Chapter 19
<-- Previous Chapter Next Chapter -->
Chapter 19 - History of Henry County Missouri 1883



How It Was Done

      One of the peculiar phases of this railroad bond business, was the persistent attack made upon those gentlemen who were engaged in an honest attempt to build the Kansas City, Springfield, and Memphis Railroad, by the manager of these branch roads, whose principal endeavor has since been proved, to a great extent, was to get hold of the people's bonds and pocket the proceeds. In this connection is given a couple of articles from the Clinton Advocate, whose editor at that time was chief fugleman of the LaDue's, and others. While, no doubt, honest in his opinion and belief he had no ground for the course that he pursued, of slander and abuse. He lived to see and know that he had been simply a dupe or tool - an instrument of designing men, and and like them left for other climes, and whose absence has not in any way been a detriment to the good people of Henry County. The following is only a sample of many characteristic articles which deluged the people from week to week, until the grand scheme of plunder had been consummated, and the natural enquiry was made by the county court, "What has become of those bonds?" Well, the bonds have been found, but who got the money, while pretty well understood, is not a question that some care to agitate.

      The Railroad Bond Swindle, so called, of Henry County, stands out prominently and alone, as the only rascally and fraudulent transaction in her history, but it was sufficiently large and of a character that the people are willing to rest there, and that those who have left for northern or southern climes, are welcome to remain in their new homes.


Some History

      The paper containing this article was dated December 8th, 1870, and reads:

      "Never in the history of railroads in Henry County has one been brought up to a point where the people can see what is to be in so short a space of time as the one we now write of. The so-called Kansas City & Memphis road made a power of noise in this community. Its prime movers, Richardson, Williams and Ferred, made a great amount of fuss in Henry County, but their component parts were all gas, and our argus-eyed railroad men soon discovered the facts, and they put on foot an organization that meant business. Not a year ago the Clinton & Memphis and Clinton & Kansas City branches of the Tebo & Neosho Railroad were formed, and today the bonds of Henry and St. Clair Counties have been sold in sufficient quantities to put the road under contract, (not built) southward. A large force will be put on the work east of Clinton next Monday by Mr. Colt, the successful and worthy contractor. The construction committees of these roads have worked faithfully and honestly since their election, and the result now shows for itself. Much more could be said about this road, but for the present it is enough to know the work will commence in good earnest next Monday morning. Much praise is due to D. C. Stone, A. D. Ladue, P. A. Ladue, Judge R. C. McBeth, Waldo P. Johnson and R. S. Graham, for the faithful manner in which they have put this important road in proper shape. Come to the dirt breaking next Monday morning, and let us all rejoice over the success that awaits us in the future, when we are joined with iron bands to the City of Memphis in the State of Tennessee."

      The above was followed by another article, headed:

      "The prayer of Clintonians has been, Oh, Lord! give us three railroads; just three, if no more; Amen. Come to the dirt breaking next Monday and see the beginning of the end. The progress has not been in vain. We have one railroad and two more certain. Hurrah for Clinton, hurrah for everybody! The 'Model Town' is hindmost to nobody."

      The Advocate, then owned and edited by Will H. Lawrence, was full of just such rodomontade from week to week, and as it was the leading paper in the county at that time, it was no wonder the people were deceived by its constant reiteration. The hollow mockery of this is now plain to be seen, and the fact that these "argus-eyed railroad men meant business" is painfully apparent and has been for years to every taxpayer of Henry County.


When the Rascality Started

      At the time that A. P. Ladue went to Jefferson City to recover the charters to these branch roads, he met the Secretary of the Kansas City & Memphis Railroad. Mr. Ladue informed the secretary what he was there for, which was already known, and stated to the aforesaid secretary that if the Kansas City & Memphis Railroad Company would give him five percent commission on subscription and make him agent he would forego his purpose of getting these branch charters. The offer was declined by the secretary for two reasons: first, that he had not the authority of his board of directors, and, second, that a commission of two and one-half percent was sufficient, and was so stated, but would not be accepted. The charters were secured and then commenced the work of destroying the Kansas City, Springfield & Memphis Company, and in that work he had the help of parties in Kansas City who, like Ladue "was on the make," road or no road. Twelve years have passed, and through the machinations of these men, life has been sacrificed, a million of dollars and over sunk, and with the exception that the prime movers of this great fraud are dead or have left the country, the people have no recourse and no consolation. But the bitter reality is stamped upon their memory once a year, as the tax gatherer makes his annual round.

      Many other articles, false in their character, in regard to these roads, and slanderous against the members of the first named road, were published, but there came a change. Those who were reviled stand out with characters unblemished, while those who instigated the slanderous charges are not now thought worthy of notice, and the county that once knew them, knows them no more. With one more article from the Advocate, whose editor acknowledged that he had been duped, and with a couple of extracts from the Kansas City Times, this report closes. It has been the writer's aim to give facts and figures, and naught set down in malice, and it is an unvarnished tale of a great wrong, which will serve as a warning for all time to the people of Henry County.


Kansas City & Memphis Railroad

From the Clinton Advocate, May 14, 1874.

      Jackson County, thinking the suit brought by Donnell & Lawson, the bankers and holders of the Jackson County bonds, of this road in New York City, were in a close place when suits had been brought against them in the superior court of New York, sent Colonel S. Woodson (not Silas) to New York, to do the best he could in the premises. He represents, after an absence of two weeks, that he interviewed the above bankers, counted the bonds, and found there were three suits in the courts there, on attachment against this road, and that a writ of attachment in each case had been levied on these bonds in the hands of Donnell, Lawson & Co. He obtained an order restraining any one from attaching these bonds and having them declared bonds of Jackson County. He thinks the bonds and proceeds of such as have been sold and remain on hand, are safe from the proceedings now pending in the courts, and must remain so until the gradation and masonry are completed from Kansas City to Harrisonville. Having been an old friend of this road from its inception, we confess that now our confidence is shaken when we read the itemized bill brought back from New York by Mr. Woodson:

      William F. Chittenden vs. the Kansas City & Memphis Railroad Company.

