1850 - 1967
Records in this collection were secured primarily from the Association
of American Railroads; the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad Company; and
the Mississippi Central Railroad Company.
for research use by the serious student and scholar.
This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by The
Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States
In about 1830, the
first steam engines with enough power to pull heavy loads were built,
and from that point on, railroads began to proliferate in the civilized
world. Within twenty years, railroads had become the most important mode
of land transportation in the world, and were a major factor in the growth
and development of the United States. The United States rail industry
is, to a large degree, privately owned and operated, and remains a vital
force in the nation's economy. Railroads account for up to forty percent
of the nation's intercity freight traffic, and are the predominant means
for transporting coal, grain and new motor vehicles.
Materials in the
Railroad Collection pertain to four individual entities - The Association
of American Railroads; The Mississippi Central Railroad Company; The Gulf,
Mobile & Ohio Railroad Company; and The Illinois Central Railroad
Association of American Railroads
The Association of
American Railroads (AAR), with headquarters in Washington, D.C., is an
organization created to benefit its member railroads and the railroad
industry as a whole. It is an outgrowth of various predecessor groups,
most notably the American Railway Association, which was founded in 1891.
The AAR represents the major freight railroads of North America and Amtrak,
and directs its efforts and resources toward helping to make the rail
industry safe, efficient and productive, as well as advocating the interests
of the railroads regarding public policy. According to a statement issued
by current AAR president and CEO Edward R. Hamberger on July 20, 2001,
"U.S. railroads are regarded as the most efficient and safest freight
railroads in the world."
Mississippi Central Railroad
The Mississippi Central
Railroad (not to be confused with the north-south antebellum railroad
of the same name) began its existence in 1897, as a logging railroad built
by the J.J. Newman Lumber Company of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Named the
Pearl & Leaf Rivers Railroad Company, the line ran from Hattiesburg
to Sumrall. In March of 1904 the company was reorganized and its name
was changed to the Mississippi Central Railroad (MC). In 1909 the MC absorbed
the Natchez & Eastern Railway, a 66-mile line from Natchez that connected
with the MC at Brookhaven, Mississippi. The line had been held by MC under
a lease agreement since 1908, and following its absorption, the MC was
nicknamed "The Natchez Route." The MC laid tracks to Camp Shelby
(near Hattiesburg) during World Wars I & II, over which troops and
supplies were transported. After discontinuing its unprofitable passenger
service in 1941, the MC prospered through the mid 1950s. Unfortunately
the company went into a decline in the early 1960s, and began looking
for a buyer. The line was eventually sold to the Illinois Central Railroad,
and the deal was finalized on March 29, 1967. In 1970 the last vestiges
of the MC - the office and shop buildings in Hattiesburg - were demolished.
Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad
The Gulf, Mobile
& Ohio Railroad (GM&O) resulted from a merger of the Gulf, Mobile
& Northern and the Mobile & Ohio Railroads in 1940. The merger
created a north-south railroad that linked St. Louis, Missouri with New
Orleans, Mobile and Montgomery. The GM&O later purchased the Alton
Railroad, which provided access to Chicago and Kansas City. The line operated
a streamlined passenger train called "The Rebel" from St. Louis
to New Orleans. In 1972 the GM&O merged with the Illinois Central
Railroad to form the Illinois Central Gulf.
Illinois Central Railroad
The Illinois Central
Railroad (IC) was chartered in 1851 to build a railroad from Cairo, Illinois
to Galena, Illinois, with a branch from Centralia to Chicago. The line
was completed in 1856, and after almost a century and a half, the IC is
the only major rail carrier in the United States still operating essentially
under its original name. By 1872 this north-south route had extended its
rails all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. After merging with the parallel
north-south route, the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad in 1972, the IC's
name was changed to Illinois Central Gulf. However, by 1990, ownership
of the road had been returned to individual shareholders, and the name
Illinois Central was restored.
In 1900 the Illinois
Central achieved worldwide fame due to a relatively minor train wreck
at Vaughn, Mississippi. An engine-wiper named Wallace Sanders wrote a
song about the incident and the engineer, John Luther "Casey"
Jones, who was killed in the wreck.
