Osceola, MO, MP 115.1, Osceola Subdivision (KCCS), MP 115.1

Discussion in 'Clinton Subdivision' started by Bradley A. Scott, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. Some digital pics of maps from the completion reports binders at MSU. As always, poor photo quality is my own fault.

    The first one shows an overview of the Osceola depot area circa 1919. The Osceola town square is just off the map, on a hilltop rising over the depot area to the west. To the east is a little valley that empties north into the Osage. The KCO&S/SLSF passed through a couple of cuts through shoulders of the hill between the depot and the Osage River. The larger of the two cuts is visible on the chart just north of the depot. Last time I looked, the former depot area was partially buried under fill for a new police station or jail.

    The next three pics are of some 1926 alterations on the spur that left the mainline just north of the Osage River bridge and curved west under the high bluff across the river from town to reach a quarry. I'm not sure what the little switchback spur paralleling the main might have been for. A switching lead for engines working the quarry spur? A remnant of the KCO&S's earliest trackage, when its track ended on the north bank of the Osage and Osceola traffic was ferried across the river? An equipment or materials spur related to the powerplant at the dam?

    I also note that the map suggests, in tantalizingly vague and inconclusive fashion, that there may have been additional trackage not owned by the railroad. Might the Osceola Lime Company have had a bit more trackage in and near the quarry?

    The KCC&S's track came through Osceola a bit to the east, and is not shown on either of these maps.


    Osceola 1919.jpg Osceola quarry spur.jpg Osceola quarry spur detail 1.jpg Osceola quarry spur detail 2.jpg
  2. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    From my father's field notes; circa early 60's

  3. railroadguy65

    railroadguy65 Member

    I was in Osceola, MO today looking for anything that remained of the highline.

    I was intrigued by a photo that Karl had posted of the High Line and the Blair Line road bed in the river/lake in Osceola. I know the station was long gone, since the County Jail is in its spot. But when I went to 2nd and Lynn Street (not marked), I just happen to see some rails buried in the rock and dirt. (photo 1).

    I then followed it to near the jail and back (photos 2 & 3). And then I shot a view towards the river (photo 4). I then headed out to Hwy B and shot back towards Osceola. You can see the remains of the High Line and Blair Line in the Water (photo 5).

    And I headed up a litter further to NE 370 and shot down towards Osceola (photo 6) and then north towards Clinton (photo 7). I have been told by several locals that the Amish make good use of the roadbed for getting around and for hunting.

    Frisco Highline - Osceola, Mo  2nd & Lynn looking SE.jpg Frisco Highline - Osceola, Mo  2nd & Lynn looking SE 2.jpg Frisco Highline - Osceola, Mo  3rd & Lynn looking SE.jpg Frisco Highline - Osceola, Mo  2nd & Lynn looking NW.jpg Frisco Highline - Osceola, Mo roadbed over the river looking SE from B Hwy.jpg Frisco Highline - Osceola, Mo roadbed looking S from NE 370.jpg Frisco Highline - Osceola, Mo roadbed looking N to Clinton from NE 370.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2023
  4. Rednecht

    Rednecht Member

    Hi my name is Dale Ballou and I just found out about this web site and have been browsing it recently, only to come across what you have put on here.

    It is interesting that you was in Osceola, Missouri taking pictures of the ole Frisco line that used to go through there years ago. My grandfather, Frank Ballou, worked for the Frisco years ago there in Osceola, MO. So I spent a lot of time myself down there. I remember every day at noon the train would come through there like clockwork. I was always excited to watch it go by. I think that the worst thing that they ever did was to discontinue that line down there as it would have been a great tourist attraction today. I would have loved to ride it from Kansas City down there and back. Talk about a scenic ride.

    That town has never been the same since they took out the train and blew up the old dam. Fishing is horrible these days too. Back in the 1960's Harold Ensley had a sports show on TV 5 out of Kansas City called the Sportsman's Friend on Saturday nights, and he would film down there at the dam during spoonbill season. And that show started bringing in a whole lot of tourists and fishermen to that town during those days.

