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GOD RIDES THE RAILS
CHAPEL CARS ON THE NATIONS RAILROADS
by The Rev. Harry R. Walrath, M. Div

I first became interested in railroad chapel cars some twenty plus years ago when I read an article in an Episcopal Church magazine about an Episcopal Chapel Car.Then some fifteen years ago I got the inspiration to build a model of such a chapel car. I wrote for information to this church magazine, but was advised that they did not keep records by subject in their files. So, I was on my own. I then proceeded to build a model in HO scale from an Ambroid passenger car kit. With some modification, you see the results of that endeavor here on the table. My thought was to model such a car on how I thought it might look. Present day research would seem to demonstrate that I was not too far off. Especially in the tradition of the Roman Catholic and Episcopal Church tradition.

Then about a year ago, I was encouraged to write an article for the National Model Railroaders Association magazine: "NMRA Bulletin". I was told that my writing style was appreciated by many and the subject was of such general interest that it would be published. So, once again I began my search for information about Chapel Cars. I was soon to learn that considerable writing had been done about this subject, but only as it pertained to a particular denomination. As I . pursued my research I came to realize that there was more here than an isolated event on the pages of history. With the help of several persons, namely Kyle Wyatt and Peter Heindel, and many others, we uncovered 11 Chapel Cars to date, and one author suggests there may be as many as 17. We even uncovered an anomaly in that two Chapel Cars bearing the same name -"Grace"- may have been in use about the same time by two different Baptist groups. Investigation has shown there to be only one Chapel Car named "Grace".

To date there have been 11 Chapel Cars uncovered. Seven of which were built for the American Baptist Publication Society, one, for the Rt. Rev. William Walker, Episcopal Missionary Bishop of North Dakota, and three for the Catholic Church Extension Society of the United States headquartered in Chicago, Ill. Two of these cars were built by the Pullman Car Company of Chicago with all the rest being built by the Barney and Smith Car Builders of Dayton, Ohio. In regard to ownership of this cars, it should be understood that these cars were built on a private owner bases as a private car would be. No chapel car was ever owned by a particular railroad.

As with any event in history, it is best understood against its own background. In short, no historical event . occurs in an historical vacuum. And so it was with the railroad Chapel Car. I saw these cars as a reflection and response to the spirit of the times. Also, Chapel cars were not unique to the American scene. Chapel cars existed in Russia, England and Italy serving the isolated faithful in small hamlets or towns that were served by the railroads. The Russian cars are described as being decorated in the interior like a Russian Orthodox Church, complete with a cross on the car roof and a belfry thereon. We may presume that the English and Italian cars were similarly appointed. So, now let us board our Chapel Car and move on to the next mining camp, lumber town or farming village in the late 19th century.

By this time in the century, three events had taken place either earlier in the century or near the middle of the century. One event, the industrial revolution is still going on today. The first event was the The Second Great Awakening. It had its beginning in the early part of the nineteenth century and was important in that it affected the average man on the street. Unlike the First Great Awakening which was limited to the academic communities of New England this one spread to the highways and by ways of the South and West, i.e. Kentucky. Its main thrust was to awaken people to their Christian moral life, vis, to forswear drunkeness, profanity, chasing women, . and other evil vices. All of this was to prepare one for the second coming of Jesus Christ. The doing of good works was the mark of a Christian man or woman. A drive to return to the religious life for one and all.

The Second event is called Manifest Destiny. Here the vision was that America was to bring its moral and spiritual values -Christian that is - along with its great technological know how to the unenlightened West extending into the Pacific basin. Or as Thomas Star King put it in 1851,"The time-honored conviction that God and nature had designed a unique geographical arena for the American experiment found continuous expression, ‘ "God designs that each country should wear a peculiar ideal physiognomy". An other gentleman, Mr. Asa Whitney expressed it thusly upon his return form the Orient in his appeal to Congress for a transcontinental railway to be built in late 1845, "Nature's God had made this(the railway) for a grand highway to Civilize and Christianize all mankind." America was destined to bring the benefits of democracy and the Christian religion to the unenlightened of the American West as well as the Far East The Industrial Revolution is the third event that changed the map of history. In a sense, it summarizes the effect of the Second Great Awaking and Manifest Destiny.

