Thursday, November 27, 2014

Two Middletown stocks

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 I have sold a number of certificates and I need to replenish my inventory a little. These two were added in inventory for sale or trade. Both with the name Middletown in their title. The street railway is a Connecticut company. The railroad car manufacture is a Pennsylvania Company. Of the two the Middletown Car company is the rarest (R7) with only two in Cox.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sorry, not a stock

It's hard to know all the types of documents pertaining to U.S. railroads. But PMG should of known better than to label this as 3 shares of stock. Should be listed as a transfer receipt.

Friday, October 17, 2014

What is a Civil War Railroad Stock or Bond?

Something that bothers me is sellers especially on eBay using the word Civil War to try to sell their overprice material. To me Civil War means a piece issued when the war was still happening officially April 12,1861 to April 09, 1865. Not a few years before not a few years after. Whether a signer of the certificates had something to do with the war does not make it a Civil War piece unless he signed it during the war. If the certificate has a printed date during the war but not issued during the war it is not a Civil War piece. A few examples.

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This piece was listed as a Civil War stock. The only claim was that the company was charted in 1856. Unless the seller didn't know his history I don't understand the logic. Also an unissued piece.

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This one is close. It has a date of 1862. But that is the year the plate was first made. Is it possible that this certificate was printed after the war was over. Maybe but it's impossible to tell with no serial number. Again a non issued certificate. Listed in the auction as a Civil War Era.

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This stock's claim to the Civil War auction title is the president of the company. Orland Smith who was a Brigade Commander of the Union forces. This certificate was issued in 1886. Twenty-one years after the war ended. Not a Civil War piece.

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This stock is issued to Jay Cooke. Seller said he was a Civil War financer. Ok but the war was over in 1876 why does the auction say Civil War stock.

Just a few examples that I constantly see on eBay every week. I would like to hear your comments. Am I being too critical?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Added a Stilwell company

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A.E Stilwell
I like the unusual arch format for this certificate. This is one of five example listed by Cox. This company was started by Arthur E. Stilwell a noted railroad builder in the Midwest. Stilwell organized 41 company in his career many were railroads. This company was organized in May of 1895 to build a line of 80 miles distance from Kansas City to Pattonsburg Missouri. The line was completed in June 30, 1898. The K.C & N.C. railroad end up in the hands of  receiver in June 2, 1900 when it failed to pay the interest on it's first mortgage bonds. The company was sold in foreclosure in Oct. 25, 1901 to the Kansas City, Peoria & Chicago Railway.

For a pdf of Arthur E. Stilwell bio click here.


1. Poor's Manual 1899
2. Poor's Manual 1900
3. Poor's Manual 1902

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Added to inventory

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A stock certificate of the famous  "L" of Chicago. The "L" has been a fixture of the city of Chicago for over 100 years. This company was formerly the Lake Street Elevated Railway. This non cancelled example is only the second of the preferred shares to be listed in Cox. It is available for sale or trade. If you want a little more history of the company check this link Chicago & Oak Park Elevated Railway.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Does not fit

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I started to add a few certificates that do not fit my collecting theme. I have decided to become a dealer/collector. I am heading into my retirement years and this will be another activity to keep me busy. So if I can find a rare railroad piece that I can get at what I think is a decent price I will buy it for my inventory.
This piece I added it's the only one to show up in Cox for this company and the price was fair. Anyway it is for sale or trade for Missouri or Confederate piece I don't own.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A piece of the Rock

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My latest addition to my Missouri collection. With only five in Cox (Kan-648-s-50) not a common piece.

History: The company was incorporated in Dec. 22, 1902. The company was set-up as an subsidiary of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway (known as the Rock Island). All the stock with the exception of stock owned by the directors was owned by CRI & P .This stock was pledge as collateral for mortgage and refunding bonds.

The CRI & P wanted to build a Kansas City to St. Louis line. In April,1902 it bought the St. Louis, Kansas City & Colorado Railroad which was building a line west from St. Louis. At the time of purchase the line was completed to Bland Missouri. It financed the project from Bland to Hadsell Missouri. The Kansas City Rock Island Railway build the line from Leeds (near Kansas City) to Hadsell distance of 31.41 miles. The two lines met there in July of 1904. The KC & RI was conveyed to CRI & P in Jan.1, 1905 after the line was completed.

