He is remembered for investigating corruption in municipal government in American cities and for his early support for the Soviet Union. Steffens was born on April 6,1866, in San Francisco to Elizabeth Louisa Steffens and Joseph Steffens and raised in Sacramento and he was the first-born, and only son with three sisters coming later. His familys opulent home in the capital became the governors mansion. Steffens began his career as a journalist at the New York Evening Post and he became an editor of McClures magazine, where he became part of a celebrated muckraking trio with Ida Tarbell and Ray Stannard Baker. He specialized in investigating government and political corruption, and two collections of his articles were published as The Shame of the Cities and The Struggle for Self-Government and he wrote The Traitor State, which criticized New Jersey for patronizing incorporation. In 1906, he left McClures, along with Tarbell and Baker, in The Shame of the Cities, Steffens sought to bring about political reform in urban America by appealing to the emotions of Americans.
He tried to provoke outrage with examples of governments throughout urban America. From 1914–1915 he covered the Mexican Revolution and began to see revolution as preferable to reform, in March 1919, he accompanied William C. Bullitt, a low level State Department official, on a visit to the Soviet Union and witnessed the confusing. He wrote that Soviet Russia was a government with an evolutionary plan, enduring a temporary condition of evil, which is made tolerable by hope. The title page of his wife Ella Winters Red Virtue, Human Relationships in the New Russia carries this quote and his enthusiasm for communism soured by the time his memoirs appeared in 1931. He was a member of the California Writers Project, a New Deal program and he married the twenty-six-year-old socialist writer Leonore Sophie Winter in 1924 and moved to Italy, where their son Peter was born in San Remo. Two years relocated to the largest art colony on the Pacific Coast, Carmel-by-the-Sea. Ella and Lincoln soon became controversial figures in the leftist politics of the region, in 1934, Steffens and Winters help found the San Francisco Workers School, Steffens served there as an advisor.
Steffens died of heart failure on August 9,1936, in Carmel-by-the-Sea, in a country where business is dominant, business men must and will corrupt a government. One business man’s bribery was nothing but a crime, but a succession of business briberies over the years was a corruption of government to make it represent business, I have never heard Christianity, as Jesus taught it in the New Testament, preached to the Christians. Online at the Internet Archive Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens The Letters of Lincoln Steffens, edited by Ella Winter, 527–547, in JSTOR Peter Hartshorn, I Have Seen the Future, A Life of Lincoln Steffens Joseph Lincoln Steffens. Lincoln Steffens collected journalism at The Archive of American Journalism
John Griffith Jack London was an American novelist and social activist. Some of his most famous works include The Call of the Wild and White Fang, both set in the Klondike Gold Rush, as well as the short stories To Build a Fire, An Odyssey of the North, and Love of Life. He wrote about the South Pacific in stories such as The Pearls of Parlay and The Heathen, London was part of the radical literary group The Crowd in San Francisco and a passionate advocate of unionization and the rights of workers. He wrote several works dealing with these topics, such as his dystopian novel The Iron Heel, his non-fiction exposé The People of the Abyss. Jack Londons mother, Flora Wellman, was the fifth and youngest child of Pennsylvania Canal builder Marshall Wellman and his first wife, Marshall Wellman was descended from Thomas Wellman, an early Puritan settler in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Flora left Ohio and moved to the Pacific coast when her father remarried after her mother died, in San Francisco, Flora worked as a music teacher and spiritualist, claiming to channel the spirit of a Sauk chief, Black Hawk.
Biographer Clarice Stasz and others believe Londons father was astrologer William Chaney, Flora Wellman was living with Chaney in San Francisco when she became pregnant. Whether Wellman and Chaney were legally married is unknown, most San Francisco civil records were destroyed by the extensive fires that followed the 1906 earthquake, nobody knows what name appeared on her sons birth certificate. Stasz notes that in his memoirs, Chaney refers to Londons mother Flora Wellman as having been his wife, according to Flora Wellmans account, as recorded in the San Francisco Chronicle of June 4,1875, Chaney demanded that she have an abortion. When she refused, he disclaimed responsibility for the child and she was not seriously wounded, but she was temporarily deranged. After giving birth, Flora turned the baby over for care to Virginia Prentiss and she was a major maternal figure throughout Londons life. Late in 1876, Flora Wellman married John London, a partially disabled Civil War veteran, the family moved around the San Francisco Bay Area before settling in Oakland, where London completed public grade school.