The Industrial Revolution replaced manual labor with power driven machinery. The development of methods of production, the invention of the working dynamo, carbon lamp,and the gas filled tungsten filament, and incandescent lamp enabled men to develop the means of production of all kinds of goods and services. The chief of these was the railroad which allowed for the then rapid transportation of people and goods wherever rail could be laid. The apex of this thrust was the meeting of the Union Pacific RR and the Central Pacific RR at Promitory, Utah.

With the meeting of the Central Pacific RR and the Union Pacific RR at Promitory on May 10, 1869 and the completion of the Northern Pacific RR in 1872 and the Great Northern RR on July 4, 1893 the West literally exploded. This marked the end of transcontinental railroads and the end of era. But it really marked the beginning of a new era, and that was the exploitation of land, minerals and timber. For now it was possible to ship the raw materials of the virgin West to the industrial East in return for finished goods which in turn were shipped via rail to a consuming public in the West. With the joining of East and West it was now possible to move across our nation in a couple of weeks where it would have taken at least three months by wagon. These pioneer visionaries saw . rails running every where especially into the mining towns, logging camps and farming villages. It was now possible to reach even the most remote area, - just lay a rail. Not only that, but the rails could be quickly removed and relayed at the next turn out. So, it was that not only did the capitalist visionaries see the potential of these highways of rails, but so did the religious leaders of the day.

The first Chapel Car was built for the Rt. Rev. William Walker, Missionary Bishop of North Dakota in October of 1890. It seems that he conceived of the idea when he realized the enormity of his task in reaching his far flung flock in North Dakota. He, also, realized that it was not good stewardship to expend capital on a building when there was no assurance that that village or town would endure for long and allow a congregation to grow and develop into a self-sustaining parish. So, with a chapel car he could visit his diocese, conduct services, give instruction, and counseling and move on to the next town. It may be that he knew of the English Chapel Cars from his visits to England.

Sometime in early 1889, Bishop Walker approached some friends in the East for contributions. Among them was Mr.Cornelius Vanderbilt who made the first contribution. Soon after that churches and Sunday Schools from all over the . country contributed to the Bishop's Car. Among the contributors was an eight year old boy the son of an Episcopal Priest. He was destined to become the fifth Bishop of North Dakota. He was the Rt. Rev. Frederick B. Bartlett who served as bishop of North Dakota from 1931 -1935.

In October 1890, Bishop Walker took possession of the Bishop's Car as it was commonly referred to. The Car was built by the Pullman Palace Car Company of Chicago at a cost of $3,000.00. The wooden car was 60 feet long and designed by Mr. Charles C. Haight a prominent New York architect who had designed many of the buildings at the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Mass. A rather unique feature of this car is the roof design. You will note the the Gothic transcept in the middle of the roof. The car was divided into two parts. The largest area was the chapel area which would seat 80 persons. This also contained the sanctuary which included the altar, lectern, bishops chair and altar rail with kneeling cushions. As we can see from the drawing, chairs were used in the Nave instead of pews as would be the case in subsequent chapel cars. The second compartment was the quarters for the Bishop. Here he slept, vested for services, had an office but no kitchen or bathing facilities. As was the custom in those times, the faithful would provide meals and accommodations as needed. Or failing this, Bishop Walker would put himself up in a hotel 8. boarding house. The interior of the car was heated with Baker heaters. An organ was placed on the left hand side of the car near the rear of the car.

On the exterior of the car were the letters denoting the name and origin of the car. On the facisa or area above the windows in gold letters was written, "The Church of the Advent", and on the area below the windows was written in "Golden Gothic characters:" " The Cathedral Car of North Dakota".

When not conducting services, instructing converts, writing sermons, or visiting the faithful or the sick, the Bishop swept, dusted the car, lit the lamps, and built and tended the fires. When necessary, played the organ. When the Cathedral Car was ready to move onto the next stop, and ten days before its scheduled arrival point the Bishop would arrange for a placard to be placed in the next railroad station there. When services were completed, the railroad would pick up the car-- with the bishop aboard -- and side track him at the next town or station. Which railroad or railroads, you might ask. Apparently no one thought it necessary to record this. As near as I can figure out, it could have been the Great Northern, the Northern Pacific, the Chicago and Northwestern, and the many others that passed through North Dakota.