  1. Poor's Manual 1903
  2. Poor's Manual 1905
  3. Interstate Commerce Commissions Valuation Report

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I won't do this again

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I will never buy another certificate that some knucklehead has put in a frame. This example wasn't at all easy to remove the glued down glass frame. When I finally removed the glass and lifted the certificate I didn't notice that the top two corners were also glued down. And as you can tell the corners decided to stay put. I tried to remove the corner piece but they were too far gone. Fortunately the certificate is not an expensive piece and professional repairing it is out of the question. So it goes down as a lesson learned.

Monday, June 2, 2014

A couple of Confederates

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Added two Confederate railroad stocks. The South Side (Virginia) is one of the most common of Confederate railroad stocks. The Raleigh & Gaston (North Carolina) with out the $1,500,000 overprint is a little more rare. With two listed in Cox from the war.
For information on these companies and Confederate Railroads in general. I highly recommend Dave Brights great site csa-railroads.
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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Not a stock or bond but......

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.....a trustee's certificate. Reorganized companies with newly issued stock were easy prey to speculators. So to prevent this the common stock sometimes was held in trust for a period of up to five years. Voting rights was held by the trustees and not the common stock owners until the trust period expired. If dividends were issued for the common stock they were paid to the trustee's certificate holders.

History of the company: The company was formerly know as the Omaha Division of the St. Louis, Kansas City and Northern Railway. The line ran from Pattonsburg Missouri to Council Bluffs Iowa a distance of 144 miles with standard gauge. The Omaha Division bonds went in default in April 1. 1885. Foreclosure proceeding were started and in Dec. 28, 1886 the company was sold to a committee of the bond holders. The new company was formed in May 18,1887. In reorganization each holder of $1,000 of the defaulted 7% Omaha Division bonds received $1,140 in new 4% bonds, $960 in 6% non-cumulative preferred stock and a $1,000 in common stock. The common stock was held in trust by the trustees for a 3 year period.

  • Poor's Manual 1891
  • The Commercial & Financial Chronicle & Hunt's Merchant magazine Jan to June 1887.
  • Railroad Czar by E.H. Harriman

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


A little out of my price range
There are some wonderful pieces in this auction. Over a hundred US rails some rare to unique. There are two Missouri rails that I would love to own. The image is one of them. Only problem is 18% premium, dollar to Euro conversion, $25 dollar shipping, a 19% VAT on commissions and shipping and insurance is extra. Not to mention bidding starts at catalog prices. Any wonder why I’m sitting on the side lines. Good luck to the person with deep pockets.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Not easy to build a bridge

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I generally collect only uncancelled certificates but I made an exception on this one. Only one listed and the cancellation mark does not mutilate the certificate.

History of the Company:This company was chartered in April 3,1889 to build a toll bridge and terminal for railroads and carriage traffic across the Missouri River. The toll fees were to pay the interest on the bonds and dividend on the stock.The bridge was to span between Jackson and Clay counties in Missouri. The work was to be finished the following year.

The finance as of June 1891 were capital stock of $1,475,000 and a bond debt of $975,000. The bonds were 1st mortgage 6 per cent $500 coupon bonds. Every bond purchased came with 2 1/2 share of stock. Probably my example was from an unlucky bond buyer of this company. The overly optimistic completion date for the project was not met. The road of 8 miles was finished but the bridge was not when the company fell into the control of receivers in August 1891. The bridge was still uncompleted when the company was sold in foreclosure in 1893 to the Kansas City and Atlantic Railroad.

  • Evening Transcript Nov. 21, 1889
  • Poor's Manual of Railroads 1891
  • Poor's Manual of Railroads  1893
  • Poor's Manual of Railroads 1895

Monday, April 7, 2014

A New Specimen

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Finding issued certificates from this St. Louis street car company is difficult. In Terry Cox's data base he only list five stock certificates in all varieties. I would love to have an issued one until then this pretty specimen will have to do. It is a new color variety also.

