Denver Pacific Railway and Telegraph Company
The Denver Pacific Railway was a historic railroad that operated in the western United States during the late 19th century. Formed in 1867 in the Colorado Territory, the company operated lines in Colorado and present-day southeastern Wyoming in the 1870s until merging with the Kansas Pacific and Union Pacific railroads in 1880. The railroad was formed primarily to create a link between Denver and the transcontinental railroad at Cheyenne, an achievement that was widely credited at the time with making Denver the dominant metropolis of the region.
The construction of the rail line linking Cheyenne and Denver was widely credited at the time for reviving the city of Denver, which had been founded at the time of the Colorado Gold Rush and incorporated on November 7, 1861. The decision to build the transcontinental railroad to the north had left the fledgling city stranded from the major transportation routes. Many at the time expected that Cheyenne would blossom into the major population center of the region. As a result, Thomas Durant, vice president of the Union Pacific, pronounced Denver "too dead to bury." Colorado Territorial Governor John Evans declared that "Colorado without railroads is comparatively worthless."
As a result, Evans, together with other local business leaders, including David Moffat, William Byers (founder of the Rocky Mountain News), Joseph E. Bates, Bela Hughes, Walter Cheesman and Luther Kountze partnered with East Coast investors to form a railroad company that would link the Denver City and to a lesser degree the Territory of Colorado with the national rail network. The company was incorporated in the Territory of Colorado on November 19, 1867 as the "Denver Pacific Railway and Telegraph Company." A sense of urgency existed for this Denver based corporation, due to the formation of a rival, the Colorado, Clear Creek and Pacific Railway (later the Colorado Central), by W.A.H. Loveland and citizens of nearby Golden, with the intention of linking that city directly with Cheyenne and making Golden the natural hub of the territory.