The response to this strange car was many and varied, but all quite positive. The good Bishop reported that whenever the car . appeared as many as 90 persons would gather for services, with three persons sharing two chairs. A not too infrequent response was that the bishop would often draw twice the local population. In one hamlet of 38 souls, 65 persons attended services. In one report the Bishop mentions that in a three month period he visited 13 places and only in three of them was the Chapel car not filled to capacity. One other factor the Bishop acknowledges is that curiosity which drew a good many to attend services in this strange church. "One farmer told him: "I have been to a good many circuses, and I've seen all the grandest exhibitions that have come out West; but this is the biggest show yet."

On one occasion, railroad employees were attracted to the chapel's services. In September of 1895, when the chapel car was filled to capacity after putting folding chairs up an additional 20 railroad laborers were sitting on the grass outside. Further reading about the Baptist's and Roman Catholic Chapel Cars reveals, a real need was met by the Chapel Cars. These people had pulled up roots to fulfill their dream of land and home, family and friends were left behind. Especially the railroad workers. Not only had they left home and family, but loneliness and boredom gave them a sense of abandinment in addition to frequent moves from one railhead to the next left them feeling abandoned. The Chapel Car represented home, friends and loved ones. It made them feel no longer isolated or alone. Someone Cared! Undoubtedly publicity world wide helped spread the word about . this strange railroad car that traveled to remote and out of the way places. News appeared in newspapers and magazines world wide. News about this chapel car was published in China, Japan, India, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Scotland, Great Britain, Germany, Norway, Syria, Italy, and the West Indies. In a secular Japanese newspaper in Nora, Japan the car is reported in this manner: "Mr. Dakota has built a railroad car in the city of New York, to use it as a church in which he will travel all over the United States." A not very accurate reference evidently to the Bishop of North Dakota's " Cathedral Car".

What happened to the Cathedral Car? In 1899, the car was last used in Carrington, North Dakota by Bishop Edsell, Bishop Walker's successor, where services were conducted by a Lay Reader or Lay Minister. Here Sunday services were held until the severe North Dakota winters no longer made it possible to conduct services. Winter temperatures often reach 30 to 40 degrees below zero. For example, in one such winter, Bishop Walker had his feet frozen when the temperature reached down to that range. He was in a heatless hotel room where his 6 foot 5 1/2 inch frame did not fit the bed which was too short and the blankets which were also too short. The car was sold in the Fall of 1901 for a $1,000 and so disappeared from the pages of history. The Baptismal Font and lectern were last seen in St. Mary's Church, Guelph, North Dakota in the summer of 1919. 10. The next group or Chapel Cars spand a number of years, specifically 1891 through 1915 when the last car was built for the Baptist Publication Society by Barney and Smith Car Co. I will not bore you with giving a detailed history of each car which you have in your hand out, but rather I plan to present a rather broad brush picture. This is easily done since all seven of these cars were owned and operated by the American Baptist Publication Society and were managed my the Rev. Boston Smith or "Uncle Boston" as he was fondly referred to until his death in 1908.

There is little doubt that Uncle Boston got the inspiration for his Chapel Cars from a missionary who needed shelter for his Sunday School from the cold Minnesota winter. He approached the Division Supervisor of the Northern Pacific Railroad, explained his problem and was in turn granted the use of a passenger coach on Sunday's which had been side-tracked for his use. Then the coach would be picked up on Monday morning. The Rev. Mr. Bosten related his idea of expanding the Sunday School car to a "Chapel on wheels" to a group of clergy. Among those listening, was the Rev. Dr. Wayland Hoyt who happened to be the brother of Cologate Hoyt an executive of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Dr. Hoyt while traveling with his brother remarked to him that "You railroad men ought to be doing more for this young country than you are now doing." Cologate Hoyt thought it over, left for New York, and in the summer of 1890 organized The Chapel Car Syndicate. 11. Headed by John D. Rockefeller. The syndicate consisted of such prominent men as Charles L. Colby, John R. Trevor, James B. Colgate, E. J. Barney, and William Hills. These men raised the necessary funds for the first car. With this backing Uncle Boston took his plans for the first Chapel Car to E. J. Barney of the Barney and Smith Car Co. The first Chapel Car "Evangel" was built, and in the Spring of 1891 Uncle Boston was presented with the first of what was to become a fleet of seven Chapel Cars by Mr. Eugene Barney, President of Barney and Smith Car. Company.