    But those days are long gone. Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that you are not the only one to remember that old Frisco line going through that area and also as it crossed the Osage. There in town, up from the train bridge, was an old wagon bridge that folks used to get to the other side of the dam where the powerhouse was.

    And down from the dam was the old stone bridge piers from the old leaky roof train that had been discontinued back in the late 30's I think. All that remained were those 2 old stone piers in the river.

    My dad and brother and I used to go down the ole Frisco tracks rabbit hunting, back in the late 50's early 60's. Once in a while as we were crossing on the train bridge, we would have to jump down on the stone piers that held the bridge up on the Frisco tracks, due to the train coming by. I remember back then that used to scare the heck out of me, being that close to the moving train.

    Those were the days.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2023
  5. KCC&S KCO&S

    KCC&S KCO&S Member

    Hi all here are some more pictures of the KCC&S KCO&S SLSF railroads that went through Osceola, MO. I have also found some of the abandoned line when the SLSF built Tracy and Harlan Jct., the section to the east of Vista, but I have to wait for the leaves to fall to take photos.

    Enjoy. Have a great day.


    SLSF grade south of osceola on old Humansville Rd NE471.JPG SLSF grade south of Osceola on old Humansvill Rd NE471 pic2.JPG KCC&S south of osceola Mo on SE551 NE551 along the division line of county.jpg KCC&S Just N of Vista became SLSF.JPG KCC&S grade became SLSF coming into Vista crossing V hwy.JPG
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2023
  6. dricketts

    dricketts Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Does anyone know how long the Osceola quarry was in operation and what type of structure was at the end of the spur?
  7. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Osceola lime plant cave.jpg

    Long time no answer. I still can't speak as to what exactly the structure was, but the spur apparently lead to a mine. The opening is accessible as long as the lake level is below 703' or so. On Google Earth one can barely make out a bit of white outcropping; the cave opening is just below it.

    And oh, the lime spur print showed a lime kiln after passing a blacksmith shop
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2023
  8. dricketts

    dricketts Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Yes but a good answer! Thank you. I'm going to have to check that out up close and personal. :)
  9. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Frisco.org Supporter


    The above was posted on a Love My Ozarks facebook page.
    FriscoCharlie likes this.
  10. dricketts

    dricketts Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Thanks Bob. I drive through Osceola quite a bit. I'll check it out and post a couple of photos. I wonder where I can check he lake levels. It's been a very dry winter so I'm presuming it's down.
  11. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Frisco.org Supporter

  12. Derrick,

    I'd be happy to see the Osceola quarry added to the V-scale highline as a switching destination, in case that's what you have in mind.

    I've been down to that old quarry operation once. Take a flashlight if you plan to look underground. I didn't go very far inside because it was a kind of spur of the moment visit and I didn't have a flashlight with me.

    I remember seeing signs of human visitation - graffiti, signs of campfires, etc. inside the opening. Also take along your preferred anti-snake tool and be mindful of where you step. I didn't see any scaly critters, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a prosperous reptile community.

    My recollection is that there's not much left of the external structures. I recall seeing what might have been traces of the lime kilns, built up against the bluff just east of the "cave" opening, and the rusted skeleton of a railcar buried in the brush between the quarry opening and the lake.

    If you look at the Frisco "completion reports" I posted a few years ago in this thread, you'll see outlines for an "engine house" (probably a steam, diesel or gas-powered generator), a blacksmith shop, and two lime kilns adjacent to the track.

    I'd also suggest checking with the St. Clair County historical society in Osceola (http://www.stclaircountyhistoricalsociety.org/ ). They have some photos of businesses in the area and might have pictures of the quarry. Call or email them in advance because, like a lot of small historical societies, they have part time staff and irregular hours.

    Not particularly relevant to the quarry, but relevant to general queries about the locations of buildings in towns along the right-of-way in Missouri. Remember that the University of Missouri has hundreds of very detailed Sanborn insurance maps for Missouri available online at http://library.missouri.edu/specialcollections/bookcol/sanborn/.

    Their coverage ends at 1923 due to copyright, but they're a great information source about the late 19th century and early 20th century.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2023

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