      Complaint on two warrants, viz: No. 165, dated June 28, 1873, to Amos Green, attorney for James Lullis & Co., $3,000; No. 221, dated January 3,1874, to John Polk, $500.

      Complaint on two warrants, viz: No. 155, dated March 20, 1873, to J. E. Marsh, $1,200; No.158, dated March 20,1873, to John W. Polk for $100.

      Complaint on two warrants, viz: No. 150, dated March 20, 1873, to R. C. McBeth for $5,000; No. 226, dated January 29, 1874, to R. C. McBeth for $1,500.

      All drawn by R. T. VanHorn, president.


      John D. Strickland vs. the Kansas City, Memphis & Mobile Railroad Company.

      Complaint on fourteen warrants:

      No. 142, dated August 3, 1872, to S. W. Caldwell for $588.60.

      No. 143, dated September 17, 1872, to S. W. Caldwell for $1,307.88.

      No. 150, dated November 19, 1872, to S. W. Caldwell for $1,379.03.

      No. 157, dated March 20, 1873, to R. T. VanHorn for $5,000.

      No. 163, dated June 12,1873, to P. A. LaDue for $1,550.

      No. 220, dated December 16, 1873, to W. Freeman for $789.65.

      No. 281, dated February 10, to R. T. Van Horn for $5,000.

      No. 162, dated February 10, 1874, to A. D. LaDue for $4,389.46.

      No. 233, dated February 10, 1874, to James Corington for $673.80.

      No. 234, dated February 10, 1874, to Henry L. Ladue for $595.90.

      No. 235, dated February 10,1874, to A. D. LaDue for $5,600.

      No. 196, dated February 10, 1874, to Claud LaDue for $595.50.

      No. 137, dated February 10, 1874, to W. R. Freeman for $316.66.

      No. 239, dated February 10, 1874, to Henry L. LaDue for $105.


      The Kansas City Times, speaking of the troubles, says, in its issue of August 9, 1875, that, "It is not our purpose to attack or defend anybody in this connection, nor to shield any wrong doer from a just responsibility. But we do want the exact status of the road placed in a clear light before the people, so the discussion as to what can or shall be done may be relieved of all the rubbish of personal bickerings and idle wranglings about mismanagement and maladministration in the past.

      We have had enough of that. Doubtless if there had been less of it, the cars would have been running on the road by this time. No sooner was the enterprise begun than it was attacked with suits, and harassed with all sorts of contentions and gouges. If we must go back and fight all those old battles over again, the road bed will be washed away, the the county subscriptions to the amount of$1,050,000 will be lost forever, before we can get ready to take up the enterprise where it stands today. Let us take right hold here without further delay.

      Jackson, Cass, Henry and St. Clair own an unfinished railroad which has cost them $1,050,000, and which, as now managed, is not progressing, but going to destruction, and still costing them fifteen or twenty thousand dollars yearly in salaries to nominal officers of a railroad company which is doing nothing. What is the use of paying $5,000 a year each to presidents, superintendents, etc., for doing nothing? If the enterprise is dead why not stop the cost of pretending that it is alive? Is it dead, or is only sleeping under the incubus of an unfortunate, incapable or suspected and bottled up management?"


Memphis Railroad Again

The Advocate, in its issue of August 10th says of the bill here appended:

      "The question is, shall the whole enterprise be sacrificed because the gentlemen are not paid? Shall the counties lose the million dollars already invested and pay out a million and a half more in interest without realizing any benefits, because the officers of the company claim it is owing them a few thousand dollars? That will be an impossibility for the present management to resurrect the enterprise, we believe it to be a foregone conclusion in the minds of the people. In nearly all the counties a spirit of interest is being awakened, and the sine qua non as everywhere expressed is that there be a change in officers. The gentlemen interested know this as well as anyone, and there is no need of their trying to conceal the fact. How much wiser then would it be for them to meet these counties half way, to propose some basis of settlement, and to join with all good citizens and tax payers in rescuing the road from total loss, and, if possible, to secure its completion. They are jointly interested in having it built, and should forego some personal considerations to see that accomplished."

Getting at the Marrow

      Thus far our history of this railroad business has principally been confined to the records found in Henry County, but a betrayed people started a more thorough investigation, commencing at Kansas City and following the action of the company as far as Osceola. The following article is taken from the Clinton Democrat of December 23, 1875, headlines and all; it being the report of the committee of investigation of Jackson County:



To the County Court of Jackson County:

      GENTLEMEN: Your committee appointed by order, dated August 5, 1875, to investigate and report upon the matter of the subscription of this county, to the Memphis & Mobile Railroad Company, and the present condition of the affairs of said company, report as follows:

      That we called upon the superintendent of the company, Mr. A. D. Ladue, to examine the records, books and papers of the corporation, and made as full an examination as we thought necessary. Our examination was directed mainly to the following objects of inquiry:

      First. The amount of stock issued by the Company and the proceeds thereof.

      Second. The disposition made by the directors of the proceeds of the stock subscriptions.

      Third. The assets and liabilities of the corporation at the present time.

      Fourth. The character of the past management of the road in respect to its faith and ability, and the possibility and utility of securing a change of the management in the interest of the bona fide stockholders.