All seven Chapel Cars were pretty much of the same configuration. Evangel, the first, was sixty feet long, with an open vestibule at both ends, built of wood, it resembled a Pullman sleeper. The car was divided into two parts, the one part being the living quarters and was 10 x 16 feet or 160 square feet. In this sumptuous space was packed an upper and lower berth, a kitchen completely equipped with a copper lined sink connected to a tank overhead, an Adams Westlake improved Stove, a sideboard, a china closet, a linen press, and lavatory. The living quarters contained a study, dining room, writing desk, book shelves to the top of the car and a large wardrobe and locker;all this in 160 square feet. The missionary's wife would often have to busy herself in the chapel proper or step outside, if her husband were counseling someone. I should, also, point out that if 12. the missionary had any children, they were often left with friends for several years. Later Chapel Cars were larger and it was often possible to bring the children along. This was especially true of Chapel Car Grace which even had a separate bedroom.

The Chapel interior consisted of 440 square feet. In this space, pews were arranged for seating with two on one side and three on the other. This provided seating for about seventy people. To the inside right of the boarding door was a small coat closet, a Deacon's bench at the altar end. An Estey pump organ supplied by Col. J. J. Estey of Vermont. Col. Estey would subsequently supply each Chapel Car in turn with one of his organs. A "magnificent" brass lectern adorned the altar area. In the back of the pews could be found hymnal racks with storage boxes under each pew for Bibles and tracts. The Domed celling was fitted with brass chandeliers. Underneath the car were additional storage compartments in which would be kept wood or coal for heating extra chairs, and rail for constructing sidings along the way, folding chairs, and other items that were necessary in this ministry. Above the windows were panes of stained glass which would give the touch of being in a church. Or as one person put it, "To the last detail, it was a church on wheels."

The clergy who operated these Chapel Cars were called "Coleporters." The term comes from the French and means someone who carries a burden across the neck or shoulders. The Baptist Church 13. already had Coleporters out in the field, but they either went afoot, in a wagon, or on horseback. They carried tracts and bibles in a sack around their neck. Now the title takes on a new dimension and means almost exclusively those clergy who with their wives traveled all over the new western frontier. From now on I shall use this title when referring to these clergy.

Where did they go? It would appear that wherever the trains went,so did the Chapel Cars. We know that the Episcopal Car "Church of the Advent" covered North Dakota with Bishop Walker until the Fall of 1901. The first Baptist car "Evangel" went 1000 miles west of Minneapolis with Boston Smith. Here she covered not only Minnesota but North Dakota and Montana. It should be noted here that so far no comment appears in the press or a coleporters' logs about the Episcopal car. Which strikes me as strange. The Chapel Cars Advent and Evangel must have crossed tracks somewhere along the line. Evangel headed into the great North Pacific coast for six months in the Winter of 1891 with Colporter missionaries the Rev. and Mrs. E. G. Wheeler. So, successful was the work that a second car was needed. Then on May 26, 1893 Chapel Car Emmanuel was dedicated for work in the West and North West. It is this car that is of interest to us. According to his account book the Rev. Benjamin B. Jacques, 14. Emmanuel's route included a stop over in Reno, Nevada (Show Log on Screen.) This car presently is nearly totally restored and on display at the Prairie Village Museum near Madison, South Dakota. The next Chapel Car, "Glad Tidings" was dedicated in 1894 and served the South West and is presently incorporated in the First Baptist Church of Flagstaff, Arizona. In 1895, Chapel Car "Good Will" was dedicated, but no record, so far, as to where it went. We may presume "out West". On May 28, 1898 Chapel Car "Messenger of Peace" was dedicated. She was known as the Ladies Car. She derived her name from the 75 Baptist women who raised the funds to pay for her. She like Evangel and Emmanuel went West to Washington and disappears somewhere in Snohomish, Washington.

