Springfield to Chadwick

The Chadwick Branch

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Map submitted by Dr. R. Zane Price.

(Forwarded from the Springfield & Southern Railway)

This abandoned railway line began as the White River Branch of the Springfield and Southern Railway Company. The section from Springfield (Green County) to Ozark (Christian County) was completed in 1882 and ran 19 miles. In 1883, the section from Ozark to Chadwick (both in Christian County) was completed and ran 15.5 miles. In 1885, the railroad was added to the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad (Frisco) system and was alternatively known as the Chadwick Flyer and the Chadwick Branch. Towns and stops along the rail line included (from Springfield):

  • Langston (a mill) [Greene County]
  • Galloway (Greene County)
  • Gates (later Rule, 1917; Kissick, 1925) [Greene County]
  • Freemont Hills (founded 1986, after railroad abandonment) [Christian County]
  • Cassidy (Christian County)
  • Ozark (Christian County)
  • McCracken (Ozark County)
  • Sparta (Christian County)
  • Oldfield (Christian County)
  • Chadwick (Christian County)

As Chadwick was the end of the line, a round house existed there to turn train engines around to allow for return trips. The line hauled lumber and railroad ties from local sawmills at Chadwick, along with local farm produce. On June 17th, 1885, the town of Sparta was laid out along the railroad and the town became a shipping point for lumber and railroad ties. With the removal of the local timber, the line was abandoned by the Frisco Railroad in 1934 from the city of Ozark to Chadwick (both in Christian County). Prior to the closing of the line, business was so poor that on occasion the engineer would stop the train so that the train crew could pick blackberries and shoot quail. The Frisco depot was bought by the Extension Club in Chadwick and after remodeling served as a community center for the town. The small towns of McCracken and Oldfield were also located along the rail line and have become ghost towns. However, Sparta survived and, to a lesser extent, Chadwick. Traces of the abandoned rail bed are visible along Missouri 125 south of Sparta.

In 1983, the seven mile section of the rail line from Kissick (earlier Gates and Rule) in southern Green County to Ozark in Christian County was abandoned. Cassidy (Christian County) was the only existing town along this portion of the line and it was a ghost town by time of abandonment. The remaining rails north of Kissick remain active today.

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

I currently live in what I've heard is the McCracken station from the Chadwick branch.I am looking for more information on this property.please contact me if you have pictures or any info.on this place.also looking for info. On the old Tillman school house also in this area...Thank You

ag
mccracken township, MO
2/6/2013

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Does anyone know if the old pole line is still standing anywhere on this branch? Or anywhere near Springfield? Im an insulator collector...

Jon W
Springfield, MO
12/11/2013

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I followed the line through maps on Google..do live next to a large house?

Rusty
Nixa, MO
12/17/2014

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Wouldn't it be great if this branch could be revitalized as a bike trail? I've already shared it on Ozark Greenways FB page but feel free to pass the idea along to others if you share my sentiment! Thanks!

Andy
Springfield, MO
6/10/2015

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Why would it be great? Disrupt traffic on roads and people trespassing on private land is not my idea of great.

I sincerely hope enough of the line has passed into private ownership that your plan is impossible. It should be rails to rails or returned to private ownership, not this government overreach you are trying to shove down our throats.

No Andy, No
Ozark, MO
12/26/2015

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wondering if the rails still exit? Would be a cool ride in a railroad speeder car.

eric
springfield
1/15/2016

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Do you have any pictures or information about The Chadwick Branch? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.