The Fayetteville Female Seminary was built in 1838 on present-day Mountain Street in Fayetteville, Ark. The Butterfield Overland Mail Route went past the seminary on the road in the foreground. Lithograph from a drawing by William Quesenbury in the 1850s.
The time schedule of the Butterfield Overland Mail Co. gave estimated times of arrival at major stations for both westbound and eastbound stagecoaches.
This early post card shows what Fort Smith looked like about 1870. The building to the left is the quartermaster's storehouse, built. At center is the powder magazine and to the right of it is one of the barracks.
Reenactors drive a stageoach along Old Wire Road in Fayetteville in 2007.
Passengers wave from a Butterfield stagecoach as it rolls along Old Wire Road in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in 2007 during a reenactment of the overland service.
This woodcut print by C. Edmonds was first published Oct. 23, 1858, in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper and titled as the start from Tipton, Mo. It was reprinted Nov. 28, 1874, as “The Overland Mail — The Start from Fort Smith, Arkansas, for the Pacific Coast — First Coach Driven by John Butterfield, Jr.” in a “Supplement to Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.” Although the latter title describes this as the coach starting from Fort Smith, it might more appropriately be titled as arriving at Fort Smith. The passengers in the coach correlate with passengers noted by Waterman Ormsby as going from Tipton to Fort Smith. Along with Ormsby were Judge John F. Wheeler, his wife and two children, and John Butterfield Sr. Beyond Fort Smith, however, Ormsby was the only through passenger.
Titled: “The Overland Mail Starting from San Francisco for the East.” [From a Photograph.]
From front page of Harper’s Weekly, December 11, 1858. Engraver and artist unknown.
John Butterfield Sr.
John Butterfield Jr.
Fairfield Mill and a covered bridge across the Pomme de Terre River in central Missouri was along the route of the Butterfield Overland Mail Co.
Union Depot in St. Louis, Missouri. The street crossing behind the station is Tucker Boulevard.
The little building near the center of this lithograph is the Cheltenham Station, just above the smokestack of the train headed from left to right. Across the street from the station are the Gitten's Hotel and the Cheltenham Hotel. On the horizon is St. James Catholic Church on Tamm Avenue.
Stinnett's Station was on the Military Road between Little Rock and Fort Smith, Arkansas, near the present-day community of Delaware, Arkansas.
The old State House in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The broad White River at Des Arc, Arkansas.
This map showing the southwest portion of Missouri was published in 1856 by J.H. Colton. The Pacific Railroad had reached Jefferson City (top right corner) by 1856 but wouldn't reach Tipton until the next year. Many of the roads used by stagecoaches of the Butterfield Overland Mail are shown, starting with Cole Camp and continuing south through Warsaw, Elkton, Bolivar, Springfield and southwest through Cassville.
This 1880 map of the Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma, shows the Choctaw Nation and the thin dashed path followed by the Butterfield Overland Mail Co. from Fort Smith, Ark., in the upper right-hand corner to Denison, Texas, in the lower left-hand corner. The map also shows Boggy Depot, a crossroads of the 19th century Indian Territory.
A portion of the United States Coast Survey, printed in 1859, shows the route into San Francisco from the south, used by stagecoaches of the Butterfield Overland Mail Co. to enter the city on Mission Street.
The San Francisco Bay, as it appeared in 1859. Prior to establishment of the Butterfield Overland Mail Co. in 1858, the U.S. mail was carried by steamship south to Panama, unloaded and carried over the isthmus, and then reloaded on ships bound for New Orleans. On the left is San Francisco's Telegraph Hill, the Golden Gate at center and Point Bonita with the lighthouse to the right.
Even after the Butterfield Overland Mail Co. quit running stagecoaches because of the Civil War, liveries such as the John Paine Livery Stable in Gilroy, Calif., continued passenger service.
The Battle of Wilson's Creek in southwestern Missouri occurred along the route of the Butterfield Overland Mail, seen here extending from the top right corner southwest. The battle, the first in the trans-Mississippi, was waged just five months after the Butterfield route was moved north.
The Missouri Capitol at Jefferson City.
San Francisco as seen from Rincon Hill, about 1857.
A toll bridge in the Indian Territory about 1875.
A scene on the Arkansas River near Little Rock about 1875.
The Arkansas State Capitol at Little Rock about 1875.
The public square at Sherman, Texas, about 1875.
Ferry crossing during winter in the Indian Territory about 1875.
Emigrants at Maricopa Wells in 1857.
Mesilla, New Mexico, about 1854.
Fort Fillmore about 1854.
The stone Butterfield stables are still standing at what was Fitzgerald's Station near present-day Springdale, Arkansas.
Fitzgerald's Station is no longer standing, although its stable does remain. The home in the background was built after the Civil War, probably near where the original station stood.
