Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Frisco

The Frisco Railroad (also known as the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company) played an important part in the history of the town in which I grew up. When the railroad came through, the town of Cotton Gin Port (in Monroe County, Mississippi) became a ghost town virtually overnight. The people relocated to what became known as Amory.  I found a very interesting article by Martin M. Pomphrey on the railroad in one of the books we've been relocating at work. While the article is too short to tell me much about the railroad's influence on my home town specifically, it does provide an overview of the railway and contains a map of its routes in 1980. Incidentally, it no longer went to San Francisco at all. It only went to Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Pensacola and Birmingham were its eastern destinations.  Amory was the half-way point between Memphis and Birmingham on the railroad, and there were a lot of persons employed by the railroad who resided there through the years. As you look at the censuses from various years, you can glimpse a bit of its importance as an employer. There were certainly members of my extended family employed by the railroad, and I've often been fascinated by Fred Veregge's Frisco Railroad site.  More recently, the Springfield, Missouri library has digitized some of their special collection on the Frisco.  The  article by Pomphrey includes a bibliography of unpublished documents in smaller archives as well as published sources. It also notes that the corporate documents are in the St. Louis Mercantile Library. 

The article's full bibliographic citation is:

Pomphrey, Martin M. "St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company." In Bryant, Keith L., ed. Railroads in the Age of Regulation, 1900-1980. (Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography). New York: Facts on File, 1988. pp. 379-380.

It should be noted that there are similar articles on other railways in the book that list the same types of resources. What a valuable tool for researching ancestors who worked for the railroads!

It should be noted that there is another volume in the series that covers the 19th century:

Frey, Robert L., ed. Railroads in the Nineteenth Century. (Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography). New York: Facts on File, 1988.

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