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The oasis. [volume] (Arizola, Ariz.) 1893-1920, December 22, 1906, Image 1

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Skcond Skriks,
Vol. VIII, No. 4.
Whole No. 710
Activity in Railroad Circles in Arizona
and Sonora and Plans That At
tract Wide Attention.
Interesting in the extreme is the
railroad situation in this section at
the present time. Particularly in
teresting to' the people of the line
cities, the principal ports on the
Arizona-Mexican line, and the
point at which another extensive
railroad system now wishes to
The Southern Pacific system is
now anxious to make Nogales the
junction of the line that is to con
nect the .Sonora railroad with the
Cananea road to the east of this
place. At the same time the Gulf
A: Arizona line, to be built from
Denver, Colorado, to the Gulf of
California, is casting about for a
way to touch Nogales.
From Port Lobos, Sonora, on
the Gulf of California, viaCaborca,
.Sonora, and Tucson, Arizona, to
Denver, runs the route soon to be
surveyed for the construction of
the Arizona it Gulf road. More
than fifty miles of the southern
end of the new road has leen al
ready surveyed, letween Port Lo
bos and Caborca, Sonora, and con
struction work will be commenced
within two weeks. At the same
time railroad engineers, who have
been reconnoitering the route from
Caborca north, to the Mexican
Arizona line, will commence sur
veying the road to the internation
al line, which will be crossed some'
wherein the vicinity of Sasabe.Son.,
about ninety miles southwest of
Tucson, Arizona. From the inter
national line the survey will be
continued through American ter
ritory, via Tucson, to Denver.
In addition to the construction
of the railroad from Denver to the
Gulf of California, the same people
who are included in the Gulf &,
Arizona Railway Company, as
members of another corporation,
will establish a line of steamers to
operate along the Pacific coast of
North and South America and
across to Asiatic and European
The promotors only of the en
terprise are known here, but they
are backed by eastern railroad ami
steamship operators; men who al
ready control one of the great
transcontinental lines that enter
Denver. Those men, however, will
keep in the background till the
route from Tucson to Denver has
been finally decided upon. The
promoters are John Henderson of
Nogales; J. H. McKibben of Cin
cinnati, Ohio; W. K. McKibben of
Pasadena, California.
The Gulf & Arizona road will
give Arizona shorter and more
direct connection with the trans
continental lines of ;he north and
will give to Sonora and the west
coast of Mexico the same advant
age. To travel north from Ari
zona points at'the present time it is
necessary to g o east to New Mex
ico and north through that ter
ritory, or west through California
and north through that state. The
new road, running north and
south, will cut off hundreds of
miles of travel and hundreds of
miles of freight hauling for Ari
zona. And it will give railroad con
nection to a large undeveloped
portion of the territory, both north
and south. In Sonora it will pass
through one of the richest mineral
sections in the Mexican Republic
the famous Altar district.
The inception and gradual
broadening of the plans of the
Gulf tfc Arizona line to their pres
ent extension is itself an interest
ing story and a practical demon
stration of how "great oaks from
little acorns grow." A few years
ago Mr. John Henderson of Nogal
es, mining promoter and prospec
tor, entered the Altar district of
Sonora, there acquiring the
Calera and Lista Blanca mining
claims. With time and labor
the claims developed into
valuable mines and a smel
ter was needed to treat the ore.
More capital than was at the pros
pector's command was needed and
the promoter started out to find it.
The McKibben brothers were final
ly interested and with others
the Ohio-Mexican Com
pany and the smeller was establish
ed. Later it was learned that
coke could be bought in Spain and
laid down on the gulf coast at a
cost of 18.50 per ton. The same
article, purchased in the United
States and laid down at Santa Ana,
on the Sonora railroad, cast $14
and a haul of seventy-five miles by
wagon was then necessary to
place it at the smelter. The dif
ference in the cost of coke was
great and Mr. Henderson spent
weeks cruising along the gulf coast
in a launch, seeking the port most
convenient to Caborca, near which
town the smelter is located. He
decided upon Port Lobos about fif
ty miles from Caborca. The ques
tion of getting the coke from Port
Lobos to the smelter was next to
be settled and a concession from
the Mexican government was se
cured for the construction of a
railroad from the port to Caborca.
Knowing the rich countrv lying to
the north of the proposed road, the
promotors next formed the plan of
extending the line north to Tuc
son. The question of a further
concession from the Mexican gov
ernment was brought up and the
north to the international line at
Sasabe, they desired a concession
northeast from Caborca to Nogal
es, Sonora, from which place they
would build north to Tucson and
on to Denver. Coming into Nog
ales, Sonora, would give them con
nection with the Sonora railroad,
right at the international line. For
months railroad engineers oper
ated in the country lying between
Nogales and Caborca. From Cab
orca to Saric, twenty-two miles
from Nogales, is easy building,
but the last twenty-two miles is
through rugged, hilly country, that
would require a large outlay of
capital to penetrate. But the de
sire of the railroad magnates was
to build to Nogales, the main port
promotors were given to under
stand that the desired concession
to the international line would be
granted. Further capital was
needed and John Henderson vis
ited the eastern cities. Chicago
men were interested and finallv
some of the great railroad builder9
of the day entered into the plans.
