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KANSAS, OKLAHOMA AND GULF RAILWAY

The Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf was a 1919 reorganization of several predecessors, among which the Missouri, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway (MO&G), chartered in 1904, was the most important. The original incorporators seem to have acted chiefly out of speculative motives; nevertheless, they started construction from Muskogee north to Okay in 1904 under different corporate names. Capital for construction came chiefly from France and Belgium. Building southwest from Muskogee, the line reached Henryetta in 1905. The Red River was reached in 1910 and Denison became the end of the line. Friendly relations with some Texas railroads ensured through traffic. The extension from Wagoner north to Baxter Springs, Kansas, was opened in 1910, again largely financed from France. Joplin, Missouri, was reached through trackage rights over the Frisco.

Traffic on the 324-mile line remained disappointing, however, and the MO&G went bankrupt in 1913. World War I prevented contact with the French backers. Reorganization took a long time, and only in 1919 was the railroad finally sold to the newly incorporated Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf (KO&G). Things did not improve, and the KO&G in turn entered receivership in 1924. Reorganization followed two years later, and ownership passed into the hands of the Muskogee Company, which also owned the more prosperous Midland Valley Railway. The lines established a close working relationship in order to cut costs. Compared to other railroads operating in the same area, the KO&G was a roundabout route, without much local traffic and unable to claim a share of the long-distance freight.

After World War II cooperation with the Missouri Pacific meant more long-haul traffic and resulted in 1970 in a lease of the line to Mopac's subsidiary Texas and Pacific line, followed by an outright sale in 1970. The lines north of Wagoner and south of Durant into Texas have been abandoned in the 1960s, but the remainder is now part of the Union Pacific system, successor to the Missouri Pacific.

SEE ALSO: HIGHWAYS, RAILROADS, TRANSPORTATION.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: John L. Fike, "The MO&G-KO&G to 1926," in Donovan L. Hofsommer, ed., Railroads in Oklahoma (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1977).

Augustus J. Veenendaal, jr.

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