University of Oklahoma Libraries

Western History Collections


John Lefeber Des Champs Collection


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Box 1  Manuscripts and Related Materials


1.         The Short Line Midland Valley A Class I Railroad, by John Lefeber Des Champs, typewritten manuscript, n.d. Section headings include:



"How The Midland Valley Helped Build Eastern Oklahoma"

"Profitability - Corporate Good and the Public Good"


"Charles Edward Ingersoll:  Banker, Railroad Builder, Chief Executive, and Director"

"About the Forebears of Charles Edward Ingersoll"

"As A.W. Lefeber Remembered the Midland Valley"

"As Bob Lomax Remembers MV-KO&G-OCAA"

"Muskogee and the Midland Valley"

"The Midland Valley, Tulsa, and Oil"

"The Midland Valley in the Osage"

"Culture and Economics of Early-Day Employees"

"As Lefeber Des Champs Remembers the Midland Valley"

"The Work of the Brakeman and the Conductor"

"As Jim Wilkinson Remembers the Midland Valley"

"As E.A. Izell Remembers the Midland Valley"

"Conductor Jack O'Neil"

"Conductor Frank Pigg on the Midland Valley"

"As Clint Milam Remembers the Midland Valley"

"The Work of the Switch Crew"

"As Fred Burgess Remembers the Midland Valley"

"Bob Skinner Remembers the Midland Valley"


2.         The Short Line Midland Valley A Class I Railroad by John Lefeber Des Champs, typewritten manuscript, n.d. Section headings, continued:


"The Work of the Fireman"

"As W.E. Collins Remembers the Midland Valley"

"The Work of the Engineer"

"Ballad of Casey Jones"

"Jim Brown"

"As J.W. 'Johnny' De Schamps remembers the Midland Valley"

"O.B. Gray, His Wife Peggy, and the Bransons"

"Bob Howard on the Midland Valley as Remembered by His Son Gene"

"As Paul Kapp, Jr. Remembers His Father"

"Hugh Rooney"

"Schuyler Stubbs and His Son Walter"

"Carl White"

"Sam White"

"John Wimer"

"The Work of the Dispatcher"

"As Ivan Kendall Remembers the Midland Valley"

"The Work of the Agent - Operator"

"As Bonnie Oakley Remembers the Midland Valley"

"As Raymond Dowd Remembers MV-KO&G-OCAA"

"Rip Track - Back Shop - Car Shop"

"John Hinds Remembers the Midland Valley"

"Section Gangs and Bridge Gangs"

"As Bill Corn Remembers the Midland Valley"

"As Bill Longley Remembers the Midland Valley"

"The Call Boy"


"Derailments Wholesale"

"Wreck Just East of Grainola"

"A Wreck that Didn't Happen"

"O.B. Gray-Oslee Skinner Head-on Collision at Bokoshe"

"Scheduled Train Service"

"Uniquely Railroad Humor"

"Railroad Language Explained"



3.         Midland Valley by J. L. Des Champs, 1990. Includes "Author's Foreword," index by sections, and Des Champs' proposal to publishers.  15 pages.


4.         "Muskogee and the Midland Valley" by John Lefeber Des Champs. n.d.Typewritten manuscript, 7 pages.


5.         "The Railroads in Osage County" by John Lefeber Des Champs.  n.d. Typewritten manuscript and copy, 4 pages.


6.         "John William DeSchamps and John Lefeber DeSchamps" by John Lefeber Des Champs.  n.d.Typewritten manuscript and copy, 2 pages.


7.         Remembrances of A. W. Lefeber, 1957.

            "Midland Valley Railroad Company A.W. Lefeber's Kind Remembrances of 51 Years (1903-1954) of Association with Mr. Charles Edward Ingersoll and Family (Without Access to the Railroad's Records and from Memory, except as Quoted)."  76 pages, typed manuscript (2 copies).  Also includes note cards and other notes.


8.         Remembrances of A. W. Lefeber, 1914, 1988.

A.W. Lefeber "remembrances" which are not in the final "Remembrances."  27 pages.  Also letter from Lefeber to Hugh Rooney.


9.         Notebook of A. W. Lefeber, 1905-1912.

Copies of pages from A.W. Lefeber's notebook showing construction and rolling stock information; operating expenses (1905-07); coal traffic (1905-07); freight information (1905-07); and station information (1912).


10.       Correspondence of J. J. Pitts, 1980-1984.

Includes "The Doodlebug Era Arrives" (20 pages), correspondence, news clippings, copies of photos, etc. pertaining to Pitts' considerable contribution to the Midland Valley "book" project.



Box 2  Manuscripts and Related Materials


1.         Correspondence, 1978-1992.

Correspondence concerning the Midland Valley project between J. L. Des Champs and Ivan Kendall, Robert H. Lomax, J. R. Dowd, Arrell M. Gibson, Jared Roberts, C. Jared Ingersoll, W.E. Collins, E. H. Howard, and Betty Kolb.


2-3.      Manuscript, handwritten, 1979.

            Includes sections of handwritten, Midland Valley manuscript by John Lefeber Des Champs; Treve Wimer notes; Midland Valley Railroad Company seniority rosters; story and notes from Tulsa Democrat, Oct.-Nov. 1904; and transcripts of Bob Skinner tape, Carl White tape and Jim Brown tape.