History of the line: In 1898 the company was chartered as the successor of the Central Traction Company Inc.
The city of St. Louis authorized it to build 79.50 miles of street railroad on some of the most important streets and give it authority to acquire by lease or purchase any other street railroad in St. Louis. The company  with the next two years did just that by acquiring railroad lines, properties and franchise or the most all the stock of seven street railroad companies. This consisted of cable and electric street roads with a mileage of 419.5 in operation, under construction and authorized.

In 1899 the St. Louis Transit Co. was charted by the city of St. Louis with the main purpose of to acquire , lease and operate until 1939 any and all lines of the United Railways Co. The St. Louis Transit Co. leased all the lines of U. Rys. from 1899 to 1905. In 1905 U. Rys. purchase the St. Louis & Suburban Railway unifying the city's street rail network.

Links of interest:
  • Poor's Manual 1903

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Non Missouri and pretty

Sometimes you lose track of your collected pieces. This attractive stock I never listed on my website because I didn't remember buying it. I actually lost the information on where I bought it. It is listed as the only one in Cox. I plan to put it on eBay or trade it for that right piece for my collection.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A small Missouri stock

It's not the most attractive certificate I own but it is a rare and possible unique. It's the only one listed in Cox (BOO-308-s-30). The company only issued 250 shares of stock making finding examples a daunting task.

History of the road: The Boone County and Jefferson City Railroad Company was incorporated in Jan. 30, 1857 to build a line from Columbia Missouri to the Pacific Railroad at or above Jefferson City. The Civil War delayed any work on the project. The corporation organized on Oct. 5, 1865. Only a few days before the charter expired. The stockholders met on Dec. 16, 1865 and elected D.H. Hickman as president and George C. Pratt as chief engineer. Construction was commenced May 21, 1866 and the road was completed from Centralia to Columbia Oct 29, 1867 a distance of 22 miles.

David Henry Hickman

The capital structure consisted: $12,500 in cash from stock subscription, $200,000 in Boone County subscription in 8 per cent bonds and $300,000 for 8 per cent mortgage bonds.
For a total capital of $512,500.

Before work commenced a contract had been made with the North Missouri Railroad by which the latter was to operate the road and pay the BC & JC one-third of gross earnings from all business going to and from the leased property. The rent was to pay the interest on the mortgage bonds. On Jan. 12, 1869 the North Missouri Railroad ceased to pay rent and the BC & JC could not pay interest on it's bonds. The road was sold in April 23, 1873 under foreclosure for $30,000.

links of interest:

  • History of Boone County Missouri 1882-Western Historical Co.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A rare cable car stock

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This Missouri company's stock is the only example in Cox. The People’s Cable Railway of Kansas City. For most people when you mention cable cars they think of San Francisco. But the truth is a number of US cities had cable cars. This Kansas City company was charted in March 8, 1887 with a capital stock of $750,000. The line opened for business May 29, 1888. It ran for a distance of 6.8 miles using standard gauge . By 1896 it operated 35 cars.

The company could not pay its obligations and was sold in foreclosure in 1896. A new company was formed the Brooklyn Avenue Railway. This company was purchased in 1899. Electric cars replaced the cable cars in Dec. 1899.
Robert Gillham
Engineer Robert Gillham was the designer, builder and for a time the president for the People Cable Railway. He also built two additional Kansas City street rail line. These were the K.C. Cable Railway and the Inter-State Consolidated Rapid Transit. His biography is here.

links of interest: How cable cars work.

  • Poor's Manual 1891
  • Johnston Electric & Street Directory 1894
  • American Street Railway Investments 1898


Sunday, March 9, 2014

A big bond, a big loss for investors

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Another Missouri piece added. I prefer to collect stock certificates over bonds mainly because of their size. This is one of the largest bonds I’ve seen 17 inches width by 21 inches in height . With a quantity of six in Cox  it's not common. An interesting piece so I decided to add to my collection even for my preference for stock certificates and it's the only example from this company in Cox.

