Muskogee Roads

The Muskogee Roads was the colloquial name for a system of railroads under common management operationally headquartered in Muskogee, Oklahoma and controlled by the Muskogee Company of Philadelphia.[1] The Muskogee Roads were the only Class I railroads to be headquartered in Oklahoma and had a major impact on the development and livelihood of the region.

Muskogee Roads
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Muskogee Roads map
Overview
HeadquartersMuskogee, Oklahoma
Reporting marknone
LocaleArkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas
Dates of operation1923–1964
SuccessorTexas and Pacific
Technical
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The Muskogee Roads were the Midland Valley Railroad, the Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway, and the Oklahoma City-Ada-Atoka Railway. The Muskogee Company also controlled the Osage Railway.

The prehistory of the Muskogee Company might be said to begin with the building of the Choctaw, Oklahoma & Gulf Railroad in the 1890s by a group of Philadelphia businessmen headed by Charles Edward Ingersoll; that line ran from McAlester, Oklahoma to Hartford, Arkansas.[2] The Ingersoll group sold the line in 1902, but then decided to build a new line from Wichita, Kansas to Ft. Smith, Arkansas.[2] The resulting Midland Valley Railroad Company was chartered in 1903, and the whole line was finished by 1906.[3] The Muskogee Company was formed in 1923 to manage the affairs of the railroad.[2]

An independently-owned but associated road, the Osage Railway, was built during the early 1920s. It was to accommodate traffic from the oil fields located in the Osage Nation.[2]

The Kansas, Oklahoma & Gulf Railroad was a nearby line that had twice gone into receivership.[2] That railway ran from Denison, Texas to Baxter Springs, Kansas.[4] Ownership passed into the hands of the Muskogee Company in 1926, and the line was soon generating a profit.[2][4]

In 1929, the Muskogee Company acquired the Oklahoma City-Ada-Atoka Railroad Company and its subsidiary, the Oklahoma City-Shawnee Interurban Company. At this point the Ingersoll interests owned and operated four railways with 756 miles of track.[2]

The Osage Railroad was abandoned in 1953.[2] In 1963, the Texas & Pacific, which was a subsidiary of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, acquired the other three lines.[2] The Oklahoma City-Ada-Atoka was sold to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe that same year, while the others were consolidated into the Texas & Pacific.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securities of 1918 puts the General Office of the Midland Valley, along with the President of the company (C.E. Ingersoll), a Vice President (Henry Wood), and several other officers in Philadelphia. However, it puts the Operating Office, the Vice President and General Manager (A.W. Lefeber), Assistant Treasurer and Purchasing Manager (E.L. Dubois), and the General Superintendent (H.D. Earl), in Muskogee. "Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securities, Issue of 1918, Railroad Section, page 718". 1918. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Muskogee Company records, Part 1". The University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas Libraries. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  3. ^ "Midland Valley Railroad". Augustus J. Veenendaal, Jr., Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway". Augustus J. Veenendaal, Jr., Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved February 29, 2020.