Missouri Depots
Farmington 1912

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St. Francois SVRR Gone

Front view

Photographer Unknown.

This photo was donated by, and the comments below are by William Bunch.
Saline Valley RR later Chester Perryville Ste. Genevieve & Farmington and still later Cape Girardeau Northern. These lines were all part of the system often referred to as the Houck lines. Louis Houck was a business entrepreneur from Cape Girardeau that attempted to build a rail empire in Southeast Missouri, but was not financially capable of competing with the likes of the Frisco system and the Iron Mountain. His line from Chester (Missouri side) to Ste. Genevieve was bought by the Frisco in 1902 and incorporated into their St. Louis - Memphis line being constructed at that time. I believe a least a portion of this line which had been mostly abandoned prior to 1920 ( Chester to Perryville) continued to be operated into the 30s by the Frisco. With the incline and car ferry at Chester, Houck hoped with his line into Farmington and connection with the St. Francois County RR that he would be the main supplier of Illinois coal for the lead mining companies in St. Francois County. However, the MR&BT bought the St. FC RR and secured a better deal on coal from via the Illinois Southern which was soon bought by the MP and consolidated with the MR&BT. So Houck's hope of being a major player in Southeast Missouri railroading died.

Last Updated July 14, 2004 - - - Property of Jack Forbes ©