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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Kirkwood in St. Louis County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Jay Gould and the Missouri Pacific

 
 
Jay Gould and the Missouri Pacific Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 22, 2019
1. Jay Gould and the Missouri Pacific Marker
Inscription.  
Ten years after the White Line scandal broke, the Missouri Pacific (it had been re-named as other "Pacific" railroads were constructed) was not faring much better than it had in the past. Despite the 1874 construction of the Eads Bridge over the Mississippi, which finally connected St. Louis railroads east, the line was in dire financial straits. In 1879, the Missouri Pacific was purchased and consolidated by the infamous "robber baron," Jay Gould. Many other small railroads met a similar fate in this period.

Despite the speculation of his contemporaries, Gould claimed in an 1883 senatorial hearing not to be interested in getting richer through his purchase of the Missouri Pacific. "At that time, I did not care about the money made; it was a mere plaything to see what I could do. I had passed the point where I cared about the mere making of money. It was more to show that I could take a combination and make it a success. I took this road and began developing it."

To make his "plaything" a success, he added new tracks to the Missouri Pacific. The line became the center of an expanding railroad system. Additionally,
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he controlled the Wabash, Texas & Pacific and the Missouri-Kansas Texas (or KATY) railroads, amongs many others, connecting them to the Missouri Pacific. By 1887, Gould's "railroad empire" spanned a total of 9,547 miles. It became an alternative to systems that ran through Chicago, and turned St. Louis into a railroad hub. However, its financial arrangements were shaky and it rapidly fell apart, especially after Gould's death in 1892. His son George, who had taken over the enterprise, did not share his father's business acumen.
 
Erected by Museum of Transportation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1874.
 
Location. 38° 34.325′ N, 90° 27.644′ W. Marker is near Kirkwood, Missouri, in St. Louis County. Marker can be reached from Barrett Station Road east of Old Dougherty Ferry Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3015 Barrett Station Road, Saint Louis MO 63122, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Missouri Pacific Today... (here, next to this marker); The Pacific Railroad of Missouri: Audacious Dreams & Harsh Realities (here, next to this marker); Ground-breaking! (here, next to this marker); #30 (here, next to
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this marker); Riot in the Tunnels (a few steps from this marker); Civil War Destruction (a few steps from this marker); #2804 (a few steps from this marker); The Pacific Railroad Controversy (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kirkwood.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 24, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 28, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 64 times since then and 4 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on April 28, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Jul. 29, 2021