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Kansas Central Railway Company collection

Call Number: RH MS P92


This collection contains miscellaneous items related to the operations of the Kansas Central Railroad (or Railway) Company, organized in 1871. Includes articles of agreement between W.T. Yoakum of the city of Leavenworth and state of Kansas and the Washington Improvement Company and specifications and plans related to the depot at Grasshopper Falls, Kansas.


  • Creation: 1872 - 1917


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of the Kansas Central Railroad Company

The Kansas Central Railway was first organized in May 1871, with the intention of building a narrow-gauge rail line across Kansas from Leavenworth to connect with the Denver & Rio Grande. Leavenworth boosters were concerned that their city had been bypassed by the two major east-west rail lines, which passed through Kansas City to the south and St. Joseph, Missouri to the north.

The new rail company almost immediately ran into financial issues, including the Panic of 1873. By 1879 the company went into receivership and was sold. It was reorganized as the Kansas Central Railroad and became associated with the Union Pacific.

The Kansas Central Railroad was converted to standard gauge in 1890. After the financial panic of 1893 the Kansas Central went bankrupt again and was reorganized as the Leavenorth, Kansas & Western Railway, a subsidiary of the Union Pacific. In 1908 the line was incorporated into the Union Pacific, and by the Great Depression of the 1930s was barely used. Portions of the line were abandoned in the 1930s and 1960s.

[Information retrieved from "Kansas Central Railway (1871-1879) Kansas Central Railroad (1879-1897)," accessed online May 5, 2020,


2 folder (2 folders + 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials


Physical Location


Physical Location


Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Specifications at RH MS P47: purchase, Smoky Hill Booksellers, August 1957.

Guide to the Kansas Central Railway Company Collection
Kansas Central Railway Company collection
Finding aid prepared by kpz, 29 December 1972, nh 9 June 1986, and lgg, 5 October 1972. Finding aid encoded by mg, 2004. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Kansas Central Railway Company Collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS P92 , Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States