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The First Railroads
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The First Railroads
Contributed by edmad709008
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Newspaper Date:

September 24 1936
Newspaper Article: THE FIRST RAILROADS

The first railroad was projected in May 1860, by Staine and Hatch. It was known as the Pike County Railroad, later as Hannibal and Naples road. The county, at a general election refused aid and the project was abandoned until after the war. Through the efforts of Judge Higbee, Scott Wike, James Irwin, Wm. Grimshaw, W. Steers of Pittsfield, Mc- Williams, Ward, Philbrick and others from Griggsville, Brown and Wike from Barry, the enterprise was revived and pushed to completion.

About $350,000 was expended on the old Pike road; the sum of $200,00 was furnished by the city of Hannibal, the townships on the line of the railroad $70,000 and individuals in Hannibal and Pike County the balance. This money was faithfully expended but the Civil war began and the road failed as did most public enterprises. The road at this time owed Mr. Clough, and engineer, $1,000, and began suit against the road. Friends of the road did not want it sacrificed so bid it in for $1,039 in the name of Scott Wike. The sheriff then made them a deed February 12, 1863. They were then incorporated as the Hannibal and Naples road. After the war, attention was again turned to the road and completion was urged. Meetings were held throughout the county. The proposition by the supervisors to bond the county was defeated December 24, 1867 by one of the largest votes ever cast in the county.

Meetings were held in 1868 and further steps taken to complete the road. Ten miles of road were completed from Hannibal to Kinderhook, February 18, 1869. A banquet was given in a car at Kindehook amid great rejoicing over the event. The road was completed to Naples, January 20, 1870 and to Pittsfield, February 11. After the completion of Hannibal and Naples road it was changed to the Toledo, Wabash and Western Railway and in 1880 when the Wabash came in possession of the Toledo and Western Railways and others it was changed to the Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific. August 1, 1871, the bridge was completed across the river at Hannibal.

The Wabash had continued to carry on a passenger and freight business up to the present time. While not having the patronage in either service that they had years ago, they still furnish the public with an efficient means of transportation.

The late F. A. Longnecker was agent at the Wabash station here for many years.

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Submitted: 01/20/08 (Edited 01/20/08)

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