He wrote to William Chaney, living in Chicago, Chaney concluded by saying that he was more to be pitied than London. London was devastated by his fathers letter, in the following, he quit school at Berkeley. London was born near Third and Brannan Streets in San Francisco, the house burned down in the fire after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the California Historical Society placed a plaque at the site in 1953. Although the family was working class, it was not as impoverished as Londons accounts claimed, in 1885, London found and read Ouidas long Victorian novel Signa. He credited this as the seed of his literary success, in 1886, he went to the Oakland Public Library and found a sympathetic librarian, Ina Coolbrith, who encouraged his learning. In 1889, London began working 12 to 18 hours a day at Hickmotts Cannery, seeking a way out, he borrowed money from his foster mother Virginia Prentiss, bought the sloop Razzle-Dazzle from an oyster pirate named French Frank, and became an oyster pirate
Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was an American editorialist, short story writer and satirist. He wrote the short story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and compiled a satirical lexicon and his vehemence as a critic, his motto Nothing matters, and the sardonic view of human nature that informed his work, all earned him the nickname Bitter Bierce. Despite his reputation as a critic, Bierce was known to encourage younger writers, including the poets George Sterling and Herman George Scheffauer. Bierce employed a style of writing, especially in his stories. His style often embraces an abrupt beginning, dark imagery, vague references to time, limited descriptions, impossible events, in 1913, Bierce traveled to Mexico to gain first-hand experience of the Mexican Revolution. He was rumored to be traveling with rebel troops, and was not seen again, Bierce was born in a log cabin at Horse Cave Creek in Meigs County, Ohio, on June 24,1842, to Marcus Aurelius Bierce and Laura Sherwood Bierce. His mother was a descendant of William Bradford and his parents were a poor but literary couple who instilled in him a deep love for books and writing.
Bierce grew up in Kosciusko County, attending school at the county seat. He left home at 15 to become a printers devil at a small Ohio newspaper, at the outset of the American Civil War, Bierce enlisted in the Union Armys 9th Indiana Infantry. In February 1862 he was commissioned a first lieutenant, and served on the staff of General William Babcock Hazen as a topographical engineer, making maps of likely battlefields. Bierce fought at the Battle of Shiloh, an experience that became a source for several short stories. In June 1864, he sustained a head wound at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. He was discharged from the army in January 1865 and his military career resumed, when in mid-1866 he rejoined General Hazen as part of the latters expedition to inspect military outposts across the Great Plains. The expedition proceeded by horseback and wagon from Omaha, arriving toward years end in San Francisco, Bierce married Mary Ellen Mollie Day on December 25,1871. They had three children, sons Day and Leigh and daughter Helen, both of Bierces sons died before he did.
Day committed suicide after a romantic rejection, and Leigh died of related to alcoholism. Bierce separated from his wife in 1888, after discovering compromising letters to her from an admirer, Mollie Day Bierce died the following year. He suffered from asthma, as well as complications from his war wounds
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, entrepreneur and lecturer. Among his novels are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain was raised in Hannibal, which provided the setting for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He served an apprenticeship with a printer and worked as a typesetter and he became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, the short story brought international attention and was even translated into classic Greek. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists and European royalty. He filed for bankruptcy in the wake of financial setbacks. He chose to pay all his creditors in full, even though he had no legal responsibility to do so. Twain was born shortly after an appearance of Halleys Comet, and he predicted that he would go out with it as well and he was lauded as the greatest American humorist of his age, and William Faulkner called him the father of American literature.
His parents met when his father moved to Missouri, and they were married in 1823, Twain was of Cornish and Scots-Irish descent. Only three of his siblings survived childhood, Orion and Pamela and his sister Margaret died when Twain was three, and his brother Benjamin died three years later. His brother Pleasant died at six months of age, slavery was legal in Missouri at the time, and it became a theme in these writings. His father was an attorney and judge, but he died of pneumonia in 1847, the next year, Twain left school after the fifth grade to become a printers apprentice. In 1851, he working as a typesetter, contributing articles and humorous sketches to the Hannibal Journal. He educated himself in libraries in the evenings, finding wider information than at a conventional school. Twain describes his boyhood in Life on the Mississippi, stating there was but one permanent ambition among his comrades. Pilot was the grandest position of all, the pilot, even in those days of trivial wages, had a princely salary – from a hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty dollars a month, and no board to pay.
