James H. Lane, M. J. Parrott, J. P. Root and their associates
asked for and received a charter for a company to be known as the Missouri River
Railroad Company, which was authorized to build a road from the Missouri River
near the mouth of the Kansas River to the line between Kansas
and Palermo. The capital stock authorized by the charter
The act of 1857 chartering the St. Joseph & Topeka Company was amended so that
the company might increase its capital stock to $5,000,000 and extend its line
from Topeka "to such point on the southern or western boundary of said
territory, in the direction of
New Mexico, as may be most suitable and
convenient for the construction of said railroad." Authority was also granted by
the supplemental act to construct a branch of said road to any point on the
southern boundary of Kansas
in the direction of the Gulf of Mexico.
Charles Robinson, M. J. Parrott and Robert Crozier were the incorporators of the
St. Joseph, Sumner & Lawrence Railroad Company, with a capital of $2,000,000,
and Parrott, Crozier and George S. Hillyer received a charter to build the
Sumner, Manhattan & Fort Riley railroad, with the same rights and privileges as
the St. Joseph, Sumner & Lawrence Company.
Cyrus K. Holliday, W. F. M. Arny, R. B. Mitchell, George W. Deitzler and W. A.
Phillips obtained a charter to build the Topeka & Emporia railroad. The capital
stock of the company was fixed at $3,000,000, and the right of way was
designated as a strip of land 200 feet in width.
The Wyandotte, Minneola & Council Grove railroad was incorporated with a capital
stock of $5,000,000, to build a road from Quindaro via Wyandotte, Olathe and
Minneola to Council Grove, with the privilege of extending the line to the
western boundary of the territory. The incorporators included Alfred Gray,
George S. Park, J. P. Root and James M. Winchell.
Only four railroad companies were chartered by the legislature of 1859 -- the
Atchison & Pike's Peak, the Lawrence & Fort Union, the Wyandotte & Osawatomie,
and the Atchison & Topeka. The last named deserves more than passing mention,
because it was the forerunner of the
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway
system. Its incorporators were
Cyrus K. Holliday, S. C. Pomeroy, P. T. Abell, L. C. Challis, M. C. Dickey, Asaph Allen, Samuel Dickson, N. L. Gordon,
George S. Hillyer, L. D. Bird, Jeremiah Murphy, George H. Fairchild and R. L.
Crane. The original capital stock was $1,500,000, with the privilege of
increasing the same from time to time, provided the increase should never exceed
the amount already expended in the construction of a railroad from Atchison to
Topeka, "and to the southern or western boundary in the direction of
Ten railroad companies were incorporated by the territorial legislature of 1860.
Some of the preceding legislatures had created a larger number of these
corporations, but none had been quite as liberal in the matter of capital stock.
Following is a list of the companies chartered by this session, with the capital
stock of each: Fort Scott, Neosho & Santa Fe, $10,000,000; Iowa Point & Denver
City, $2,000,000; Leavenworth City & San Francisco, $100,000,000; Marysville &
Denver, $5,000,000; Missouri River (from Wyandotte to White Cloud via Iowa
Point), $2,000,000; Olathe & Southern Kansas, $3,000,000; Southern Kansas
Pacific, $5,000,000; State Line, Osawatomie & Fort Union, $5,000,000; Troy &
Iowa Point, $1,000,000; Topeka & Southern Kansas, amount of stock not fixed by
the act of incorporation. This legislature also passed acts amending the
charters of the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Fort Gibson, and the Wyandotte &
Some of the incorporators of railroad companies during the territorial era were
earnest in their efforts and sincere in their desires to secure railroads for
Kansas. Others, and probably the majority, were actuated by motives of
speculation. Recognizing the future possibilities of railroad building in the
development of the West, they hurried to acquire charter rights through
legislative enactments in the hope that, in the event they were unable to
finance and construct the roads themselves, they could sell their franchises for
handsome profits to companies financially able to carry out the original
purposes of the charters. Nor was this condition peculiar to Kansas. During the
quarter of a century prior to the
Civil War, as civilization and settlement
extended westward, practically every state west of New York was at some time
afflicted with the craze for chartering railroad companies.