,
which was soon adopted, contemplated the issue of
State bonds to the railroad company to an amount
equal to the amount first to be advanced by the stock-
holders, the company agreeing to pay the interest and
principal of the bond, and the State reserving a first
lien on the road as security.
The first act was approved Feb. 22, 1851, and pro-
vided for the issue to the extent of two millions of
State bonds to the Pacific Railroad Company, in sums
of fifty thousand dollars, upon satisfactory evidence
being furnished to the Governor at each application
that a like sum of fifty thousand dollars had been ex-
pended by the company, derived from sources other
than State bonds, and provided that the bonds should
not be sold below par. These bonds having twenty years
to run, and bearing six per cent, interest, were sold at
a premium for more than a year and a half, and some
were sold as high as 110. Some important amend-
ments to the charter were granted at the same session
by an act approved March 1, 1851. Congress, on the
10th of June, 1852, passed an act granting to the
State of Missouri the alternate sections of land in a
strip of six sections in width on each side of the line,
for the construction of a railroad from St. Louis to
the western boundary of the State. Soon after the
passage of this act the company petitioned the Gover-
nor to call an extra session of the Legislature, and the
then Governor, Hon. Austin A. King, complied with
So largely had individuals entered the public lands
the previous year or two in consequence of the rail-
road surveys, that it was soon discovered that the
grant would be of little value for constructing a rail-
road in a direct line westward from St. Louis to the
western boundary. Therefore, in view of the immense
district of country lying at the southwest, known to
be desirable in soil, climate, and minerals, yet inacces-
sible, and also in view of the probability that a good
route for the national road to California might be
found along the thirty-fifth parallel, it was deemed
advisable to make a fork in the line of road, and run
the main trunk nearly west in the direction of Kan-
sas via the State capital, and the fork or branch in
the southwestern direction. To the road from St.
Louis to the point of divergence from the main line,
HISTORY OF SAINT LOUIS.
and thence to the southwest boundary of the State, the
State granted the lands by the act of Dec. 20, 1852,
without bonus and with an exemption from taxation
until the road could pay a dividend, and with also a
further loan of $1,000,000 to the main line, and
$1,000,000 to the Southwest Branch. The right of
pre-emption to actual settlers already on the lands at
$2.50 per acre was, however, reserved.
Mr. Allen, president of the company, was appointed
the agent of the State to select the lands, and for that
purpose went to Washington City. The lands se-
lected amounted to about 1,200,000 acres.
The Pacific Railroad Company, having surveyed a
route for a branch railroad to the Iron Mountain, to
cross the Maramec near the mouth of Calvey Creek, in
Franklin County, and run on an interior ridge west
of Big River, via Potosi, and having reported that the
Iron Mountain could thus be reached by building about
sixty miles additional of railroad, at a cost of two or two
and a half million dollars, the Legislature granted a
loan to the company for that branch of seven hundred
and fifty thousand dollars. The demand having arisen
for a " direct line" to the Iron Mountain from St.
Louis, this loan was subsequently yielded and trans-
ferred to the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad.
On the 12th of March, 1851, the board of direc-
tors resolved to commence the construction of the Pa-
cific road, and were called upon for the first time to
consider the question of route. The road had origi-
nally been defined as to Jefferson and Cass County,
but, now free to seek the best route through the
State, it became evident that more extended surveys
must be made before they could act intelligently. A
division of forty miles only was located, as being com-
mon to all the routes that they could take.
At the time it was in contemplation to make other
surveys, not only connecting in detail those already
made, but to try other routes, passing farther inland
or towards the southwest. But it had been found
that speculators followed the track of the engineers
and entered all the best land, and it was thought ad-
visable not to make any more surveys until a land
grant had passed Congress, and the land was put out
In the mean time vigorous efforts were made to in-
crease the subscriptions to the stock of the company
to one million five hundred thousand dollars, in order !
that the latter might avail itself of the State's sub-
"There was a good deal of encouragement," said the Repub-
lican of May 12, 1851, "in the meeting in relation to the Pacific
Railroad which took place on Saturday evening. Mr. Allen
stated a variety of facts in relation to the road. Speaking of
the financial condition of the company, he said that the indi-
vidual subscriptions amounted to about four hundred and fifty
thousand dollars, the city had subscribed five hundred thousand
dollars, the county of St. Louis one hundred thousand dollars,
the coilnty of Jackson one hundred thousand dollars, and other
subscriptions would make the sum up to nearly twelve hundred
thousand dollars. The directors desired to swell this sum to
fifteen hundred thousand dollars, and hence the present effort.
