The Indian Territory in the Civil War Message Board

Re: Last use of Beale's OK route
In Response To: Last use of Beale's OK route ()

Great questions, that I presume are really points for discussion and comment.

Work on the Marcy-Whipple-Beale wagon-rail route from Fort Smith to California, during the 1850's, represented a major step toward the fulfillment of the American Dream of becoming a rich & powerful nation that even the world powers of Great Britain and France would admire and respect.

Toward this goal, during 1859-60 the U.S. A. built six of the most technologically advanced iron bridges in the world along the first 150 miles of the new Gateway-to-California, the new Beale Wagon Road from Fort Smith to the Pacific.

Drive Interstate 40 West today along the same general route and one will see The Vision! Along the route, one will see massive railroad operations, a trail of tears for old historic US 66, and a constant stream of national trucking companies hauling international cargo, all going both to and from California--and all passing near Tucumcari, New Mexico, just as Marcy, Whipple and Beale did.

Then "To the Victor went the Spoils," a transcontinental railroad from Council Bluffs, IA, to San Francisco, CA, just as the late President Lincoln wanted it built.

There was a short period of time, from 1865-1872 when the Beale Wagon Road from Fort Smith could have served the military supply needs of Fort Arbuckle, Fort Cobb and the upstart Fort Sill. The completion in late 1872 of the Katy Railroad from Kansas City to Galveston via Dallas provided better logistics to the three forts via Caddo, Choctaw Nation. By 1873, only Fort Sill remained operational in IT, and it was served mostly by the Caddo depot via Nails Crossing. However, Calera and Durant depots offered the benefit for southern traffic to avoid having to cross the Blue River, and could use the former military roads all the way to Fort Sill.

Fort Reno opened in 1874, which probably was served by the Katy depot at Eufaula using the Beale Wagon Road westward. By 1883, the Ft. Worth and Denver railroad opened, which better served Fort Sill out of Wichita Falls. Not till 1887 could railroad operations in Central Oklahoma (IT) compete for supplying nearby Fort Reno, but by 1890, following the Boomer/Sooner Land Rush of 4-22-1889, Fort Reno's operations began winding down.

We seem to know more about the western portion of the Beale Wagon Road in Arizona, courtesy of the unusual Camel Road stories and the modern research and writings of Jack Beale Smith. But Jack has moved to Oklahoma City, and we now see his imprint on the historical relevance of the Beale Wagon Road in Oklahoma.

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Last use of Beale's OK route
Re: Last use of Beale's OK route
Re: Last use of Beale's OK route