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Nostalgia & History > Depot Friday: Union Electric in Parsons, KS


Date: 01/11/19 05:49
Depot Friday: Union Electric in Parsons, KS
Author: santafe199

While I was preparing the just-posted WAG Wednesday another one of Bill Gibson’s slides taken in Parsons, KS really caught my eye. This image is of the former Union Electric depot in Parsons. This was a traction RR that operated from (roughly) 1912 to 1947. Here’s a snippet from the Western Railroader’s Hall of Fame & Museum website dated July 2, 2002:

Originally called the Union Traction Company, the Union Electric Railway Company operated between Parsons, Cherryvale and Coffeyville, KS and Nowata, OK. Most of the right-of-way is still intact and discernible. Four structures that we’re aware of still exist in good condition: the former Cherryvale depot as a coffee shop, a rural waiting shelter, the Coffeyville depot building stores/offices (much as it was) and a power sub-station near Nowata.”

Take a look at the stonework above the 2 doors! Not a bad offering for Depot Friday, if I do say so myself…

1. Former UER depot in Parsons, KS on April 28, 1962.
Photo by William A. Gibson (WAG) Sr.

Thanks for looking back!
Lance Garrels (santafe199)
Art Gibson (wag216)




Date: 01/11/19 05:57
Re: Depot Friday: Union Electric in Parsons, KS
Author: refarkas

There are fewer and fewer of these jewels left. Slowly more and more history is disappearing, yet photos help provide a clearer image than memory.Thank you for sharing this.
Bob



Date: 01/11/19 06:05
Re: Depot Friday: Union Electric in Parsons, KS
Author: santafe199

refarkas Wrote: > ...  fewer and fewer of these jewels left ...

That's no kidding! I know the old UER depot in Cherryvale still exists. In 2015 I took shots of it a couple of blocks south of the old Santa Fe depot, which also still exists in good shape as an office for the SKOL...

Lance/199



Date: 01/11/19 06:13
Re: Depot Friday: Union Electric in Parsons, KS
Author: valmont

Lance ... thanks for this jewel of history .... didn't know that UE Traction Co even existed ... my connection with UE was at Keokuk, IA on July 18, 1984 when UE employees rolled this beauty out of the powerhouse building so I could get pics. I also rode across the dam on the Mississippi at Lock 19 there on the UE speeder that day .... any idea what UETC used as 'power'?

p.s. UE also had 4 fireless cookers at their plant in E.St. Louis area that I got pics of on a visit there
 




Date: 01/11/19 06:47
Re: Depot Friday: Union Electric in Parsons, KS
Author: King_Coal

Interesting photo. Particularly the combination dry-cleaninng and radiator shop!

I was trying to figure out where the tracks might run with respect to the depot. I found a 1956 topo map that shows the UE and Frisco entering Parsons from a northwest direction. The lines merge along Frisco Ave. (I like that) and then appear to run close to Morton St when they head east-west. Could it be the depot was at Main St?  Not much left of either the UE or Frisco. But you can see a rough alignment in Google maps. No trace of the UE east of Parsons.



Date: 01/11/19 08:34
Re: Depot Friday: Union Electric in Parsons, KS
Author: TTownTrains

There is a video on Youtube of a run on this line from Nowata to Parsons.  Search for "Union Traction", and it should be the first in the list.

Bill Gillfillan
Tulsa, OK



Date: 01/11/19 08:41
Re: Depot Friday: Union Electric in Parsons, KS
Author: OliveHeights

The Model Laundry is curious.  I had some relatives that owned a model laundry in Santa Ana California.  If you google model laundry there are still lots of them all over the country.  They all say they are family owned.  At some point in the past someone must have been franchising them, or it’s a helluva coincidence so many chose that name.   The one my relatives owned had the plant next to the SP tracks in Santa Ana back in the 30’s & 40’s.



Date: 01/11/19 13:37
Re: Depot Friday: Union Electric in Parsons, KS
Author: cewherry

Here is a token issued by Union Traction, (one of many) my dad collected from various streetcar, traction and bus companies
many of which were based throughout the mid-west. I'm not positive this one came from the subject Union Traction (Electric) since the 
use of the word "Union" seemed to be a popular choice among railroads back in the day. His collection was based heavily on
companies that once ran throughout  the mid-lands. This token is relatively small, just a bit smaller than a dime.

The video referred to by TTownTrains certainly is a gem. I can almost feel the humidity of the summer in this priceless video. Loved the 
liberal use of what appears to be sand as ballast. At the end is a shot of several seconds of the Parsons depot where you can see
where the 1940's awning attached to the front of the building. Great view of our past prior to interstate highways.

Charlie



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/19 13:38 by cewherry.






Date: 01/11/19 14:09
Re: Depot Friday: Union Electric in Parsons, KS
Author: wabash2800

Thanks for sharing the info on the video. It was wonderful. It reminds me of what such an operation like the Winona in Indiana would have been like in its last days.

There were a number of electric railroads named Union Traction, including one in Indiana.

Victor A. Baird
http://www.erstwhilepublications.com



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/19 17:38 by wabash2800.



Date: 01/11/19 15:47
Re: Depot Friday: Union Electric in Parsons, KS
Author: King_Coal

Excellent film. The final segment in Parsons is amazing. Such a vibrant downtown, now fairly quiet.



Date: 01/11/19 23:01
Re: Depot Friday: Union Electric in Parsons, KS
Author: 22dot5_ERS

The UE carbarn was still extant on this visit to Parsons 6/18/1986.

1005




Date: 01/12/19 08:12
Re: Depot Friday: Union Electric in Parsons, KS
Author: santafe199

22dot5_ERS Wrote: > ...  The UE carbarn ...

Thanks for posting this shot! Art Gibson has a similar shot in his collection, and I believe I scanned it some time back. I'll have to go digging...

Lance/199



Date: 01/13/19 17:13
Re: Depot Friday: Union Electric in Parsons, KS
Author: wabash2800

What is the car barn used for at the time of this photo?

Victor A. Baird
http://www.erstwhilepublications.com



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/19 17:14 by wabash2800.



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