|Birth of a town called Fairfax|
|by Iona White|
|THE FAIRFAX FORUM, Fairfax, Missouri, June 15, 2006|
The following information was written and researched by Iona White. The information was given out during the old fashion church service hosted by the Presbyterian Church on Sunday, June 4.
From that humble beginning it was nothing but upward for C.E. Perkins (Charles Elliott). It was the era of the railroad. The Burlington was on the move westward across Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and points west. By September of 1881 Mr. Perkins, at the age of 41 was president of all of Burlington's operation. He was also associated with many of the smaller connecting railroads.
The area that constituted Atchison County, Missouri was growing and was to the point that inhabitants were willing and eager for a railroad. Thus the birth of Tarkio Valley Railroad. A total of 24.5 miles across Atchison County. This railroad was a branch of Kansas City, St. Joseph & Omaha RR. This would serve as a connecting line from main lines going east/ west across Iowa and also connect at Corning and on to St. Joseph for the growing railroad passing through that city. (The Union Depot in St. Joseph was to cost a total of $250,000.00 when completed. An impressive sum in 1880). Records indicate area farmers willingly granted the railroad a right-of-way across their farms for the huge price of one dollar.
There is one sad situation I can think of with this progress within the county. The railroad by-passed the town of Milton south of Fairfax. Milton was already a well established community for the time period. However, it was located on the wrong side of the Tarkio Creek. For the railroad to locate in Milton it would have to build a bridge or bridges to locate there.
Thus, apparently it was easier to start a whole new community. Several, if not most of the businesses of Milton moved to the new progressive community of Fairfax. Among those that come to my mind are Dr. Hunter and Jordon J. Denny with his pharmacy. With the closing of businesses in Milton it was only natural people would move their families to Fairfax-one town gained, one town lost!
Fairfax grew and prospered-a town on the move! Fine farming community! The August 9,1901, Fairfax Forum was publishing the train schedule. One could go north or south, making connections going to Chicago and other points. Livestock and grain were being shipped to Chicago and other large trade areas.
Fairfax was a child of the railroad era. The railroad may be gone, never to return but the "Pride of Fairfax" is still very much alive in the hearts of the residents that call it home!