In 1876, the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company reorganized and renamed its southwest branch the St. Louis and San Francisco Railways, also known as the Frisco. As the Frisco grew, the company became one of Springfield’s largest employers. Railroad buildings became a prominent part of Springfield’s landscape. The Frisco’s repair shops featured a roundhouse capable of holding 12 engines and shops to fix five engines at once. In 1909, Frisco repair facilities expanded to include the West Side Shops. Then, in 1911, the railroad opened a 37,000 square feet administrative building at the northwest corner of Jefferson and Olive. Fifty-three years later, Frisco added 400 new administrative jobs and opened an office building near Ingram Mill Road.
In December 1948, the Frisco purchased the Alabama, Tennessee and Northern Railroad, providing the company access to the Gulf of Mexico. The Frisco’s lines stretched outward from Pensacola, Florida, to Kansas City and from St. Louis to Dallas, Texas; transporting goods and people across Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
The Frisco continued to thrive until travel by rail declined in the 1950s. Springfield’s large depot hosted the last remaining lunchroom on the Frisco line, which closed on November 1, 1955. The last passenger train pulled out of Springfield on December 9, 1967. Eventually, the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway merged with Burlington Northern in 1980.
This 1955 Second Mortgage Income Bond to Hann & Co is reminiscent of the Frisco and its longtime economic impact on Springfield and the region.
Creator: St. Louis-San Francisco Railway
Subject: Railroads; Transportation
Collection Name: Mike Condren Collection
Contributing Institution: Springfield-Greene County Library District
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