Association of American
Railroads Website: http://www.aar.org/aarhome.nsf
Illinois central Historical Society Website: http://icrrhistorical.org/icrr.history.html
Price, David S. and Louis R. Saillard. Natchez Route: A Mississippi
Central Railroad Album. Hattiesburg, Mississippi: National Railway
Historical Society, Inc., Great Southern Chapter. 1975
Scope and Content:
The records in the
Railroad Collection document various aspects of the national railroad
industry from approximately 1850 to 1967. The collection is divided into
four series, each of which contains several subseries:
Series I: The
Association of American Railroads (301 cubic feet)
Series II: The Mississippi Central Railroad (165 cubic feet)
Series III: The Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad (56 cubic feet)
Series IV: The Illinois Central Railroad, Vicksburg Division
(13.5 cubic feet)
contains the records of the Presidents' Conference Committee of the
Association of American Railroads. The series is divided into twenty-six
subseries which contain correspondence, pamphlets, photographs and other
records that reflect practically every aspect of railroading in the United
States. Of particular interest are the files on the federal valuation
of railroads. The Valuation Act of 1913 was designed to determine the
value of carrier transportation property. Following this and the Transportation
Act of 1920, the Interstate Commerce Commission set about the task of
making rate adjustments according to the valuations. To facilitate valuation
work, the Presidents' Conference Committee divided the U.S. railroads
into Eastern, Western and Southern Groups. The work of these groups and
the Presidents' Conference Committee is evident in the Association of
American Railroads collection. Inclusive dates in this series are circa
1914 - 1937. Subseries in Series I are:
A. General Valuation
Files (1914-1932): Engineering Reports, Accounting Section Reports,
Tentative Valuation Reports, Protests, and Correspondence. Files are
arranged alphabetically, by name of railroad.
(1914-1937): Correspondence with officials of the railroad industry
on subjects relating to valuation procedures. Topics of discussion include
depreciation, the Valuation Act of 1913, specific valuation orders,
cost of reproduction, and the work of various committees. Files are
listed by number and subject.
C. Numbered Publications
Files (1914-1934): Publications and reports of the Presidents' Conference
Committee and related committees, railroad associations, and individual
railroads. Publications are listed by number. A series of un-numbered
publications are listed at the end of this subseries.
D. Circular Communications
(1922-1935): Circular communications to chairmen of valuation committees,
issued regularly by the Office of the Secretary. Items are arranged
by date of issue.
(1917-1932): Numbered exhibits (generally printed documents) containing
information relating to valuation hearings.
and Betterments (1915-1931): Charges and credits to investment in
road and equipment accounts. Materials are arranged by region.
of Contracts (1915-1931): Carrier, contractor, contract dates, description
and location of work, conditions, estimates, expenditures to date for
individual projects. Materials are arranged by state.
H. Cost Data
Committee and Subcommittees (1915-1925): Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad
cost data (1915); land acquisition cost in Pittsburgh-Chicago area (1919);
Western Group engineering cost report (19190; range of prices in Pittsburgh-Chicago
District (1925); historical costs of development of Gulf coast Lines
Data (1914-1930): Reports relating to costs of rail, pipe, bridges,
ties, and assorted machinery. Also, reports regarding service life of
equipment. Files are arranged alphabetically, by subject.
J. Fence Data
(1910-1930): Procedures for typing fences in the Northeastern United
States (1917); progress report of Western Group subcommittee on fences
(1920); freight rates on fence wire (1927); and reports on barbed &
woven wire, fence posts, and labor costs related to fence construction.
and Excavation Data (1917-1931): Cost of wet and dry excavation
of various projects. Also, includes information on cofferdam construction
L. Grading Files
(1922-1930): Grading Committee correspondence; responses to cost data
questionnaires; general grading cost information. Files are arranged
by number, and include several un-numbered files at the end of the subseries.
M. Land Files
(1916-1935): Acquisition, appraisal, interest during construction,
and land forms used by the Presidents' Conference Committee. Files are
N. Minutes of
Meetings (1914-1931): The General Secretary's copies of minutes
of meetings of the Presidents' Conference Committee and related committees.
Minutes are arranged chronologically, by committee.
O. New Construction
Files (1918-1931): Cost and contract data for new construction projects.
Files are arranged alphabetically, by railroad.
Reports (1914-1930): Financial information - including road mileage;
track mileage and value of each; carrier land and non-carrier land values;
and balance sheet information. Files are arranged by region.
Q. Ratio Studies
(1919-1931): Cost comparisons - local projects to regional costs for
similar projects. Files are arranged alphabetically, by railroad.
