Jay Gould Buys 100 shares of Missouri, Kansas, & Texas Railroad Co.
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Partially Printed Document Signed. Stock Certificate for 100 shares of the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad Company. January 17, 1880 1 p., 15 x 8 in. Endorsed by Gould on verso, the certificate was redeemed a little more than a year later, on March 5, 1881.
Jason “Jay” Gould (1836-1892) started as a surveyor, then worked in a tannery, and then lumber, selling his entire plant just before the panic of 1857. Becoming a director in the Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania bank, he bought Rutland and Washington Railroad bonds at ten cents on the dollar. He consolidated the Rensselaer and Saratoga road, and with the proceeds, in 1859, established himself in NY as a broker. He invested heavily in Erie railway stock, and became president. He bought large stakes in the Union Pacific, the Texas Pacific, the St. Louis and Northern, and the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas railroad companies and others, as well as the Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph co and Western Union. By 1881, Gould controlled 10,000 miles of railroad, or more than 11% of the entire mileage of the country. He then became interested in the elevated railroad system of New York City. With his finances questioned, he was able to show stock certificates with a face value of $53,000,000, all in his own name, and said he had $20,000,000 more. Gould is known as one of the most unscrupulous “robber barons” of 19th-century American capitalism, primarily as a speculator and railroad developer who heavily engaged in bribery and market manipulation to serve his interests.
The Missouri, Kansas, and Texas railroad was established in 1865 as the Union Pacific Railroad, Southern Branch and operated throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. The “MKT” incorporated in 1970, merged with the Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1988. It is now part of the Union Pacific Railroad.