The Garden City, Gulf, & Northern Railroad

Garden City, Gulf and Northern Railroad, 1909

Garden City, Gulf, and Northern Railroad, 1909.

The Garden City, Gulf, & Northern Railroad was a single-track line located entirely within the State of Kansas and extending from Scott City to Garden City, just over 37 miles.

Early railroad building in Western Kansas was not confined to large companies. Some roads were promoted and built by local men. Among these railroads was the Garden City, Gulf, and Northern Railroad.

The company was organized by Basil M. McCue, who came to Finney County from Hasting, Nebraska, in 1904 and became extensively engaged in the real estate business. The railroad was incorporated on January 4, 1907, under the general laws of the State of Kansas. Its principal office was in Garden City, Kansas.

A petition was filed with the county commissioners on April 4, 1907, asking the county to subscribe $190,000 to the capital stock of the proposed railroad, which was to be built from Garden City to Scott City. A bond election was held later and carried 693 for and 158 against.

Ground for this road was broken on July 8, 1908, and the Kansas Construction & Irrigation Company built it. The mileage owned by the Garden City, Gulf, and Northern was just over 37 miles. The road was finished, and trains were running over it before December 31, 1908. E. A. Tennis was the general manager of the road. A grade was later built through the sand hills south of Garden City to the Haskell County line, but that section of the road was never completed.

In 1910 and 1911, McCue extended his railroad north from Scott City to Winona, a distance of 53 miles. This section of the road was later abandoned, and the tracks were taken up.

Gillispie Station on the Garden City, Gulf & Northern railroad was named for F. A. Gillispie, a representative of the Garden City Sugar Company and Tennis Station, was named for the railroad’s general manager. The townsite of McCue, later changed to Friend, was named in honor of the railroad builder.

After operating the railroad for two years, McCue sold it to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe for $500,000.

Compiled and edited by Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, updated October 2023.

Also See:

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Blanchard, Leola Howard; The Conquest of Southwest Kansas, Wichita Eagle Press, 1931.