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Local History

Kansas City, Clinton & Springfield Railroad

 Springfield Republican, 30 November 1924, page 1.

"Frisco will absorb K.C.C. & S. railroad at midnight tonight.

"Little Railway will become part of Eastern Division of large line -- Has had tempestuous career ever since it was built in 1885.

"After a plucky career of 37 years, the Kansas City, Clinton & Springfield railroad will lose its identity for the second time as a distinct railroad when at 12:01 o'clock tonight it will become a part of the Frisco railroad through authority granted recently by the Interstate Commerce Commission.

"The road has had as many ups and downs as any of it length, 155 miles, but the officers fought an uphill fight and succeeded in up building the sparsely settled length it served until new towns sprang up and unused and even unknown resources were used and discovered.

"The general offices of the little road located on the fourth floor of the Frisco general offices, go out of existence at midnight tonight and will be absorbed by corresponding departments of the Frisco.  All the employees, comprising the office staff, the roundhouse employees at the southern terminal, Ash Grove, Mo., and at the northern terminal, Olathe, Kansas, and the shop men at Clinton, will be taken care of by the Frisco.

"The original of the K.C.C. and S. was the old Pleasant Hill and De Soto railroad, built in 1870 and extending between those two Missouri towns.  In 1885 the K.C.C. and S. proper was born when promoters acquired the Pleasant Hill and DeSoto railway and built Raymore junction on this road, south to Ash Grove and later north to Olathe, Kansas, using the Frisco to come into Spring[field] and the Frisco to enter Kansas City.  The Pleasant Hill end of the line, which formed a short spur, was abandoned in 1915.

"The K.C.C.&S. continued its career for many years and then became a branch of the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis road, now leased by the Frisco.  In 1901 the K.C.C. &S. again became an independent road and tonight loses its identity for the second time.

"The road has 10 locomotives, six of them freight engines and four of them passenger engines and quite a number of cars.  Thirty men are employed at the Clinton shops and only small forces at the two roundhouses.  There are 28 stations on the line, which extends for 12 miles into Kansas to Olathe, the northern terminus.

"The resources of the railroad include large deposits in Henry County, between the stations of Deepwater and Creighton, a distance of 32 miles [article does not state the nature of the deposits]; rich dairy herds and poultry flocks and last year aided in the planting of 125 acres of strawberries at Humansville.  Next season the road expects the acreage there to go to 500. Charles Carmichael, of Webb City, field man for the Ozark Fruit Growers association, recently inspected the fruit possibilities of the little line and said they were very promising.

"The president, T. B. Coppage, will tomorrow become superintendent of the K.C.C. and S. sub-division of the Frisco and as superintendent of the Clinton 'sub' of the Frisco known as the 'High Line' and extending from Springfield to Kansas City in a territory not far from the K.C.C. and S.  Mr. Coppage will have offices with F. H. Shatler, Springfield, superintendent of the eastern division of the Frisco, which extends on the main line from Monett to St. Louis, including the K.C.C. and S., the Clinton 'sub' and the Chadwick branch.

"E. J. Perry, recently pensioned by the Frisco after serving as commercial agent for several years, served as president of the K.C.C. and S. for 17 years and immediately preceded Mr. Coppage, who served four and one-half years, following the period of government operation. [During WWI].  R.F. McGlothian, for 37 years with the K.C.C. and S. and treasurer of the road, will be pensioned January 1.  The offices of E. M. Smith, auditor, will maintain their identity to December 16 to wind up the books. Officers of the K.C.C.and S. will meet at the offices for the last time today to say goodbye to the little line and will present Mr. Coppage with a gold watch, as a token of their esteem.  The hour was not set last night."

More information about the K.C.C.&S. can be found in The Leaky Roof by Mahlon White and several books about the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad.  The library also has digitized histories of the Frisco online.  There is a former blog entry about discontinuing passenger service on the "High Line" in 1954.

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