February 22, 1866: Local Boosters Push for Railroad

St. Louis and Iron Mtn Railroad

Citizens held a meeting in Cape Girardeau to advocate for the St. Louis and Iron Mountain railroad to come through Cape Girardeau. Spoiler alert; it didn’t. A spur was built that connected it to Jackson, and much of that right-of-way was recently abandoned back to the neighboring landowners.

Railroad Meeting,

For the extension of the Iron Mountain Railroad to a point opposite Columbus, Ky., by the way of the City of Cape Girardeau, Mo.

In pursuance of a call the citizens of the city of Cape Girardeau met on Saturday evening, 17th inst., whereupon Geo. H Greene was called to the chair, and Edward D. Engelmann was appointed Secretary. After the object of the meeting was explained by Judge Greene, on motion of Geo. H Cramer, a committee of seven, consisting of Geo. H Cramer, Patrick Gilroy, Robert Sturdivant, Charles A. Davis, Christian Kage, A.B. Dorman and Julius Vasterling, was appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of said meeting, who, after a short retirement, reported the following resolutions, viz:

Whereas, The project of extending the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad southward is again being agitated; and whereas, various plans and routes are proposed by, and over which said road may be extended; and whereas, the interest of the whole state as well as the country to be traversed will be eminently promoted.

Resolved, That we have had the route from Pilot Knob to the City of Cape Girardeau surveyed by a practical and competent civil engineer, and we recommend that route to a point on the Mississippi river, opposite Columbus, Ky., as the most practicable — the cheapest, shortest and most profitable of any of the routes now discussed.

Resolved, That the Corporators and Stockholders in the Pilot Knob and Cape Girardeau railroad company are urged to hold themselves in readiness to co-operate with all legitimate authorities employed in the extension of said Iron Mountain Railroad on the route here recommended.

Resolved, That we feel ourselves authorized to pledge a subscription which can be realized of one million of dollars, to be applied to the extension of said road to the City of Cape Girardeau, and a liberal subscription along the route from this city to Columbus.

Resolved, That as we were the first to create the extension of the said road, and formed a corporation, and raised a subscription of over $600,000 for that purpose before the war, we are determined to be the last in the struggle for the running of said road by the City of Cape Girardeau.

Resolved, That if energy, co-operation, honest dealing and money can procure the building of said road by the City of Cape Girardeau, we will accomplish the work.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the Mayor of the City of Columbus, Ky., the President of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, the Governor of the State, and to our Representatives in the Legislature, and that the same be published in the St. Louis Democrat, Missouri Republican, Southeast Radical and Cape Girardeau Weekly Argus.

On motion of James McWilliams, the resolutions were adopted seriatim, without a dissenting voice, and amidst great enthusiasm.

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