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The Missouri Pacific, or MoPac as it was commonly known, had a very complicated corporate history. It was incorporated as the Missouri Pacific Railway in 1876 and came under the influence of Jay Gould three years later as part of his Southwest railroad empire. Under its own name the Missouri Pacific had only a fairly small presence in Oklahoma, with a line from Little Rock, Arkansas, by way of Fort Smith into Indian Territory through Sallisaw, Wagoner, Claremore, and Nowata to Kansas City by way of Coffeyville. This 160-mile line had been opened in 1888-89 by the Kansas and Arkansas Valley Railway, was sold to the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway in 1909, and came under the aegis of the Missouri Pacific when this company was merged with the Iron Mountain in 1917. However, after World War II the Missouri Pacific, through its subsidiary Texas and Pacific Railroad, acquired the Midland Valley Railroad in 1967 and the Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf in 1970, and thus enlarged its presence in Oklahoma materially. The Missouri Pacific itself was merged into the giant Union Pacific Railroad Company in 1997.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Preston George and Sylvan R. Wood, The Railroads of Oklahoma, Bulletin No. 60, The Railway and Locomotive Historical Society (January 1943). Donovan L. Hofsommer, ed., Railroads in Oklahoma (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1977).

Augustus J. Veenendaal, Jr.

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