On May 27, 1900 the "Young Man's car "Herald of Hope" was dedicated. So named from the business men of Detroit who paid for the car through the sale of 1,500 bonds at $5.00 per share to raise $7,500 needed to pay for the Chapel car. She headed South and disappeared somewhere in West Virginia. Before continuing our rail journey, it is best to explain a situation which I am sure you may have a question about. And that is ,"How did the Chapel Cars pay for rail transport. This is especially true of the Baptist cars since they did not have a central office like the Roman Catholic or Episcopal churches to pay the freight. From what I can determine the railroads simply did not charge for transporting these 15. cars and even built sidings for their use.

The story of free travel for Chapel Cars is best seen in the arrangement made for the Baptist cars. First, many members of the Syndicate were connected with the railroads. Though, "there was neither promise nor mention of the fact that their influence would assure passage." Uncle Boston carefully described how the Chapel Car Evangel would be used and Mr. William Mellen, General manager of the Northern Pacific Railroad issued the following order: "You will pass Mr. Boston W. Smith and one attendant with Chapel Car Evangel over our lines. You will arrange to take the car on any train he desires; you will sidetrack it wherever he wishes. Make it as pleasant for Mr. Smith as you can." Such an order no doubt accounts for the success of early missionary work in the Pacific Northwest where the Northern Pacific would have trackage. And no doubt other railroads followed suite, so as not to be out done by the Northern Pacific. It is interesting to note that neither the Episcopal car nor the Roman Catholic Cars make any mention of paying mileage on any of the lines that they traveled. The possibility that the precedent of free mileage for chapel cars may have already been established by the Episcopal car and firmed up by the Baptist cars. That the Roman Catholic cars were the beneficiaries of this policy especially in view of the fact that they didn't enter the scene until 1907 makes me believe that the courtesy of free trackage was extended to all Chapel Cars irrespective of denomination. It 16. certainly was not to the advantage of the railroads to provide free passage. The cost of Evangel's maiden voyage alone would have cost $.54 per mile or in 1891 dollars, $1,080.00. That the religious persuasion of the railroad executives being well known undoubtedly made free passage possible. The free passage provided Evangel apparently was to be extended to all subsequent chapel cars whether Baptist, Roman Catholic, or Episcopalian.

The next two Chapel Cars after 1900 were either built for or refurbished for the Roman Catholic Extension Society. The first was St. Anthony, which was a rebuilt obsolete wooden Wagner Pullman Car. Rebuilt at a cost of $2000.00 and dedicated on June 16, 1907. Chapel Car "St. Anthony" came about as a response to an appeal by Fr. Francis Kelly, founder of the Roman Catholic Extension Society on October 18, 1905, who realized the great distances involved for the work of his society concluded that Chapel Cars were the answer. He could well have been aware of chapel cars in Czarist Russia, England, or Italy as well as the American Baptist Home Missionary Society chapel car which had been exhibited at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1905. Fr. Kelly appealed for funds for such a car in the Society's magazine. His appeal was answered by a Mr. Ambrose Petry of Detroit who contacted Mr. Richard Dean, vice -president of the Pullman Company of Chicago. Petry paid $2000 for the car and Dean paid for the interior decorations. 18. The exterior of St. Anthony was 72 feet long giving room for a priest, an assistant priest and an attendant. The interior quarters included a study which doubled as a dining room, a combination library- office, sleeping compartments, and kitchen. The Chapel area included a sanctuary with altar and seating capacity for 50 people in the nave with expansion to 65 persons. The exterior of the car was lettered above the windows in gold with the legend "Catholic Extension Society of the United States". Below the windows was lettered "Chapel Car St. Anthony" This would be the standard lettering for the next two cars, St. Peter and St. Paul.