4.         Notes, handwritten. Notebooks and note cards.  n.d.


5.         Photograph Log, 1982.

            Log includes the following categories of information:  from, subject, large negative in hand. size, large print in hand. size, 35mm negative group and number, proof, remarks, and commercial lab.


6.         Printed Materials.

            Midland Valley Railroad Co. Rules, Regulations and Rates of Pay for Locomotive Engineers and Firemen, 1920.


            Midland Valley Railroad Co. Rules, Regulations and Rates of Pay for Trainmen and Yardmen, 1920.


            Midland Valley Railroad Co., Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway Co., Oklahoma City-Ada-Atoka Railway Co. Rules of the Transportation Department, 1931.


            Oklahoma Corporation Commission state railroad map, 1969.


            Oklahoma Industrial Development Department state railroad map, 1976.


            Oklahoma Department of Transportation state railroad map, 1989.


            Railroads of Oklahoma June 6, 1870-July 1, 1974, State of Oklahoma Department of Highways, 1974.


            Excerpts from "Official Guide to Railways" pertaining to MV Railroad Co.  KOG Railway Co., and OCAA Railway Co., 1940 and 1958.


            Excerpts from Oklahoma Corporation Commission Report, 1908.



Box 3  Research Materials


1.         Central Oklahoma Railfan Club, Ltd.  1980, 1982.

            Copies of photos of Midland Valley Railroad locomotives from 1982 calendar.  Also copies of The Dispatcher, newsletter of the Central Oklahoma Railfan Club, Ltd..


2.         "Description of Locomotives K.O.G. Railway System" (copy).  n.d.

            Includes diagrammatic sketch of locomotives and detailed information such as weight of engine, dimensions of heating surface tubes, size of cylinders, driving wheels, etc.  Also "Statement of Locomotives" with the following information:  engine number and size, boiler pressure, weight on driver, weight of engine, water gallons, coal tone, driving center, builder and number, year and cost.


3.         Magazine articles, 1979, 1982, 1994.

            "Answering the Call," Trains, Nov. 1994; "Wichita-Busy Prairie Crossroads," Locomotive Quarterly, Fall 1979; Model Railroader, Apr. 1982.


4.         Midland Valley Railroad - Hours of Services Act, 1978.

            Includes letter from John Sytsma, President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers to J. L. Des Champs re. the Midland Valley Railroad and the Hours of Service Act.  Also contains copy of Public Law 91-169, copy of the Medals of Honor Act and the Hours of Service Act, court decision on Stoker Order - no. 5741 - ATS&F Railway Co. v. U.S.A, and statement of E.L. McCulloch in hearing on S. 1938 to amend the Hours of Service Act.


5.         Midland Valley/Choctaw (historical), various dates.

            Photocopies of magazine, journal and newspaper articles, pages from books, and other printed materials.  Subjects covered include histories of ATS&F Railway Co., KATY Railroad, Santa Fe Railroad, Choctaw-Oklahoma-Gulf Railway, Midland Valley Railroad, etc.


6.         Moody's, 1925, 1930, 1945, 1965, 1967.

            Statistics relating to the Midland Valley Railroad printed in Moody's Analyses of Investments, Moody's Manual of Investments, and Moody's Transportation Manual.


7.         Midland Valley Railroad Co., timetables (copies), 1909, 1913, 1915, 1925, 1930, 1944, 1953, 1955, 1962, 1965.

            Includes arrival and departure times at various stations, names of officials - yard masters and dispatchers, and include maps of lines and connections.  Also includes timetables for Kansas, Oklahoma & Gulf RY. Co., Oklahoma City-Ada-Atoka Ry. Co., and Missouri Pacific Railroad Co.


8.         Newspaper clippings, various dates.

            Subjects covered include train wrecks, and the history of the Midland Valley Railroad, and fireman James A. Brown


9.         Pawhuska/Osage Profiles, 1977-1978.

            Includes excerpts from "Osage Oil" by Bill Burchard in Chronicles of Oklahoma, Osage Agency map and drawing of Council House, assorted correspondence pertaining to Des Champs manuscripts - "The Railroads in Osage County" and "John William DeSchamps and John Lefeber DeSchamps," and biography of John Lefeber Des Champs in Who's Who in the South and Southwest.


10.       Photographs (copies), various dates.

            Copies of photographs from several repositories including Missouri Pacific Historical Society, Olin Research Center, KATY Railroad Historical Society, Southern Methodist University Library, etc.  The photographs depict railroad locomotives and cars, and other railroad structures.


11.       Seniority Rosters, 1910-1980.

            Copies of Midland Valley Railroad Co. seniority rosters which give names of employees, seniority dates, titles of positions, and sometimes rates of pay.


12.       U.S./Oklahoma Agency Publications.  ICC Docket - Oklahoma Corporation Commission. 1908-1978.

            Copies of Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) Valuation Docket No. 675 - Midland Valley Railroad Co. et al.  ICC Reports.  Oklahoma Corporation Commission Reports.  Notes and some correspondence.



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