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Pioneers of the Iron Trail.

BY FRANK MACDONALD.

Men Who Have Tamed the Desert,
Overcome the Mountains, and Built an Empire in the west -
Stirring Incidents in Strenuous Lives.

The railroad was to adventurous spirits of the nineteenth century what the sea was to the men of Queen Elizabeth's time. Stout hearts, strong bodies, and resourceful minds were needed by those who led the way westward over the Alleghanies, across the Mississippi Valley, and the great plains, to the mountains and beyond.

Romance, adventure, was the very breath of their nostrils. For fifty years they led our civilization toward the Pacific, fighting the wilderness, the desert, and the savage. The plain story of their lives needs no embellishment. The simple record of their deeds is a thrilling chronicle of courage and intellect overmastering the brute forces of nature.

OPENING THE WAY ACROSS THE CONTINENT.

General Dodge, the Builder of the Union Pacific Railroad
Still in the Game at Seventy-Five Years of Age.

A YOUNG New Englander, not much past his twentieth year, had gone West to make his fortune, and, as he was a civil engineer, had entered the corps of the Illinois Central as one of the assistants. Later he went to Iowa to locate a few short lines there, and while at Council Bluffs had met, on the piazza of the hotel where he stopped, a lawyer who had done work for the Illinois Central and the Rock Island roads.

The engineer and the lawyer entered on an animated and enthusiastic discussion of the possibility of building a railroad over the Rocky Mountains and the desolate region beyond. Such a road would replace the trails whose lines were marked by bleaching bones. Both men believed fervently that such a road to the Pacific Ocean was not only possible but was necessary. They also knew that practically all the rest of the world laughed at the idea. The lawyer questioned closely, and the engineer's answers made him more and more convinced that the great road could and would be built. The engineer was Grenville M. Dodge and the lawyer was Abraham Lincoln.

Dodge was born in Danvers, Massachusetts, in 1831, and after studying at Captain Partridge's Military Institute and at Norwich University, went to Illinois. He was with the Illinois Central from 1851 to 1854, and then went to Iowa, where he later met Lincoln. The same year the Federal government began surveying for a transcontinental railroad, and as the project was one constantly fixed in Dodge's mind he jumped at the chance of going out with the surveying party.

Practically the whole Rocky Mountain region remained to be explored and charted. It was wild and inhospitable, and the Indians were resisting relentlessly the advance of the white men. Dodge and his little band of engineers, however, did not mind the fighting, nor did they mind the exposure, the scorching heat of summer, or the wild storms of winter. They found new ways over the mountains and showed that a railroad could be built. Included in the work personally performed by Dodge was the first complete survey of the Platte River territory. The work had to be done under arms, and the surveying party was organized on a military basis. There was no easy source of supplies, and when the men plunged into the wilderness they had to depend on their own resources and courage.

Before the breaking out of the Civil War Dodge had also worked through Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska for the Missouri Pacific Railroad, and when finally the war came he was recognized as the best equipped railroad engineer in the West, his knowledge of available routes including also the vast far Western tract that did not then possess a single mile of road. He was, besides, a trained soldier, and it was in recognition of his accomplished work that he was made colonel of the Fourth Iowa Infantry.

An Engineer Turned Soldier.

That stern Western experience had toughened him, and the demands of military service found him fit. At the battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, fought March 7 and 8, 1862, he had three horses shot under him and was seriously wounded in the side. He mounted a fourth horse and hung on till the end of the fighting. Then he dropped to the ground, weak from loss of blood and in agony from the hurt he had received. His skill and valor were recognized by Grant, and he became commander of the Department of the Mississippi. There his railroad training came into play again, for he built the Mississippi and Ohio road, a magnificent feeder for the Federal troops, and a road that helped greatly in making successful the operations in the Mississippi Valley.

In the spring of 1863 he was hurriedly summoned to Washington. Just previous to that he had organized colored troops, and his action had met with a storm of disapproval. He reasoned that President Lincoln wished to talk with him on that matter and perhaps to censure him. The organization of colored troops was not mentioned. The President came directly to the point. A transcontinental railroad was to be built, and Lincoln wanted information concerning it. The conversation at Council Bluffs had not been forgotten in any of its details, and the information Dodge had obtained later was speedily placed at the President's disposal. The latter had power to fix the Eastern terminus of the road, and his action in selecting Omaha was undoubtedly due to Dodge. December 1, 1863, ground was broken at Omaha, and the work of pushing the road westward was begun.

