Crossroads of a Continent Missouri Railroads, 1851-1921

Indiana University Press

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Crossroads of a Continent Missouri Railroads, 1851-1921 by Peter A. Hansen, Carlos Arnaldo Schwantes and Don L. Hofsommer

Crossroads of a Continent: Missouri Railroads, 1851-1921 tells the story of the state's railroads and their vital role in American history. Missouri and St. Louis, its largest city, are strategically located within the American Heartland. On July 4, 1851, when the Pacific Railroad of Missouri began construction in St. Louis, the city took its first step to becoming a major hub for railroads. By the 1920s, the state was crisscrossed with railways reaching toward all points of the compass.

Authors Peter A. Hansen, Don L. Hofsommer, and Carlos Arnaldo Schwantes explore the history of Missouri railroads through personal, absorbing tales of the cutthroat competition between cities and between railroads that meant the difference between prosperity and obscurity, the ambitions and dreams of visionaries Fred Harvey and Arthur Stilwell, and the country's excitement over the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904.

Beautifully illustrated with over 100 color images of historical railway ephemera, Crossroads of a Continent is an engaging history of key American railroads and of Missouri's critical contribution to the American story.

About the Authors

Peter A. Hansen, the editor of Railroad History from 2007 until 2020, came to railroad history after a career in business. He was especially active in the sphere of public history. As a nationally known rail historian, Hansen served as a frequent lecturer, consultant, and writer.

Don L. Hofsommer is the author of numerous books and articles on railroads. Among his many titles are several books on the railroads of Iowa including Iowa's Railroads

Carlos A Schwantes is the author or editor of twenty books and numerous professional journal articles. During his fifty-year career in the classroom, he frequently taught classes both on Missouri as the Gateway to the West and on the railroads of the United States.

Product Specifications

Published by Indiana University Press, 2022. Hardcover, 392 pages, 122 color illustrations.