|Alexander Majors . . .
He ran one of the country's largest freighting companies from Kansas City, created the Pony Express and gave Buffalo Bill Cody his first job.
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Alexander Majors Chapter
|In the westward expansion of the 1850's, his firm's freighting operations were instrumental in bringing supplies to settlements and forts west of Kansas City. The prominence of Major's company attracted governmental and private shippers to Westport Landing, giving Kansas City a head start towards economic success.
Majors ran his wagon trains of 25 each, pulled by at least a dozen oxen. At the height, Russell, Majors, Waddell owned 3,400 wagons and 40,000 oxen and employed 4,000 men.
|Click on 'Show Map' above to see location of Alexander Majors Homestead.
(Historic House & Park today.)
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|Majors usually rode alongside the train communicating his instruction with pony-mounted messengers. One such runner got his start when his mother asked Majors to give her 12 year-old son a job. Majors hired him and later taught him to read and sign his name. He became part of American Folklore as "Buffalo Bill" but this was little Willy Cody's first job.
In addition to its Santa Fe Freight business, Majors firm started and operated the famous Pony Express. Buffalo Bill was called the 'Wonder Boy' of the 1,966-mile route across the west.
|From the headquarters in the antebellum home on State Line, a transportation empire stretched throughout the west. Alexander Majors and his two partners operated not only a vast freighting operation, but also founded and operated the famous Pony Express. The growth and prosperity of Kansas City and much of the western United States can be attriburted to Alexander Majors. He and his great freighting firm, Russell, Majors, Waddell, are responsible for establishing Kansas City's commercial destiny along with the foundation and principles on which the west was built. Majors western freighting operations were instrumental in attracting
|Majors homestead, built in 1856, Kansas City, MO.
|governmental and private shippers to unload goods at Westport Landing on the Missouri River. This gave Kansas City its initial thrust toward prosperity. Majors' tremendous freighting business established the Kansas City Stock Yards. It is significant that the expansion of phenomenal growth and development of Kansas City and the west is a drama which is perhaps unparalleled in history.
The restored 1856 house sits with graceful distinction on a 5 acre park looking westward over what was then grazing prairie south of Kansas City. Constructed in 1856, Majors' 3,400 sq. ft. antebellum home in Kansas City is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Restored in 1984, the home features original white pine floors and millwork, as well as furnishing of the era. Also on the site are a blacksmith shop with large display of tools, Conestoga freighting wagons, buggies, etc. and herb and vegetable gardens.
|Above copy obtained from the brochure at the Alexander Majors homestead..
|Why Alexander Majors for the Chapters name?
From reading the above you can see why we would choose such an individual as Majors. Not only did he and his partners help to build and forge a new nation westward but he was also a descendant of an American Revolution Patriot, Beal Kelly. (Majors was Beal Kelly's grandson, so by today's standards, Majors would have been eligible to be in SAR.)
|Alexander Majors Historical House and Park is located in Kansas City, Missouri at 8201 State Line Rd.
Open April 1 to December 20
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