      So far as we were able to examine them, the record, books and papers of the company give no sufficient history of its actual transactions.

      In the matter of stock, it appears that stock to a large amount, has been voted and issued for which there appears to be no regular subscription.

      The company was organized under the general law of the state, which required a bona fide subscription of $1,000 per mile of the proposed road, five percent of which should have been paid in cash as the basis of the organization. It was required that the actual payment of this five percent should be certified by three of the proposed company.

      This corporation was organized upon the basis of the following subscriptions:


P. A. LaDue


R. C. McBeth


A. D. LaDue


W. D. Meade


T. H. Mastin


A. L. Harris


R. B. Higgins


D. C. Stone


G. Y. Salmon


Waldo P. Johnson


R. T. Van Horn


J. W. Polk


I. D. Hines


J. W. Reid.





      Three of the directors certified to the above subscription, and the payment of 5 percent thereof in cash, under oath.

      The books of the company do not show that one dollar in cash was ever received by the company, either of the 5 percent or any of the balance of the subscription.

      The stock was issued and some months afterwards returned and canceled, and afterward again reissued in payment of, pretended services of the incorporators, and is now outstanding.

      R. O. Boggess upon becoming a director, received $10,000 worth of stock, for which nothing was ever paid.

      In 1875 one million dollars of stock of the company was issued to W. G. Ford, for which, so far as the books show, or we could learn from the superintendent by inquiring, nothing whatever was paid.

      All the above issues of stock appear to us to have been fraudulent, and that the issuing thereof renders them liable to severe penalties under our laws.

      The bonafide subscriptions are the following:


Jackson County


Cass County


Henry County


St. Clair County





      The above were transferred from the Clinton & Kansas City branch of the Tebo & Neosho Railroad Company and were paid for in county bonds. The books of the company show vouchers issued to the amount of $869,952.69. The proceeds of the county bonds subscribed, as near as we can learn, are $840,000, to which add $145,000 original subscriptions, included in the whole amount of vouchers issued and not paid, total $985,000, leaving a deficit of expenditures less than receipts of $115,047.31.

      These vouchers and the books and papers fail to show the nature of large amounts of expenditures they represent, arid in some instances there appears to be large monetary transactions for which no satisfactory explanation can be arrived at from an inspection either of the vouchers or the books.

           For instance, Mr. John W. Polk, one of the directors, seems to have handled $10,000 in Jackson County, for which there is no separate voucher and no account whatever of the disposition of the same. It appears that Mr. H. M. Holden stands charged on the books of said company as having received and paid in full the sum of $76,000, and, strange to say, when called upon for an inspection of books, papers, etc., as former treasurer of the company, he stated positively that he had nothing whatever to do with any money transactions of the Company; that he neither received nor paid out as treasurer of said company any sum of money whatever.

      This money spent in Jackson County is very indefinite. Item.

      Vouchers Nos. 13 and 14, for $6,000, to J. J. Mastin & Co. for contingent expenses.

      Vouchers Nos. 46, 47 and 49, for $28,000, to J. J. Mastin & Co. for contingent expenses.

      These vouchers, Mr. M. states, were drawn to balance various overdrawn accounts at the Mastin Bank.

      Voucher No. 35, for $6,500, to Mr. J. T. Crisp for contingent expenses.

      We have been unable to see Mr. Crisp and, consequently, can form no idea as to the purpose for which this money was applied.

      It appears from the report of the committee of citizens and engineers appointed by the Jackson County Court to examine and report the amount of work done in Jackson County by the various contractors along the line of the road that in the list of vouchers issued on account of construction, there has been allowed to various contractors large amounts in excess of the original contract price, and in the aggregate amounting to about $77,000 more than they, the con tractors, agreed to do for originally.

      We deem it unnecessary to itemize the vouchers issued for contingent expenses in the other counties, though it may be said that it amounts to a very large sum.

      It does appear, however, that of the proceeds of the county bonds, the following sums were paid:


For engineering expenses


For construction


For salaries and officers' contingent expenses


For right of way


For tie and timber account



      Copies of these vouchers were taken and are in the hands of the committee. The assets of the company consist of the right of way and road bed so far as constructed, ties, the uncollected subscriptions and the Soden bond. This bond was given by the Soden Brothers upon their settlement with the Jackson County Court and the company for work done. In consideration of settlement and payment for the work done by them, they agreed to complete the road to Harrisonville, in Cass County, and gave bond in the sum of $100,000 for the completion of the same. They have not fulfilled the obligations of said bond, but whether a recovery can be had thereon is a question that this committee does not attempt to decide.

      The liabilities, so far as we can learn of any, are embraced in the following judgments:


H. Hale, for


James Campbell, for


Soden Brothers, for


W. T. Thornton





      Upon these judgments executions have been issued and are now in the hands of the sheriffs of Jackson and Henry Counties, who have levied upon the road-bed, ties, etc., and will at an early day sell the same unless some steps are taken to prevent the sale thereof.

      We have have been informed by Superintendent LaDue that several of the above judgments are fraudulent, in this, that the claims upon which they are founded have long since been paid, and at the time of their rendition nothing was due the parties obtaining them.

      It may be proper to mention in the number of liabilities, that $2,000,000 in first mortgage bonds have been issued, and are now in the hands of the Land Grant and Trust Company, of New York, for sale or hypothecation, as may to the directors seem advisable. It appears from the books that Mr. Holden, as treasurer of the company, was directed to have said bonds prepared, with his facsimile engraved upon the coupons thereof, and authorized to select agents for the sale of same, not to exceed the sum of $20,000 per mile. What action, if any, in the premises, he took, we have failed to ascertain. Our information as to the amounts issued, and where placed, was obtained from Mr. A. D. LaDue.

