Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad Company

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The Minneapolis & St. Louis began life in Minneapolis in 1870. Its sister railroad, the Iowa Central began in Iowa as a predecessor in 1866. The two railroads merged in 1901 and formed the system that was solidified in 1916, when some smaller railroads were absorbed. The actual purchase of the Iowa Central took place in 1912. However, some Iowa Central equipment retained its identity for many years after the purchase.

The M&STL; was not the strongest road, and went into receivership in 1923. Over the years a number of parties, including the government, suggested that the M&STL; be abandoned or sold to a stronger road. But what actually happened was that Lucian Sprague, a strong leader, took over as receiver in 1935 in the depths of the depression. He sold off all the scrap and made the railroad more efficient. He eventually became chairman/president and took the road to reorganization in 1942.

Sprague was a hero to the workers of the M&STL; and he had national recognition. But he did not have a modest life style and his little extravagances added up. For example, he bought a Stanley Steamer – a collector’s item even then – and charged it to the railroad. At this point an unknown named Ben Heineman made a concerted attack on the Sprague administration. Soon Heineman took over as Chairman in 1954. A new president, Albert W. Schroeder, managed the changes that resulted in the red and white scheme in 1956. And in 1956 Heineman went over to the Chicago & Northwestern, but he did not forget the M&STL.;

Passenger service was discontinued by the end of 1958.

A little known histgorical tidbit about the line involves one of the company’s station agents – a gentleman named Richard Sears. Sears, of North Redwood, MN received a shipment of watches that went unclaimed. He took possession of the watches and soon started a small mail order business. The business eventually would be known as Sears Roebuck.

We are currently offering the following pieces from the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad Company:

All certificates are sold only as collectible pieces, as they are either canceled or obsolete. Certificates carry no value on any of today's financial indexes and no transfer of ownership is implied. Unless otherwise indicated, images are representative of the piece(s) you will receive.