Russell’s Stagecoach Company’s Debt

No amount of positive publicity, however, resolved the unpaid debts the L & PPE continued to incur. Although the line ran a regular schedule, operating costs exceeded passenger fare receipts and the mail contract rate. By October 28, 1859, the line owed creditors $525,532. Russell, Majors and Waddell, a creditor of approximately $100,000, bought the L & PPE rescuing its own investment. The L & PPE’s largest indebtedness was for buying and more fully equipping the Hockaday mail line. William Russell organized a new company, the Central Overland California & Pike’s Peak Express Company (COC & PP) on November 23, 1859, and reclaimed the stage line from Russell, Majors and Waddell. The same principals involved themselves along with several more individuals as incorporators of the new entity. In August 1860, the Post Office Department awarded the mail contract to the Western Stage Company with delivery service from Omaha, Nebraska to Denver, only complicating the COC & PP’s fragile business. The COC & PP lost most of its mail and express business to and from Denver to its new competitor.