Files (1915-1928): Transcripts of testimony in valuation hearings.
Files are arranged alphabetically, by railroad.
S. Tracings for
Pamphlets (1918-1926): Tracings for production of Presidents' Conference
Committee pamphlets. Files are arranged numerically.
and Surfacing Files (1911-1927): Cost data relating to tracklaying
and surfacing. Files are arranged alphabetically by railroad.
Digests (undated): Compiled by L.D. McPherson, Valuation Attorney
for the Wabash Railroad, these digests contain information on valuation
procedures and rulings. Files are arranged alphabetically, by topic.
Order #3 (1916-1936): Correspondence, primarily between the General
Secretary and officers of various railroad, relating to valuation accounting
Valuations and Range of Prices (1920-1930): Data from Dunn and Bradstreet,
Babson, etc, and from railroads on range of prices and tentative valuations.
X. Eastern Group
Subject Files (1917-1931): Correspondence of H.E. Hale, Vice Chairman
of the Eastern Group, with various railroad officials; minutes of meetings;
requests from railroads; and office copies of reports. H.E. Hale was
formerly the Eastern Group Engineer. Files are arranged by number.
Y. Western Group
Subject Files (1922-1935): Western Group office files, including
reports and correspondence of F.C. Squire, Western Group Engineer, and
H.M. Tremaine, Western Group Assistant Engineer. Files are arranged
alphabetically, by subject. Western Group Contract Data (1899-1917):
Construction contract data for all railroad projects in Idaho, Kansas,
Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota,
Washington, and Wyoming.
Z. Southern Group
(1913-1918) & Miscellaneous: Southern Group voucher and bill
register (1913-1918); Illinois Central Railroad plan for U.S. railroad
systems consolidation (1929-1930); Railroad Pension Review (1932); "Working
on Tracks", a publication of the American Association of Railroads
is comprised of records of the Mississippi Central Railroad and
its predecessors, the Pearl & Leaf Rivers Railroad and the Natchez
& Eastern Railroad. Since the MC was headquartered in Hattiesburg,
Mississippi, its records are of particular interest on a regional scale.
Included are records from the Traffic Department, Office of the Auditor,
Office of the Vice President and General Manager, Office of the Superintendent,
the United States Construction Company and the United States Railroad
Administration. The collection also contains bound ledgers and journals,
annual reports, and a series of microfilmed records. The records pertaining
to the U.S. Railroad Administration are of particular interest, since
the Mississippi Central and all U.S. railroads were under its control
during and immediately after World War I. Inclusive dates in this series
are circa 1884 - 1967. Series II contains seventeen subseries:
A. Traffic Department
(ca. 1907-1962): Solicitation (of business) reports from general agents;
traffic interchange reports; Mississippi Central Round Table (employee
newsletter); correspondence relating to handling of U.S. Mail; freight
commodity statistics; special trains (including troop movements during
World War II, and circus movements).
B. Office of
the Auditor (ca. 1906-1966): Freight and passenger statistics; traveling
and auditor's reports; payroll records; operating statistics; and tax,
revenue and expense data. Files are arranged numerically, by file number.
C. Office of
the Vice President & General Manager (ca. 1903-1948): Correspondence
of V.P. and General Manager, particularly Roland K. Smith, who held
the position from 1907-1917. Topics include employee relations, railroad
construction and maintenance, claims against the railroad, lease agreements,
and personal matters. Files are arranged numerically, by file number.
D. Office of
the Superintendent (ca. 1906-1958): Maintenance and personnel records.
Files are arranged numerically, by file numbers.
E. Office of
the Chief Engineer (ca. 1906-1967): Grading, trackside structures,
ballasting, ditching, valuation data, and accident reports. Files are
arranged numerically, by file number.
F. United States
Construction Company (1907-1915): Monthly construction estimates
(1902-1915) for the Natchez & Eastern, Pearl & Leaf Rivers,
and Mississippi Central Railroads. Also includes related correspondence.
G. Office of
the Roadmaster (1913-1920): Accident and derailment reports; company
material data. Files are arranged alphabetically.
H. United States
Railroad Administration (1917-1920): Papers relating to operation
of the railroad during and after World War I. Files are arranged numerically,
by file number.
I. General Freight
and Passenger Department (1906-1945): Files are arranged numerically,
by file number.
