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01. Maverick, Brasada Spur (1959), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

02. The Conjectural Maverick, Maverick Trails

Great Western Railroad


Independent railroad[1] connecting Fort Dodge with Fort Scott, Kansas,[2] in 1872.[1]


Organized by Rufus Elgree in 1868 to establish rail access across southern Kansas for the Chisholm Trail, in anticipation of the Missouri River, Fort Scott and Gulf Railroad linking Fort Scott to Kansas City and other Eastern markets.[2]


During the Great Western's construction from Fort Scott westward in 1869,[2] the railroad had a right-of-way dispute with settlers east of King City. With his finances and attorneys behind him, Elgree organized a mob of railroad workers to terrorize the farmers. Many were injured and some were killed, but the railroad won the dispute.[1]


The Great Western reached King City[1] in December of 1870,[2] competing directly with Roy Stafford's Brasada Spur, which connected King City with Junction City[1] on the Kansas Pacific[2] with its transcontinental connection[1] to the Union Pacific.[2] The Great Western was able to operate at a loss for its first two years, cutting deeply into Brasada Spur's profits.[1]


In September of 1872, Bart Maverick and Stafford began buying cattle and shipping them on the Great Western, locking in contracts through the end of the shipping season at extremely deflated rates and turning a profit for Brasada Spur. Elgree realized the only way to dissolve Great Western's binding shipping contracts was to remove Brasada Spur as a competitor. He instructed Horace Hogan to organize 200 men to commandeer a Brasada Spur train out of Junction City to destroy stations along its route. Bart and Stafford organized their own team to travel up the route on another train out of Chaseville to stop the Great Western's men. Halfway between, the two trains were destroyed in a head-on collision. Afterwards, Bart and Stafford confronted Elgree and forced him to accept liability for all damages to Brasada Spur property as well as punitive fees.[1]


The financial impact forced Great Western into bankruptcy and was forced to sell out to other, more resilient railroads. By the 1874 cattle season, the Great Western had run its last shipment and the route was abandoned in favor of more direct and profitable routes across Kansas and southward into Texas.[2]


See: Brasada Spur

Roy Stafford points out the Great Western Railroad's route to Bart Maverick, 1872.[1]









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