As Twain describes it, the pilots prestige exceeded that of the captain, bixby took Twain on as a cub pilot to teach him the river between New Orleans and St. Louis for $500, payable out of Twains first wages after graduating. It was more than two years before he received his pilots license, piloting gave him his pen name from mark twain, the leadsmans cry for a measured river depth of two fathoms, which was safe water for a steamboat
Frank Gelett Burgess was an artist, art critic, poet and humorist. He was the author of the popular Goops books, and he coined the term blurb, born in Boston, Burgess was raised among staid, conservative New England gentry. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating with a B. S. in 1887, after graduation, Burgess fled conservative Boston for the livelier bohemia of San Francisco, where he took a job working as a draftsman for the Southern Pacific Railroad. In 1891, he was hired by the University of California at Berkeley as an instructor of topographical drawing, in his right hand he holds a temperance pledge rolled up like a sausage, and the other used to contain a goblet overflowing with heavens own nectar. But wicked boys shattered the emblem of teetotalism with their pea-shooters, in response, numerous acts of minor vandalism had been inflicted upon the fountain. Four iron posts with ornate lamps at the top originally graced the corners of this example of temperance.
Beer wagons heavy laden humped into the posts, shattered the stained-glass lamps, some of the lamps are canted over like a tipsy mans hat, and the whole group presents a most convivial aspect. The toppling incident took place in the hours of January 1,1894. The newspaper noted that no one professes to have knowledge of the perpetrators of the outrage, Burgess is now held in high regard at the University of California, Berkeley as a former professor and literary talent. A selection of his works and his papers are housed in the Bancroft Library on the Berkeley campus. Burgesss departure from the University became an opportunity to reconsider his professional aspirations, with a group of like-minded associates, he founded in 1895 a humorous little magazine entitled The Lark. The Lark began as a lark, but was successful than its makers intended. Before the official date, local publisher/bookseller William Doxey, intrigued by the first number. Volume 1, number 1 of the 16-page monthly appeared on May Day, May 1,1895, I never saw a purple cow I never hope to see one, But I can tell you, anyhow, Id rather see than be one.
At first, the magazine was edited and written primarily by Burgess, for example, in volume 1, four of the other authors are Burgess writing under different names. Burgess was initially assisted by writer-artist Bruce Porter, the magazine soon attracted an eclectic group of contributors, who became known as Les jeunes. These included Porter Garnett, Carolyn Wells, Willis Polk, Yone Noguchi, local artists, including Ernest Peixotto, Florence Lundborg and Maynard Dixon, contributed illustrations and cover designs. Number 24 of The Lark was declared to be the last, by this point, Burgess had become thoroughly sick of The Purple Cow, and wrote the following Confession, and a Portrait Too, Upon a Background that I Rue in The Lark, number 24
Samuel Brannan was an American settler, businessman and prominent Mormon who founded the California Star, the first newspaper in San Francisco, California. He is considered the first to publicize the California Gold Rush and was its first millionaire and he helped form the first vigilance committee in San Francisco. He used the profits from his stores and possibly the tithes contributed to him as a leader of the LDS church to buy tracts of real estate. When he could not account for the tithes given him, he was disfellowshipped from the LDS church and his wife divorced him and he was forced to liquidate much of his real estate to pay her one-half of their assets. He died poor and in relative obscurity, Brannan was born in Saco, Maine, to Thomas and Sarah Emery Brannan. Because of problems with his father, when he was fourteen years old Brannan moved with his sister and her husband to Painesville. It was there that Brannan learned the printers trade, during their journey to Ohio, the trio found themselves listening to two men whom they would know as Orson Hyde and Heber C.
Brannans brother-in-law bought a copy of the Book of Mormon from these street corner missionaries, in the neighboring town of Kirtland, Brannan and Mary Ann all joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1842. After his fathers death, Brannan inherited a decent sum of money, bought out of his last year of his apprenticeship. Soon after making his investment and hoping to get rich because of said investment and he made a quick visit to Maine in order to see his ailing mother and made his way to New Orleans where his brother Thomas was living. The Brannan brothers bought a press and type with what money they had. After this tragedy, Brannan made his way back to the North, stopping in Indianapolis to work on the Gazette, but that only lasted for a couple months before he returned to Painesville. Once Brannan had returned to his sisters home, he renewed his religious convictions in the LDS church and was called by the apostle Wilford Woodruff to serve a mission in Ohio. Before being called as a missionary he had married Harriet Hatch and his mission ended earlier than expected when he caught malaria and had to return home for his health.
