Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

June 3, 2020

1862 Barlow and Sanderson Stage Line First Started Between Warrensburg and Sedalia

The Bradley Barlow and J. L. Sanderson "Overland Mail Company" first carried the mail and operated a stage line between Sedalia and Warrensburg, MO. (with likely stops in Knob Noster, and Holden, MO)

Barlow and Sanderson Stagecoach Line 

Warrensburg, Missouri 
The Warrensburg Office was in the Ming's Hotel, 101 South Holden. Arson fire burned it down in 1873. Link
Barlow and Sanderson’s Southern Overland Mail and Express Company was the last one of the so-called transcontinental stage lines (Taylor, 1973, p. 143). It was a successor to the Butterfield Overland Mail Line, Holladay’s Overland Mail and Express Company, and Wells Fargo’s Great Overland Mail Route
Bradley Barlow and Jared I. Sanderson, Photo by Matthew Brady
Col. Jared Sanderson Gravesite

Warrensburg Had A Stagecoach Line

Barlow & Sanderson Company (1862?-1881?) - Established by Vermont men, Jared L. Sanderson and Bradley Barlow during the Civil War, the Barlow-Sanderson Overland Mail Company first carried the mail and operated a stage line between Sedalia and Warrensburg, Missouri and by 1863, was also operating a line from Kansas City, Missouri to Fort Scott, Kansas. 

Barlow, Sanders and Co. Mail

The only westbound mail cover found by historians originated in Warrensburg, MO
Overland Mail Company  Bradley Barlow & J. L. Sanderson Proprietors
The Stagecoach line between Sedalia and Warrensburg Missouri
The stagecoach stop in Holden, Missouri. 1860s
Behind 708 W. 2nd Street.
Johnson County, MO (Still Standing Today)
In 1866, they began to expand westward and transferred their headquarters from Kansas City to Junction City, Colorado. By 1867, the two entrepreneurs had established a route from Missouri to California over the Santa Fe Trail and changed the name to the Barlow and Sanderson Company. They also had a number of shorter routes such as Fort Larned, Kansas to Fort Lyon, Colorado, and Bents Fort to Pueblo, Colorado. 

By 1869, they were concentrating their efforts on expanding their routes in Colorado due to the booming mining industry. In July, 1870, the Company bought out the Denver and Santa Fe Stage Line and renamed it the Southern Overland Mail and Express. Later that year, in December, they moved their headquarters to Denver. The company continued to grow in Colorado, becoming the largest stage line in the area and in 1874, the headquarters moved again to Granada, Colorado.

Two years later, despite rumors of bribery and corruption within the company, the stage line continued to expand. However, by 1878, Bradley Barlow withdrew and the name of the company was changed to J.L. Sanderson and Company Overland Stage and Express Line. 

In 1879, the railroad was pushing through Colorado, dramatically cutting into the stage line business but the company hung on for several more years, once again relocating its headquarters to Buena Vista. Though business was down, the stage lines continued to operate into the 1880's, though often plagued by bandits.