The progress up to 1866 was slow. Then Dodge, whose surveys had been used in all the work, took personal charge of the building and things begun to bear a different aspect. By May, 1867, be had twelve thousand men at work along the Platte, and despite the attacks of Indians, the troubles that arose from the hordes of gamblers who followed the construction gangs, and the fights that took place among the workers themselves, Dodge managed to preserve order and keep the men moving.

Henry M. Stanley, who went over the route while the road was under construction, said at the time: "The country appears to afford meager chances for the agriculturalist. Cattle may be raised in some portions of the valley, but the bleached skeletons of oxen, mules, and horses, with which it is thickly strewn, tell a sad tale." Two years before, while going over the broad trails from Atchison to Denver City, Stanley counted the skeletons of one thousand two hundred and ninety oxen, ninety-three mules, and one hundred and forty-five horses. Human beings by the score had also perished, but as their bodies had been buried there were no skeletons to tell the story and help mark out the trail. It was through such a country that the road was built, and in addition to eliminating loss of life it was destined in time to turn the unpromising ground into a rich agricultural district.

Fighting and Building Together.

The Indians gave unceasing trouble. They swooped down upon surveying parties, attacked trains, ambuscaded construction gangs, and, hiding at a distance, steadily picked off those engaged at work. Unscrupulous traders furnished all the arms the savages wanted, and gamblers who had lost their money sold their weapons at a good price, until Dodge made the announcement that any person supplying arms or ammunition to the Indians would be hung. That stopped the traffic for a while, but the Indians had already obtained a good supply.

For a few weeks the new breechloading Spencer rifles in the hands of the Indians did more to protect the railroad builders than the soldiers did. The Indians did not understand the operation of a breech-loader, and dozens of fatalities occurred when they attempted to pound the cartridges into the muzzles of the guns. At Plum Creek a hand-car, with five men, and later a passenger train were derailed. Some of the passengers were killed and a few were made captive. The hand-car had been sent out with a gang to repair a break in the telegraph line, and William Thompson, a telegraph lineman, was wounded and scalped, but recovered.

At the great powwow held at North Platte in September, between the chiefs of the Brule and Ogallalla Sioux and the Cheyennes on one side, and representatives of the government headed by Generals Sherman and Harney on the other, the Indians gave as their chief cause for making war the fact that the railroads were advancing at such a rapid rate that game was being driven from the prairies. They protested long and earnestly, but all the while the session was held Dodge was advancing his line and was branching out with feeders into the surrounding district. A stronger force of soldiers had been sent into the field and these were able to hold the Indians in check, though some of the warriors held their ground even after the conference.

Besides making the surveys Dodge superintended the construction of the roadbed, the laying of the ties and rails, and the building of bridges. He had a force of twelve thousand men under him, mostly Irishmen, organized and disciplined like a well-drilled army. But when the line of the Central Pacific, on which Chinamen were employed, began to approach the line of the Union Pacific, trouble became inevitable. The gangs fought until Dodge declared martial law, as he had in the case of the traders and gamblers. Then trouble ceased. The golden spike which united the lines of the Union and Central Pacific was driven at Ogden, May 10, 1869. The first year Dodge had charge of the work he located and put in operation five hundred and eighty-seven miles of track, hauling in all his material for construction and all supplies for his army of men as he went along. During the last year he opened up seven hundred and fifty-four miles of road.

A Leader Worth Following.

He was in absolute command of construction, and he got the work done without waste of time or energy. Absolutely fearless, he would ride into a crowd of refractory track-workers and bring them back as easily as he could locate a stretch of road over the level prairie. And he could make the men work cheerfully. They were sometimes restless after a few months in the field. He had been at the work for years, and showed no signs of breaking. So when he got after them to urge them on to work they did it with a will.

A few weeks after the last spike was driven, Dodge began work on another big railroad, the Texas and Pacific through Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas, and carried through surveys and construction with the same result as on the Union Pacific. Politics took him out of active railroad work for several years, but to-day, at the age of seventy-five, he is back in line again and among other positions holds that of chairman of the board of directors of the Colorado and Southern.

MAN WHO GAVE RAILROADS TO COLORADO.

How David H. Moffat Built Them
when Others Balked at the Appalling Difficulties.

