Guide to the George E. Tillitson collection on railroads, 1880-1940

Department of Special Collections
Green Library
Stanford University Libraries
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
Phone: (650) 725-1022
© 1999
The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Guide to the George E. Tillitson collection on railroads, 1880-1940

Collection number: M0165

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University Libraries

Stanford, California

Contact Information

  • Department of Special Collections
  • Green Library
  • Stanford University Libraries
  • Stanford, CA 94305-6004
  • Phone: (650) 725-1022
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Special Collections staff
Date Completed:
ca. 1965
© 1999 The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: George E. Tillitson collection on railroads,
Date (inclusive): 1880-1940
Collection number: Special Collections M0165
Creator: Tillitson, George E.
Extent: 34 linear ft.
Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Restricted: requires 24 hr. paging period.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.


Gift of George E. Tillitson, 1955.

Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item] George E. Tillitson collection on railroads, M0165, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

Scope and Content

Collection contains outlined corporate histories of railroads in the United States and Canada. The collection covers almost every railroad that ever operated in the United States and Canada and includes some records of roads that were projected though never built, and some information on street car lines and electric interurban lines. These outlines are in long hand on loose leaf 8½ × 11 inches notebook paper. They include dates of incorporation, brief sketches of the history of the line, lists of points served, lists of mileage, and occasionally time schedules, maps of lines, and lists or reports of accidents on the lines. Unfortunately, the collection is incomplete, and the information provided is much more extensive for the larger lines.
Information is arranged alphabetically by state and, within the state, alphabetically by name of company. An index of all companies listed in the files has been provided by the collector.
The Tillitson Manuscript is essentially a Railroad List which is unique in the degree of detail.
The area covered is the United States and Canada, with some material on Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and a little on Mexico. Whose files, together with the District of Columbia are in a separate box. The states are arranged in alphabetical order, and Canadian Provinces occupy a separate box. The material fills twenty-five file drawers.
The listings within a state are a single alphabetical listing of all Railroads (public carriers), Street Railways (of all types), Private Railroads (logging and construction RRs chiefly here) and a few others.
This includes all railroads, including the ephemeral ones conceived, yet never built, by chance that many were incorporated, but few built: Likowise, a vast number of early, independantly built short lines became absorbed into the greater large company operations; other railroads built as separate entities were actually subsidiaries or owned companies; and a vast confusion came to exist through reorganization and changes of name due to bank ruptcies and similar troubles.
These myriad changes have produced a tremendously complex structure, to which this material provides a useful and available key for students.


Anyone wishing to become thoroughly familiar with the transportation background of an area - a state or a regional section of the United States or Canada - can do so through the medium of this manuscript.
Such a study can be concentrated on a given portion of time - early, or Railroads of Oregon in 1900, etc. - or as to type of carrier, or mode of power, steam, electric - and the companies operating, trackage involved and other pertinent data readily assembled.
Equipment - particularly motive power - is usually tabulated. Very Little operating data is given as to amount and number of trains daily; nor are there very often maps except for the lLarger company files. Timetables were not in this portion of the material.

Special Notes

One very useful feature of the material is further described in the two attached pages. This is the carefully annotated study of a good many of the important large railroads of the United States complete within their own files, these to be found within the official state of incorporation. Here will be included page references to the frequently huge number of small short-line roads that usually wound up by being taken in to the larger and expending Class II and I roads. Some of these files, such as the New York Central or the Pennsylvania Railroad are very big themselves.
Michigan, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Washington are large because the many lumber railroads have been extensively studied out. Within the State file for Washington, the lumber railroads make a separate alphabetical order.
signed: W.B.B., Palo Alto, May 15, 1955

Additional Note

W.B.B. 5-15-56

Tabulation of distribution of Tillitson Material


I. Stanford University


Hopkins Transportation Library


Individual volumes, Company Annual Reports there needed


Atlas volumes (earlier ones) Street Railway material


Set of Russell Guides : Michigan Guides (selected annually)


Rare Book Room


Complete Tillitson Railroad transcript files;


arranged by states, together with indices, related material.

Document Division


Required serials and many complete files from the various transportation and utility Commissioner's Reports, many states.


Law Library


All the California Law Journals; the Michigan Manuals; some of the unused balance of the serials just above.


Map Section of the Reference Room


Some Atlas volumes; all City and County maps; City Guides; regional guides; Hobbs Auto Guides and early A A A Guides.


Dudley Herbarium


Atlas volumes and early Lippincott Gaseteer.


II. Golden Gate College, San Francisco


Rand-McNally Commercial Atlas - a series.