Whenever the last-named sum is subscribed, the company can
then avail itself of the credit of the State to the amount of two
millions of dollars, and then there would be a capital of three and
a half millions of dollars to go to work with. The engineer es-
timates the entire cost of the road, assuming that it is three
hundred miles in length, at six millions of dollars. This in-
cludes everything, payments for depots, cars, locomotives, etc.
We have a right to expect that Congress will do justice to this
State at the next session by making adequate grants of lands
for the use of this road and that of the Hannibal and St. Joseph
Company, and this will go very far towards the completion of
At this meeting a resolution was adopted providing for com-
mittees "to canvass the several wards for subscriptions of stock
to the railroad. Subsequently the following committees were
"First Ward, Adolph Abeles, Henry A. Lynch, Frederick
W. Beckwith, Brannock Jones, Lewis Clark, L. C. Degenhardt,
William Friend, H. Niemeyer, Thomas T. Gantt, John C.
"Second Ward, George R. Taylor, Solomon Smith, Matthew
Steitz, William Palm, Francis P. Blair, J. B. Sickles, Hiram
Shaw, John Kern, Alexander Keyser, Robert Simpson.
"Third Ward, R. S. Elliott, Asa Wilgus, A. Miltelberger,
George R. Reed, John C. Meier, John C. Ivory, William H.
Carroll, Adolphus Meier, Nathan Ranney, John Shade.
" Fourth Ward, William T. Christy, John Finney, S. H. Rob-
bins, 0. D. Filley, F. B. Chiles, A. J. P. Garesche, T. W. Hoit,
John S. Watson, P. R. McCreery, J. D. Houseman.
" Fifth Ward, A. P. Ladew, John Leach, Willis R. Prichard,
F. Laubmann, G. B. Allen, L. Holthaus, Leroy Kingsland, H.
H. Cohen, Louis Bach, James Fortune."
At a meeting of the directors held on the 18th of
June, 1851, at which A. S. Mitchell acted as secre-
tary, the board proceeded to locate the First Division
of the road. The various surveyed routes and their
estimated costs having been presented and explained
by James P. Kirkwood, chief engineer, Mr. Lucas
offered the following resolution :
" Resolved, That the route through Chouteau Pond
valley and the valley of the Des Peres to the Mara-
mec valley, and up the Maramec valley for a distance
of about thirty-nine miles from St. Louis, commencing
in St. Louis at Fourteenth Street, be adopted as the
First Division of the Pacific Railroad."
The yeas and nays were demanded on this resolu-
tion, and the result was as follows :
Yeas, Messrs. Allen, Bridge, Haren, Harrison,
Kennett, Labeaume, Lucas, Walsh, and Yeatman, 9.
Nays, none ; the entire board present and voting.
In deciding upon this location the board took into
consideration not only the estimated cost of the dif-
ferent lines, but the need of a branch to the Iron
Mountain and the southwest part of the State.
On motion of Mr. Kennett, the following resolution
in relation to calls on stock in the Pacific Railroad
was adopted :
" Resolved, That not exceeding thirty per cent, upon
the capital stock of the company shall be called in
any one year during the construction of the road." 1
An election for directors of the road was held on
1 " The report of J. P. Kirkwood, chief engineer of the road,
to the board of directors, in June, 1851, contained the follow-
ing information as to the lines he had surveyed, their lengths
and estimated cost :
Missouri River route (by Crevecoeur
Lake to Jefferson) 121.87 $2,989,157
Maramec route, inland to Jefferson
City 149.03 3,752,854
Maramec combination route by Mara-
mec and Gray's Gap 130.58 3,145,303
" The board of directors were divided in opinion as to which
route, under all the circumstances, should be adopted. At the
eastern end of the line, and more practically in St. Louis, there
was very decided opposition to the selection of the route shown
above as the Missouri River route, for this principal reason,
that, as was urged, the river itself afforded sufficient facilities
to the whole country through which it ran, and that the road
should be so located as to open and develop a country not pene-
trated by any natural highway. Under these circumstances of
opposition to the route shown by the engineer's report to be
the shortest, as well as the least expensive, it was determined
to locate the road as far as Franklin, thirty-seven miles. This
point was selected for the reason that it was the extreme western
point from which, after further deliberation and examination,
it would be possible, without seriously increased cost, to con-
tinue the location either on the inland or the Missouri River
route. To accomplish this object they were compelled to aban-
don the route described above by Crevecoeur Lake, which
strikes the Missouri River eighteen miles and three-quarters
from St. Louis, though that was the shortest and the most
" Prior to the decision of this question, and while it was
pending, considerable feeling arose in St. Louis, which was
manifested in denunciations of the board of directors, coupled
with charges that they were purposely delaying the location of
the line, especially that portion of it nearest to St. Louis, for
unworthy reasons, arising out of a desire to enrich themselves
by speculations in hinds, having, as was alleged, in their capa-
city of directors information respecting the route to be selected
which the community generally could not procure. When,
therefore, the report of the engineer was made, the road was
immediately located (on the succeeding day, as appears by the
records of the company), and an order made for the publication
of the route selected.
