Kentucky Midland Railway Company Business Records and Legal Documents,1887-1921 (bulk 1887-1890)

Descriptive Summary

Title
Kentucky Midland Railway Company Business Records and Legal Documents,1887-1921 (bulk 1887-1890)
Creator
Kentucky Midland Railway Company
Extent
.1 c.f.
Subjects
Kentucky Midland Railroad Company -- Records and correspondence
Kentucky Midland Railroad Company -- Charter
Railroads -- Kentucky
Kentucky -- Description and travel -- 19th century
Finding Aid Author
Processed by: Staff; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig
Repository
Kentucky Historical Society

Collection Overview

Biography / History
In 1871 the Kentucky General Assembly passed acts chartering the Paris, Georgetown, and Frankfort Railroad Company and the Paris, Georgetown, and Big Sandy Railroad Company. The latter road received $900,000 in subscriptions in 1871 and 1872 from Scott, Bourbon, and Bath counties. According to a promotional pamphlet for the Kentucky Midland, the death of the company president, General John T. Croxton, and the financial panic of 1873 caused abandonment of the PG & BS company. The two railroads were combined under the name Paris, Georgetown, and Frankfort Railroad in 1881. A route was surveyed for railroad construction from Frankfort to the Big Sandy river and the Virginia boundary. An East Coast syndicate provided partial funding and Bourbon County provided another $100,000 subscription. The pamphlet claimed this enterprise failed when one of the syndicate's capitalists died.
A reorganization of the railroad occurred in 1887, with a name change to the Kentucky Midland Railway Company the following year. Judge William Lindsay of Frankfort became president of the company. Four counties subscribed again to the plan: Franklin provided $150,000, Scott $100,000, and Bath $150,000. Bourbon gave another $250,000. The Midland stated it would lay line to Louisville to the west and Norfolk, Virginia to the east. Independent contractors Mason, Gooch, and Hoge began the construction of the rails laid, and the Home Construction Company, composed of the officers and directors of the Kentucky Midland, finished the sections completed. A section between Frankfort and Georgetown was built in 1888-1889 and another line from Georgetown to Paris was laid the next year.
Despite raising $750,000 from the communities along the line, the railroad's promoters only invested $70,000 of their own money. The promoters, however, received preferred stock for their investment, as opposed to the common issued to the other subscribers. The Midland had authorization to issue $25,000 in mortgage bonds for each mile of railroad line laid. Eventually, the small railroad's fixed charges became $57,720 a year and the Midland went into receivership in 1894. The road was sold at foreclosure in 1897. In 1899 it was conveyed by deed to the Frankfort and Cincinnati Railway Company (incorporated in 1897).
The Louisville and Nashville Railroad briefly absorbed the financially troubled F & C in 1909. A court nullified the takeover by 1912, reestablishing the F & C. Facing insolvency again, the F & C was auctioned publicly in 1927 to become the Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad. Part of the Midland's line continued in operation under that name to the 1960s.
Scope and Content
This collection contains records of the Kentucky Midland Railway Company, a short-lived operation later absorbed into the Frankfort and Cincinnati Railway Company.
Among the items in this collection is a pamphlet containing the acts chartering the Paris, Georgetown, and Frankfort railroad, the Paris, Georgetown, and Big Sandy railroad, and the Kentucky Midland Railway Company. Two copies of THE KENTUCKY MIDLAND RAILWAY COMPANY ITS RESOURCES AND PROSPECTS, by F.L. McChesney of Paris, are also present. McChesney's work includes descriptions of most of the towns to be included on the Midland's route, statistics of agricultural and mineral wealth for the appropriate counties, and a letter from state geologist John R. Proctor favoring the railroad plans. The original and a carbon of Proctor's letter are also in this collection.
Other items in the collection include an 1890 document from an appellate court concerning a trespassing case involving the Midland, affirming an earlier judgment against the railroad, subscription lists, an original and a carbon of an 1889 prospectus, a stock payment list, and some miscellaneous correspondence relating to the railroad. There is one document from 1921, an indenture and contract involving W.A. Gaines and Company, a Frankfort corporation. No obvious relationship to the Kentucky Midland Railway Company can be discerned.
County: Bourbon; Scott; Franklin; Bath
Arrangement: Chronological