Once he had recovered he was again called to help the church. While waiting in Connecticut to meet-up with Smith, Brannan fell in love with Ann Eliza Corwin whose mother took care of the visitors in the boarding house. Brannan planned to marry her and separate from his first wife and they were eventually married although it was said that Brannan had never officially divorced his first wife. From Connecticut they went to New York City, New York, in 1844, and began printing The Prophet, shortly after the paper began, news spread that the prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were murdered and Brigham Young had taken over the position as prophet
James King of William
King was among the first newspapermen to be honored by the California Journalism Hall of Fame. James King was born January 28,1822, in the Georgetown district of Washington, D. C. the seventh and youngest son of William King, a native of Ireland. When he was age sixteen, he began to style himself James King of William and it was said that He was an eager student, acquired a fair knowledge of Latin and English literature, and learned to speak French and some German. He was married in 1843 to Charlotte M. Libbey of Georgetown, in 1848 he departed for the Pacific Coast to improve his prospects and establish a new home for his family, whom he left behind until 1851, when they joined him in California. Soon he became a political journalist on Kendalls Expositor, a Democratic-leaning newspaper issued in Georgetown, and on the Washington Daily Globe and he was a bookkeeper for the mercantile or financial firm of Corcoran & Riggs, until 1848. After arrival on November 10, most of the men deserted him, soon he began trading gold coins or offering bills of trade for the miners gold dust.
It was in year that he first began issuing private gold ingots. The financial loss left King penniless by early 1850, and while paying off his debts he worked for Adams & Company and he next became a partner with bankers Samuel J. Hensley and Robert D. Merrill in April 1850 and was their agent for two months and he went back to Washington briefly, returned to San Francisco in January 1851 on the steamer Tennessee, along with Augustus Humbert, who had been appointed to be U. S. assayer in San Francisco. In that year King established another company, and it was there that his firm struck $20 gold ingots, coin historian Donald H.8 percent to 3 percent under market value. Kagin said that King therefore may have started the California economic recession of 1850–51, King and a partner, Jacob B. Woods as well as other enterprises. On October 8,1855, the first edition of the Daily Evening Bulletin appeared, with King as the editor and private coiner David C. Broderick, who, it was said, was the dictator of San Francisco.
On May 4,1856, Kings Bulletin reproduced articles from New York newspapers revealing that Casey had served a term in New York States Sing Sing prison for grand larceny. King had called for the hanging of Charles Cora, a well-known gambler, Cora was arrested for the shooting of U. S Marshall Richardson. Kings writing rallied the town so much that the San Francisco courts acted faster than ever to bring Cora’s case to court, at the same time Casey fired one shot, the bullet striking King in the left chest near the armpit. The procedure was opposed by Kings good friend, the physician Richard Beverly Cole, but Hugh Hughes Toland, the states best-known surgeon, favored the procedure, an eminent physician, John Strother Griffin, came from Los Angeles to add his opinion. After examining King on May 18, Griffin advised against the removal, King died on May 20 at the age of thirty-four, and a coroners jury returned a verdict of no medical malpractice, stating that King would have died of the wound regardless of the sponge
San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural and financial center of Northern California. It is the birthplace of the United Nations, the California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856, after three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater. Politically, the city votes strongly along liberal Democratic Party lines, San Francisco is the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss & Co. Dolby, Weebly, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Pinterest, Uber, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation, as of 2016, San Francisco is ranked high on world liveability rankings.
The earliest archaeological evidence of habitation of the territory of the city of San Francisco dates to 3000 BC. Upon independence from Spain in 1821, the became part of Mexico. Under Mexican rule, the system gradually ended, and its lands became privatized. In 1835, Englishman William Richardson erected the first independent homestead, together with Alcalde Francisco de Haro, he laid out a street plan for the expanded settlement, and the town, named Yerba Buena, began to attract American settlers. Commodore John D. Sloat claimed California for the United States on July 7,1846, during the Mexican–American War, montgomery arrived to claim Yerba Buena two days later. Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco on January 30 of the next year, despite its attractive location as a port and naval base, San Francisco was still a small settlement with inhospitable geography. The California Gold Rush brought a flood of treasure seekers, with their sourdough bread in tow, prospectors accumulated in San Francisco over rival Benicia, raising the population from 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 by December 1849.