" It should, perhaps, also be added that though, as has been
explained above, the board of directors were influenced by
popular prejudice in favor of the inland route (in which they
probably to some extent participaled) to locate the road upon
that route so far as Franklin, there is no evidence whatever
that in the actual location of the road upon the particular route
adopted to that point any considerations had weight except the
engineer's report and the questions of economical construction
and use." lieport of Joint Railroad Committee of Missouri
Legislature, published Nov. 28, 1855.
the 19th of June, 1851, which, we are told, "ex-
cited very considerable interest, and called forth a
large vote." It resulted as follows :
For James H. Lucas, 3015 votes; Hudson E.
Bridge, 2943; James E. Yeatman, 2915; Edward
Walsh, 2914; Louis A. Labeaume, 2892; James
Harrison, 2883 ; Luther M. Kennett, 2777 ; John C.
Rust, 2728; Thomas Allen, 2294; Daniel D. Page,
2036; Joseph Charless, 1598; Joshua B. Brant,
1584; George Collier, 1470. This list completed
the board. The next highest was Isaac L. Garrison,
who received 1452 votes.
The first division of the road (thirty-nine miles)
having been put under contract, the first spadeful of
earth was removed, in the absence of the Governor,
by the then mayor of the city, Hon. Luther M. Ken-
nett, on the 4th of July, in the presence of a large
and enthusiastic audience. This memorable event
took place at a point on the south bank of Chouteau
Pond, on Mr. Minckes' ground, west of Fifteenth
The event was the occasion of a great popular
demonstration, in which the entire city participated.
The day was introduced with a national salute by the
Missouri Artillery, under the command of Capt.
Henry Almstedt. At an early hour the city in every
portion was filled with the members of the civil and
military societies who designed to join in the proces-
sion. Chief Marshal Grimsley had announced that the
march to the ground would commence punctually at
eight o'clock A.M., and accordingly as early as half-
past seven the various associations, orders, companies,
clubs, etc., began to pour into Fourth Street from all
quarters. The city had seldom witnessed such an
enlivening spectacle as that displayed previous to the
forming of the procession. Flays were flying from
the tops of engine buildings and public-houses, and
streamed from the windows of newspaper offices, or
floated over the street at many points ; numerous de-
tachments of military corps were dashing to their
various places of rendezvous ; squads of civil societies
| were coming to view from every corner, and the whole
was enlivened by the inspiring sounds of music.
Soon after seven o'clock an immense multitude
thronged Fourth Street from Washington Avenue,
where the head of the line rested, a distance of
several blocks. The line formed on Fourth Street,
and shortly before eight o'clock the chief marshal as-
sembled his aids and assistants and instructed them
in regard to the duties assigned them. The band of
the St. Louis Grays was then ordered to its post, and
the following officers also took the places previously
agreed upon :
HISTORY OF SAINT LOUIS.
Thornton Grimsley, chief marshal; John S. Watson, II. W.
Williams, aids ; assistant marshal?, Joseph P. Wilkinson, Wil-
liam J. Romyn, William Waddinghain, Jr., Benjamin Bogy,
Alfred Dryden, William Light, Charles Mehl, William II. Coz-
ens, McDowell, Thomas* Horrell, John Kern, D. Preston,
William T. Knapp, John C. Vogel, George L. Nuckolls, George
Shuly, William S. Chapman, Frederick King.
The chief marshal then arranged the procession in
the following order :
Chief Marshal and his Aids.
St. Louis Grays' Brass Band.
Governor, his Aids, Heads of the Departments.
President, Directors, and Company of the Pacific Railroad.
Corps of Engineers.
Orator of the Day and Invited Guests.
Judiciary of the Eighth Circuit and Officers of the several Courts.
Mayor and Board of Aldermen, Delegates, and Executive Offi-
cers of the City. Editorial Corps.
St. Louis Grays, Capt. George Knapp.
Missouri Dragoons, Capt. Btinkman.
Missouri Artillery, Capt. Almstedt.
St. Louis Yagers, Capt. Schaeffer.
Union Swiss Guards, Capt. Frye.
St. Louis Fire Department.
Ancient Order of Free and Accepted Masons.
Hibernian Benevolent Society.
Catholic Total Abstinence and Benevolent Society.
St. Vincent Orphan Society.
German Roman Catholic Society.
St. Louis Musical Club.
Social Glee Club.
St. Louis Gymnastic Society.