      In conclusion, your committee state that the inevitable result of their investigations is, that the stock of the company has been fraudulently issued and manipulated, to suit the private purposes of the managers and that the funds of the company have been grossly misapplied to fraudulent purposes, and wasted in extravagant payments made to contractors and others. It is only necessary to refer to the amount of expenditures for salaries and contingent expenses, as compared with the amount expended on the road, to show this. It could not have been a wise or Judicious management that thus disposed of them.

      We are advised that under the circumstances the present directory are liable to removal at the instance of the stockholders, and that a receiver may be appointed, whose business it will be to collect the unpaid subscriptions and recover moneys fraudulently misapplied, and out of them pay the existing debts so far as such debts are justly due, and if any of them are not due, and the judgments prove to be fraudulent or obtained by collusion, that proper steps may be taken to vacate them.

      That thus the road bed and right of way may be saved from sacrifice until such time as the reviving energies of the country and the demands for intercourse with the section through which this road passes and with which it connects, shall render possible the further prosecution of the work. Or if the other assets of the road prove insufficient to pay its just debts and it is necessary to sell the road for their payment, that it may be sold in a manner most favorable to the interests of the real stockholders, the counties that have subscribed and paid for the stock. A sale by a receiver might be so managed, as to time and manner, as to insure the best price and a purchaser by those who will be likely to complete the road.

      We, therefore, recommend that this county alone, or in connection with other bona fide stockholders cause an application to be made for the appointment of a receiver.






      This report was a sort of astonisher to most of those connected with the matter. The papers were asked not to publish the report, and some did not, but a few did, and thus this history is made more complete. The committee, however, still investigated, it seems, and again is found a report, and this time, of a large expenditure of money, with the peculiar item of "Contingent Expenses," being fearfully often.


From the Henry County Democrat, of January 20, 1876



      The following are the recorded expenditures of the Memphis Railroad Company, as taken by the county court committee of Jackson County, from the stubs of its warrant books. We find the items published in the Independence Sentinel. We also learn from another source, that in addition to the expenditures here given, additional warrants to the amount of one hundred and eighty thousand dollars were issued, for which the books show no account whatever. Not even so much as "contingent" expenses. Read the items and do your own thinking:


Peter Soden & Bro., contractors, Sept 21, 1871


Thomas Corrigan & Bro., contractors, Sept 20, 1871


H. Hale, contractor, Sept 20, 1871


James Lillis & Co., contractors


Hicks, ties, Sept 20, 1871


P. A. Ladue, contingent expenses, Sept 20


Church Bell, right of way, Sept 20, 1871


J. M. Hughes, right of way, Sept 21, 1871


G. S. Hedges, right of way, Sept 21, 1871


B. F. Robinson, right of way, Sept 21, 1871


J. W. Polk, right of way, Sept 21, 1871


J. J. Mastin & Co., engineering, Sept 21,1871


J. J. Mastin & Co., contingent expenses, Sept 21, 1871


J. J. Mastin & Co., contingent expenses, Sept 21, 1871


Levison & Blythe, contingent expenses, Sept 23, 1871


Henry County Democrat, printing, Dec 7, 1871


G. W. Salmon, right of way, Oct 10, 1871


E. DeWolf, office rent, Oct 16, 1871


J. B. Colt, construction, Oct 16, 1871


H. Hale, construction, Oct 16, 1871


F. McCabe, construction, Oct 16, 1871


B. L. Owen, tie and timber account, Oct 16, 1871


Pay roll, engineering account, Oct 16, 1871


Foote & Heller, engineering, Oct 16,1871


W. D. Lee, right of way, Oct 16,1871


Western Union Telegraph, contingent expenses, Oct 16, 1871


D. C. Stone, contingent, Oct 17, 1871


Frank McCabe, construction, Oct 18, 1871


Bellmyer & Small's rolling stock account, Oct 18,1871


James Munson, right of way, Oct 18, 1871


W. H. Lawrence, contingent expense account, Oct 18, 1871


Snavely, engineering, Oct 18, 1871


Roberts & Brice, engineering, Oct 18, 1871


Pay roll, Pinks party, engineering, Nov 4, 1871


John T. Crisp, contingent, Nov 4, 1871


E. A. Cutler, pay roll, engineering, ---, 1871


William Miller, engineering, Nov 15, 1871


B. L. Owen, tie and timber account, Nov 15, 1871


B. L. Owen, tie and timber account, Nov 15, 1871


H. Hale, construction, Nov 15, 1871


Pay roll, engineering, Nov 15, 1871


A. D. LaDue, engineering, Nov 16, 1871


J. J. Mastin & Co., contingent expenses, Nov 28, 1871


J. B. Colt, construction, Nov 28, 1871


Haysler & Bro., engineering, Nov 28, 1871


J. J. Mastin & Co., contingent expenses, Nov 25, 1871


J. J. Mastin & Co., contingent expenses, Nov 28, 1871


John T. Crisp, contingent expenses, Nov 28, 1871


J. J. Mastin & Co., contingent expenses, Nov 28, 1871


E. R. Hickman, contingent, Nov 28, 1871


J. J. Mastin, interest and exchange, Nov 28, 1871


Smith & Keating, engineering, Dec 5, 1871


John Curtis, engineering, Dec 9, 1871


Salmon & Stone, contingent, Dec 11, 1871


A. D. LaDue, engineering, Dec 11, 1871


Roberts Bros., engineering, Dec 13, 1871


John H. Parks, tie and timber, Dec 18, 1871


J. T. Parker, right of way, Dec 20, 1871


Jordan & Co., engineering, coal, Dec 20, 1871


J. R. Cline, right of way, Cass County, Dec 23, 1871


A. H. Boyles, right of way, Cass County, Dec 23, 1871


D. C. Stone, per John Barnhart right of way, Jan 1, 1872


L. J. Ferrell, right of way, Jan 1, 1872


G. A. Champin, right of way, Jan 1, 1872


Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad Company, rolling stock, Jan 1, 1872