Similar Stagecoach was used to/from Warrensburg, Missouri 

Travel by Stagecoach
It was expensive. Mark Twain and his brother traveled from St. Joseph, Missouri to Carson City, Nevada in 1861. It cost them $200 apiece. Even shorter trips cost 5 to 10 cents a mile and more. Most common laborers were paid $2 to $5 a day. It was not egalitarian travel. On some routes, there were fare classes. First-class passengers road all the way. Second class passengers had to get out and walk the more difficult stretches of road. There was also a third, economy, class. Those folks had to get out and help push the stage up the steeper hills.
Stagecoaches didn't gallop all the way. They weren't slow but they only averaged 5 to 9 miles per hour, which is a quick walk. That doesn't include having to stop to change horses every couple of hours and change drivers every 60 miles. Stagecoaches traveled about 120 miles per day. They couldn't outrun Indian raiders. Stagecoaches weighed over a ton, empty. Fully loaded with passengers and freight and those horses couldn't maintain a run for more than a few hundred feet.
Mail had priority. Riders might see their luggage left behind because the stage lines were all about getting freight and mail through. The passengers were only a sideline.
There were no free rides. Remember a horseless John Wayne in Stagecoach being picked up in the middle of nowhere? The reality is he would have had to pay his fare or walk.
The Barlow and Sanderson Stagecoach is a mud wagon like those that operated on the Barlow and Sanderson lines in the San Luis Valley in the 1870s and 1880s. The Barlow and Sanderson Stagecoach was acquired by the Monte Vista Commercial Club sometime before 1947 and donated to the Colorado Historical Society in 1959.
Barlow and Sanderson in the San Luis Valley
Before the rapid expansion of railroads in the West in the 1870s and 1880s, stagecoaches carried passengers, mail, and freight from town to town. Bradley Barlow and Jared Sanderson first entered the stagecoach business in the early 1860s in Missouri. The first use of the Barlow, Sanderson, and Company name came in 1866, by which time it had a route to California. It was the only major company operating on western mainlines aside from Wells, Fargo, and Company, which had come to dominate stage lines in the West. In the early 1870s, Barlow and Sanderson controlled the Southern Overland Mail and Express Company, which was the last transcontinental stage line and the last stagecoach carrier of mail to California, as well as the mail route between Denver and Santa Fe. At its height, the company reportedly had 5,000 horses and mules in constant use on stage lines in Colorado and New Mexico.
By the mid-1870s stagecoaches were becoming feeders operating at the fringes of the railroads rather than main lines of transportation. Barlow and Sanderson began to operate a network of lines linking the San Luis Valley and the San Juan Mountains to the railroads. As the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad moved into the San Luis Valley, the stage terminus shifted each time the railroads opened a new section of track. By the early 1880s, Barlow and Sanderson were operating primarily between mining camps in the San Juan Mountains.
Sanderson & Co. Overland Stage & Express Co., Principle Office, Pueblo, Col.,printed corner card with illustrated design showing Six Horse Stage on Mountain Road, Stage with "Overland U.S. Mail, S. & Co." imprint, on the cover to Del Norte, Col., franked with 1873, 3¢ green tied by quartered cork handstamp, matching "Pueblo, Colo., Jul 4" handstamp alongside, some minor toning on the reverse, Very Fine and choice; with 2011 P.F. certificate.  Sold for $2,700.00
Barlow retired in 1878. The company continued to operate in Colorado under the name J. L. Sanderson and Company until 1884 when Sanderson sold his Colorado operations to the Colorado and Wyoming Stage, Mail and Express Company. The same coaches continued to serve the company’s stage lines, but by this time stage use in Colorado had entered a period of permanent decline.

Routines And Perils Of Traveling By Stage Samuel Clemens described travel in a stage as very efficient. The Concord stage had a capacity of thirteen passengers. Depending on the roughness and condition of a road the stage might be pulled by 2 to 6 horses. The stage drivers changed horses [or mules] about ten or twelve times in twenty-four hours, and did it nearly every time in four minutes. The stage normally traveled 8 or 10 miles an hour. All of the stage companies required a variety of employees (McCullough, 1998). Star routes run by Barlow and Sanderson were established about 1849. About every 200-250 miles of road the stage company had a Division Agent or Division Superintendent and invested him with great authority. He had charge of all company property. A general superintendent, an attorney, and a paymaster were also hired. Four of the most important employees were the Division Agent, the conductor, the express messenger, and the driver. In addition to having charge of all the property belonging to the stage company, the Division Agent bought all the hay and grain. He looked after the stock, the scheduling of the stages, and checked on the care of stations and the performance of their keepers. He hired the drivers, stock tenders, blacksmiths, harness-makers, and other employees. The conductor or express messenger also was responsible for 200- 250 miles of road. He rode on the stage and had complete charge of the passengers, the mail, and the baggage. The express messenger was responsible for the safekeeping and transport of all valuable items including payrolls, merchandise, ore shipments, and farm shipments. He acted as the shotgun messenger and usually sat beside the driver with a shotgun loaded and ready to use. Stock tenders were stationed at both the home and swing stations. They cared for the teams and made sure that the horses were ready when a stage pulled in. The change took place in three to four minutes when a pin that attached the harness to the wagon tongue was pulled and a new team was backed in and ready to take the stage away. The driver was the final key to the operation. He had to be expert, fearless, sober, and reliable. Drivers were forced to make quick decisions about the horses, the roads, and the passengers. When the driver was in his box he was superior to everyone on the stage. 

December 1860—The Missouri Stage Company became a subcontractor for Jacob Hall In the early days of staging in southeastern Colorado control of the stage lines had passed from the Missouri Stage Company to Slemmons, Roberts & Company in 1861, to Cottrill, Vickroy and Company in 1862 (Vickroy and Barnum?), and then to Barlow, Cottrill, Vickroy, and Barnum in 1863 (later called M. Cottrill & Company, Mar. 1863). Then in Feb. 1866 to Barlow, Sanderson & Company (later called Southern Overland Mail and Express Company). 

