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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:724 1879-1903 A863

Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company records

This collections consists of fourteen volumes of annual reports, notebooks and accounting information which detail the financial transactions made during the years 1879-1889. Three of the notebooks are indexed in alphabetical order. Annual reports are bound in leather with gold imprint on the cover and include handwritten notations presumably made by J. Torr Harmer, Assistant General Auditor for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad during these years. NOTE: One folder of statements, by-laws and an 1889 auditor's report was transferred to the Manuscripts Vertical files (Mss:724 F-7-82).


  • 1879-1896

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Some materials may be stored offsite; access requires advance notice. Contact for more information.


15 linear feet (15 volumes)

Historical Note:

Originally chartered in January 11, 1859, under the name of Atchison and Topeka Railroad Company, the company changed its name to Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad on March 3, 1863. Construction on the railroad began in 1869 and the line from Topeka to the Colorado state line was opened December 23, 1873. The New Mexico Division was opened to Santa Fe on February 16, 1880. During the 1880s, the company merged with a number of smaller branch lines and divisions and built five new extensions. The company also maintained a land department which sold off unused portions of the generous land grant supplied by Congress in the 1860s.

In December 1893, the company asked for the appointment of receivers in anticipation of its inability to pay forthcoming financial commitments. J. W. Reinhart, Boston (replaced by Aldace F. Walker in September 1894), J. J. McCook, New York and J. C. Wilson, Topeka were chosen to draw up the plan of reorganization. The railroad defaulted on their loan payments in January 1894. Committees were formed to look after the interests of the bondholders, and in March 1895, company assets were sold to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway System.

When the Atchison & Topeka Railroad incorporated in 1859, corporate offices and the majority of the original investors-including the first president, Henry Strong-- resided in Boston, Massachusetts. Over the years, however, new officers were located in New York City and Topeka, Kansas as well as Boston. Eventually, the company maintained offices in those three cities. The financial office remained in Boston with locations at Devenshire Street and later, 95 Milk Street. After the company restructured in 1895, all administrative functions were consolidated and located in Chicago.


Gift of Dr. Torr Wagner Harmer, 1937

See Also:

Manuscripts Vertical Files (Mss: 724, F-7-82) contains a folder of statements, by-laws, and an 1889 auditor's report.
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company. Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company Records, 1879-1896 (inclusive): A Finding Aid
Baker Library

Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University Repository

Baker Library Special Collections holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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