Russell’s Stagecoach Moves to the Platte Route

On May 11, 1859, not even one month after the L & PPE coaches started running, Jones, Russell & Company purchased the United States mail contract from John M. Hockaday & Co. Hockaday and John Liggitt began the government contract in 1858 to transport mail from Saint Joseph, Missouri to Salt Lake City, Utah. The contract required mail service to Forts Kearney and Laramie, which left Jones and Russell with what they believed to be one choice. A United States mail contract provided security of income along with passenger and express fares, an opportunity difficult to ignore. They transferred the L & PPE line and operations north to the Platte Route.