The development of railroads in Missouri to 1860
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Railroad construction in Missouri was undertaken by private companies who expected to finance the roads by subscriptions to the capital stock by individuals, towns and counties. Early in 1851 the people realized that the task was too great to be carried on without aid from the state. By legislative acts, aid was granted to seven companies who at the close of 1859 had not completed six hundred and twelve miles of their roads. Only two companies - the Hannibal and St. Joseph and the St. Louis and Iron Mountain had completed their lines. This thesis shows that two of the state aid railroads failed to meet their interest payments due January 1, 1856. Beginning January 1, 1859, further failures of railroad companies occurred, and finally the state released her lien on the roads for ''a very small sum." With the exception of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad, the career of every company was unfortunate and, through her connection with them, the state was forced into a most unenviable position.