German Benevolent Society.
United Association of Free Men.
Sons of Temperance.
German Catholic Total Abstinence Society.
United Ancient Order of Druids.
United Patriotic Refugee Association.
Citizens in Carriages.
Citizens on Horseback.
Arrived at the grand stand, which had been erected
at Chouteau's Pond for the speakers and invited
guests, the band performed the " Grand Pacific Rail-
road March," which had been composed for the occa-
sion by Mr. Balmer, after which Col. Thornton
Grimsley, the grand marshal, announced the order of
proceedings, and then introduced the president of the
railroad company, Thomas Allen. Mr. Allen deliv-
ered an interesting address, in which he reviewed the
history of the road up to that time, and in the course
of it he said,
"The charter of the Pacific Railroad was granted in 1849,
and slept for a year, disregarded and almost unknown. It is
about eighteen months since public attention was first called to
it, and only about fifteen months since the company now act-
ing was organized under it. During that period we have had
a good deal of preliminary work to do, comparatively new
country to explore, and the people to awaken to the considera-
tion of a new subject. We have made over eight hundred
miles of preliminary survey ; we have located about seventy
miles ; we have obtained the promised support of every county
upon the line ; we have secured the co-operation of the State,
and a loan of the public credit; we have brought the subject
to the notice of the government of the United States, and we
have procured subscriptions which, though not yet so large as
we desire, give us great encouragement.
" We have found our distance across the Stute to be about
three hundred miles, and our grades easy, the maximum not
exceeding forty-five feet to the mile, and that occurring only
on a short distance. The cost is estimated below the average
cost of railroads, at about twenty thousand dollars per mile, or
about six millions for the whole completed.
The particular business of our proposed road has
been estimnted by the engineer, and the estimate is
made in detail, and will be found upon examina-
tion to be a very moderate one. The general re-
sult, however, is that the passenger business will
amount to $457,900
. Total, second year $928,100
"This would be a gross profit of about fifteen per cent, on six
millions. The cost of running may be forty to fifty per cent.
of the gross earnings. But it should be borne in mind that
this business will constantly increase.
"The business on the Missouri River in 1850 seems to afford
some corroboration of this estimate, if we may compare the
river with the railroad. The results obtained from manifests ia
probably below the truth, but gives,
For freight $450,478
For passengers 368,000
Upon the conclusion of Mr. Allen's address, a pro-
logue in verse, composed by A. S. Mitchell, secretary
of the company, was recited by J. M. Field. Hon.
Edward Bates, orator of the day, then delivered an
elaborate address, in which he drew a graphic picture
of the fertility and resources of the great Mississippi
" Here we are," said Mr. Bates, " in the centre of the great
valley, the natural centre of the largest body of rich, habitable
land on the face of the earth, a land large enough to maintain
in comfort two hundred millions of people, every one of whom
could bring the produce of his labor to this centre by natural
navigation, just below the confluence of three mighty rivers,
Missouri, Mississippi, and Illinois, and just above the influx of
the beautiful Ohio, whose fertile banks are already teeming with,
industry, enterprise, and wealth. Look at the map of the val-
ley, its broad surface is divided into quarters by the figure of
a cross, a little irregular, to be sure, but still a cross. The
Mississippi is the shaft, and the Ohio and Missouri are the
limbs. And the shaft and both the limbs are bristling with
tributaries, each one of which is large enough to be considered
in Europe a mighty river, fit to be improved and cherished as
the artery of a nation's commerce.
" Look ag:iin at the map, and note the distance and the com-
manding points. The driftwood that floats past our city
plunges in the turbid waters of the Mississippi for twelve
hundred miles before it is washed by the bright waves of the
ocean. The water-line of commerce from Pittsburgh to St.
Louis is twelve hundred miles. Your steamers go up the Mis-
souri, without a snag pulled out or a sand-bar removed beyond
our western border, two thousand five hundred miles. Ascend-
ing the Mississippi, they push their bows into the very foam of
St. Anthony's Falls ; and above those falls, I know not how many
hundred miles of placid water invite the adventurous boatmen
to the fur north. Go up the Illinois : you can find no stopping-
place there, for the Father of Waters is wedded to the lakes.
In Illinois and New York the duty imposed by the great gifts j
bestowed upon us is partly done, and now, by the aid of their j
canals, you can leave the ocean in a boat, and entering the Mis-
sissippi or the Hudson, circumnavigate the nation.
" We occupy the most important point on this great circuit.
If there were not a cabin or a white man from the Ohio to the
Missouri; if our forests were still in pristine solitude, and our
prairies untracked, save by the hoof of the buffalo and the moc-
casin of the Indian savage, I should still believe considering
the extent and richness of the valley, the number, length, and