It is something of a distinction to have turned at the age of sixty-three the first shovelful of dirt on the most difficult piece of railroad construction in the United States. It becomes still more of a distinction when it is realized that the man who turned the first shovelful financed the road out of his own pocket. Yet David H. Moffat who did this is accustomed to doing unique things in railroading, especially in forwarding construction.

In 1851, when he was twelve years old, he came to New York City from his native place in Orange County and began work as a messenger boy in the New York Exchange Bank. He worked there four years and then moved to new fields, still remaining with banks. In 1860 he started in a prairie schooner from Omaha with a supply of books and stationery to open a store in Denver. Denver did not want books and stationery in quantities sufficient to make the business highly profitable, so after a few years Moffat turned back to banking.

Denver had grown from a mining camp, where a vigilance committee found more to do than vigilance committees usually found, to a prosperous, thriving city and the capital of the Territory of Colorado. Still it was sixty hours' stage drive from the nearest railroad station. The gold and silver mined in the neighborhood was carried by mule train and provisions had to be brought in the same way. Living was expensive, and as the Union Pacific and the Kansas Pacific, because of the difficulties of the grades, had decided to ignore Denver's existence, it seemed probable that the cost of living would advance to the point where the growth of the city would be strangled. Spasmodic attempts were made to change the minds of the directors of the Union Pacific, but without avail. Then Moffat, who was not yet thirty years of age, organized himself into a committee of one and went out to see that Denver got the railroad it so badly needed.

On the Warpath for a Railroad.

We're a big and thriving city," he said enthusiastically, but we'll never he as big and rich as New York until we get a good railroad, even if we are the heart of the nation and have the best location in the world."

He pounded relentlessly at the directors of the Union Pacific. He offered inducements, and he got his townsmen to do the same. The directors held off, for they could not see their way clear to building a spur road to Denver and making it pay, and much less could they see the possibility of putting the city on a main line. The answer was final, and Moffat and a couple of associates set out to build the road themselves. The projector of the scheme was Julia Evans, afterward governor. Moffat was the financier, and he also went into the field to see that the work was done well and quickly. It was not a very great or very long line they built, running as it did only from Denver to Cheyenne, but it was great enough to enable Denver to retain the lead over the other cities of the Territory which its mines originally gave it. The first train to enter the city arrived in the summer of 1870, and the locomotive, purchased from the Union Pacific, had been rechristened the David H. Moffat.

Moffat's next step in developing the railroads of Colorado was a line along the banks of the Rio Grande del Norte to Creede, which was then a booming silver camp. The Rio Grande Railroad would have nothing to do with it, so Moffat, who had profited by the construction of the Denver Pacific, as the line between Denver and Cheyenne was called, and had also been drawing big money from his bank, built the road entirely at his own expense. Then when it began to give returns he sold it at a heavy profit to the Rio Grande. Creede did not last long as a boom city, but the road continued to pay as an important district had been opened up.

The Denver and New Orleans road, now part of the Colorado and Southern, was started by Moffat and his associates in 1881 to give Denver an outlet to the Gulf. They built from Denver to Pueblo, when the work was taken over by General Dodge and others and completed to Fort Worth.

In 1893, when money was scarce and investors were timid, Moffat saw that Cripple Creek was a coming town and tried to interest people in the building of a road that would enable the miners to get their ore out. Every one held back, so he dug down into his own pocket again and built a road that brought him a fortune.

The Denver and South Park road, another of his lines, is not long, but the building of it was an unusually tough engineering proposition, even for builders who were accustomed to the difficulties of Colorado railroad construction. The fifteen miles cost over a million dollars. The line to Leadville was another hard undertaking, but its shipments of ore to the Denver smelters brought millions of dollars to the men who undertook the risk of building the road.

From 1885 to 1891 Moffat was president of the Rio Grande, taking the position when the road was bankrupt and sinking deeper and deeper into the mud, and leaving it when it was on a solid paying basis. His first work was to rebuild the line, and re-equip it throughout so that it could handle the traffic its situation would naturally give it.

Latest and Greatest of His Tasks.

The latest enterprise on which he has entered is the most picturesque of all. It is an "air-line" from Denver to Salt Lake City over the Continental Divide, midway between the Union Pacific on the north and the Rio Grande on the south. Besides putting Denver at last on the main line of a road over the mountains, it also opens up a magnificently rich section of northern Colorado. The proposal to build the line met with instantaneous and active opposition from the roads that would be affected by it, and they were strong enough to throw up formidable legislative obstacles. When it was suggested that Moffat was at last up against a job too big for him and that he could not get a route, one who knew him well remarked confidently:

"A right of way block Dave Moffat? I guess not. If there's no other chance he'll cuss a right of way through."

