Cowley, Sumner & Fort Smith Railroad

Cowley, Sumner & Fort Smith Railroad Stock Certificate.

Cowley, Sumner & Fort Smith Railroad Stock Certificate.

For many years, there was a great need for a railroad in Sumner County, Kansas, before the county finally got one. In an 1877 Letter to the Editor, a Kansas resident spoke of how well crops were doing but that a railroad was badly needed as products had to be taken to Wichita to sell.

Finally, in 1878, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad settled its plans with the county. It began work on an extension from Wichita to Mulvane, through Belle Plaine, to Wellington, and on to Caldwell.

The Cowley, Sumner, and Fort Smith Railroad was formed on October 28, 1878, and construction began in May 1879. The line stretched to the southeast and divided at Mulvane on the Sumner County line. One branch crossed the Arkansas River and entered Wellington on September 15. The other fork entered Cowley County and penetrated the Walnut Valley, arriving in Winfield on September 29 and Arkansas City on December 31. Railroad yards, located just north of 16th Street in Wellington, included stockyards, a depot, a water tower, and a hotel.

On October 6, 1882, the railroad was consolidated into the Wichita and Southwestern Railway Company, and the line from Mulvane to Wellington was moved east. At that time, the Wellington railroad yards were vacated, and the depot was temporarily used as a freight terminal.

Also See:

Kansas Transportation

Railroad Companies of Kansas

Railroads of Kansas

Railroads & Depot Photo Gallery


Sumner County, Kansas
Old Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad