Description of Contents
The collection includes a scrapbook with newspaper clippings on the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad reorganization, receivership, and the shops in Kenwood area of Minneapolis. This scrapbook covering the years of 1934 to 1944 was compiled by Howard Abbott, a long-time employee of M&StL. It gives chronological order and vivid details of how the railroad struggled and succeeded in overcoming their own internal problems. A brief biography on Howard Abbott’s life and involvement in the M&StL railroad, and other companies is also included.
The Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad (M&StL) began in 1870 and was taken over in 1960. The railroad faced financial difficulties for a significant portion of its history. In 1923, the railroad went into receivership and faced bankruptcy problems for a 20 year period. Pragmatic leadership and multiple reorganization schemes, however, helped pull the railroad out of its difficulties. By 1943, the railroad became debt free. In 1942, they launched into massive reorganization, led by President Lucian Sprague. Despite the company’s successful efforts to reorganize and quell financial problems, the small railroad company struggled to compete against more prominent companies and was absorbed by the larger Chicago & North Western Railway in 1960.
The M&StL served primarily the states of Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and Illinois. The farthest point south started in Peoria, Illinois, ran through central Iowa, ran through the Twin Cities, and ended in eastern South Dakota. The railroad was designed to serve the agricultural regions of these particular Midwestern states, and bypass the massive railroad system of the Chicago region.