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Railroads in Kansas

The Katy Railroad

M. K. T. Railroad (Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway)

Union Pacific, Southern Branch

Missouri Pacific Railway


Sedalia Division (Tebo and Neosho Railway) (main line)


Hannibal,			St. Charles,
Moberly,                        Marthasville,
Fayette,			McKittrick (across river from Hermann),
New Franklin,                   Rhineland, 
Boonville,                      Bluffton, 
Sedalia,                        Steedman,        
Clinton,                        Tebbetts,
Nevada,                         Jefferson City,

enters Kansas about four miles east of Fort Scott

Bourbon County
Fort Scott, Marmaton Station, Hiatville,

Crawford County
Hepler, Walnut,

Neosho County
St. Paul, South Mound,

Labette County
Parsons Junction, Labette, Oswego, Chetopa,

Oklahoma (enters Indian Territory two miles south of Chetopa)

Russell Center, Bluejacket, Kelso, Vinita, Big Cabin, Adair, Pryor Creek, Chouteau, Mazie, Lelinetta, Wagoner, Fort Gibson (Three Forks) Indian Territory, Muskogee, Summit, Oktaha, Checotah, Eufaula, South Canadian, McAlester, Frink, Savanna, Kiowa, Limestone Gap, Chili, Stringtown, Atoka, Peck, Caney, Caddo, Armstrong, Durant, Colbert,


Denison (terminal)

Neosho Division


Geary (Davis) County
Junction City Junction (1868),

Morris County
Skiddy (Camden), White City (Swedeland), Parkerville, Kelso, Council Grove, Dunlap,

Lyon County
Americus, Emporia, Neosho Rapids/Wyckoff Bottoms, Hartford (1869),

Coffey County
Strawn, Rock-a-By, Burlington, Leroy Junction (junction Missouri Pacific Railway--Kansas and Arizona Division,

Woodson County
Neosho Falls, Piqua (crosses the Fort Scott, Wichita and Western R.R.),

Allen County

Neosho County
Chanute (Alliance), Urbana, Galesburg, Ladore,

Labette County
Parsons Junction,

There were several roads competing for a route to the Indian Territory. Their promoters were ambitious to extend their lines to the Gulf, to Mexico, or to the Pacific.

Colonel Robert Smith Stevens and Judge Levi Parsons, New York promoters of the road that later became the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas, called the "Katy." Levi Parsons had visions of a great empire for the Katy, especially if he could get generous land grants by beating James F. Joy, promoter of the Border Tier Road ("Joy Road") to the Indian Territory.

Originally chartered as the Union Pacific Railway - Southern Branch (Katy), his road started construction (diagonally from northwest to southeast) from Junction City to Chetopa in 1868.

Stevens and Parsons selected the site for a town that they would control. Parsons was named for Judge Levi Parsons, promoter and president of the Katy Railroad. The Hugh shop there is still in operation.

The building of the road was a battle for time in competition with the "Joy Men." To win, F. C. White was instructed to "Bull- whack" the builders of the road. White City was named for F. C. White, superintendent of the Neosho Division of the Katy Railroad. F. C. White was responsible for the construction of the road from Parsons to Fort Scott.

On June 6, 1870, the M. K. and T. Railway won a three-way construction race to the Indian Territory border. It earned the sole right to build south through the lands of the Five Civilized Nations to the storied Red River and Texas.

In March 1871, a line from Sedalia, Missouri built southwest to Ft. Scott and joined the main line at Parsons, Kansas.

March 1871 - the founding of Parsons, Kansas

In October 1871, the Katy (main line) reached The Three Forks near Fort Gibson Indian Territory.

On December 25, 1872 the North and South were united all along the churning frontier when the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Lines spanned the storied Red River and Denison, Texas, and linked with the Houston and Texas Central to give America a "new route to the Gulf."

The projected Northeastern Extension of the Tebo and Neosho Railroad (the Katy) went from Sedalia to a junction with the North Missouri Railroad (the Wabash) at Moberly. The construction of this line in 1873 forced open "the Sedalia gateway" and gave the Katy access to St. Louis.

The Katy's Northeastern Extension from Sedalia to Moberly was completed in late 1873.

As the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Extension Railway, the Katy was projected deep into Texas in 1878.

By 1888, it reached deep into Texas also extending the Sedalia, Missouri line to Hannibal.

By 1900, the Katy got a line from Kansas City to Parsons. One point on that line, Paola, had a branch going east to Sedalia, Missouri.

By 1915, the Katy overbuilt lines into Oklahoma and other areas and went into bankruptcy and receivership.

In 1923, it reorganized, spinning off 476 miles in seven lines.

In 1980 it started using a main line of the liquidating Rock Island line from Kansas City and Abilene and Herington south through Wichita, Enid, El Reno, Oklahoma and Ft. Worth, Texas which the Katy later operated as its Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas (O. K. and T.) subsidiary.

August 1988, Katy Industries sold the railroad to the Union Pacific.

Date:         Sun, 10 Apr 1994 14:39:36 CDT
From:         Wes Leatherock wes@OBELISK.PILLAR.COM
Organization: Pillar Communications, Oklahoma City, OK
Subject:      Historic Katy freight house burns
The old Missouri-Kansas-Texas (Katy) freight station in Oklahoma City burned down two or three nights ago.

This was a historic building in a historic and entertainment district that is being promoted as "Bricktown" and there had been hope of incorporating the Katy freight station in that district. One proposal had been to use it as the passenger terminal for a proposed rail line to Remington Park, the horse race track in the northeast part of the city.

The Katy freight station in Oklahoma City had not been used as a freight house in many, many years. It was leased for a number of years as a warehouse to a paper company. More recently it had been officially vacant but apparently used by transients.

Some persons were seen fleeing the burning building by the time firemen arrived in the early morning hours. There were reports that at least one was a mother with a baby. At least one person jumped from the second floor and was hospitalized, apparently not seriously hurt.

The Katy line from Parsons, Kansas, to Oklahoma City had been abandoned for many years. The right-of-way is still intact in most places and this was one reason it had been proposed for use for a rail line from downtown to Remington Park. The line went near what is now the site of the race track.

In more recent years the Katy had served Oklahoma City over the former Rock Island Choctaw line from McAlester, OK on the east and from El Reno, OK on the west. (El Reno, OK was the site of the Rock Island shops, now a vast unused area in that city.)

The Union Pacific (which had become the owner of the abandoned Katy freight station) announced it would hire contracts to secure the site of the burned station and clear away the rubble.

Katy Railroad Historical Society
P.O. Box 1784
Sedalia, MO 65302


Cutler, William G. "History of the State of Kansas" Publ. by A. T. Andreas. Chicago. 1883 (Kansas Collection)

Hofsommer, Donovan. RAILROADS IN OKLAHOMA. Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1977.

Masterson, Vincent Victor. THE KATY RAILROAD AND THE LAST FRONTIER. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1952

Morris, Goins and McReynolds. HISTORICAL ATLAS OF OKLAHOMA. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1976. map 64.

Uhlenbrock, Tom. "Katy Trail Excursion Brings Unexpected Pleasures." THE TENNESSEAN (Travel Section). 13-Jul-1997 (Sunday). Page 1J.

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