Northern Pacific Railroad Company Missouri Division scrapbook, 1878-1881  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Northern Pacific Railroad Company. Missouri Division
Northern Pacific Railroad Company Missouri Division scrapbook
1878-1881 (inclusive)
1 volume, 6 sheets
Collection Number
4989 (Accession No. 4989-001)
Railroad company of Pacific Northwest
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

Open to all users.

Records stored offsite; advance notice required for use.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The United States Congress chartered the Northern Pacific Railroad Company in 1864 to build a railroad from Lake Superior to the Pacific Ocean. The railroad was begun in Duluth in 1870. Tracks began to be laid between Kalama and the Puget Sound in 1871. Tacoma was designated as the railroad's western terminus in 1872. Throughout its construction, the railroad was plagued by financial difficulties, and changed hands several times. After the Financial Panic of 1873, construction ceased, and only resumed after 1877. The railroad reached the Missouri River by 1873, but relied on ferry service to cross the river for another decade. During the winters of 1879 to 1882, crews built a bridge across the Missouri between Bismarck and Mandan by laying tracks directly on the ice. The railroad was completed in 1883, when the eastern and western lines were connected at Gold Creek, Montana.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top


The Northern Pacific Railroad Company, Missouri Division scrapbook on Mandan, Dakota Territory was kept by F.W.D. Holbrook, principal assistant engineer for the line at Mandan, Dakota Territory, and consists mainly of clippings, correspondence, reports, diagrams, photographs, and financial miscellany. Most of the materials date from 1880. These include inventories, cost estimates, copies of contracts, price lists, and catalogs. There also are drawings, photographs and diagrams of railroad bridges. Along with clippings about railroads and railroad engineering from the Railroad Gazette, the scrapbook includes a few other publications, as well as copies of meeting notes from the Boston Society of Civil Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers, and pamphlets by Nelson Miles and George Vose. In addition, the scrapbook contains correspondence from suppliers and other engineers and Holbrook's account of the temporary bridge over the Missouri.

Six large drawings are stored separately: 1. Passenger station, 20' x 40'; 2. Freight depot, 20' x 40'; 3. Passenger station, 20' x 40' -- details; 4. Plan of woodshed for 100 cords; 5. Plan of Derrick house and coal shed; 6. Diagram of combination bridges. Correspondents include Adna Anderson, chief engineer of the Northern Pacific Railroad, M. Caliret, Wm. N. Burnham, George W. Cass, W. Miller Roberts, Gorham P. Low Jr. and E.F. Williams.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's literary rights not transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)
  • Railroad bridges--Design and construction
  • Railroad bridges--North Dakota--Mandan
  • Railroad engineers--North Dakota--Mandan
  • Railroad engineers--United States--Correspondence
  • Railroads--North Dakota
  • Railroads--United States--Design and construction
  • Personal Names :
  • Anderson, Adna, 1827-1889 --Correspondence
  • Holbrook, F.W.D
  • Corporate Names :
  • Northern Pacific Railroad Company
  • Northern Pacific Railroad Company. Missouri Division
  • Northern Pacific Railroad Company--Officials and employees --Correspondence
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • Pamphlets
  • Photographs
  • Plans (drawings)
  • Scrapbooks
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Miles, Nelson Appleton, 1839-1925 (creator)
    • Vose, George L. (George Leonard),  1831-1910 (creator)
    • Corporate Names :
    • American Society of Civil Engineers (creator)
    • Boston Society of Civil Engineers (creator)