He didn't have to go to such an extreme, but he did have to furnish the money for the building. New York capitalists whom he visited refused to advance any money for the building, so he said:

"Never mind. I'll build it myself. We have a little money out in Colorado, I and my friends. We can all chip in, and I guess among us we can make up a fair-sized pot. This road is one of the plums of Colorado, but it'll take a little shaking to bring it down."

It took more than a fair-sized pot, as the preliminary work for the surveys cost a quarter of a million dollars. The Burlington had tried to get over the mountains and had become frightened when a million dollars had been put into the work and brought no visible results, and Moffat bought the rights the Burlington had acquired. The first fifty miles of road out of Denver cost sixty thousand dollars a mile, and the thirty-five miles up the foot-hills to the Main Range Tunnel cost one hundred thousand dollars a mile, all this for grading before a single tie was laid.

In eleven miles there are twenty-nine tunnels through solid granite, and the road has every conceivable sort of curve, from a horse-shoe to a tennis-racket. Bridges and fills cost a million dollars. Steam Shovel Cut, through rock, is two thousand two hundred feet long and averages forty feet deep. The Main Range Tunnel, nearly three miles in length, is under James Peak, at an elevation of nine thousand six hundred feet, and cost three-quarters of a million dollars. William Crook, whose firm had the contract for building one of the worst sections of the road, took down twelve thousand cubic yards of granite with one blast, using one thousand kegs of black powder and fifteen boxes of dynamite to do it.

The worst part of the road, the way through the mountains, has been conquered, and what remains to be done is comparatively easy. Throughout, the road is of standard' gage, three thousand six hundred heavy Texas pine ties to the mile, instead of the usual two thousand eight hundred and eighty pound rails, and all equipment fitted for heavy through traffic. It was a magnificent conception in railroad building, and it took magnificent courage to risk millions of dollars in a venture that had swallowed other millions and given no return, but Moffat has made such ventures before, with the result that he and many of his friends are millionaires. His life history is an illustration of the possibilities of state-building with railroads, and there is not a line of failure in it. It is a chronicle of continuous success under heavy handicaps.

FROM ROUSTABOUT TO RAILROAD PRESIDENT.

Romantic Career of James J. Hill,
Who Started with Nothing and Is Now the King of the Northwest.

At sixty-eight years of age James J. Hill can look back on a life-work that has made the great Northwest one of the richest sections of the world. He was eighteen when he came to this country from Canada, where he was born, and for three years previous to emigrating he had been forced, by the bankruptcy and death of his father, to work In a country store. He landed in Saint Paul practically penniless, and found that the demand for clerks was nil.

Work along the river-front was the only thing open to him, and so, although he was of slight build and utterly unlike the husky men usually hired, he started in with the roustabouts. His grit enabled him to tote on his back as big a load of cord-wood for the river steamers and otherwise do as good a day's work as any of his associates. Saint Paul was growing, and the steamboat traffic was at its height. There was also the beginning of a gigantic railroad business, though there was none who could foresee the possibilities of its future development. Hill saw possibilities in both lines, but his work as a river laborer fixed his attention principally on steamboats and on furnishing steamboat supplies.

It was while he was working on the water-front that he met the woman who was afterward to become his wife. Her name was Mary Mahegan, and she was a waitress in the little restaurant where Hill got his meals. He went there in the first place because it was clean and cheap, and he continued to go there so he could see the little waitress. The first time lie saw her he resolved to marry her, though at that time she seemed to him far harder to attain than fame and for-tune.

It was a long time before he could summon up courage to address her, and still longer before he could bring himself to the point. He went into the restaurant a dozen times resolved to settle his fate, and each time he came away without having spoken and angry with himself for his lack of courage, but more than ever resolved to marry her. At last he did ask her, and she readily agreed. Hill thereupon imposed a condition: he must first make a place for himself and for her in the world, and to this she agreed also. This was probably the last time in his career that James J. Hill did not go boldly and confidently about the accomplishment of anything on which he had decided.

