Perryville Junction, MP76

Discussion in 'St Louis Subdivision' started by Ishmael, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Ishmael

    Ishmael Member

    Is anyone researching the Louis Houck lines? I recently discovered some of my material concerning a branch of the Cape Girardeau Northern, which connected with the Frisco at the above location. This is in Perry County.
    This was a line called the Saline Valley Railroad, which the Frisco purchased in 1910, then let the bonds lapse because the rails were unusable. So the Frisco owned it from 1910-1913.
    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Michael, having been born in Cape Girardeau, and having had a great-grandfather that worked for Louis Houck as a fireman on nearly all of his roads including the CGN; nee the Cape Girardeau & Chester, I have a deep interest in everything Houck. The book, A Missouri Railroad Pioneer: The Life of Louis Houck by Joel Rhodes is a must-read. I have a copy and it touches upon Houck's railroad escapades but doesn't provide much detail about the individual railroads.

    My great-grandfather told stories about working for Houck and pointed out the roadbed of the CGN that passed within three blocks of the house I grew up in. As a young boy, I stomped through the woods along the old roadbed. I have some pictures of CG&C and CGN equipment. There is some information on the Cape Girardeau thread under Forum, Historical, Divisions, River Division, St Louis Subdivision.
  3. Ishmael

    Ishmael Member

    Thanks for your response, Keith. I was going to suggest a meeting, but as you're in KC and I'm in St. L. that wouldn't be practical. Maybe we can communicate by mail. I recently discovered some notes I put together and haven't had time to go through them. I had trouble accessing your private letter also, so will post on here for now. I have an older biography of Louis Houck, dated 1960 U.of Mo. Press which had some detail on the CGN, not much. Some records I have from Jeff City, if they're still there, indicates that the line was so seldom used that farmers stole the RR ties for landscaping and the infrequent trains would settle in the mud.

  4. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    This may be of interest... from an Official Guide, Feb 1925

    Attached Files:

  5. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Some other tidbits that didn't make much sense to me until Karl posted the aforementioned map:

    (1) Roger T. posted a master abandonment list in 2003:

    Included in this were the following abandonments in 1920:
    (a) Perryville Jct. to West Chester, MO (5 mi.)
    (b) Perryville Jct. to Saline Jct. MO (7 mi.)
    (c) Saline Jct. to Farmington, MO
    (d) Farmington, MO to Jackson, MO (41 mi.)

    And, in 1922:
    (e) Jackson to Cape Girardeau, MO (10 mi.)

    Interestingly, the archived editions of the Cape Girardeau Southeast Missouri feature articles well beyond 1920 on court action between the CGN's creditors and the railroad receiver. As an interesting historical sidenote, an front-page article on the CGN from March 19, 1925 is overshadowed by the all-caps headline "STORM TOLL IS NEAR 1000," regarding the infamous Tri-State Tornado.

    Best Regards,
  6. Ishmael

    Ishmael Member

    The map and the follow-up clarify a lot of things and thanks to all of you. I've been to every town on the Saline Valley (still don't know how to pronounce Giboney) and have seen remnants of grades but no track. I've even been given permission to walk the line from Minnith to the Saline Creek trestle and the pilings are still there. They look rather substantial, but some of the grades and curves lead me to believe that the Frisco couldn't have run heavy equipment over the line.
    This was about 20 years ago when I could still do that kind of walking. I'm going to try to do what I can, though.
  7. timothy_cannon

    timothy_cannon Member Supporter

    Will this help any?

    Attached Files:

  8. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Supporter

    When I was in high school and hung out at the Public Library searching for any railroad books I could find, I read Goodspeed's "History of Southeast Missouri." It had many wonderful anecdotes and authentic history of the Houck railroad enterprises. I highly recommend it if you can find a copy.

    Ken McElreath
  9. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter


    I think a have a copy of this text. Mine is 4.5" thick and it was published in 1888. Does this sound like the text you were reading?
  10. Ishmael

    Ishmael Member

    Keith: Another book you might want to get is-Louis Houck, Missouri Historian and Enterpreneur by William T. Doherty Jr. U.of Mo. Press 1960. I have a copy and I checked and Amazon has a few copies from $20 up. Also, I have a copy of The Short Line Doodlebug by Edmund Keilty, Interurban Press, 1988. This has a photo on page 81 of a Stover Motor Car lettered CG&C, (Cape Girardeau and Chester) later CGN. The photo was taken in Jackson, MO. This book is pretty pricey as the used ones start at $65 and a collector's item is $264, I presume in original wrapper. Kind of steep for one photo but it is a good book.
    Karl, thank you for the Official Guide entry. This answers quite a few questions for me.
    Timothy, thanks for your photo. Is that Perryville Junction?
    And Chris, your entry was helpful also. I have a file on this line but it was about 20-25 years ago that I did most of my work. Some of the people I talked to there were quite helpful, others not.
    Thanks to all, this has been a great response. Keith, I'm still trying to figure out how to send a PM. I don't like to bother my brother Tim too much. He knows more about computers and has all the equipment.
  11. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Supporter

  12. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    That was an awesome read! It's like a gold mine of info for me. Thank you very much for posting this.
  13. Ishmael

    Ishmael Member

    That's great, Oldguy. I have that book and another biography. What intrigued me was that Mr. Houck was born in W├╝rzburg, a railroad center in Northern Bavaria. I was stationed near there when I was in the army and spent a lot of time train watching. Thanks for the post.

  14. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Michael, Giboney is pronounced gib' o knee. That picture of the CG&C Stover doodlebug is one that the author got from my uncle's archives from Kassel's Studio in Cape. My uncle received a complementary copy of the book for providing the image. I have a copy of that image that he gave me.
    Another book that covers some of Houck's work from other angles is History of Southeast Missouri by Robert Sidney Douglass, with Chapter XXXVI (36) Railroads being of the most interest. This book can be found in pdf form on Google Books. Incidentally, Louis Houck was born in Mascoutah, Illinois, not Wurzburg, Germany.

    Most of the pictures that Joel Rhodes speaks of in the video transcript that Robert (Oldguy) refers to in his post are in the archives of the Southeast Missourian. They were entrusted to the Missourian by the Juden family (heirs of Houck). Sharon Sanders, the Missourian Librarian, is in charge of the Missourian's vast archives of images.

    To better see the image that is represented by a thumbnail in someone's post, right click on the thumbnail and Open in a New Window or New Tab. Yes, that is Perryville Jct.

    To send a PM, click on my username in one of my posts and select Private Message.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2014
  15. Here's the track chart showing Perryville Junction.


    Attached Files:

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