The promise of fabulous riches was so strong that crews on arriving vessels deserted and rushed off to the gold fields, leaving behind a forest of masts in San Francisco harbor. Some of these approximately 500 abandoned ships were used at times as storeships and hotels, many were left to rot, by 1851 the harbor was extended out into the bay by wharves while buildings were erected on piles among the ships. By 1870 Yerba Buena Cove had been filled to create new land, buried ships are occasionally exposed when foundations are dug for new buildings. California was quickly granted statehood in 1850 and the U. S. military built Fort Point at the Golden Gate, silver discoveries, including the Comstock Lode in Nevada in 1859, further drove rapid population growth. With hordes of fortune seekers streaming through the city, lawlessness was common, and the Barbary Coast section of town gained notoriety as a haven for criminals, entrepreneurs sought to capitalize on the wealth generated by the Gold Rush
Francis Bret Harte was an American short story writer and poet, best remembered for his short fiction featuring miners and other romantic figures of the California Gold Rush. In a career spanning more than four decades, he wrote poetry, plays, book reviews and magazine sketches in addition to fiction. As he moved from California to the eastern U. S. to Europe, he incorporated new subjects and characters into his stories, but his Gold Rush tales have been most often reprinted, Bret Harte was born in Albany, New York. He was named Francis Brett Hart after his great-grandfather, Francis Brett, when he was young, his father, changed the spelling of the family name from Hart to Harte. Henrys father was Bernard Hart, an Orthodox Jewish immigrant who flourished as a merchant, Francis preferred to be known by his middle name, but he spelled it with only one t, becoming Bret Harte. An avid reader as a boy, Harte published his first work at age 11, rather than attracting praise, the poem garnered ridicule from his family.
As an adult, he recalled to a friend, Such a shock was their ridicule to me that I wonder that I ever wrote another line of verse and his formal schooling ended when he was 13, in 1849. Harte moved to California in 1853, working there in a number of capacities, including miner, teacher and journalist. He spent part of his life in the northern California coastal town of Union, the Wells Fargo Messenger, July 1916, relates that, after an unsuccessful attempt to make a living in the gold camps, he signed on as a messenger with Wells Fargo & Co. He guarded treasure boxes on stagecoaches for a few months, gave it up to become the schoolmaster at a school near Sonora and he created his character Yuba Bill from his memory of an old stagecoach driver. The 1860 massacre of between 80 and 200 Wiyots at the village of Tuluwat was well documented historically and was reported in San Francisco and New York by Harte. When serving as assistant editor for the Northern Californian, Harte editorialized about the slayings while his boss Stephen G.
Whipple was temporarily absent, leaving Harte in charge of the paper. Harte published a detailed account condemning the event, writing, a shocking and revolting spectacle never was exhibited to the eyes of a Christian. Old women wrinkled and decrepit lay weltering in blood, their brains dashed out, infants scarcely a span long, with their faces cloven with hatchets and their bodies ghastly with wounds. After he published the editorial, his life was threatened, Harte quit his job and moved to San Francisco, where an anonymous letter published in a city paper is attributed to him, describing widespread community approval of the massacre. Harte married Anna Griswold on August 11,1862 in San Rafael, from the start, the marriage was rocky. Some suggested that she was handicapped by extreme jealousy, while early Harte biographer Henry C, merwin privately concluded that she was almost impossible to live with. Among Hartes first literary efforts, a poem was published in The Golden Era in 1857 and he was hired as editor of The Golden Era in the spring of 1860, which he attempted to make into a more literary publication
Cincinnatus Heine Miller /ˌsɪnsᵻˈneɪtəs ˈhaɪnə ˈmɪlər/, better known by his pen name Joaquin Miller /ˌhwɑːˈkiːn/, was a colorful American poet and frontiersman. He is nicknamed the Poet of the Sierras after the Sierra Nevada, Joaquin Millers parents were Hulings Miller and Margaret, who married January 3,1836, in Union County, Indiana. Their second son, Cincinnatus Hiner Miller, was born about 1839 near Fulton County, for unknown reasons, Miller claimed his birth date was November 10,1841. He said he was born in Millersville, Indiana, a town he claimed was founded by his father, besides adopting the pen name Joaquin, he changed his middle name from Hiner to Heine to evoke the German poet Heinrich Heine. While Miller was a boy, probably between 1850 and 1852, his family moved to Oregon and settled in the Willamette Valley. A number of his works, Life Amongst the Modocs, An Elk Hunt. He was wounded in the cheek and neck with an arrow during this latter battle and he accompanied William Walker on the latters 1855 filibustering expedition to Nicaragua.
