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Norfolk and Western Railroad Company (1881-1896)

 Organization

Historical Note

The Norfolk and Western Railroad was organized in 1881 from the Atlantic, Mississippi and Ohio Railroad, which had been sold to the Philadelphia investment banking firm of E.W.Clark and Company. The Atlantic, Mississippi and Ohio, in turn, had been created in 1870 by the merger of three Virginia railroads with antebellum origins: the Norfolk and Petersburg (connecting these two cities), the Southside (running from Petersburg to Lynchburg), and the Virginia and Tennessee (running from Lynchburg to Bristol on the Tennessee border).

Primarily a line carrying agricultural products at its inception, the Norfolk and Western rapidly became associated with the mineral development of the southwestern part of Virginia and West Virginia. In mid-1881 it acquired the franchises to four other lines: the New River Railroad, the New River Railroad, Mining and Manufacturing Company, the Bluestone Railroad, and the East River Railroad. These became the basis for Norfolk and Western's New River Division, which ran to the coalfields to the west.

Much of the early history of the Norfolk and Western Railroad can be seen as expansion and consolidation with other lines. In 1890, it acquired the Shenandoah Valley Railroad, which ran from Roanoke, Virginia, to Hagerstown, Maryland. By 1891, an Ohio extension was well underway, giving the railroad access to the industrial Midwest. In 1892, Norfolk and Western leased the Roanoke and Southern Railroad, connecting Roanoke with Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and in 1893 it leased the Lynchburg and Durham, connecting Lynchburg with Durham, North Carolina. But this program of expansion, coupled with the economic depression of the 1890s, forced the railroad into receivership in 1895. It emerged as the reorganized Norfolk and Western Railway the next year.

Found in 17 Collections and/or Records:

Chapman J. French Diaries

 Collection
Identifier: Ms-2010-045
Abstract

The collection contains twenty-three diaries meticulously written by Chapman J. French, a civil engineer for Norfolk & Western Railway, made during the years of 1906-1912, 1928-1935, and 1937-1944. The diaries relate French's daily activities at home and at work; they also include such items as addresses, cost accounts, and major league baseball scores.

Dates: 1906-1912, 1928-1935, 1937-1944; Majority of material found within 1906 - 1912; Majority of material found within 1928 - 1935; Majority of material found within 1937 - 1944

Geological Map of a Portion of the Flat-Top Coal Field Showing the Approximate Outcrop of the Pocahontas or No. 3 Coal Bed in McDowell County, West Virginia

 Collection — Object: 1
Identifier: Map-0366
Abstract

Map shows the coal beds at Flat-Top Coal Fields in McDowell County, West Virginia. It contains an index of openings in the coal bed, and a scale of sections, as well as a key to limestone and shale locations.

Dates: November 1887

A. H. and William Gibboney Letter,

 Collection
Identifier: Ms-2008-070
Abstract

The collection contains a letter sent from Tazewell, Virginia, in 1882 by A. H. and William Gibboney to W. R. Wharton, Esquire, concerning the breach of payment for workers that have left the corps of the Norfolk and Western Railroad (previously the Atlantic, Mississippi and Ohio Railroad).

Dates: 1882

Map of Pulaski, Pulaski County, Virginia

 Collection — Object: 1
Identifier: Map-0203
Abstract

Map shows land in Pulaski, Virginia, owned by The Pulaski Land Co. and The Iron Belt Land, Mining, and Development Company. It contains an illustration in the upper left.

Dates: 1884

Norfolk & Western Financial Documents,

 Collection
Identifier: Ms-2003-004
Abstract

The collection contains bills and invoices from Norfolk & Western Railroad, Norfolk & Western Railway, and several subsidiaries and contracted companies.

Dates: 1882 - 1954; Majority of material found within 1884 - 1916

Norfolk & Western Railroad and Railway Company Records

 Collection
Identifier: Ms-2017-015
Abstract

The collection includes administrative documents and correspondence from the Norfolk & Western Railroad Company (later the Norfolk & Western Railway Company) dating from 1876 to about 1935. There are receipts and billing documents, letters, telegrams, and internal reports, as well as a few maps, blueprints, and handwritten notes.

Dates: 1876-1935, n.d.

Norfolk & Western Railroad Company Records,

 Collection
Identifier: Ms-2012-077
Abstract

This collection contains invoices, notes, memos, correspondence, and ticket materials pertaining to the Norfolk & Western Railroad Company from the years 1881 to 1887.

Dates: 1880 - 1890

Norfolk and Western Railroad Account Ledgers

 Collection
Identifier: Ms-2010-075
Abstract

The collection contains the accounting ledgers of the Norfolk and Western Railroad, providing detailed monthly account entries for each of the company's divisions and monthly summaries and analyses of expenses for the company as a whole.

Dates: 1892 - 1895

Norfolk and Western Railway Accounting Department Personnel Records

 Collection
Identifier: Ms-1992-058
Abstract The Norfolk and Western Railway Accounting Department Personnel Records are comprised of employee records of the company's accounting department from 1874 to 1907. The three ledgers include such information as employee name, age, marital status, date and place of birth, date of hire, jobs worked, and salary. Also included are notes regarding resignations or discharges. Interspersed throughout the ledgers are correspondence, memos and notes relating to such things as employment reference...
Dates: 1874 - 1907