December 1860—The Missouri Stage Company became a subcontractor for Jacob Hall In the early days of staging in southeastern Colorado control of the stage lines had passed from the Missouri Stage Company to Slemmons, Roberts & Company in 1861, to Cottrill, Vickroy and Company in 1862 (Vickroy and Barnum?), and then to Barlow, Cottrill, Vickroy, and Barnum in 1863 (later called M. Cottrill & Company, Mar. 1863). Then in Feb. 1866 to Barlow, Sanderson & Company (later called Southern Overland Mail and Express Company). 

Feb. 5, 1866—Jared L. Sanderson won the contract to run the Santa Fe Stage Line. Bradley Barlow was his associate. The company became Barlow and Sanderson in 1866-1867 April 13, 1866—Jared L. Sanderson's bid was accepted to carry the mail 3 times a week from Lawrence, Kansas, to Santa Fe. The Post Office Department directed that Bradley Barlow be associated with Sanderson beginning July 1, 1866

September 1866—Alex Taylor was directed to establish a stage station at Hole-in-the Prairie. Possibly at the same time, a station also was built at Hole-in-the-Rock about 1/2 way between Hole-in-the prairie and Iron Spring. The Post Office at Grays Ranch was transferred back to the future site of Trinidad in early 1866. Barlow Sanderson and Company leased space in a small hotel on Main Street, Trinidad, on Nov. 26, 1866, from Judge William Roland Walker, a son-in-law of Dick Wootton. Walker lived in Denver

January 1868—The Southern Overland Mail ran from Hays City to Santa Fe. The parent firm of the Southern Overland was Barlow, Sanderson & Co. with principal headquarters at Pueblo. About 14 200,000 people in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and California w

1870—Barlow and Sanderson's Southern Overland Mail & Express Company acquired the mail and stage line south from Denver to Pueblo and Trinidad. In 1870, fare from Denver to Trinidad by stage was $30.00 Feb. 1870—Abraham Jacobs sold the Denver & Santa Fe Stage line to Barlow, Sanderson & Company April 18, 1870—Stage service from Kit Carson to Trinidad was restarted, but the new stations southwest. 

May 1874—Passengers bound for Del Norte or Fort Garland from Pueblo took coaches of the Southern Overland Company or Barlow and Sanderson, and then connected at the Huerfano Crossing with the Seabring and Lane's line to Del Norte June 1874—Thirty-eight head of horses were received for the Barlow & Sanderson's extension of service westward across the San Luis Valley to Del Norte. The daily run from Pueblo to Del Norte was made under the name of the Pueblo and Del Norte Stage Line Co. At the peak of their business, they had almost 5,000 horses and mules in service. They had hundreds of hors

1878—Bradley Barlow retired in 1878 and the company became known as J.L. Sanderson and Company. On January 24, 1880, J.L. Sanderson abandoned its entire business along the Santa Fe Trail 

Early 1884—J.L. Sanderson and Company sold its Colorado system to the Colorado and Wyoming Stage, Mail and Express Company 

Other Johnson County Missouri Stage Line Information

Stage Coaches. — One of the principal highways that became what was known as stage routes in the early days when the mail was carried by that means was the Georgetown-Lexington road. A mail route was established on this road in 1857. It ran through the northeastern corner of the county and served Bee Branch post office or what was later known as Dunksburg. The Jefferson City-Independence road was another recognized stage line. Stage lines also ran from Warrensburg to Lexington and from Warrensburg to Clinton. The regular schedule trips of the stagecoach over these lines varied from daily to weekly. As the country through which these lines passed became more thickly settled the frequency of the regular mail delivery was increased. Johnson county depended altogether upon the stagecoach for its mail delivery prior to the Civil War.  And. even after the Pacific Railroad was built in 1865. many parts of the county continued to receive their mail through the medium of the old stagecoach. But with the building of other railroads, after the completion of the Pacific, and the introduction of the rural delivery, the stagecoach as a star route performer made its final bow and disappeared.
Walter R. Greim, the manager of the City Steam Laundry, Warrensburg, is a native of Johnson county. He was born at 116 Broad Street, Warrensburg. in the home which his father built when he was married. He is the son of Henry N. and Margaret (Reichle) Greim, both natives of Germany. Henry N. Greim was born September 22, 1840, in Bavaria, Germany. In 1853 he immigrated to America when he was fourteen years of age and in 1855 came to Warrensburg, where he began as a laborer. Before the Civil War, he drove a stage from Warrensburg to Lexington, and after the war engaged in the harness business in Warrensburg.

Warrensburg and Osceola Stage Line, 1869
Leaves Warrensburg, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, at 7 o’clock A.M., arrives at Osceola, at 6 o’clock P.M.

