University of Texas Arlington

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company Land Records:

A Guide



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company.
Title: Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company Land Records
Dates: 1878-1990
Abstract: The Atchison and Topeka Railroad first formed under a Kansas charter in 1859, adding Santa Fe to its name in 1863 and becoming the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company in 1895. Its earliest charge was to build a railroad line across Kansas to the Colorado border. The AT&SF merged with the Burlington Northern in 1995 to become the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF). Government land incentives, westward expansion, and economic growth propelled the railroad to extend its range and acquire other lines to augment its service areas. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company Land Records reveal not only the various aspects of expanding a railroad company across the southwestern United States, but also its major role in the growth and development of Texas and the Southwest.
Identification: AR612
Extent: 319 boxes, 784 rolled maps (181 linear ft.)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries

Historical Note

Founded by Cyrus Kurtz Holliday, the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad Company (AT&SF) began as the Atchison and Topeka Railroad under a Kansas charter in February, 1859, adding Santa Fe to its name in 1863. The company name changed officially to the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company in 1895. Just 100 years later, in late 1996, the AT&SF Railway Company merged with the Burlington Northern Railroad to become the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway (BNSF).

Cyrus Holliday envisioned a railroad that would reduce travel time along the existing Santa Fe Trail, a lucrative trade route which already connected horse-drawn transport from Independence, Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico and continued into Mexico. In 1863, territorial laws enacted following the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 granted nearly 3 million acres for the AT&SF to sell in order to generate funding for construction of its rail lines, with the provision that the railroad complete construction to the Colorado border in 10 years; the goal was accomplished ahead of time, in 1872.

A separate entity at the time, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway received its charter in May 1873 with the goal of building a railroad line from Galveston that would circumvent Houston and extend across Texas to reach Santa Fe, New Mexico. By 1885, the GC&SF had nearly 700 miles of track in Texas. In 1886, the GC&SF entered into an agreement wherein the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe purchased the GC&SF and allowed the GC&SF to continue separate operations, but required an extensive schedule of construction for its expansion. By 1962, the GC&SF had nearly 2,000 miles of track, the majority of it in Texas with some portions in Oklahoma and Louisiana. In August 1965, the GC&SF formally merged with the AT&SF.

Other railroad lines that have merged into the AT&SF and covered by this collection include:

  • The International & Great Northern Railway Company (I. & G.N.)
  • The Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway (P. & S.F. Ry.)
  • The P. & N.T. Ry./P. & N.T. R.R. T
  • The KCM&O (also K. & O. Div.)
  • K-C-M & O-R-R
  • The H.B. & T. Ry.
  • The H. & T.C. R.R. Co.
  • The C.B. R.R. Co.
  • The C.S.&F.S. R.R.
  • The G. & I. Ry. Co.
  • The G.B. & G.N. Ry.
  • The Frisco Line (St. Louis-San Francisco Ry. Co.
  • The Kansas, Oklahoma & Gulf Railway Co. (KO&G)
  • The North Texas and Santa Fe Ry.
  • The Pecos and Northern Texas Ry. Co.
  • South Plains & Santa Fe Ry. Co.

Sources:


  • Berkman, Pamela, The History of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, Greenwich, CT: Bonanza Books, 1988.
  • Bryant, Keith L., Jr., History of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1974.
  • Dye, Victoria E., All Aboard for Santa Fe: Railway Promotion of the Southwest, 1890s to 1930s, Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2005.
  • Reed, S. G., “Land Grants and Other Aids to Texas Railroads,” The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 4, Apr. 1946, (http://www.jstor.org/stable/30240653), accessed July 17, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  • Werner, George C., “Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway,” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/egg25), accessed May 08, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Scope and Contents

The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company Records consist mainly of documents and maps pertaining to land transactions for real property owned or leased by AT&SF. Documents include early correspondence regarding land purchases by individuals in the late 1800s. Bills of sale, deeds, judgments, mortgages, land patents, and title abstracts document the sale and purchase of real property as well as land usage and benefits which included easements, right of way, and mineral rights. A considerable volume of records includes oil and gas leases in Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Records from the Chief Engineer's Office in Amarillo related to expansion projects, engineering, and construction. Deeds generally include names and dates in addtion to the legal description of the tract of land.

Early records include abstracts of titles for Hardin County and the Texas Pineland Association, a 1927 promotional booklet "Spur Farm Lands," Early correspondence includes that of early AT&SF agents F.M. Bisbee, Thomas Jackson, R.W. Kennedy, H.J. Runge, and J.H. Snow.

A small number of photographs depict the West De3nver Terminal properties (1931), and the Fort Worth Poultry and Egg Company (1932).

Annual reports dating from 1924-1985 include board members and officers.

Items of interest include a city charter for the town of Banks, station indexes, an index to station maps, various early histories.


Restrictions

Access

Open for research.


Index Terms

These materials are indexed under the following headings in the catalog of The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Persons
Storey, W. B. (William B.)--Archives.
Organizations
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company--Records and correspondence.
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company--Maps.
Subjects
Railroads--Texas--History--Sources.
Railroads--Texas--Maps.
Alternate Titles
Historical Manuscripts Collection

Note to the Researcher

This finding aid is a preliminary guide to AR612. Many of the dates shown are estimated and the majority of dates have been omitted at this time in the interest of providing the researcher with access to the collection; a more accurate assessment of the dates for the collection will be added as time allows.