III. Amargosa Memorial Library, San Francisco


Electric street railway material; early Soribner volumes; misc. bound volumes; many early New York state items, including canal transportation, Hudson River material. The topographic sheets also went hero.


IV. Central California Railway Club, Inc., San Jose


Yearly selection Official Guides; all remaining individual volumes; likewise, Annual Reports, and the prepaid and Mileage Lists; ICC Reports and miscellaneous items. They maintain a working library for their membership.


V. Miscellaneous


Massachusetts, Michigan, North Dakota & King County (Washington) Historical Societies were sent, on request, respective atlas volumes, other items of regional interest.

Container List

Box 1

Alabama, (Initial assorted materials followed by Alabama & Florida Railroad Co.) - Arkansas, Texarkana Union Station Company

Box 2

Arkansas, Thornton and Alexandria Railway Company - California, Fresno Traction Co.

Box 3

California, Front Street, Mission and Ocean Railroad Company - California, Sacramento Valley and Eastern Railway

Box 4

California, Union Pacific Railroad Company - Connecticut, (Initial assorted materials)

Box 5

Connecticut, Branford Electric Railway - Georgia, Central of Georgia Railway Company (followed by assorted materials, last of which is Thomaston and Barnesville Railroad Company)

Box 6

Georgia, Chatham Terminal Company - Indiana, Vincennes Electric Railway Company

Box 7

Indiana, The Wahash and Rochester Railway - Illinois, Chicago Transit Authority (followed by assorted materials, last of which is Chicago Elevated Terminal Railway Company)

Box 8

Illinois, Chicago Tunnel Company - Kansas, The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company

Box 9

Kansas, Atchison Union Depot and Railway Company - Louisiana, Salmen Brick and Lumber Company

Box 10

Louisiana, Sanders-Troffi Tram Company - Massachusetts, Conway Electric Street Railway Company

Box 11

Massachusetts, Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Company - Michigan, Cutler and Savidge Lumber Company

Box 12

Michigan, Danaher and Melendy Company - Michigan, Pere Marquette Railway Company

Box 13

Michigan, Pere Marquette Railway Company - Minnesota, Gunflint and Lake Superior Railroad Company

Box 14

Minnesota, Hatcher and Brown - Union Pacific Railroad Company (Nebraska)

Box 15

Nebraska, The Union Pacific Railroad Company - New York, Allegheny and Kinzua Railroad Company

Box 16

New York, Amsterdam and Hagaman Traction Company - New York, Fonda, Johnstown, and Gloversville Railroad Company

Box 17

New York, Fort George and Eleventh Avenue Railroad Company - New York, New York City Board of Transportation

Box 18

New York, New York City Omnibus Corporation (preceded by 6" of general materials, 1st of which is St. Joseph, South Bend and Southern Railroad Company)

Box 19

New York, Penfield and Canal - Nevada, The Western Pacific Railroad Company

Box 20

New Hampshire, Bartlett and Albany Railroad Company (initial) - Oklahoma, The Western Oklahoma Railway Company

Box 21

Ohio, Addyston and Ohio River Railroad Company (this comes after general materials concerning Ohio) - Ohio, The New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad Company

Box 22

Ohio (?), New York, Chicago, and St. Louis Railroad Company - Oregon, Barnes Heights and Cornell Mountain Railway Company

Box 23

Oregon, Benson Timber Company - South Carolina, Lancaster and Chester Railway Company

Box 24

South Carolina, L. Anderson and Company - Pennsylvania, H.A. Bump and Company

Box 25

Pennsylvania, Hagerstown and Frederick Railway Company of Pennsylvania - Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Railways Company

Box 26

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Co. - Pennsylvania, Youghiogheny Central Railway Company

Box 27

Tennessee, Arkansas and Memphis Railway Bridge and Terminal Company - Texas, Gexas State Railway

Box 28

Texas, Texas Transportation Company - Wisconsin, Hillsboro and Northeastern Railway Company

Box 29

Wisconsin, Janesville and Madison Traction Company - Washington, Northern Pacific Railway Company

Box 30

Washington, Northern Pacific Railway Company - Washington, Brew Manufacturing Company

Box 31

Wahington, Buckley Logging Company - Washington, Meyerhaeuser Timber Company

Box 32

West Virginia, inc. Chesapeake & Ohio and Pere Marquette, Wyoming, Alaska - Yukon, Klondike Mines Railway Company (filed under Alaska

Box 33

Hawaii, D.C., Cuba, Mexico (all states), Panama, Puerto Rico - Ontario, Woodstock, Thames Valley, and Ingersoll Electric Railway Co.

Box 34

Quebec, Asbestos and Danville Railway Company - Three Rivers Traction Company (Quebec)