Following her dedication on June 16, 1907, St. Anthony rolled West on the Rock Island and Pacific RR stopping at Wellington, Kansas where the first Mass was celebrated in the Chapel Car. St. Anthony was scheduled to be used in the West and South. Early on she traveled into the small towns of Mississippi and Louisiana. Then in the Summer of 1909 she moved into the Pacific Northwest, and while en route she visited, appropriately enough St. Anthony, Idaho. She then proceeded on to Washington where she would end her days in Wishram, Washington after being dismantled in 1930. Here she had served as parish church, then as rectory for the priest until suitable structures replaced her. The next two Catholic cars as well as the subsequent Baptist car Grace were built of Steel with a copper roof. It seems that a Mr. Peter 19. Kuntz of Dayton, Ohio upon visiting St. Anthony in 1912 was displeased with her and so donated $25,000.00 to build a new car. The contract was awarded to Barney & Smith. Barney & Smith was to build the next two chapel cars, one more for the Extension Society and one more for the Baptist Publication Society. In a real sense, these were nearly the last three cars that Barney and Smith were to build. It seems that Barney and Smith had fallen on hard times following the crash of 1893.

On June 30, 1912, Mr. Kuntz's Chapel Car "St. Peter" was dedicated.Following the dedication,she joined St. Anthony in the Northwest. Chapel Car St. Peter was 84 feet long and could seat 70 people. The interior was finished in Cuban mahogany outfitted like a traditional church with altar, movable crucifix,(so it could be stored during travel), altar lights, tabernacle, confessional, stations of the cross, and other appointments that one would expect to find in his/her home parish church. The car was heated by either steam or oil - stove apparatus, and lit by either electricity or gas. Of interest, the altar linens and communion wear -chalice and platen- were stored in compartments build into the altar along with the missal and altar cards. Mr. Kuntz was so pleased with Chapel Car St. Peter that he donated $35,000.00 for the next Chapel Car - "St. Paul". Essentially, both cars are alike differing only in dimension . St. Paul is 86 feet long and weighed in at 134,000 pounds or 67 tons. She was dedicated on . Sunday,March 14, 1915. Like her predecessors she toured the West and South with her first stop on the Texas and Pacific Railroad in the little town of Bunkie, LA.

The beginning of World War I, for the United States, effectively marks the end of the Chapel Car era. The Episcopal car "Church of the Advent" was disposed of in 1901. Bishop Edsall, Bishop Walker's successor in North Dakota, apparently was not interested in continuing the Chapel Car ministry. The U. S. Government issued orders that Chapel Cars had to be side tracked, and no more free passage allowed. St. Peter was sidetracked at Clakamas, Oregon where it served as an Army Chapel. St. Anthony was stored at Union, Oregon where it served as a church for the local community. We may assume that the Baptist's cars being likewise sidetracked were put to good service as churches in the communities where they were needed.

With the lifting of the ban on March 1, 1920 on Chapel Car travel, the Government left it up to the railroads as to whether or not to continue the free travel privilege. Each railroad responded differently. The Southern Pacific charged ten full fairs per mile. The Union Pacific stipulated that each request for moving had to be cleared through the main office in Omaha. There to be ruled upon by the Vice-President. The costs and red tape involved put a crimp in the cars free movement. The only railroad to still continue the free passage was the Portland & Seattle RR. In addition to the increased 21. costs and the advent of the automobile in the 1920's the need for Chapel cars virtually disappeared. Chapel Car St. Anthony was retired in 1919. An interesting incident occurred in regard to Chapel Cars St. Peter and St. Paul. When they were ordered to the areas where they had been best used. The orders for their movement got switched. St. Paul instead of being moved to the South ended up at the town of Browning, Wyoming the East entrance of Yellow Stone Park and then subsequently ended up at Nevada City, Montana where she has been restored and today can be seen at the Bovey Railroad museum.

A Mass celebrating the 70th anniversary of Chapel Car St. Paul was celebrated in 1982. The mass was said in Latin using the Latin missal and altar cards just as they were used in 1915 on the pre- Vatican II altar. The Mass was said to a large overflowing crowd. Chapel Car St Peter ended up at Oxford, North Carolina were she served as a parish church for fifthteen years and was dismantled in 1953. Of the seven Baptists cars only two remain in their original state. Chapel Car Grace has been completely restored and may be seen at the American Baptist Assembly, Green Lake, Wisconsin. Chapel Car Emmanuel, the second Baptist Chapel Car, is nearly restored and my be seen at the Prairie Village Museum near Madison, South Dakota. The rest of the Chapel Cars disposition is given on your handout.