Administrative Information

Citation

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company Land Records, AR612, Box Number, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.

Acquisition

Anonymouos gift, 2004, 2011. Accessioned as number 2005-6, 2011-47.

All of the materials included in the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company Records/Map Collection were in possession of the AT&SFRR Company’s Amarillo General Office Building until the company vacated the building in late 1985 and early 1986. At that time, the materials were in the possession of an anonymous individual donor. The donor’s acquaintance, T. Lindsay Baker, director of the W.K. Gordon Center at Tarleton State, facilitated the physical transport of these materials to the University of Texas at Arlington in 2004. The donation of the materials was negotiated by Brenda McClurkin, Special Collections Archivist. The donation of the collection was acknowledged by Ann Hodges in 2004 and the company records portion of the collection was accessioned by Brenda Mcclurkin in 2005. The cartographic portion of the records was accessioned by Brenda McClurkin in 2011.


Container List

Series 1. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company Records 1878-1985

Box
1-2 Subseries I.
Declarations of Trust, Mortgages, and I.C.C. application for merger with Southern Pacific and related materials
Box
2-4 Subseries 2.
AT&SF reference materials and recordsd rlating to early construction efforts, including histories and station indexes
Box
4-6 Subseries 3.
Individual correspondence of land agents
Box
6-7 Subseries 4.
Plats & abstracts of titles for Hardin County rleating to the Texas Pineland Association
Box
7 Subseries 5.
AT&SF building contracts
Box
8-9 Subseries 6.
AT&SF numbered files #45098 thorugh 542145
Box
10-11 Subseries 7.
AT&SF Kansas oil and gas lease records
Box
11-22 Subseries 8.
AT&SF Oklahoma oil and gas lease records
Box
22-34 Subseries 9.
AT&SF Texas oil and gas lease records
Box
34-35 Subseries 10.
AT&SF unnumbered files
Box
35-39 Subseries 11.
AT&SF Chief Engineer's Office-Amarillo numbered files
Box
40-42 Subseries 12.
AT&SF early publications and directories and published speeches of AT&SF president, W.B. Storey
Box
42 Subseries 13.
Photographs
Box
43-44 Subseries 14.
AT&SF annual reports
Box
45-46 Subseries 15.
Car Location Inventory Control/Car Location Identity Codes (CLIC) bulletins



Series II. Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway Company Records

Box
47-59 Subseries 1.
GC&SF numbered files, general 110-01 through 121-05-B
Box
60-63 Subseries 2.
GC&SF numbered files 238 through 387
Box
63-67 Subseries 3.
GC&SF numbered files 2927 through 13497
Box
67-69 Subseries 4.
GC&SF numbered sales files 5473 through 6444
Box
69-72 Subseries 5.
GC&SF unnumbered files



Series III. Auxiliary Company Records 1878-1985

Box
72-78
Records of other companies affiliated with AT&SF, including rail lines and terminal companies.



Series IV. Deeds and Abstracts

Box
79-166 Subseries 1.
GC&SF land records - deed files numbered by county key, number 1-1 through 79-120
Box
167-178 Subseries 2.
Deed files numbered without county key number
Box
179-178 Subseries 3.
Numbered deed packets 100-8547 - packet may contain more than one deed, but indexing system refers to deed packet number
Box
257-265 Subseries 4.
Bound abstracts of deeds by county, numbered
Box
265-267 Subseries 5.
Bound abstracts of deeds by county, unnumbered
Box
268-278 Subseries 6.
Cross-referenced card indexes to deeds, packets, maps, etc., ordered according to secretary's number



Series V. Maps - See also oversized materials 1878-1985

Box
279-283
Flat and folded maps: Of Dallas, of Houston, of Oklahoma, of Kansas, and of the AT&SF System



Series VI. Non-AT&SF Publications 1878-1985

Box
282-284 Subseries 1.
General railroad industry publications
Box
285-291 Subseries 2.
I.C.C. publications
Box
292 Subseries 3.
American Railway Engineering Association publications
Box
293-294 Subseries 4.
Reference publications and textbooks on engineering



Series VII. Ledgers 1878-1985

Box
OS651-OS660 Subseries 1.
Land schedules
Box
OS660-OS662 Subseries 2.
Industrial property ledgers
Box
OS663-670 Subseries 3.
Other bound ledgers and binders



Series VIII. Boxed Maps

Box
OS671 Subseries 1.
Bound maps and plat books
Box
OS672-OS674 Subseries 2.
Sheet maps



Series IX. Unboxed maps

Subseries 1.
Station maps
Subseries 2.
Railway section maps
Subseries 3.
Right of way maps
Subseries 4.
Index maps and printed indexes to maps
Subseries 5.
County maps with railroad-related annotations
Subseries 6.
General high way maps with railroad-related annotations
Subseries 7.
USGS maps with railroad-related annotations
Subseries 8.
USC&GS maps with railroad-related annotations
Subseries 9.
State maps with railroad-related annotations
Subseries 10.
U.S. Army Engineers maps with railroad-related annotations
Subseries 11.
Manuscript maps
Subseries 12.
GLO maps with railroad-related annotations
Subseries 13.
Aerial photos with railroad-related annotations
Subseries 14.
City maps with railroad-related annotations



Series X. Artifacts 1878-1985

Box
OS675-OS676
Vintage file boxes