The Story of the First Trans-Continental Railroad

W.F. Bailey
The Story of the First
by W. F.

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Title: The Story of the First Trans-Continental Railroad Its Projectors,
Construction and History
Author: W. F. Bailey
Release Date: September 14, 2007 [EBook #22598]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

Produced by David Edwards, Christine P. Travers and the Online
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[Transcriber's note: Obvious printer's errors have been corrected, all
other inconsistencies are as in the original. Author's spelling has been

The Story of the First Trans-continental Railroad
Its projectors, construction and history

"I Fed the Men who Built It"

Compiled and Published by W. F. BAILEY

[Illustration: Buffalo]

Copies of this work may be procured at $2.00 each from either the
Compiler, Fair Oaks, California, or from the Printers, the Pittsburgh
Printing Co., 518-520 Seventh Avenue, Pittsburgh, Penna.
Copyright 1906 BY W. F. BAILEY

Chapter Page

I. The Project and its Projectors, 9
II. The Proposition in Congress, 21
III. Mostly Financial, 31
IV. Commencement of the Work, 42
V. Progress Made, 50
VI. Indian Troubles during Construction, 69
VII. The Builders, 79
VIII. Completion of the Line, 92
IX. The Kansas Division (Kansas Pacific Ry.) 103
X. The Denver-Cheyenne Line (Denver Pacific R. R.) 117
XI. History of the Line since its Completion, 123
XII. The Central Pacific Railroad, 133
(1) Roster of Officials, 141
(2) Statistics, 146
(3) Nomenclature, 148
(4) Paddy Miles' Ride, 153
(5) Copy Report Engineer in Charge of Survey, 157


For some reason the people of today are not nearly as familiar with the
achievements of the last fifty years as they are with those of earlier
The school boy can glibly recount the story of Columbus, William
Penn, or Washington, but asked about the events leading up to the
settlement of the West will know nothing of them and will probably
reply "they don't teach us that in our school"--and it is true. Outside of
the names of our presidents, the Rebellion, and the Spanish-American
War, there is practically nothing of the events of the last fifty years in
our school histories, and this is certainly wrong. "Peace hath her
victories as well as War," and it is to the end that one of the great
achievements of the last century may become better known that this
account of the first great Pacific Railroad was written.
It was just as great an event for Lewis and Clark to cross the Rockies as
it was for Columbus to cross the Atlantic. The Mormons not only made
friends with the Indians as did Penn, but they also "made the desert to
blossom as the rose," and Washington's battles at Princeton, White
Plains, and Yorktown were but little more momentus in their results
than Sandy Forsythe's on the Republican, Custer's on the Washita, or
Crook's in the Sierra Madre.
The construction of the Union Pacific Railroad was of greater
importance to the people of the United States than the inauguration of
steamship service across the Atlantic or the laying of the Atlantic
Telegraph. Yet the one has been heralded from time to time and the
other allowed to sink into temporary obscurity.
To make good Americans of the coming generation all that is necessary
is to make them proud of American achievements and the West was
and is a field full of such.
The building of the Pacific Railroad was one of the great works of man.
Its promoters were men of small means and little or no financial
backing outside of the aid granted them by the Government. It took
nerve and good Yankee grit to undertake and carry out the project. How
it was done it is hoped the succeeding pages may show.

Fair Oaks, California, 1906.

Poem read at the Celebration of the opening of the Pacific Railroad,
Chicago, May 10th, 1869.
Ring out, oh bells. Let cannons roar In loudest tones of thunder. The
iron bars from shore to shore Are laid and Nations wonder.
Through deserts vast and forests deep Through mountains grand and
hoary A path is opened for all time And we behold the glory.
We, who but yesterday appeared But settlers on the border, Where only
savages were
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