J. Annual Reports
(1903-1961): Annual reports of the Pearl & Leaf River Railroad and
the Mississippi Central Railroad.
K. Field Survey
Books: Survey notebooks kept by various departments of the Pearl
& Leaf River, Mississippi Central, and Natchez & Eastern Railroads.
Materials (ca. 1905-1965): Bank books, ink blotters, pamphlets,
photographs, safety awards, time tables, union agreements, etc.
M. Bound Journals
and Ledgers (ca. 1884-1963): Corporate Ledgers, Federal Ledgers,
Cash Books, Payroll Ledgers, Federal Journals, numbered journals, Personal
Injury Ledgers, etc., of the Mississippi Central, Pearl & Leaf River,
and Chicago and Alton Railroads. Also includes ledgers and journals
of the United States Construction Company.
N. Oversize Materials
from the Office of the Auditor
O. Oversize Materials
from the Office of the chief Engineer
(ca. 1880-1963): Microfilm of various ledgers, cash books, account
records, invoices, and other materials.
Series III consists of records of the Gulf, Mobile &
Ohio Railroad and the two railroads from which it evolved - the Mobile
& Ohio and the Gulf, Mobile & Northern Railroads. Records in this
series are from the Accounting Department, the Office of the Comptroller,
the Publicity Department, and the Office of the Vice president and General
Manager. The series also contains numerous annual reports, and a sizeable
collection of rolling stock blueprints. One of the more interesting components
of this series is a collection of employee newsletters - GM&N News
(1923-1938) and Rebel Route News (1940-1943). Inclusive dates are circa
1869 - 1965, however the majority of the materials are from the twentieth
century. Series III contains nine subseries:
Department Records - Auditor, Chief Accounting Officer, and Receivers
(ca. 1870-1941): Alphabetically arranged office files.
B. Office of
the Comptroller (1917-1940): Alphabetically arranged office files.
Department - Sheridan's Files (1923-1943): Correspondence, employee
newsletters, photographs, publicity releases, lists of named passenger
trains and streamlined trains in the United States, etc.
D. Office of
the Vice president and General Manager (1929-1937): News clippings,
reviews of operating and traffic conditions, and correspondence and
publicity releases regarding GM&N President, I.B. Tigrett.
Department (ca. 1869-1965): Files are arranged alphabetically, by
F. Mobile &
Ohio Railroad - Rolling Stock Blueprints (ca. 1897-1925)
G. Gulf, Mobile
& Northern Railroad - Oversize Materials (ca. 1921-1943): Tax
documents; equipment salvage records; fuel and solvent reports; and
H. Kentucky &
Tennessee Railroad Bonds (1972)
I. Annual Reports
(ca. 1886-1962): Annual reports of a variety of railroads, including
(but not limited to) the Mobile & Ohio; Gulf, Mobile & Northern;
Gulf, Mobile & Ohio, Natchez & Eastern; and New Orleans Great
Northern. The reports were submitted to stockholders and various state
commissions, plus the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Series IV is comprised of records of the Illinois central
Railroad, Vicksburg Division. Included is a series of alphabetically
arranged subject files and a selection of oversize materials that document
activities of the Vicksburg operation. Materials date from approximately
1911 to 1965. Of interest is a collection of blueprints and drawings that
portray rolling stock and various railroad facilities. Series IV
has only two subseries:
Files (ca. 1911-1962): Files are arranged alphabetically, by subject.
B. Oversize Materials
(ca. 1915-1965): Reports, maps, payrolls, statistics, etc. Includes
five boxes of Division Rail Reports.
& Ship Island Railroad Minute Book
M103 Mississippi. Office of the
Secretary of State. A Memorial to Congress, for the Request of Lands
to Aid the Construction of the Gulf & Ship IslandRailroad.
M22 The Papers of Louis Edward Faulkner
M272 The Papers of Dr. Gilbert H.
M182 The Papers of William Harris
& Hattie Lott Hardy
RG 1 The Mississippi Oral History Program of The University of Southern
Mississippi. Subject: The Railroad Industry in Mississippi
Other Finding Aids:
and Folder List
1917 - 1918
Transferred from Mississippiana by Jennifer Brannock
Form of Material:
Cash Receipts and
Disbursements Ledger No. 7, for the Association of American Railroads,
Eastern Group, from January 1, 1917 - June 6, 1918.