When Mary Mahegan had accepted him he went out elated, and luck seemed suddenly to turn in his direction, for he got a place as shipping clerk in the office of the Dubuque and Saint Paul Packet Company, and soon worked from that post to the ownership of a steamboat of his own and of a wood and grain business. He also sent Mary East in order that she might study, and when she returned two years later he married her.

First Try at Railroading.

His first plunge into railroading was made in 1873, and it was a big one and startling to those who did not understand Hill. He had got together about one hundred thousand dollars when an irresistible bargain came his way. A little railway called the Saint Paul and Pacific was for sale for five hundred thousand dollars. It had been the worst managed road in the country, was thirty-five million dollars in debt, and had not paid a cent on its pay-roll in six months. Besides that, it was so thoroughly discredited and every one connected with it was held in such low regard that no one but Hill would consider it. Saint Paul capitalists laughed at him when he asked for backing, and would not lend him a cent for any such scheme as buying up a worthless property like the Saint Paul and Pacific.

He thereupon went up to Canada, interested Daniel Smith and George Stephen (afterward Lord Mount - Stephen), and worked through them and others so successfully that he managed to get all the money he wanted from the Bank of Montreal. There was a terrible howl from the Canadian papers and people. Hill was represented as an American freebooter looting innocent and confiding Canadian financial institutions. At that time Canada was giving enormous grants of land right and left for railroads either begun or contemplated, and there was a growing and well-founded suspicion that all was not well in Dominion railroad finances. Not a great deal had yet been said openly about conditions in Canada, but the thought of an ex-Canadian and at present enthusiastic American borrowing money to finance a run-down American railroad was too much.

Beginning of His Folly.

Hill got back safely with the money, however, and started in rebuilding the road. It had about four hundred miles of track, all in a bad condition, and equipment that should long ago have gone to the scrap pile. Hill rebuilt every foot of the old road and then started the line west toward the Pacific Coast.

It had been customary in building trans-continental lines to get the biggest possible subsidies from the government and to take in the choicest tracts of land along the route and hold them for speculative purposes. Such a course had been so generally followed that there was a gasp of astonishment when Hill asked for nothing and made no attempt whatever to gouge out any of the choice bits from the government lands. A daring speculation now became downright folly.

Hill's folly, however, pushed steadily toward the Pacific. It went over the prairies, where there were at times not a score of people within a hundred miles of the line, and headed for a region so sparsely settled that there seemed no chance of its paying dividends within a generation. But even before Puget Sound was reached the settlement of the land along the route of the road had already begun. Farmers, ranchers, and lumbermen flocked in, transforming the land before given over to the Indians and the buffalo into a vast farm that feeds millions of people.

Hill's folly gave profitable returns from the first, and the Canadians who helped him became millionaires during the process. It had usually been the custom to build a road only to supply the needs of the people in a district. Hill built a road that brought settlers by the thousands. He made it enormously profitable through the cities and farming districts he created. It was mad folly, according to the old standard, to attempt any such thing. It is good railroad policy according to the revised standard which Hill set up.

He had shown that he was a railroad rebuilder and developer. He afterward proved that he was a great financier. In 1893, when the country was wild with panic, and railroads and industries wore being swept down in the general ruin, the Great Northern, grown from a worthless line four hundred miles long to a system that embraced nearly six thousand miles of track, weathered the storm and steadily earned small amounts while other roads were digging fatal holes in their reserve. Hill, country store clerk, Mississippi River roustabout, shipping clerk, and steamboat man, had built so solidly that not even the heavy storm of financial disaster and the industrial depression that followed it could shake his work.

THE NESTOR OF THE FIELD MEN.

William F. Shunk,
Born in the Same Year that the First American-Built Locomotive Appeared
and Only Lately Retired.

The first railway in the United States was only four years old when William F. Shunk, known as the builder of famous railways, was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1820. That first rail-way was three miles long and was built from the quarries of Quincy, Massachusetts, to tide-water for the purpose of hauling the granite to be used in building Bunker Hill Monument. The rails were of wood, the ties were granite blocks, and horses supplied the motive power.

The year Shunk was born was distinguished by the fact that there was built at the West Point Foundry, from the designs of Horatio Allen, the first locomotive constructed in America. It was in that year also that a Baltimore paper said: "A correspondent has asked, 'What is a railroad?' We do not know. Perhaps some reader can tell us." Thus Shunk's life parallels the entire growth of American railways, from about forty miles and one American-built locomotive in the year of his birth to 1906, when the United States has approximately three hundred thousand miles of track and American locomotives excel all others in the world.

