Union Pacific Country First Edition is a history of the birth of the Union Pacific railroad from the concept to financing to building through the “golden spike” at Promontory. The book includes a history of the difficulties incurred building of feeder lines. No one before Athearn’s book has written such a complete history of the beginnings of the Union Pacific. He utilized company records and a variety of other sources to write a very readable, but scholarly account of the impact of the Union Pacific and its branch lines from the 1860s to the 1890s.
Union Pacific Country goes into the financing manipulations, the negotiating with the Mormon Church, the difficulty recruiting labor and the challenges of building the railroad. The book covers the creating and destruction of towns caused by the building of the UP. The history goes through the receivership in 1897. The book is an excellent history of the heart-breaking efforts to build the Union Pacific into a viable railroad before the end of the nineteenth century.
Of interest and significance in Union Pacific Country, is the little know story of the Mormon’s influence on the spread of the UP system. The author presents documentary material that has never been printed before from the Latter-day Saints church library.
Also, the author of Union Pacific Country presents the interests and the perspectives of the different groups involved. To the average easterner, UP country was an inhospitable desert and wilderness. To the investors, the railroad seemed a bottomless swamp that kept swallowing money. To the western settlers (ranchers, miners, farmers, and merchants) the building of the UP was a matter of life or death. The book exposes the controversies and excesses of the groups as the building of the UP progresses west from the Mississippi River.
Union Pacific Country utilizes photographs, maps and documents to tell the story. If you are a railroad buff or scholar, the history and stories behind the scenes makes this a book you will want to own and read.
The dust cover torn and some pieces missing.