Accommodations aboard the Chapel Cars was at its very best far 22. from commodious. Chapel Car "Church of the Advent" provided only a bed and wardrobe plus storage. The Roman Catholic, St. Peter and St. Paul cars along with Chapel Car Grace were more spacious having been built much later and were larger cars. This made it possible to provide more comfortable quarters for the clergy assisting clergy and/or family. For example, Chapel Car Evangel had only 160 square feet and no separate bed room whereas Chapel Car Grace - the last of the Chapel Cars - had 350 square feet of living space which included a bedroom. It was the only Baptist car so provided. The kitchens were quite functional and as one person described the living quarters as: "Cute, cozy, and romantic." "Romantic", maybe, but certainly not accommodating. For example the the Colporter's wife would,without warning, find herself flying to the floor along with the dishes and food when the car was coupled up or dropped off onto a siding. In spite of the hardships, the Colporters and the their wives lived in these cars for many years. In many ways these Colporters had it much easier than their circuit riding contemporaries. The Chapel Car was home, social hall, church, Sunday School, library, and carried more bibles and tracts than his predecessors. In addition to the usual ministerial duties, the Colporter and his wife were expected to be singer, cook, car cleaner, janitor, fireman, and organist when necessary. Other tasks preformed would include that of financier, real estate man, lumber hauler, carpenter, and brick layer. In many cases, the Colporter not only . helped organize churches, but often raised the funds to build them as well as build them. How were the Chapel Cars received, one might will ask. Especially when we realize that these cars were side tracked in the rough and tumble mining and logging camps of the day and among men and women who were no longer constrained by the usual social constraints of the more settled communities they had left. From the information available, the Chapel Cars were generally well received. Judging by Bishop Walker's experience mentioned earlier, the Chapel Car ministry was greatly appreciated. It would appear that the cars served a real civilizing influence wherever they went in the rough and ready settings into which they were sidetracked.

The main purpose of the railroads was to haul freight and mail, so the free ride of the Chapel Car was not always convenient. These cars would occupy a siding for days, weeks or even months. The Rev. Mr. Rust proposed that the railroads build a special spur for the Chapel Car and bill the American Baptist Publication Society. The spur cost $8.00 to construct. The railroad never once billed the Society. Often whenever the Chapel Cars were in the shops for repairs or to be painted the the missionaries would roll up their sleeves and assist in sidetracking, coupling and uncoupling or making simple repairs on the cars as well as the building of spurs. This unquestionably developed a fraternal feeling between minister and railroad worker. When these cars were idle in the shops it was not uncommon to hold services for . the benefit of these lonely men. Many of these men were Christian, some were not,and many had not been in church since their youth. These services were conducted in accordance with the employees schedules including the middle of the night to accommodate the night shift .Conversions among the railroad men is not known, but the effect of this ministry is reflected in a letter to the Rev. Mr. Rust, Colporter of "Glad Tidings" as follows: "We the employees of the Chicago,St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railroad, in meeting assembled, do hereby desire to extend to Mr. and Mrs. Rust, of the Chapel Car "Glad Tidings" our earnest appreciation, respect, and love for the good we have received from their teaching. We sincerely hope, God Willing, that we shall meet again in the near future to renew the pleasant and profitable meetings just ended. We also desire to extend our thanks to the officials of our company for giving the chapel car trackage to our shops, for it has been a blessing to all." "Resolved that a copy of the above be sent to Mr. and Mrs. Rust, Mr. W. A. Scott, our General Manager, and Mr. J. C. Stewart, General Superintendent." Dated: January 19, 1899. There can be little doubt that the chapel car ministry benefited the railroads in that it provided the spiritual leavening and morale building was needed to keep employees content in there work. The chapel cars really paid their way in this respect. 25. Chapel Cars were not always well received. But often as a result of hostility or violent act mutual understanding and cooperation. resulted. This was an age of very poor ecumenical relations. On one occasion the Rev. Mr. Rust found Chapel Car "Glad Tidings" was defaced with fresh bright red paint. Painted on the side was written "Cattle Car." Mr. Rust was able to remove this with part of his trousers. In another incident, this same car was given a bath of eggs.

