Salisbury to Glasgow

The Keokuk and Kansas City Railway

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Map submitted by Dr. R. Zane Price.

(Forwarded from the Missouri & Mississippi Railroad)

Photo by Dr. R. Zane Price, July 2011.

The Missouri and Mississippi Railroad was chartered in Missouri on February 20, 1865 to build a line between Salisbury and Glasgow. However, no property was every constructed. The name of the proposed railroad was changed to the Keokuk and Kansas City Railway on January 2, 1873 with a charter issued under the new name on May 1, 1873. Construction was completed in the same year and consisted of 14.79 miles of track and the general offices were located at Salisbury. All of the towns and stops along the rail line are now ghost towns (south from Salisbury to Glasgow):

  • Shannondale
  • Oil City (appears only on USGS Quadrangles and in the GNIS database)
  • Forest Green
  • Lewis Mills (aka. Lewis Mill)
  • Louisville (abandoned long before the railroad was built)
  • North Glasgow

Through various reincorporations and mergers over the ensuing years, this railroad line assumed many identities:

  • Reincorporated as the Salisbury and Glasgow Railroad on January 12, 1877
  • Acquisition by the St. Louis, Kansas City, and Northern Railway on May 30, 1877
  • Consolidation into the Wabash, St. Louis, and Pacific Railway on November 10, 1879
  • Consolidation into the Omaha and St. Louis Railway on May 26, 1887
  • Reincorporated as the Omaha and St. Louis Railroad on June 11, 1896
  • Acquisition by the Wabash Railroad on January 1, 1900

It would remains a part or the Wabash Railroad for the rest of its existence.

In 1943, the Wabash Railroad abandoned the line and it never returned to service. Today, little of the bed is visible due to the passing of time and work on MO Route 5.

However, several maps, including Asher & Adams' Missouri 1872 and the 1876 plat book of Chariton County, indicate that the railroad may have initially had much greater aspiration than solely being a line running between Salisbury and Glasgow. The 1872 map by Asher & Adams' shows both sections of the railroad as a proposed line. The never constructed northern portion of the line would have left Salisbury (Chariton County) and proceeded northwest toward Thomasville (Thomas Hill) [Randolph County], College Mound (Macon County), Macon City (Macon) [Macon County], Vienna (Economy, Economy Post Office) [Macon County], Sue City (Macon County), Locust Hill (Knox County), Edina (Knox County), Fairmount (Clark County), Kahoka (Clark County), Clark City (Clark County), Wayland (Clark County), and Keokuk, Iowa (Lee County). At Kahoka, the railroad turns east and parallels the south side of the Keokuk and Western Railroad (earlier the Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska Railroad; later the Burlington Northern Railroad) to near Wayland where it crossed the Keokuk and Western Railroad and proceeded northeast to its proposed final destining of Keokuk, Iowa. At least one town, Locust Hill in 1867, was founded in anticipation of the never built line.

It seems likely that the initial name of Missouri and Mississippi Railroad referred to its two proposed terminuses of the Missouri River at Glasgow and the Mississippi River at Keokuk, Iowa. Similarly, the later name Keokuk and Kansas City Railway could have referred to the proposed northern terminus at Keokuk, Iowa and a connection to Kansas City, Missouri either via another railroad or by an extension from Glasgow. Asher & Adam's Missouri 1872 showed two proposed lines that would have left Glasgow and crossed the Missouri River.

Thanks to Dr. R. Zane Price for contributing information about this route.

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