The road followed by the Butterfield stagecoaches can barely be seen at left in this panoramic view of Pea Ridge, the site of the Trans-Mississippi's largest Civil War battle.
A Butterfield marker in present-day Rogers, Arkansas, describes the general location of Callahan's Tavern, a stop on the stagecoach route.
The St. Louis and San Francisco Railway built this concrete viaduct over the Old Wire Road north of Avoca, Arkansas, where the Butterfield Overland Route ran.
Little Sugar Creek in northern Arkansas, muddy after a hard rain. The Butterfield Route crossed this creek near the community of Brightwater.
Elkhorn Tavern, a popular stop on the Butterfield Route although not a relay station. The National Park Service reconstructed the tavern true to its original look at Pea Ridge National Military Park. The foundation and the south chimney survive from the original structure.
The Butterfield Route as seen within Pea Ridge National Military Park, perhaps one of the most well-preserved parts of the route.
The Butterfield Route as it leaves the forest and approaches the Elkhorn Tavern. The cannon shows where Union troops initially defended themselves during the Battle of Pea Ridge during the Civil War.
The Butterfield marker on the courthouse square of Cassville, Missouri. It mentions that coaches often stopped in Cassville for passengers and mail but was not a relay station.
A panoramic shows Cross Hollows looking north along the Butterfield Route.
A centennial marker for Crouch's Station is hidden by a patch of undergrowth.
The Butterfield Route followed along the banks of Flat Creek, between Cassville and McDowell, Missouri.
A tablet just off the Springfield, Missouri, square designates the location of Smith's Tavern, a station on the Butterfield Overland Stage Route.
A marker at Elkton, Missouri, commemorates Yoast's Station, which was about two miles south on the Butterfield Overland Route.
The Pioneer's Village at Wheaton, Missouri, where buildings from across Hickory County, dating from the 1840s to the 1880s, were moved.
The marker at Quincy designates the spot where the Butterfield Station once stood.
A centennial marker at Warsaw stands across the street from the Butterfield Station.
A marker on the Warsaw square gives a history of Warsaw and Benton County, Missouri.
A marker on the square of Warsaw, Missouri, denotes the Butterfield Route through the town.
Built prior to the Civil War as a bank, this complex in downtown Warsaw, Missouri, is now used as offices and jail of the Benton County Sheriff's Department.
The building that houses Reser Funeral Home in downtown Warsaw, Missouri, was the Nicholas Tavern, a station on the Butterfield Route.
A marker in Cole Camp, Missouri, notes the location of Burns' Station six miles south of town.
Haw Creek, one of the more placid fords for the Buttefield Route, just northeast of Cole Camp, Missouri.
A centennial marker shows where Mulholland's Station stood along the Butterfield Route.
A marker at Syracuse, Missouri, notes the proximity of Shackelford's Station on the Butterfield Overland Mail Route.
The Missouri Pacific track as it enters Tipton from the east.
A marker at Tipton, Missouri, commemorates the eastern terminus of the Butterfield Overland Mail Route, and lists the Missouri stations.
A marker at Tipton, Missouri, gives the history of the Butterfield Overland Mail Co. and its original eastern terminus.
“Eastern Terminus of Butterfield’s Overland Route, Atchison, Kansas,” an illustration in Harper’s Weekly, January 27, 1866.
“Butterfield’s Overland Mail-Coach Starting Out from Atchison, Kansas," an illustration in Harper’s Weekly, January 27, 1866.
“The Overland Coach Office, Denver City, Colorado,” an illustration that appeared in Harper’s Weekly, January 27, 1866.
“Exterior of the Adobe Fortification at Smoky Hill Station — Fighting the Fire,” an illustration from the April 21, 1866, edition of Harper's Weekly.
“On the Plains — Indians Attacking Butterfield’s Overland Dispatch Coach,” an illustration in Harper’s Weekly, April 21, 1866.
“Our Artist’s Trip on the Overland Route — ‘Council of War’ on the Plains,” an illustration in Harper’s Weekly, January 27, 1866.
A stage station at Campo, California, between San Diego and Ocotillo.
The Holladay Overland Mail and Express Company. Denver, unknown date.
The Butterfield stage station at Warner Springs, circa the 1940s.
Andrew Davidson Firebaugh, circa 1863
Originally known as Franklin, the town of Pacific was renamed in honor of the Pacific Railroad, which was being built from St. Louis westward during the 1850s.
Fort Davis, Texas, about 1885. The fort is a well-preserved National Historic Site today.
A 1916 map showing the location of Fort Quitman and other property owners.
Historic Marker for Sinks of Tejon station. Marker is located at the intersection of David Road and Wheeler Ridge Road in Kern County, California. Station is described as being about 6 miles east.
Historic marker in Lindsay, Calif., near the intersection of West Hermosa Street and Highway 65.