Historic Railroad Map of Missouri - 1872

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New Commercial and Topographical Railroad Map & Guide of Missouri.

The state of Missouri was at the edge of the frontier in the early 1800's. Lewis & Clark set off westward from St. Charles, Missouri on May 21, 1804. In 1821 Captain William Becknall began his quest for a convenient route to New Mexico from Franklin, Missouri and established the Santa Fe Trail.

The state-wide railroad called the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railway connecting the Mississippi River with the Missouri River was built between 1852 and 1859. Before the line was completed there was not a speedy or safe way to transport goods across Missouri.

Major battles during the American Civil War left many Missouri towns such as Kansas City in ruins. Border Ruffians and Jayhawkers had led Union troops to burn down all occupied dwellings there. Residents were forcefully evicted and control of Kansas City was traded back and forth between the north and south during the conflict.

Kansas City grew rapidly in post-war days and in 1869, when the Hannibal Bridge was completed over the Missouri River, the population exploded. The bridge was designed by French-born American railway engineer and aviation pioneer Octave Chanute.

The town of Independence was rebuilding in the 1870's after two destructive wartime battles. It was an important frontier town as it was the farthest point westward along the Missouri River where vessels could easily dock, accommodating merchants and travelers in their westward pursuit along the Santa Fe Trail.

This map published in 1872 by Asher & Adams shows rivers, cities and towns, township and county boundaries. Railroad network in clearly labeled with distances noted between stations.

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