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October 16, 2012

Train Town USA Designation for Warrensburg, Missouri


Nick Fry -  Guest Speaker and Curator of the John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library; Jason Elkins - President -Board of Directors, Warrensburg Main Street), Mayor Don Butterfield; Paula Hertwig Hopkins - City Manager-City of Warrensburg; Bill Bernier - original President of the Board of Directors for the Depot Renovation, Preservation and Maintenance Corporation; Ben Jones - Union Pacific Director-Public Affairs-Missouri/Kansas; Brad Thorne - Union Pacific Senior Special Agent; and Tim Espey - Union Pacific Special Agent

Nick Fry - Guest Speaker and Curator of the John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library; Jason Elkins - President -Board of Directors, Warrensburg Main Street), Mayor Don Butterfield; Paula Hertwig Hopkins - City Manager-City of Warrensburg; Bill Bernier - original President of the Board of Directors for the Depot Renovation, Preservation and Maintenance Corporation; Ben Jones - Union Pacific Director-Public Affairs-Missouri/Kansas; Brad Thorne - Union Pacific Senior Special Agent; and Tim Espey - Union Pacific Special Agent

Like thousands of other towns that developed west of the Missouri located in and around Union Pacific depots, Warrensburg formerly was part of the Missouri Pacific Railroad System. Organized in 1836, Warrensburg settlers came from Tennessee and Kentucky, including the town’s name sake, Martin Warren. Union Pacific in Missouri and its immediate predecessor Missouri Pacific Railroad, was one of the first railroads west of the Mississippi River, coming from a long line of predecessors and mergers that have added to the colorful history of present day Union Pacific. By the middle 1800s, prominent businessmen Colonel B.W. Grover and Major N.B. Holden against all odds, decided they wanted to bring a railroad branch through Warrensburg and were successful. Colonel Grover, also a Missouri State Senator, played a significant role when in 1849 the Pacific Railroad was granted a charter for a rail line to run between St. Louis, "... from any point on the main line of the Pacific Railroad east of the Osage River to any point on the western boundary of Missouri south of the Osage River (Missouri Legislature Act passed and approved Christmas Day, 1852)." The Pacific Railroad line was completed from Sedalia to Warrensburg on July 4, 1864, with the present depot sitting on the original site, the newer depot constructed in 1889. The Warrensburg Standard reported, "The Pacific Railroad is now completed about 20 miles distant from Warrensburg and we may look brightly to that future as the new 'order of things' and will here demand that enterprise subvert sluggish notions in regard to keeping back public advancement." Over the years tons of quarried sandstone for construction in St. Louis, hundreds of pack mules destined for WWI and tourists coming from as far away as New York to vacation at the famous Pertle Springs Lodge were transported to and from Warrensburg by this very same Union Pacific Railroad line. Warrensburg is happy to host Union Pacific Railroad and proud of the UP commitment to the community.


Union Pacific to name city "Train Town USA'

The Daily Star-Journal, 2012-10-12

By Jack Miles, The Daily Star-Journal, Warrensburg, Mo. 
Oct. 12--WARRENSBURG -- Representatives from Union Pacific and Amtrak will award the Train Town USA designation to the city at 11 a.m. Friday at the train deport, 100 S. Holden St. 
The event will be followed by a reception in the depot's Jack Moore Community Room. 
"Featured speaker for the event is Nick Fry, curator of the John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library. He will speak on railroad history in Missouri and Warrensburg. Train artwork will also be on display," city information states. 
Attention being paid to the backs of Pine Street next to the train depot -- in the days leading up to the Train Town USA designation -- received notice from Union Pacific Public Safety Manager John Simpson. Simpson said he liked what he saw during a visit to the city Wednesday. 
"They're doing a very nice job of addressing the aesthetics of the backs of these buildings," Simpson said. 
Volunteers from the city, the University of Central Missouri and Warrensburg Main Street have worked for about a month to beautify the backs of the buildings through carpentry, painting, plumbing and landscaping. They are getting the area ready for the UCM/community Homecoming Parade on Saturday, followed by Union Pacific recognizing Warrensburg as a Train City USA. 
"This year is the 150th anniversary of the Union Pacific Co. We were signed into being with Abraham Lincoln's signature with the Transcontinental Railroad Act," Simpson said. "Most of the communities evolved around the railroad's expansion," 
These days, railroads deliver to regional distribution points where trucks may pick up and deliver freight along city streets and to outlying communities, Simpson said. But when rail lines first came to communities, businesses wanted to be near the tracks so train freight could be loaded into the backs of buildings, sorted and placed in store fronts for sale, he said. 
"Consequently, and with Warrensburg, we see the back of a lot of the buildings," Simpson said. "Goods went to and from the rail from the businesses."

Train Depot Warrensburg by George Lightfoot, Artist



San Francisco Call, Volume 68, Number 2, 2 June 1890

DUNKARDS ROBBED.
A Railroad Train Raided by a Gang of Pickpockets. Kansas' City, June 1. — Pickpockets raided a Missouri Pacific train from Warrensburg, Mo., crowded with Dunkards returning home. One Dunkurd minister was relieved of $1800 in money, another of $800 and a gold watch. Different members of the party lost watches and other valuables.

The Butler weekly times. (Butler, Mo.), 26 Dec. 1895
Jacob Fetterling, one of the oldest and best known farmers of Johnson county living near Warrensburg, was instantly killed in teh Mo. Pacific yards at Warrensburg the other day by an engine.  His head being severed from his body.

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