In the spring of 1857, Miller took part in an expedition against the Pit River Tribe after they killed a man on Pit River. Years later, he claimed that he had sided with the Native Americans and was run out of town for it. Although Miller soon left the area to other adventures, in the 1870s he sought out Cali-Shasta, in her teens. He credited her with saving his life, but said she had always been a platonic friend, spending a short time in the mining camps of northern Idaho, Miller found his way to Canyon City, Oregon by 1864 where he was elected the third Judge of Grant County. His old cabin in Canyon City is still standing, Millers exploits included a variety of occupations, mining-camp cook, lawyer and a judge, newspaper writer, Pony Express rider, and horse thief. On July 10,1859, Miller was caught stealing a horse gelding valued at $80, a saddle worth $15 and he was jailed briefly in Shasta County for the crime, and various accounts give other incidents of his repeating this crime in California and Oregon.
Miller earned an estimated $3,000 working as a Pony Express rider, with the help of his friend, Senator Joseph Lane, he became editor of the Democratic Register in Eugene, a role he held from March 15 to September 20,1862. Though no copies survive, it was known as sympathetic to the Confederacy until it was forced to shut down because of its treasonable character. That year, Miller married Theresa Dyer on September 12,1862, in her four days after meeting her in Port Orford. He had corresponded with her after exchanging poems with her for critique and she published poetry under the pen name Minnie Myrtle. In 1868, Miller paid for the publication of 500 copies of his first book of poetry and it was unnoticed and Miller gave away more copies than he sold
Southern Pacific Transportation Company
The Southern Pacific Transportation Company, earlier Southern Pacific Railroad and Southern Pacific Company, and usually called the Southern Pacific or Espee, was an American Class I railroad. It was absorbed in 1988 by the company controlled the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. The railroad was founded as a holding company in 1865. By 1900 the Southern Pacific Company was a railroad system incorporating many smaller companies, such as the Texas and New Orleans Railroad and Morgans Louisiana. It extended from New Orleans through Texas to El Paso, across New Mexico and through Tucson, to Los Angeles, through most of California, including San Francisco, Central Pacific lines extended east across Nevada to Ogden and reached north through Oregon to Portland. By the 1980s route mileage had dropped to 10,423 miles, in 1988 the Southern Pacific was taken over by D&RGW parent Rio Grande Industries. The combined railroad kept the Southern Pacific name due to its recognition in the railroad industry.
Along with the addition of the SPCSL Corporation route from Chicago to St. Louis, by 1996 years of financial problems had dropped SPs mileage to 13,715 miles, and it was taken over by the Union Pacific Railroad. Southern Pacific founded important hospitals in San Francisco, Tucson, in the 1970s, it founded a telecommunications network with a state-of-the-art microwave and fiber optic backbone. This evolved into Sprint, a company name that came from the acronym for Southern Pacific Railroad Internal Networking Telephony. The original aim was to construct a railroad from Galveston Bay to a point on the Red River near a trading post known as Coffees Station, the GRR built 2 miles of track in Houston in 1855. Track laying began in earnest in 1856 and on 1 September 1856 GRR was renamed the Houston and Texas Central Railway. SP acquired H&TC in 1883 but it continued to operate as a subsidiary under its own management until 1927, when it was leased to another SP-owned railroad, the Texas and New Orleans Railroad.
The Buffalo Bayou and Colorado Railway, was chartered in Texas on 11 February 1850 by a group that included General Sidney Sherman, bBB&C was the first railroad to commence operation in Texas and the first component of SP to commence operation. Surveying of the route alignment commenced at Harrisburg, Texas in 1851, the first 20 miles of track opened in August 1853. SP was founded in San Francisco, California in 1865 by a group of businessmen led by Timothy Phelps with the aim of building a connection between San Francisco and San Diego, California. The company was purchased in September 1868 by a group of known as the Big Four, Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins. The Big Four had, in 1861, created the Central Pacific Railroad, CPRR was merged into SP in 1870