Railroads in Holliday

Railroads in Holliday

Between the years 1870 and 1874 the Tebo and Neosho Railroad Company built a railroad from Sedalia to Hannibal. The first depot was built on the road about 11/2 miles east of the present site of Holliday.

 The Holliday brothers were men of some wealth, and wanted a side-track to the present town of Holliday. They agreed to furnish the ties and do the necessary grading. The track was made and the depot moved to the present town. The road bed was made of dirt which covered the ties to hold them stationary. The rails were made of iron and wore down very easily.  

The Tebo and Neosho Company operated this road only a short time, then sold it to the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Company, who later sold to the Missouri Pacific Company. Later it was re-purchased by the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Company, who then leased the road to the Wabash Railroad Company for 99 years. The first Wabash train came through Holliday in August, 1923.

Wood was used for fuel on the early railroads. People who sold them wood piled it along the right-of-way. The train would stop for fuel when needed. The trains in these early days would stop for anyone at any place one wished to board. An early excursion train to Madison carried passengers sitting on flat cars.

 The town of Holliday was at one time an important shipping point. Carloads of cattle, sheep and hogs were shipped from this point three or four times a week. In 1881, 351 carloads were shipped out. A stockyard was maintained near the tracks. Some early stock buyers were Billy Holder, A. D. Deaver, D. H. Barke, Joel Brown, William Barker, Cud Engle, and Casey Jones.

 The railroad is now owned by the Norfolk and Western Company. Only freight trains now run through the town. The depot was torn down in the 1960ís. Some of the men who have worked as telegraphers and station agents are Trot Holder, William Akers, Baxter Meals, Ephriam McDowell, and George Jackson.

 Some of the men who have worked on the section gang to maintain the railroads are Les Smithey, Harry Delaney, Jim and Earl Blackaby, Jim and Earl Clark, and Arthur Hawkins.