Leaves Osceola, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, at 5 o’clock A.M., arrives at Warrensburg at 5 o’clock P.M., connecting with the evening trains going east and west on the Pacific Rail Road. This line has just been refitted with new four-horse coaches, the best of horses, most careful drivers, and is now one of the best daily lines in the west.

A new Express Line has started in connection with this line to carry all express matter except money. 
Office under Mings’ Hotel, at Warrensburg
1873- "a coal oil lamp exploded which started the second massive fire in Warrensburg’s short history. The Ming Hotel, located beside the Railroad on the East Side of Holden Street became a towering inferno. Three people burned to death in the flames and others barely escaped alive. Other buildings burned down beside the Hotel while Warrensburg business owners finally decided to create their buildings out of stone."  

     The drivers on the stage line changed horses here, and it was the duty of the stage barn owner to have these horses ready to hitch up as soon as the stage arrived. These stage barns were erected about every ten miles along the route and but a few minutes was ever lost in changing horses. Four horses were driven at a time. Pat Murphy came to Johnson County (Kansas) with Jared L. Sanderson, who was interested in carrying mail and operating stage lines. Sanderson first established a stage line from Sedalia, Mo., to Warrensburg; then later, in 1863-64, a line from Kansas City Mo., to Ft. Scott, Kans., making a contract to carry the mail for four years at one cent per year. Mr. Sanderson figured that the passenger traffic, freight and express would make him a nice profit and he could afford to carry the mail, as by doing so he would keep competitors out, and it proved a profitable venture. He also operated a line from Kansas City to Santa Fe, a distance of 700 miles. A daily mail and express from Kansas City to Ft. Scott, with stations ten to fourteen miles apart where horses were changed, was kept up till the Missouri River and Ft. Scott & Gulf road was built in 1869 and 1870. The first station was at Gum Springs, then followed in regular order, Beattie Mahaffies, northeast of Olathe; Squiresville, Spring Hill, Paola, Twin


Springs, Moneka, north of Mound City; Ft. Lincoln and Ft. Scott. Eight horses were kept at each barn and a telegraph line was established along the route. Two changes of horses were made each day, one in the forenoon and one in the afternoon, and Mr. Murphy had charge of the stable at Spring Hill. When Pat first came George Sprague kept the Farmer's Hotel, now the residence of James Cuddeback, and the stage barn was located near, under the charge of Mr. Sprague. He afterward moved to the Old Hotel and the stage barn was built just north of it. Here later William Sowers conducted the hotel and had charge of the barn.

The stagecoach began in Sedalia heading west to Warrensburg, Missouri, a distance of about 27 miles.  It started in Sedalia because that is where the railroad stopped between 1861 and 1864.

    In 1852 Benjamin W. Grover, who was elected as state governor, introduced a bill to authorize the construction of a railroad. The bill was passed and in 1852 citizens started to work on the new railroad.

    When people heard about our town being on the route, they started to come and settlers homesteaded every acre of land for miles around the county. Because the railroad caused so much growth, they had an election for a mayor. The election took place on the first Monday of April in 1856, and Dr. John Foushee won.
    The railroad brought four large stores that sold groceries, dry goods, hardware, and merchandise. In 1864 Warrensburg also frequently hauled freights from the Warrensburg station to trading posts because we were the last connection to the railroad for many towns around. Six to eight cars of merchandise per day were received and twenty or more freight teams worked on hauling the merchandise farther west and south to the towns of Clinton, Butler, Harrisonville, Nevada, and Fort Scott.
    On July 4, 1864, a flag waved over the Missouri Pacific Depot in St. Louis, because it had been connected to a town in the west;  Warrensburg!
    The railroad went through Sedalia in 1861 and stopped because of the Civil War. It came to Warrensburg On July 4, 1864 and went on to Kansas City in 1865. 

The first depot was made out of wood but burned down in 1889. The next one was built in 1890 out of sandstone in the architectural style known as Richardsonian Romanesque. This depot is present today but has been enlarged and remodeled, in 1984 the baggage section and the loading platform were added.  Sometime after 1930, the large arch window on the east was changed to a doorway when water drainage problems came.
In the 1950s the new diesel engine came through and remodeling was done to prepare for it.  In 1962 the freight office was enclosed in glass, the ceiling was replaced, new lights were put in, a new tile floor was put in, and the whole place was painted.  However ten years later, in 1972, it was closed from public use.
The train changed Warrensburg in big ways.  It increased the population and growth of the town, and helped us travel and get supplies.  The train has also made Warrensburg a little better known because it carried Harry S. Truman through Warrensburg, Thomas Dewey, Dwight Eisenhower, Buffalo Bill Cody, and it carried the world series train through here in 1985 on its way to St. Louis.

No comments: