Minnesota's First

| January/February 1957

  • First locomotive in Minnesota
    First locomotive in Minnesota, No. 1, built by Smith & Jackson in 1861 at Paterson, New Jersey. See Mr. Christian's letter.

  • First locomotive in Minnesota

3115 Clinton Avenue Minneapolis, Minnesota

ENCLOSED IS A POSTCARD of a locomotive No. 1, first locomotive in Minnesota and built by Smith & Jackson, 1861, at Patterson, New Jersey. It was built for the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, which was the first railroad in Minnesota, which became the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railroad in 1879 and in 1890 a part of the Great Northern. The locomotive was named for Mr. Crooks, chief engineer of St. Paul and Pacific and a Colonel in the Ninth Regiment of Minnesota Volunteers in the Civil War.

The Wm. Crooks arrived in St. Paul by steam boat Sept. 9, 1861, and on June 28th, 1862 the locomotive hauled the historic first train load of passengers in Minnesota a distance of 10 miles between St. Anthony and St. Paul. Regular service began July 2, 1862. One of the nations famous locomotives, the Wm. Crooks was retired from service in 1900, The engine twice traveled under its own power to the seaboard, in 1927 to the Fair of the Iron Horse in Baltimore, and to the New York World's Fair in 1939. In 1948 and 1949 it appeared in 'Spectacular,' a pageant at Chicago's World Fair. The Wm. Crooks was loaned to the Union Depot St. Paul Co., by the Great Northern for permanent exhibition. The locomotive was installed in April 1954.


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