Ozark Southern Railway

Discussion in 'Willow Springs Subdivision' started by JamesP, May 3, 2009.

  1. JamesP

    JamesP James Pekarek

    Some information on the Ozark Southern Railway, aka the Kansas City, Ozarks & Southern Railway. This was a standard gauge railroad in operation between Mansfield and Ava Missouri. A brief history, along with two early photos of a KC,O&S train powered by a Heisler can be found at:
    Other articles on the railroad can be found in the Summer 2005 edition of the Journal of the Douglas Co. (Mo.) Historical & Genealogical Society. According to the Journal, service began in February of 1910 and ended in April 1935. The railroad apparently had a few different types of railbuses, one nicknamed the Yellowjacket, another called the Bluebird. In the various pictures, I counted 4 different railbuses and one railtruck (although only the nose can be seen). The Journal has pictures of the depots at Ava and Mansfield. The Mansfield depot was located on the south side of the Frisco mainline across from the Frisco depot.

    In addition to the Heisler mentioned (reportedly aquired from the Grandin operation) the railroad also operated a shay. According to http://www.shaylocomotives.com/data/lima/sn-985.htm the Ozark Southern got it used in 1922, running it as their #5. Another article at http://thelibrary.org/lochist/periodicals/wrv/v7/n5/f80i.htm hints that the railroad rented a Frisco locomotive at some point. I haven't verified this yet, but there is a picture of a Frisco 0-6-0 #3632 with a two car train in front of the Mansfield Ozark Southern depot on page 25 of the Journal.

    I got my copy of the Journal from the the Douglas County Museum in Ava. You can still make out some of the right of way just north of Ava, along with two small bridge abutments located just off of Highway 5.

    If anyone has any additional information or pictures, I would be interested in seeing it.

    - James
  2. Some great history James thanks for sharing. I love the Heisler powered mixed train!
  3. JamesP

    JamesP James Pekarek

    There is a picture of the Ava depot in grace65746's album. Neat photo from about 1915, shows a lot of ties and a Frisco boxcar. The railroad was reportedly built to haul ties cut in the Ava area, I assume that all of the ties are waiting to be shipped out. Thanks to grace65746 for posting the picture!

    - James
  4. JamesP

    JamesP James Pekarek

    Browsing through a bookstore tonight, I was looking at "Historic Photos of Missouri" by Alan Goforth and what should I see on page 30? A picture of the depot at Ava, Mo with a passenger car and a crowd! The picture purports to be the first passenger train in Ava in 1901. I think we can establish that the year is wrong, it should be 1910. I don't doubt that it is the first passenger train, the depot appears new and unpainted. Then I discovered another picture on page 52 that claims it is the first train from Ava to Mansfield. It shows a train with two cars filled with people led by a Heisler locomotive which is pushing a passenger car. The rear car is a Frisco wood gondola, the next car appears to be a flat with temporary stake sides added. This picture is captioned March, 1910. So, a little inconsistency in the book, two first trains, one in February 1901 (before the railroad was built), the second in March 1910. I am sure that the author just used the information supplied with each picture. Both pictures are attributed to the Missouri State Archives, so I looked at the website, but it appears that the archives themselves aren't digitized, just a few individual collections. I have inquired about getting copies of the pictures and if I can get permission to put them on the internet. Since it is a state agency, I will patiently wait for a reply! It is neat to find two more pictures of the Ozark Southern...

    - James

    Edit: Here is a book viewer at the Barnes & Noble website. You have to have an account to view, but if you hover over the sliding button at the bottom of the page when it is on the desired page (30 or 52), it will give you a thumbnail view even if you aren't signed in: http://search2.barnesandnoble.com/BookViewer/?ean=9781596525092
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2010
  5. JamesP

    JamesP James Pekarek

    I was able to get the attached pictures from the Missouri State Archives, and I am posting them with their permission.

    The first one is dated 1901, but I think we can establish that it is really from 1910. It is of the first passenger train at Ava, Missouri on February 25, 1910:


    The next one is dated March 13, 1910 and is labeled the first Excursion on the KC,O&S:


    Since I got high resolution images, I was able to read the information on the pictures themselves. It makes more sense that the first picture is of the first passenger train, and the second picture is labeled the first excursion. The Feb 25, 1910 date for the first passenger train agrees with information from the Summer 2005 Journal of the Douglas County Hist. & Gen. Society. The same issue states that the first freight train was on Feb. 14, 1910.

    I really like the second picture, the Frisco gondola is a classic!

    - James
  6. RogerRT

    RogerRT Staff Member Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    If anyone has contact with James Pekarek please let him know that I have left a message for him on this website regarding the Ozark Southern...Thanks...Roger

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