M. Baird & Co., rolling stock, Jan 1, 1872


Third National Bank, bills payable, Jan 1, 1872


P. A. LaDue, contingent, Jan 1, 1872


W.Nunin & Co., contingent, Jan 1, 1872


R. & T. A. Ennis, contingent, Jan 1,1872


Jackson & Sharp Co., rolling stock, Jan 1, 1872


D. C. Stone, contingent, Jan 1, 1872


R. B. Higgins, contingent, Jan 1, 1872


G. Y. Salmon, contingent, Jan 1, 1872


J. W. Polk, contingent, Jan 2, 1872


Thomas H. Mastin, contingent, Jan 2, 1872


R. C. McBeth, contingent, Jan 2, 1872


J. D. Hinds, contingent, Jan 2, 1872


A. L. Harris, contingent, Jan 2, 1872


R. T. VanHorn, contingent, Jan 2, 1872


W. D. Meade, contingent, Jan 2, 1872


H. W. Salmon, contingent, Jan 2, 1872


G. W. Reed, contingent, Jan 2, 1872


W. P. Johnson, contingent, Jan 2, 1872


H. W. Salmon, contingent, Jan 2, 1872


A. D. LaDue, contingent, Jan 2, 1872


P. A. LaDue, contingent, Jan 2, 1872


P. A. LaDue, contingent, Jan 2.1872


Missouri, Kansas & Texas Company, rolling stock, Jan 2, 1872


Engineering pay roll, Jan 3, 1872


F.M. Groff, right of way, Jan 4, 1872


James Corington, engineering, Jan 5, 1872


James Lillis & Co., construction, Jan 8, 1872


James Lillis & Co., construction, Jan 8, 1872


H. Hale, construction, Jan 8, 1872


H. Hale, construction, Jan 8, 1872


J. W. Polk, right of way, Jan 9, 1872


J. W. Polk, contingent, Jan 9, 1872


Peter Soden & Bro., construction, Jan 12, 1872


W. P. Smith, engineering, Jan 15, 1872


Thomas Corrigan, construction Jackson County, Jan 20 1872


James Lillis & Co., construction Cass County, June 23, 1872


J. N. Sharp, ties, Feb 5, 1872


E. A. Cutter, engineering, Feb 12, 1872


Western Union Telegraph Company, contingent expenses, Feb 12, 1872


W. B. Napton, Jr., contingent expenses, Feb 12, 1872


J. B. Colt, construction, Feb 12, 1872


Haysler & Bro., engineering expenses, Feb 14, 1872


J. R. Cline, contingent expenses, Feb 24, 1872


C. Hurst, right of way, Feb 24,1872


Russel Hicks, tie and timber account, Mar 1, 1872


Western Union Telegraph Company, contingent expenses, Mar 1, 1872

 23 18

W. D. Mead, contingent expenses, Mar 1, 1872

 1 000.00

M. B. Stewart, engineering, Mar 1, 1872


Thomas Hensley, engineering, Mar 1, 1872


Robert Allen, contingent account board of James Mulladay, April 1,1872


W. L. Shankland, right of way, April 16, 1872


Western Union Telegraph Company, contingent expenses, Apr 16, 1872


Third National Bank, interest and discount, April 16, 1872

 798 25

John J. Mastin & Co., interest and discount, April 16, 1872


J. J. Mastin & Co., interest and discount, April 16, 1872


J. J. Mastin & Co., engineering expenses, April 16, 1872


J. J. Mastin & Co., contingent expenses, April 16, 1872


Thomas H. Mastin, contingent expenses, April 16, 1872


James Lillis & Co., construction, April 25, 1872


M. Baird & Co., rolling stock, May 16, 1872


James Abernathy, contingent expenses, May 6, 1872


Western Union Telegraph Company, contingent expenses, May 6, 1872


J. N. Ramsey, contingent expenses, May 6, 1872


Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad Company, rolling stock, May 6, 1872


