first rail line west of the Mississippi was said to have been the 1849 railroad
ran from the Missouri River to this
spot on Independence Square. Short lived, this rail line carried
passengers between the
Independence-Wayne City River Landing and
Independence Square. This innovative mode of
transportation was not a locomotive nor horsepower, but it
was a wheeled coach, or wagon, pulled
along rails by Missouri mules.
This ‘train’ was powered by
two mules, one
in lead of the other. Construction had begun in 1848. The track was made of
steel-faced wooden timbers laid lengthwise, just as iron rails were later used.
The wheels of the cars, too, were of wood. The railroad was nearly complete by
the time the Missouri Assembly approved the act creating the "Independence
and Missouri River Rail Road Company."
The five-page, 24-paragraph act
begins, "Whereas, it has been represented to the General Assembly that Lewis Jones,
Samuel H. Woodson, John Parker, George W. Buchanan, Samuel D. Lucas, Wm. B.
Hay, John McMurry, and others, of Jackson County, have associated themselves
into a company for the purpose of constructing a railroad, hereinafter
designated; and whereas, it has been further represented that the said company
have already expended a large amount of money in commencing and have nearly
completed said rail road, and that the interests of the citizens of the country
as well as the objects of the company would be advanced by creating a body
corporate.. . "
The train terminated at Independence Square at a station
once located where Dave’s Deli is today (2015) and a
historical marker commemorates this historic, local fact with national