HISTORY OF THE COMPANY: The bond has  interesting title for a railroad that never reached Illinois or Texas and was a failure  in its home state of Missouri. The history of this corporation started in April 27, 1869 when the company known as the Cape Girardeau & State Line Railroad was chartered. It’s purpose was to build a line from Cape Girardeau Missouri to the Arkansas border. The city of Cape Girardeau voted to take a hundred and fifty thousand dollars worth of the bonds and the township of Cape Girardeau the same amount. With all the bonds sold work began. With mismanagement however, the money was exhausted.

Governor Thomas C. Fletcher
A new plan was purposed to build the road by contract. An agreement was entered with former Missouri Governor Thomas Clement Fletcher (governor 1865-1869) and his business associates to build the road. For their services they were to receive a deed to the roadbed, provided the work was completed by December 1, 1871 a total distance of twenty-five miles. Governor Fletcher then proceeded to organize a company known as the Illinois, Missouri, & Texas Railway and issued bonds in the amount of $1,500,000 secured by mortgages on both companies. The bonds could not all be sold and it was impossible to secure the money to finish the project. A considerable amount of work was done in building bridges and laying ties and building the road bed. All these decayed and the roadbed was washed away by the rains as the project was abandoned for next ten years. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A railroad that never was.

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One of two listed in Cox. This was a good idea build a line between Warrensburg and Marshall Missouri. A distance of approximately 38.2 miles. A hundred thousand dollars of bonds were issued by the county of Johnston and an additional forty thousand from private investors in the county to help build the railroad. Grading work started and progress 13 miles until no more money could be raised. The project was abandoned.
 Many years of court battles between the county of Johnston and the bond holders followed. In the end the bond holder did better than the owner of the shares. The shares holders received nothing but worthless paper. At least it makes an interesting piece for my collection.

ref: The History of Johnston County Missouri.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Missouri Trolley Company

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A new addition fitting my new collecting theme. This is a rare piece as the only one listed in Cox. Not a railroad but a street trolley company of St. Joseph Missouri. This company was formed in 1887 when the New York banking firm I.B. Newton bought the St. Joseph Railways Company. This firm acquired the companies of Frederick Arc Line and the Citizens' Line operating these companies as the Peoples Street Railway, Electric Light and Power Company.
In the next three years the company expanded by building two street lines and acquiring two more lines. The company was reorganized in 1895 as the St. Joseph Railway, Light, Heat and Power Company.

ref. A History of Northwest Missouri Vol. 3 edited by Walter Williams.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Clarification is needed.

I have received a number of inquiries from collectors asking if I would be willing to trade some of my certificates. The answer is yes. But I need to clarify what I am still looking for. Missouri certificates yes but only railroads, trolleys any thing that operated on rails. My cutoff date is any certificate after the first world war. So any thing before 1917 I will be collecting. Also I want un-cancelled versions. As far as Confederates more flexible any Confederate state ( April 12, 1861-April 9, 1865) and cancelled certificates are ok.

Sorry for not being clear in my previous post.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

News Flash

After considerable thought I have decided to sell a part of my railroad stock and bond collection. I am going to concentrate on a limited area of collecting as applied to railroad stock and bonds. I will be collecting in two areas. These areas are Confederate Railroad issues and railroad stocks and bonds from my home state of Missouri. I plan to sell my remaining pieces on eBay and major auction houses such as Spink and Archives International. I estimate it may take a year or so to do this.

This will allow additional money to go to my other collecting interests. If any piece on my website (except Missouri and Confederates) is something you are looking for let me know. Email is

Thanks very much.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A railroad supplier.

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One of my latest additions to my collection. A company that supplied heating equipment for rail cars in the 1800's. Most likely steam heat from the locomotive. The information for this company is impossible to find on the web. I know it was the predecessor of the Fort Dearborn and Glass Company. That's about the only information I can find. If anyone can supply additional information on this company. I would appreciate it.

 As far as the certificate it has an interesting design. And probably one of the longest titles for a company ever chartered. A rare piece being the only one in Cox.