G. Y. Salmon, contingent expenses, May 6, 1872


J. B. Colt, construction, May 4, 1872


Charles Griswold, engineer, May 7, 1872


W. P. Mead, contingent account, May 7, 1872


R. C. McBeth, contingent expenses, May 7, 1872


Notford, contingent expenses, May 7, 1872


William Connor, right of way, May 7, 1872


James Corington, contingent, May 7, 1872


Charles Griswold, engineer's expenses for May and June, 1872


G. W. CaIdwell, grading in St. Clair County, May and June, 1872


W. C. Meade, recording of deeds and right of way, May 15, 1872


S. W. Caldwell, gradation in St. Clair County, July 18, 1872


S. W. CaIdwell, work in St. Clair County, Aug 1872


C. Griswold, engineering, July and Aug 1872


Stationery and printing, Nov 1872


J. E. Marsh, salary expense account, four months, Nov 7, 1872


Matt W. Foster & Co., stationery and printing, Nov 7, 1872


G. S. Case, contingent, November 7, 1872


Keevil & Turner, contingent, Nov 7, 1872


T. W. Caldwell, work as shown by estimate for percentage,


      Nov 19, 1872


T. W. Caldwell, balance due him on estimate


      under Hale contingent account, Nov 19, 1873


H. Case, office rent, March 20, 1873


Bullene & Co., contingent, March 20, 1873


A. V. Van Epps, Hale contract, March 20,1873


J. E. Marsh, expenses and salary, March 20, 1873


A. S. Stewart & Co., H. Hale contract, March, 1873


R. T. Van Horn, salary, March 20, 1873


J. W. Polk, expenses, March 20, 1873


R. C. McBeth, attorney, March 20, 1873


W. C. Meade, secretary, March 20, 1873


H. M. Holden, expenses, March 20, 1873


Cavanaugh, second class masonry, in part payments


      of warrants Nos. 96 and 97, March 20, 1873


P. A. LaDue, contingent, June 12, 1873


Wallace Laws, right of way, June 26, 1873


Amos Green, attorney construction, June 28, 1873


Charles McKenna, construction second class masonry, Aug 15, 1873


Philip Conroy, right of way, Aug 23, 1873


Ben Anderson, right of way, Aug 25, 1873


R. Floury, right of way, Aug 25, 1873


Wyatt Webb, right of way, Aug 25, 1873


S. H. McLaughlin, right of way, Aug 25, 1873


W. P. Martin, right of way, Aug 26, 1873


Edward West, right of way, Aug 27, 1873


Oliver Cale & Co., right of way, Aug 27, 1873


Nancy Davis, right of way, Aug 27, 1873


John Selt, right of way, Aug 27, 1873


Thomas Ashery, right of way, Aug 27, 1873


G. M. Sheldon, right of way, Aug 27, 1873


J. B. Shut, right of way, Aug 29, 1873


Hugh Dixon, right of way, Aug 29, 1873


G. W. Bryant, right of way, Aug 29, 1873


P. J. Kelly, right of way, Aug 29, 1873


G. M. Holloway, right of way, Aug 30, 1873

 900 .00

J. M. Dillon, right of way, Aug 30, 1873


H. Steiner, right of way, Aug 30, 1873


N. Hornbuckle, right of way, Aug 30, 1873


Daniel Boone, right of way, Aug 30, 1873


Mart Hackler, right of way, Sept 1, 1873


Marion Barnett, right of way, Sept 2, 1873


W. R. Bernard, right of way, Sept 3, 1873


I. E. Price, right of way, Sept 3, 1873


B. J. Franklin, right of way, Sep 4, 1873


John Orr, right of way, Sep 5, 1873


Solomon Wyatt, right of way, Sept 5, 1873


James Jessup, right of way, Sept 9, 1873


Cal CaIdwell, right of way, Sept 9, 1873


A. B. H. McGee, right of way, Nov 10, 1873


M. Randolph, right of way, Nov 12, 1873


NW quarter of NW quarter section 27, Twp 48, Range 33,


      right of way, Nov 12, 1873


W. H. Cobb, right of way, Nov 12, 1873


Samuel Protect, right of way, Nov 12, 1873


W. Turner, right of way, Nov 12, 1873


Brown & McSpalden, right of way, Nov 12, 1873


W. Bevis, right of way, Nov 23, 1873


James Jessup, right of way, Nov 23, 1873


F. Weddick, right of way, Nov 23, 1873


Edward DeWolf, right of way and engineering, Oct 18, 1873


Regan, right of way, Nov 12, 1873


J. C. Morris, right of way, Nov 12, 1873


J. W. Keefer, right of way, Nov 12, 1873


C. B. Platt, right of way, Nov 12, 1873


W. R. Barr, right of way, Nov 12, 1873


W. Renisch, right of way, Nov 12, 1873


A. Jenkins, right of way, Nov 12, 1873


P. Soden & Bro., construction, Sept 30, 1873


Soden & Bro., construction, Sept 20, 1873


James Campbell, engineering, Dec 16, 1873


W. R. Truman,~engineering, Dec 16, 1873


A. B. H. McGee, engineering


Karnes & Ess, contingent, Jan 1, 1874


E. Chiles, right of way, Jan 3, 1874


J. W. Polk, contingent, Jan 30,1874


Levi Tyler, contingent, Jan 30,1874


R. C. McBeth as attorney at law and committeeman to


      New York, Jan 29, 1874


W. D. Meade, contingent as secretary, Jan 29, 1874


A. Qualmd, engineering, Jan 29, 1874


P. Soden, construction, Jan 30, 1874


Journal Company, construction, Jan 30, 1874


R. T. VanHorn, contingent, Feb 10, 1874


A. D. LaDue, balance in ledger, Feb 10, 1874


H. L. LaDue, contingent, Feb 10, 1874


A. D. LaDue, contingent, Feb 10, 1874


Claud LaDue, engineering, Feb 10, 18744


W. R. Truman, engineering, Feb 10, 1874


James Campbell, engineering, Feb 10, 1874


H. L. LaDue, contingent, Feb 10, 1874


D. C. Stone, contingent, March 24, 1874


Ranson & Brown, contingent, July I, 1873


Thomas Shirss, deputy sheriff, New York City,


      contingent, July 2, 1874


W. D. Meade, right of way, June 25, 1874


Poindexter, land and right of way, Aug 7, 1874


J. H. J. Harris, land and right of way, Aug 11, 1874


Fred Widlich, land and right of way, Aug 17, 1874

 100 00

John Regan, land and right of way, Aug 18, 1874


William Turner, land and right of way, Aug 20, 1874


H. M. Holden, contingent, Sept 7, 1874


R. F. Mastin, right of way, Sept 10, 1874


