Edward S. Safford Papers

Collection Summary

Title: Edward S. Safford Papers
Call Number: MS 84-01
Size: 0.25 linear feet
Acquisition: Purchased from the William Reese Company, 1984
Processed By: GMS, 5-4-1984; JEF, 6-10-1998; MN, 10-2008
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

The Edward S. Safford Papers consist of letters written by Safford to his family in Boston. Dating from 1867 to 1871, they chronicle his activities as a surveyor for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad in Kansas. They describe towns along the railroad, persons met, incidents of work, and land speculation activities. Included is a carte-de-visite of Safford and another surveyor and a "Diary of Important Events" kept by Safford in December 1867 while he was working in Illinois.

Biography

Edward S. Safford was born in 1847, the son of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Safford of Boston, Massachusetts. By 1867, Safford was working as a surveyor for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. He headed west with the railroad as it was constructed, and he based his operations in Topeka, Kansas, the headquarters of the Santa Fe Railroad, beginning in 1868.
By 1869, Safford was in search of land to purchase; initially, he tried to find a parcel of land on which to settle, but later, he and R. K. Tabor established a land speculation business based in Florence in Marion County, Kansas.
In the course of his work for the Santa Fe Railroad, Safford came into contact with many railroad officials, notably Thomas J. (T. J.) Peter, Contractor; Maj. H. Bartling, Secretary of the Land Department; and D. L. Lakin, Land Commissioner. In 1870, Safford was appointed Resident Engineer and Superintendent of Construction as the railroad expanded south toward Hutchinson.
By 1871, Safford had married and was establishing a home in Kansas. He died in 1928.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Box 1 FF 1 November 24, 1867 - Chauncey, Illinois. Edward S. Safford to mother, Mrs. George W. Safford. Safford describes surveying methods and introduces several members of the eight-man crew, including Fred Lord. Four pages.
Box 1 FF 2 December 5-11, 1867 - "Diary of Important Events." Safford writes of the weather, accommodations, and meager food served to the surveying crew. He recounts finding an Atlantic Monthly at a Dr. Ludden's. Eight pages.
Box 1 FF 3 July 5, 1868 - Topeka, Kansas. Safford to father, George W. Safford. Safford describes both St. Louis and Topeka; Topeka is "very pretty" but quite dusty. He recounts its establishment and growth. The State Capitol is described. Safford writes of Potawatomi Indians in Topeka, as well as several genteel settlers from the East. He requests money from his father. Eight pages.
Box 1 FF 4 July 12, 1868 - Topeka, Kansas. Safford to father. Safford recounts several days' surveying around Topeka, mentioning the Kansas River and the Shunganunga and Wakarusa Creeks. He discusses the hot (120̊) weather, as well as the excellent corps grown in the area. Four pages.
Box 1 FF 5 July 20, 1868 - Topeka, Kansas. Safford to sister, Nellie. Safford describes his problems with his thumb, which was injured and had become infected. He introduces a Mr. Dodds, a Kansan whose land includes some "valuable" coalfields. Dodds helps the surveying team while Safford recuperates at Dodds' home. Four pages.
Box 1 FF 6 July 23, 1868 - Topeka, Kansas. Safford to father. Describes the high rates for room and board at the Capitol House in Topeka and announces his plans to find a cheaper place. The heat wave continues. Three pages.
Box 1 FF 7 March 5-6, 1869 - Topeka, Kansas. Safford to father. The bulk of this letter describes Safford's efforts to locate a claim for himself. He is being advised by Capt. Huntoon and is looking at a claim owned by Mr. Jesse. Safford expresses gratitude at his father's monetary support and eagerly anticipates a visit from his father. He describes the potential for future work in Topeka; he is setting up his own land speculation business. Six pages.
Box 1 FF 8 March 28, 1869 - Topeka, Kansas. Safford to father. Safford writes of losing the claim he had hoped to buy; however, he also sold 80 acres of his land to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. He describes his dog, Ulysses, who had become a mascot for the railroad workers. He describes the progress of railroad construction; a bridge across the Kansas River had been completed and the railroad is waiting for the ratification of a treaty with the Osage to allow further construction. Four pages.
Box 1 FF 9 April 20, 1869 - Topeka, Kansas. Safford to father. Safford requests that his father purchase an engineer's transit for him; he discusses the quality of the level he had purchased earlier. Three pages.
Box 1 FF 10 April 27, 1869 - Topeka, Kansas. Safford to father. Safford enquires about the status of the transit and reveals the he had hoped to go to New York on railroad business. His plans were not carried out. Three pages.
Box 1 FF 11 February 13, 1870 - Topeka, Kansas. Safford to father. Safford discusses the progress of the railroad line, and he describes Osage City in detail. He mentions Fred Lord, who has lost his position on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe because of incompetence. He hopes that he will be put in charge of construction of the line to Wichita. He discusses his trip to Chicago. Four pages.
Box 1 FF 12 June 27, 1870 - Topeka, Kansas. Safford to father. Safford bemoans the extreme heat. He plans to set up headquarters as Resident Engineer and Superintendent of Construction at Osage City. He discusses Indian troubles around Great Bend and the Sioux problems in the Black Hills. Fred Lord has been discharged, but will take up with Dodds in the land and insurance business. Four pages.
Box 1 FF 13 July 5, 1870 - Topeka, Kansas. R. K. Tabor to Safford. This letter was enclosed in Safford's July 7, 1870 letter. In it, Tabor discusses the possible acquisition of land. Two pages.
Box 1 FF 14 July 17, 1870 - Osage City, Kansas. Safford to father. The railroad is almost completed to Emporia, but Safford speculates that there may be problems regarding its extension west. He expresses his desire to borrow money to finance his land speculation; he says that "we can turn money very fast..." He encloses the letter from Tabor to help explain his plans. Three pages.
Box 1 FF 15 September 23, 1870 - Topeka, Kansas. Safford to mother. Safford writes that "business is very dull" in Topeka. The railroad construction is proceeding beyond Emporia. Two pages.
Box 1 FF 16 December 14, 1870 - Kansas. Safford to father. Tabor and Safford are having an office built in Florence, which he describes. The speculation venture continues; he hopes to be able to purchase two quarter sections of land. He asks for money. He encloses 25 dollars to buy a present for his future wife, Mary. Four pages.
Box 1 FF 17 November 7, 1871 - Peabody, Kansas. Safford to father. Safford describes the land and wildlife around the future city of Hutchinson as well as Mr. Hutchinson's plans for the city. He and Mary are building a house and have been purchasing furniture for it. Six pages.
Box 1 FF 18 Two envelopes. First printed with address of "Messrs. Geo. W. Safford & Co." postmarked Topeka, Mar. 30; second with return address printed "Tabor and Safford, Real Estate Agents, Florence, Marion County, Kansas" and addressed to "Mrs. Geo. W. Safford." Envelope is labeled Dec. 8, 1871.
Box 1 FF 19 Carte-de-visite labeled "Ed S. Safford, D. Huntoon, 1867 or 1868."