BOONE, Iowa—The Iowa Railroad Historical Society/James H. Andrew Railroad Museum and History Center have recently accepted a valuable gift of rare Railway Express Agency (REA), Wells Fargo and Great Northern Express railroad artifacts from James H. Andrew of Jefferson. Andrew, a long time railroad collected present the items to Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad General Manager Fenner Stevenson and James H. Andrew Railroad Museum and History Center Administrator Mike Wendel.
Andrew was able to acquire the items from long time friend and avid railroad collector Don Mahoney of Madison, Wisconsin. Items range from Wells Fargo money and transfer bags, Railway Express signage to rare photography as well as a Great Northern Railroad Shipping Express Cabinet with its original contents totally intact as well as a host of other rare items. Items will be displayed at a future date in the museum.
Wendel says, “We’re pleased to have these wonderful additions to the museum and are truly thankful to Jim for these very important additions. They will really strengthen our museum collection.” The donation will also compliment the extensive rare Western Union items Andrew recently donated.
Wendel noted that independent express delivery companies’ such as Adams Express go back to before the Civil War. The federal government consolidated the nation’s express companies in 1917 under the banner The American Railway Express Agency in order to further the war effort. The railroads purchase the agency in 1929 and changed the name to Railway Express Agency, Inc. or REA Express. The company ceased operations in 1975.