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The Empire

That Missouri Pacific Serves


      The book The Empire That Missouri Pacific Serves was published in the fifties by the Missouri Pacific and contains permission to reprint all or any portion. It contains short descriptions of the towns that were stations on the Missouri Pacific as they were in the fifties along with brief historical notes. The intended audience seems to be school children in the middle grades.

      This site covers the chapter on Kansas from that book and the brief history of the Missouri Pacific at the start of the book.

Map of Missouri Pacific lines in Kansas

      The pages from that book are shown "as-is" except that the sketches in the book are not reproduced. The pages generally contain towns in alphabetic order, but some of the ordering was creative. For example, "Piqua" comes before "Olmitz" in the original and these pages preserve the original order.

      The copy of the book used to create this site was loaned by the Southwestern College Library and the Wichita Public Library.


The Wheat State

      FIRST EXPLORED by white men in 1541 when the Spanish followers of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado were searching for the mythical "seven cities of Cibola," Kansas became the 34th state in the Union on January 26, 1861. Extensive, substantial development was delayed, however, until after the War Between the States. Before that time the territory was torn by Indian wars and the guerilla border warfare kindled by the bitter conflict over slavery.

      Starting in about 1870 Kansas found itself free to use its vast grazing lands, plow the fertile soil for grain, start its vineyards and orchards, work its mines and build its cities. And here perhaps more than in any other state, progress followed closely behind the railroads, among which the Missouri Pacific was a pioneer. Today 1,600 miles of Missouri Pacific rails radiate through Kansas, linking the state with the West through Pueblo, Colo., and with the North, East and Southeast through the Omaha, Kansas City, St. Louis and Memphis gateways.

      A planned, diversified economy makes Kansas outstanding in many fields. Foremost in wheat production, the state also ranks third in number of beef cattle per square mile. It produces most of the staple grains together with sugar beets, peanuts and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Its expanding industry was reflected in 1951 in nearly 3,000 manufacturing and processing plants engaged in the production of more than 1,000 different items. Great reserves of minerals, oil and gas have hardly been touched.

      Most visitors to Kansas, anticipating only scenes of agricultural and industrial activity, are pleasantly surprised to find many settings of majestic scenic beauty as well as landmarks of national historic interest in this prairie empire in the heart of America.

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