Beautifully engraved antique bond certificate from the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis dating back to the early 1900's. This document, which is signed by the company President and Assistant Secretary, was printed by the American Bank Note Company and measures approximately 13 1/2" (w) by 9 1/4" (h).
This certificate's beautiful vignette features Union Station in St. Louis. The Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis actually built the station.
You will receive the exact certificate pictured.
The Terminal Railroad's history actually began well before the founding date of July 30, 1889. The Company's numerous predecessor companies date back to 1797 when the first river ferry was established in the region by Captain James Piggott. Captain Piggott was granted a license to operate a ferry between the Post of St. Louis and Illinoistown (later East St. Louis) when the area was still known as Upper Louisiana, a Spanish colony. The ferry-boat he used was a simple platform floating on hollowed-out tree trunks which was poled, or paddled, with long sweeps. Captain Piggott and his heirs operated the ferry until 1819 when the business was acquired by Mr. Samuel Wiggins.
Wiggins Ferry Becomes a Connecting Point of Eastern and Western Railroads
Mr. Wiggins subsequently acquired some 900 acres of land along the Illinois banks of the Mississippi directly across from present day St. Louis, Missouri. In 1820, Mr. Wiggins built a ferry-boat that ran on horse-power. Eight horses were used to turn a horizontal wheel that was connected to a paddle-wheel which propelled the boat. In 1828, Mr. Wiggins made use of the first steam ferry-boat named the St. Clair. The business was sold in 1832 and incorporated as the Wiggins Ferry Company in 1853. The Wiggins Ferry Company not only operated a ferry business for individuals wanting to cross the Mississippi, but it also developed extensive yards, depots, warehouses, railroad tracks and elevators. Eventually, the Wiggins Ferry Company became a major connecting point for the many railroads terminating at East St. Louis, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri. As the first bridge spanning the Mississippi River would not be completed until 1874, the only way to move train traffic over the river was by ferry car by car. By 1870, the Wiggins Ferry Company had established a rail-car ferry system, with inclines on both sides of the river, to move rail traffic over the Mississippi.
TRRA Acquires the Wiggins Ferry Company
At the time of the formation of the Terminal Railroad Association in 1889, the original eight owner railroads owned a substantial interest in the Wiggins Ferry Company. When the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company, the only other stockholder of the Wiggins Ferry Company, was admitted to the Association in 1902, the Terminal Railroad Association gained complete control over the Wiggins Ferry Company.
Predecessor Railroads Bridge the Mississippi
The story of the Wiggins Ferry Company and its eventual possession by the Terminal Railroad Association is very similar to the numerous other mergers that went into the formation of our Company. Predecessor corporations of the present day TRRA constructed the James B. Eads Bridge in 1874, the first bridge over the Mississippi River. Another predecessor company built the Merchants Bridge in 1890, the second crossing of the Mississippi in St. Louis. Another predecessor constructed and operated the railroad tunnels that still stretch beneath present day St. Louis. The histories of these companies, and many others like them, make up the great history of the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis.
Original TRRA Owners
The formation of the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis grew out of an agreement orchestrated by Mr. Jay Gould in 1889 between predecessor entities of the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis and six proprietary railroads. The Company was created for the purpose of securing to the various owners an efficient and economical method of interchanging passenger and freight traffic over the Mississippi River. The original railroads making up the Association were the Missouri Pacific Railway Company, the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway Company, Wabash Railroad Company, the Ohio and Mississippi Railway Company, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company, and the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway Company. Numerous other railroads were subsequently admitted to the Association in later years.