A Guide to the Norfolk and Western Railroad Accounting Ledgers, 1892-1895 Norfolk and Western Railroad Accounting Ledgers Ms2010-075

A Guide to the Norfolk and Western Railroad Accounting Ledgers, 1892-1895

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2010-075


Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2010 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: John M. Jackson, Special Collections Staff

Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Norfolk and Western Railroad Account Ledgers, 1892-1895
Physical Characteristics
5.3 cu. ft. 18 boxes
Norfolk and Western Railroad Company.
Accounting ledgers of the Norfolk and Western Railroad, providing detailed monthly account entries for each of the company's divisions and monthly summaries and analyses of expenses for the company as a whole.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Norfolk and Western Railroad Accounting Ledgers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Norfolk and Western Railroad Accounting Ledgers, Ms2010-075, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The Norfolk and Western Accounting Ledgers comprised part of a larger railroad-related collection purchased by Special Collections in 2009. The remainder of the acquisition of which these ledgers were a part was divided among the Chapman J. French Papers (Ms2009-034), the Norfolk & Western Railway and Associated Companies Collection (Ms2009-037), the Norfolk and Western Railway Company Mortgage Bond Book (Ms2010-077), and the Wayne Perkins Collection (Ms2010-078).

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Norfolk and Western Railroad Accounting Ledgers commenced and was completed in October 2010.

Historical Note

The Norfolk and Western Railroad originated with the 1838 chartering of the City Point Railroad, a line between Petersburg and City Point, Virginia. The line was purchased by the South Side Railroad in 1854, which, in turn, merged with the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad and the Norfolk & Petersburg Railroad, forming the Atlantic, Mississippi & Ohio Railroad in 1870. The AM&O fell into bankruptcy and was purchased in 1881, the new owners incorporating under the name Norfolk and Western Railroad, with a line extending from Virginia's coast to Southwest Virginia. The N&W went into receivership in 1895 and was reorganized as the Norfolk & Western Railway the following year.

Scope and Content

This collection contains a set of accounting ledgers for the Norfolk and Western Railroad. The ledgers record the expenses of each of the company's several divisions (i.e., Clinch Valley, Durham, Kenova, Lynchburg, Norfolk, North Carolina, Pocahontas, Pulaski, Radford, Roanoke, Scioto Valley, Shenandoah and Winston-Salem). Included in each ledger are statements titled "accounts charged from vouchers" (changed to "detail of operating expenses for the month" in later volumes) for the individual divisions, followed by a sheet providing the system-wide totals. Also included are monthly summaries of accounts charged from vouchers payable, listing transactions by voucher number, with a breakdown of expenditures under various headings (general expenses, Commercial Department, maintenance of way, maintenance of engines, maintenance of cars, conducting transportation). A third set of sheets in each ledger appears to consist of the original account entries, listing individual voucher numbers and associated expenditures, again listed under the several different categories of expenses. Affixed to the inside covers of the ledgers are monthly statements titled "Amounts Charged Under 100 Year Mortgage from Vouchers," "Earnings and Expenses," "Percentages for Expenses Based on Car Mileage," and "Analysis of Earnings and Expenses for the Month." At the end of the ledger set is a single volume, dated February 1895 and stamped "new acct." and bearing the names of the receivers, F. J. Kimball and Henry Fink.

Also included in the collection are a set of ledgers specifically relating to the company's Scioto Valley Division, its records apparently having been kept separate from the remaining divisions from February 1895 forward. These ledgers contain the same type of accounting entries as those described above.


The collection is arranged by ledger coverage area, then chronologically.

Index Terms

    Corporate Names:

  • Norfolk and Western Railroad Company
  • Local Subjects:

  • Railroad

Contents List

System-wide ledgers, 1892-1895.
  • Box-folder 1-1 Jan 1892.
  • Box-folder 1-2 Feb 1892.
  • Box-folder 2-1 Mar 1892.
  • Box-folder 2-2 Apr 1892.
  • Box-folder 3-1 May 1892.
  • Box-folder 3-2 Jun 1892.
  • Box-folder 4-1 Jul 1892.
  • Box-folder 4-2 Aug 1892.
  • Box-folder 5-1 Sep 1892.
  • Box-folder 5-2 Oct 1892.
  • Box-folder 6-1 Nov 1892.
  • Box-folder 6-2 Dec 1892.
  • Box-folder 7-1 Mar 1893.
  • Box-folder 7-2 Jun 1893.
  • Box-folder 8-1 Jul 1893.
  • Box-folder 8-2 Aug 1893.
  • Box-folder 9-1 Sep 1893.
  • Box-folder 9-2 Oct 1893.
  • Box-folder 10-1 Nov 1893.
  • Box-folder 10-2 Dec 1893.
  • Box-folder 11-1 Jan 1895.
  • Box-folder 11-2 Feb 1895.
  • Box-folder 12-1 Mar 1895.
  • Box-folder 12-2 Apr 1895.
  • Box-folder 13-1 May 1895.
  • Box-folder 13-2 Jun 1895.
  • Box-folder 14-1 Aug 1895.
  • Box-folder 14-2 Sep 1895.
  • Box-folder 15-1 Nov 1895.
  • Box-folder 15-2 Feb 1895 [New account].
Scioto Valley Division ledgers, 1895.
  • Box-folder 16-1 Feb 1895.
  • Box-folder 16-2 Mar 1895.
  • Box-folder 16-3 Apr 1895.
  • Box-folder 16-4 May 1895.
  • Box-folder 17-1 Jun 1895.
  • Box-folder 17-2 Jul 1895.
  • Box-folder 17-3 Aug 1895.
  • Box-folder 17-4 Sep 1895.
  • Box-folder 18-1 Oct 1895.
  • Box-folder 18-2 Nov 1895.
  • Box-folder 18-3 Dec 1895.