They studied the country and in
stead of the route from Caborca
of entry.to the west states of Mex
ico and d few more months were
devoted to considering the project.
Finally it was decided that it
would he cheaper to go to Tucson
by way of Sasabe. From Tucson
a spur can be built up to the San
ta Cruz valley without a necessity
of crossing a hill and the desired
connection with the Sonora rail
road, and thereby with the entire
Cananea, Yaqui River and Pacific
system now being extended to
Guadalajara and the City of Mex
ico, can be attained.
Mr. Henderson, who was in No
gales this week, stated that every
thing is now arranged and con
struction work will begin the first
of the year on the Port Lobos end
of the line and the engineers will
at the same time begin surveying
the route north from Caborca.
Another feature of the railroad
situation in this section just now
is the demonstration of how the
plane of one railroad system in
fluence another system. For some
time the Southern Pacific system,
owning the Cananea, Yaqui River
& Pacific road into Cananea, and
controlling by lease the Sonora
railroad, has desired to build a
cross line connecting the two
roads. A concession was recently
granted for a cross line from Ca
nanea west to Imuris, a distance of
about seventy miles. It is said
that the route was selected not by
the Southern Pacific but by Pres
ident Diaz. Just now the South
ern Pacific people would prefer to
build the connecting line from Ca
nanea to Nogales, as the construc
tion later of the cut off between
Nogales and Tucson would give
them a direct route from the Pa
cific coast to the very heart of So
nora and would shorten the north
ern connections of both the Mex
ican routes of the Southern Pacific
system. Thirty-four miles of con
struction work from Oalabasas, ten
miles from Nogales, to Twin But
tes, twenty-eight miles south of
Trcson, would give the Southern
Pacific a cut off between Nogales
and Tucson, as the Twin Buttes
road out of Tucson is already
built. The difference that would
be cutoff by extending the Twin J
Buttes line the additional thirty-!
four miles would be the difference
between 137 miles and seventy
miles, almost one-half. The dif
ference in the distance traveled to
reach Cananea from Nogales,
should the road be built from Ca
nanea to Nogales instead of Cana
nea to Imuris, would be much
greater. By arranging to construct
the two cut-offs as soon as possible
the Southern Pacific system can
have its Mexican lines shortened
before the Gulf & Arizona line is
fairly started.
Under the new conditions every
influence possible will be brojght
to bear upon President Diaz to
grant the Southern Pacific system
the desired concession from Cana
nea to Nogales. The Nogales and
Santa Cruz County Board of Trade
directors are giving the matter
considerable attention and Messrs.
P. Sandoval, B. Schwob and others
of Nogales, Sonora, have joined in
the efforts to bring the road here.
Through them some of the leading
men of Sonora, including among
their number Don Rafael Yzabal,
governor of the state, and Gen
eral Torres, commander of the
military zone, have been enlisted
in the cause and a delegation will
leave shortly for the City of Mex
ico to importune President Diaz
to grant the desired concession to
the Southern Pacific and it will be
clearly shown the Mexican Pres
ident what great advantage the
connecting link of the road will be
to the industrial development of
Sonora. Added to the influences
mentioned no doubt will be now
the influence of all the magnates
who have their millions invested
in Sonora and especially in Cana
nea. Efforts will be made to induce
President Diaz to so change the
concession granted as to permit
the railroad company to run the
connecting line in such a direction
(northwest) as would bring them
between Imuris and Nogales and
between the two points to make a
Y, running one spur to Imuris and
the other to Nogales, thus giving
the President the cross line from
Cananea to Imuris desired by him
and the railroad company and
others the Cananea-Nogales line
j that seems to be desired by all in
terested except President Diaz.
To people not acquainted with
conditions in Mexico it may ap
pear strange that the President of
the Republic should discriminate
between two points, but people on
the border believe they know why.
During the trouble in Cananea
last June it was suddenly and em
phatically brought to the attention
of the Mexican government that
though there are several railroad
lines running north and south,
there is not one running east and
west in northern Mexican territo
ry. To get troops into the
troubled sectioti of the state
by rail it would have been
necessary to bring them north
through American territory. It
was necessary, to avoid the contin
gency mentioned, to march troops
across the country from Imuris to
Cananea, afoot, and the governor
of Sonora found it necessary to
depend upon the citizens of Ariz
ona for tempory assistance in
keeping order at Cananea. It is
believed that President Diaz wants
the east and west connection of
lines on Mexican territory to avoid
any possible repitition of the emer
gency that necessitated depending
upon foreigners for assistance.
Taking this view of the matter
no effort will be made to induce
him to change his mind as to the
line running from Imuris to Ca
nanea, but every influence pos
sible will be brought to secure the
additional privilege for the South
ern Pacific system to build from
Cananea to Nogales, by means of
the Y before mentioned, as the
railroad company, under present
conditions, is willing to build lines
to both towns for the privilege of
building into Nogales from Cana
nea. Patt R. Sullivan.

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