Although, the towns-people were not receptive to the chapel car they pitched in and helped to clean it up. The result was that when the chapel car left a Sunday School had been organized and left in charge of the local Methodist minister. In Littleton, Colorado, the Chapel Cars were not well received. In fact they were denounced from a local Christian pulpit. Whether out of ignorance or fear is not known. Never-the-less before the Chapel Car left an apology was forth coming and two other local churches joined together in bible study. Again poor Glad Tidings nearly burned when a brush fire was ignited in the brush surrounding the car. Discovered by the Colporter and his wife, the entire community joined in fighting the fire. The result was a better understanding of the chapel car ministry and opened up other avenues of understanding. Although the records or scanty as to where they, went we do know that they went where they were needed. They traveled from from North Dakota, Minnesota to California by way of Nevada, from . Texas to West Virginia; and up and down the Colorado mountain range and though out the Midwest. Though the records are scarce, monuments to their ministry are attested by the churches established throughout the the country.

In spite of the scarcity of records, recent developments have indicated there may be more information available on this subject. As a result, both Pet Heindel( my Chief leg man) and myself are continuing to pursue the various leads that as they are brought to our attention.

One point of interest is that why is it that none of the records indicate that one denominational's Chapel Car seemed to be unaware of the existence of the others Chapel Car(s). This is especially puzzling when they used the same trackage to travel over. I noted this in the case of the Episcopal Chapel Car in North Dakota when one of the Baptist cars was there in the reported incident of the man who walked nine miles each way in zero degree weather to attend a Christmas Eve service. We should also note that all three men, Bishop Walker, the Rev. Boston Smith, and Fr. Francis Kelly, noted that the expanding railroads were the way to reach the remote settlements of Western expansion. As the entrepreneurs of the day saw the railroads as the means to bring the benefits of Western Civilization to the untamed or unenlightened West, so why not Chapel Cars to bring the benefits of Christian teaching to the heathen West.

CHAPEL CAR UPDATE: Recent evidance has surfaced to give a foundation to the idea that that there may more than the elevern chapel cars origionally unearthed. In 1996, Mr. & Mrs. Norman Taylor found the existance of two more Episcopal Church chapel cars one of which is still in use. Regretfully not as a chapel car. The other Episcopal car seems to have disappeared in the dust of time. An other car, name is unknown if it was ever built there is some doubt. The Episcopal cars were in service in the Dioces of Northern Michigan and had been commissioned by the then missionary bishop of Northern Michigan Bishop Mott Williams. These cars had been built sometime around 1905. In fact the existing one had origional been designed as a work car by the Munising Railroad which later became the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad. This car now rests at Negaunee, Michiga and is used as a gift shop. The where abouts of the second car is unknown. Demensionial data and the where abouts of the appointments of these cars is unknown. Certainly there use in spreading the good news of the Gospel cannot be denied. The church flurishes today because of the rails that were laid. The where abouts and discription the thired car are unknown It could be that the car was never built. That subscriptions were asked for and plans drawn would appear to be real. Whether the car itself ever rolled is doubtful. At any rate, in October of 1883 a Mr. Edwin A Harris a former railway conductor proposed to build a mission car to minister to the men of the railroads on the South and West. Mr. Harris connected prominently with the Railroad Young Men"s Christian Assoiations through out the state. (We beleive Delaware.) He had also traveled extensivly thoughout the state holding religious meetings among the railroad men for two years. Because of this experienc, he proposed to build a railroad car costing between $10,000 and $18,000. Said car would be equiped with quarters for a staff. It would have a meeting room for bible study, kitchen, and living quarters The main focus would be the railroad men and their families. He appealed to various churchs who could buy shares at $10.00 each. The car would be called "Bethlehem" and would be built by Jackson & Sharp Co. of Wilmington, Del. A board of trustees had been appointed and plans drawn up. The idea was that it could be used by severial denominations as each had contributed. Thus seems to be the end of the story. If this car had existed, it certainly would have been the earliest Chapel Car; Pre-dating the Cathedral Car of North Dakota by some seven years.

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