Thomas Allen was among the most prominent and powerful individuals who led St. Louis in its transition from commercial outpost to industrial metropolis. Best known for his political service and for his leadership in establishing the Pacific Railroad, Allen played an equally important role in the development of St. Louis land during the city’s most rapid period of growth.
The St. Louis–San Francisco Railway, popularly known as the Frisco, was a regional freight and passenger carrier serving the south-central United States. From its business headquarters in St. Louis and operational hub at Springfield, Missouri, the Frisco and subsidiary lines operated about five thousand miles of track, most of which was in Missouri and Oklahoma. There were lesser amounts, respectively, in Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The system was X-shaped, with the original main line extending southwest from St.