Shunk was a midshipman in the United States Naval Academy from 1846 to 1850, and after his graduation spent a short time at sea. All his time and thought were given to engineering, and as railway construction was booming and suffered from a lack of efficient engineers, he left the navy in 1855 and began in a subordinate position in the engineering corps of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The road was already a prosperous one, for as far back as 1846 it had begun to pay dividends. It had also been devised to meet the needs of the people of the State, and its lines were spreading out to reach every advantageous point. Such a school was a hard but a good one for a railroad engineer, and Shunk was so thoroughly grounded in the essentials of the business that he kept up with the tremendous pace set during the following fifty years.

In 1857 he was with the United States Coast Survey, but remained only a few months, as railroading drew him back, and he began his first independent work by locating the route of the Louisburg and Spruce Creek road. He served during the Civil War as a clerk in the State Department, and again went back to the railroad field.

Building the Elevated in New York.

His work in erecting the elevated roads of Manhattan made him nationally famous. The first attempt at building an elevated road in New York was made in 1867, and the cars were drawn along by means of a wire cable and a stationary engine. The attempt was not highly successful, for the promoters, led by a pitiful, blind sense of economy, had tried to utilize the surface rolling stock. A new company took over the elevated road franchise in 1872 and started in with a comprehensive plan for specially constructed cars and little engines to draw them. Shunk became chief engineer in 1876, and under his direction the elevated roads of Manhattan were built.

Shunk's elevated lines have stood solidly during all the years in spite of the tremendous strain to which they have been subjected. The squat, iron-latticed posts, planted on bases of brick' and cement, have kept the roadbed true, while the iron stringers, with ties of wood on which the tracks rest, have not been improved upon in elevated construction. An elevated road, with numberless heavy trains passing and repassing, is necessarily noisy and subject to intense vibration, but the all-steel road is agonizing, the whole line forming one gigantic, throbbing, shrieking cord. This defect is absent from Shunk's line, and it has stood constructive tests in all other respects.

Blazing the Trail for the Pan-American Railway.

Between 1882, when he left the Manhattan Elevated Company, and 1898 he was connected with some of the biggest engineering enterprises in the country, and also in 1887, began the building of the Kings County Elevated in Brooklyn. But his most memorable work was done with the intercontinental survey which was made between the years 1892 and 1899. The idea of a series of railways for all the Americas, the great Pan-American Railway, had been gradually taking definite shape, and the survey recommended by the First International American Conference was sent out with Shunk as engineer-in-chief.

The party thoroughly covered the ground from the southern boundary of Mexico to the northern border of Bolivia. The way is through tropical jungles and forests and over almost unscalable mountains, and Shunk led his engineers through it all and brought back a report of the practicability of the road. Such work in the open demands muscles as tough as a rawhide, unflagging enthusiasm, and transcendent ability to conquer dangers and difficulties, and so to lead others that they conquer also. Shunk possessed all these characteristics, and the survey he headed stands high in the matter of practical accomplishments under difficulties.

He was sixty-eight years old in 1898, an age at which most men seek rest and comfort, when there was turned over to him the engineering work in connection with the Guayaquil and Quito Railway in Ecuador. The country had only about fifty miles of road, for there the Andes tower to their greatest height, barring the way of even wagon roads, and generally giving room only for a thin thread of trail over which pack animals can barely crawl. A fortnight was required to cover the four hundred miles between Quito and Guayaquil. The government had made fitful attempts to better conditions or to interest capitalists in the construction of a road, but nothing had been done and the old trail continued to be used by those who had to make the journey. An American and European company finally took up the matter, and Shunk was sent out to make the field surveys.

Quito lies in a valley nine thousand three hundred and fifty feet above sea-level, and around it rise some of the highest peaks in the world. The way to the city is blocked by precipices, by chasms, and by huge shoulders of mountain that jut out and leave no way around. Shunk was sent to find a way, and he found it. Much of the road has already been completed, and it is one of the marvels of engineering. The altitude at which it is built is not quite as great as that of the Croya Railway in Peru - also the work of Americans - but it twines and twists, burrowing under mountains, climbing steadily upward from the coast, and finding a place where seemingly no possible place existed.

Shunk's work was finished in 1902, and at the age of seventy-two he retired from active work, though even at the present time he is in frequent consultation with the builders of great roads.

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