William Crooks (locomotive)
William Crooks near Elk River, Minnesota in 1864.
|Builder||New Jersey Locomotive and Machine Works|
|Rebuild date||1869, after damaged in 1868 fire|
|Gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
|Driver diameter||63 in (1.600 m)|
|Weight on drivers||35,950 pounds (16.3 t)|
|Locomotive weight||55,400 lb (25.1 t)|
|Boiler pressure||110 psi (0.76 MPa)|
|Cylinder size||12 in × 22 in (305 mm × 559 mm)|
|Tractive effort||4,700 lbf (20.91 kN)|
|Railroad(s)||St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, Saint Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway, Great Northern Railway|
|First run||June 1862|
|Current owner||Minnesota Historical Society, loaned to Lake Superior Railroad Museum|
|Disposition||static display at Lake Superior Railroad Museum|
William Crooks, named after the Colonel of the Minnesota Volunteers' Sixth Regiment during the American Civil War(and later Chief Mechanical Engineer for the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad), is a 4-4-0 steam locomotive that was the first locomotive to operate in the U.S. state of Minnesota.
Constructed in 1861 for the Minnesota and Pacific Railroad as their number 1, it first provided service a year later in 1862 for the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (into which the M&P had been reorganized by that time). After completion, the locomotive traveled by rail to La Crosse, Wisconsin, which was the nearest rail point to St. Paul at the time. From there, it was loaded onto a Mississippi River barge bound for St. Paul. After arriving in St. Paul on September 9, 1861, it was not until June 28, 1862, that the passenger equipment arrived. The William Crooks carried its first train load of passengers on the same day. While the governor of Minnesota, the founder of the railroad and other dignitaries were the train's first passengers, the train moved into regular service four days later.
The train was originally a wood-burner with a tender that held just two cords of wood. Often, the tender's wood was used before the train could reach a wood pile, forcing the crew to make use of the wooden right-of-way fences to keep the train moving. Later the train was converted into a coal-burner.
In 1868, a fire partially destroyed the William Crooks. Al Smith restored the train at a cost of $12,500. Mr. Smith served as the train's engineer after his restoration work on it.
The St.P&P passed to the Saint Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway in June 1879, and the St.PM&M passed to the Great Northern Railway in February 1890. The engine was retired in 1897, after advancements in locomotive design rendered it obsolete, and was planned to be scrapped. However, James J. Hill refused to allow this, as he was reportedly personally fond of the engine, and instead had the engine restored to pull his private trains. The locomotive's last active duty was for Hill's 70th birthday in 1908.
In 1924, the locomotive went on an exhibition tour from Chicago to Seattle.William Crooks was displayed at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's "Fair of the Iron Horse" in 1927, then at the 1939 New York World's Fair and finally at the Chicago Railroad Fair in 1948 as part of the "Wheels A-Rolling" pageant, traveling to and from all three events under its own power. Its cylinders, rods and bearings were all rebuilt at the Great Northern's Dale Street Shops in St. Paul, MN in 1947-48 by machinist George A. Halvorsen as his last job before retirement.
It was placed on display at the Saint Paul Union Depot in June 1954. In June 1962, the Great Northern transferred ownership of the engine to the Minnesota Historical Society, though the engine remained displayed in the depot. The St. Paul Union Depot closed to passenger traffic in 1971, however, the engine was not removed until 1975, when it was moved to the newly established Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth, Minnesota, where it currently remains.
On display at the Alaska–Yukon–Pacific Exposition, 1909.
- Wills, Jocelyn. Boosters, Hustlers and Speculators: Entrepreneurial Culture and the Rise of Minneapolis and St. Paul 1849-1883. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN p. 105. 2005
- "Yesterday Today". Great Northern Railway. 1927. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
- Norman & Middleton (1980). p.40
- Middleton & Norman (1980). pp.14–15
- Middleton & Norman (1980). p.15
- "1924 exhibition tour information". Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Wills Boosters, Hustlers and Speculators St. Paul MN Hist. Soc. 2005
- Chicago Railroad Fair Official Guide Book (1949).
- Middleton, Kenneth R.; Keyes, Norman C., Jr. (Autumn 1980). "The Great Northern Railway Company: Predecessors and Fully-Controlled Subsidiaries". Railroad History (Boston, Massachusetts: The Railway and Locomotive Historical Society, Inc.) (143): 8–19. ISSN 0090-7847.
- Keyes, Norman C., Jr.; Middleton, Kenneth R. (Autumn 1980). "The Great Northern Railway Company: All-Time Locomotive Roster, 1861–1970". Railroad History (Boston, Massachusetts: The Railway and Locomotive Historical Society, Inc.) (143): 20–162. ISSN 0090-7847.
- Family History- George Antonius Halvorsen 1881-1959.
Media related to William Crooks (locomotive) at Wikimedia Commons