Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Letcher railroad collection, 1887-1889
Special Collections M0317  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Letcher railroad collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1887-1889
    Collection number: Special Collections M0317
    Creator: Letcher, Howard T., d. 1974.
    Extent: .25 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions


    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 Gerald M. Best, 1980.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item] Letcher railroad collection, M0317, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Biographical Note

    Dr. Howard T. Letcher worked for the Shasta Division of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1940 and 1941; he was a noted railroad historian and in 1971 was asked by then California Governor Ronald Reagan to serve on the board of directors of the Transportation museum in Sacramento, California.

    Scope and Content

    The addenda to the Letcher Railroad Collection consists of business correspondence of the Southern Pacific Company between Dec. 1887 and May 1889. The majority of the letters are addressed to William McKenzie, Asst. Genl. Master Mechanic, Sacramento, and H.J. Small, Supt. M.P.&M., Sacramento. The letters include daily reports of the operations of the railroad, employee problems, maintenance, and purchases. Of special interest are the three letters by G.J. Perkins, Engineer, about the engine El Governador No. 237, a large engine that Andrew Jackson Stevens, Supt. of Motive Power, was concerned with. A.J. Stevens was born in Vermont Sep. 14, 1833. In 1869 he was hired by Leland Stanford, President of Central Pacific (parent organization of Southern Pacific) as Master Mechanic. He was responsible for many locamotive inventions until his death in 1888. More information about the man and the El Gobernador is available in the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society Bulletin 65, pp 7 - 26.
    Other company correspondents include:
    Folders 13 through 18 have more complete listings of the correspondents inside each folder.

    Additional Note

    M 317 Letcher Railroad Collection Addenda