J. N. Harris, right of way, Sept 10, 1874


Isaac Johnson, right of way, Sept 10, 1874


F. Patrick, right of way, Sept 10, 1874


B. F. Martin, right of way, Sept 11, 1874


Penn, (duplicate 200) right of way, Sept 12, 1874


W. H. Barr, right of way, Sept 19, 1874


R. White, right of way, Sept 21, 1874


J. J. Mastin, right of way, Sept 25, 1874


T. Mastin, contingent, Sept 25, 1874


R. C. McBeth, right of way, Sept 26, 1874


P. A. LaDue, right of way, Sept 26, 1874


Sol Hilligus, ties, Sept 26, 1874


W. P. Johnson, right of way, Sept 26, 1874


R. T. VanHorn, contingent, Sept 26, 1874


A. D. LaDue, contingent, Sept 26, 1874


G. Y. Salmon, contingent, Sept 26, 1874


D. C. Stone, contingent, Sept 26, 1874


W. D. Meade, contingent, Sept 26, 1874


A. L. Harris, contingent, Sept 26, 1874


John W. Polk, contingent, Sept 26, 1874

9,500 00

Meade Woodson, right of way, Sept 26, 1874


W. S. Parish, right of way, Aug 28, 1874


Mordecai Bul, right of way, Oct 2,1872


James Campbell, engineering, Oct 26, 1874


C. H. Nickerbocker, engineering, Oct 26, 1874


W. H. Salmaker, engineering, Oct 26, 1874


H. L. LaDue, construction, Oct 26, 1874


Claude LaDue, engineering, Oct 26, 1874


R. T. Van Horn, engineering, Oct 26, 1874


James Harder, engineering. Oct 26, 1874


James Burke, engineering, Oct 26, 1874


A. M. Statemaker, engineering, Oct 26, 1874


James Corington, engineering, Oct 26, 1874


James Campbell, engineering, Oct 26, 1874


Soden & Bros., construction, Oct 26, 1874


H. L. McElroy, right of way, part payment warrant No. 272,


      entered in warrant 272, 1874


Meade Woodson, right of way, as part of warrant 272,


      entered in warrant 272


William McClure, right of way, Nov 21, 1874


-- engineering, Jan 2, 1875


M. E. Summers, second class masonry, Feb 4, 1875


James Corrington, duplicate, Feb 10, 1875




      The Democrat, in commenting upon this astounding exposure of what became of the money, made the following remarks: "We also learn from another source that in addition to the expenditures here given, that additional warrants, to the amount of $180,000 were issued, for which the books show no account whatever. Not even so much as "contingent expenses."


One More Exposure

      With one more important paper this history of wrong will be closed. That exposure shows the whole game, that from the start "they meant business." With the bribery of a county judge, whose affidavit was made and left for safe keeping, but is now missing, though its contents are not, and will not be denied. From the hasty summoning of a county judge to come town to sign $50,000 of the bonds, and their midnight delivery, the attempted purchase of men who could influence a county court, down to the deliberate fraud of fraudulent contracts, the whole is exposed, and a more sickening and dishonest record would be hard to find in the annals of fraud. This is the record the people of Henry County, who have been so foully wronged, can now understand, and if no other satisfaction is ever granted them, they will have the knowledge of who "did it." From beginning to end this record of railroad history is official, and it has required no small amount of labor and patience to bring to light the whole facts bearing on the case. Some darker spots are still left. The query the editor of the Democrat asks, "What became of the $180,000 not even entered as contingent expenses?" is one of them. The closing up is the well known confession of the engineer, or that part of it that referred to the work between Clinton and Osceola, the contracts, and what came of them. The following will be found very interesting reading:


The Engineer's Confession

      As there has been a great deal said in the past concerning the misappropriation of the funds furnished by the counties, in the shape of bonds, to build a railroad from Kansas City, Missouri, to Memphis, Tennessee; and as my name has been frequently mentioned as one of the "railroad ring," in justice to myself and to the counties concerned, I have decided to make a frank and full expose of all that I know about the past management of the road and the dealings of the officers of the company, particularly in regard their to very virtuous and honest(?) disposition of the funds entrusted to their hands. I t is not necessary for me to go into a detailed verbiage of the first organization of the company, as that is a matter which has been frequently published and is doubtless familiar to the people of all interested counties. I will, therefore, simply commence with my first connection with the railroad company. I was employed by the first president of the company, D. C. Stone, to commence a survey of the road from Clinton, Henry County, Missouri, to Osceola, St. Clair, County, Missouri. I made a reconnaissance of the line in August 1870, and early in September of the same year, started a party of engineers to run a preliminary line from Clinton south, taking charge of the party in person. After reaching the southern line of St. Clair County I left the party in camp to await orders from the board and went to Clinton to attend a meeting of the board to be held at that time. I was then elected chief engineer of the Clinton & Memphis Branch of the Tebo & Neosho Railroad, with orders to run a line, to Bolivar, Polk County, Missouri, and to start another party to locate the line from Clinton south, preparatory to commencing work. I now come down to the time I first became convinced that everything was not straight.


A. D. Ladue Makes a Call

      Mr. A. D. Ladue came to me in my office and made the request that I fix such a price for the work, and to fix it in such a manner that the contractors could divide and at the same time the price would look small to outsiders. To this request I did not know what to say; but directly Ladue getting no reply from me, he went out and that was the last I heard of it. This was the latter part of November, 1870. I wrote to some friends in St. Clair County to meet me at the Osage timber, near where the line now runs. I left in the morning and returned in the evening. I there met and told them just how things were. They begged of me not to resign but to keep my position (I had made up my mind to resign and told them so). They said, knowing what I did, I could keep my position in the company and prevent any great amount of damage or stealing; that if I resigned some one would be appointed who would do the bidding of their dishonest masters, and that as they already had the bonds and as nothing could be done to prevent the company from making use of them not to resign but to do the best I could for the counties. I came back from this interview hardly knowing what to do. I consulted with my friends and they also advised me not to say anything; that if I did my statement would be refuted by Ladue and Stone, who were both influential and well known men while I was comparatively a stranger. They advised me by no means to resign if I really had the good of the counties at heart. I will now proceed to show how little good I was able to do.


We Will Now Preceed to Make a Contract

      Mr. J. B. Colt came to me and said Mr. Ladue that he, Colt, should enter into a contract to do certain work at the following prices: (the prices were not mentioned at this time but afterwards I found out what they were) earth excavation 27 cents per yard; loose rock $1 per yard; solid rock $1.75 per yard; clearing and grubbing $70 per acre; culvert masonry $5.50 per yard; and that he, Colt, was to give Ladue and Stone two cents per yard on earth, 25 cents in loose and solid rock, and $20 per acre on clearing and grubbing, and $1 per yard on culvert masonry. That he did not know what to do, and did not want to do anything that was not right, and said that if I would stand by him he would do nothing but what was right. I assured him that I would do so and that he could depend on me. This was the last that I heard about the contract until I had to make out the estimates when the prices were given me. The work was at least one-half done before I found out there was anything divided.

      They then told me all about it, stating that the difference between the first named prices and those actually paid the contractors were, after the whole amount had been drawn, handed back to the contractors. They, the contractors, drawing the entire amount, and then paying the difference to LaDue in his office, which was divided between A. D. LaDue and D. C. Stone, except the contract let to H. Hale, which I will explain hereafter. The contract for the first twenty miles south from Clinton was let to J. B. Colt, with the understanding that Captain William Weaver was to have the last five miles (which was in St. Clair County). Captain Weaver was to have the same price Colt received. The contract for that five miles was a part of the first twenty, which was let to J. B. Colt, and had to be receipted by him to the company, and a separate estimate was made to Weaver. The prices Weaver received were the same that J. B. Colt actually received, that is, the original price less the bonus paid to LaDue and Stone, (they first told me the difference Colt received), Weaver not knowing anything of this arrangement, but supposing that he received the amount of the original contract prices. We will now take the contract let to H. Hale. He had really nothing to do with the contract, more than to lend the use of his name for one third of the profits, which was the difference between prices in the original contract and the prices of the sub-contractors. The prices of the original were the same as those in J. B. Colt's contract, and the subprices were as follows: Earth, 23 cents; loose rock, 65 cents; solid rock, $1.50; clearing and grubbing, $40 per acre and two-thirds of the overhaul; the culvert work at $4. The bridge work was let to Frank McCabe at the following prices: Bridge masonry $11, and Grand River at $12, he paying the $3 per yard and actually receiving $8 and $9.


They Scoop $27,000

We will now proceed to recapitulate: First take J. B. Colt's contract in Henry county.


Earth excavation, 165,383 1-100 yards at 2¢

$ 3,307.66

Loose rock excavation, 8,672 7-100 yards at 25¢


Solid rock excavation, 4,715 4-100 yards at 25¢


Third class masonry, 1,920 yards at $1


Clearing and grubbing, 43 6-10 acres at 20






St. Clair County


Earth excavation, 30,327 3-100 yards at 2¢


Loose rock excavation, 1,916 yards at 25¢


Solid rock excavation, 717 2-100 yards at 25¢


Third class masonry, 400 yards at

1, 400.00





H. Hale, St. Clair County


Earth excavation, 65,350 5-100 yards at 4¢


Loose rock excavation, 9,420 7-100 yards at 35¢


Solid rock excavation, 3,493 7-100 yards at 25¢


South Osage River, 4,642 8-100 yards at 25¢


Third class masonry, 1,128.62-100 yards at $1.50


Clearing and grubbing, 371 78-100 yards at 30.00


Over haul



$13,399 21

Two-thirds the amount of.




Frank M'Cabe


Second class masonry, 2,325 80-100 yards at $3.00


Grand total




Why I Did - Why I Didn't

      The question will doubtless be asked why I did not make this statement before. In answer I will state, at the time I had found all these things to a certainty; I went to two members of the board, and to one of them I made a clear and perfect statement, and would have done so to the other had he not refused to hear me. The first named was Mead, of Osceola, and the last was McBeth, of Clinton. It was he who would not listen to me; who went to D. C. Stone and told him he had better stop me from telling things. Stone came to me and wanted to know what I had said to that director. I do not remember just all that was said between Stone and myself, but from that time on Stone was continually making threats to me that if some parties did not keep their mouths shut he would fix them; that he carried the thing to do it with, and would put his hand on his pocket at the same time. I thought at the time and afterwards became convinced that he meant that I was the person who must stop talking. The director I made the statement to told me I had better look out for my life; that Stone had made threats which he thought applied to me, although no names were mentioned. Having a family to support, I could not endanger my life. For this and other reasons of a similar character, which for prudential reasons I deem it best not to mention at this time, I have been induced to withhold this statement of facts from the public until the present time. - [Signed] CHARLES GRISWOLD


      The record from 1876 to date is familiar to all. The main feature and acts of the people of Henry County through their county court and the agents have been given, and the matter is now ended, except to meet the principal and interest on the compromised debt. Here the question is left, trusting that a period of uninterrupted prosperity may fall upon her people until the last vestige of this great wrong, except its undying remembrance, shall have passed away.