The Routes and Owners

List of Omnibus Lines, with Subsequent Rail Lines in Parentheses

1. Annunciation (Annunciation) (DP 1/17/1857) J. B. Slawson to open this line on Jan. 19 with 15 min. headway, yet MY lists Hart, Thomas & Co. as owner in 1858.
2. Apollo St. — now Carondelet St. (Carondelet) (DP 2/1/1856) Presently owned by Hart, Thomas & Co.  Possibly owned by Patrick Irwin under route name “New Basin & Apollo” as listed by MY.
3. Apollo & Prytania (route uncertain) (DP 1/27/1856) Presently owned by N. O. & C. RR Co.
4. Arcade & Pontchartrain RR (Levee & Barracks)   (CB 9/3/1836) Starting service, via Conde, Chartres, Camp — stopping at Hewlett's Exchange, Richardson Hotel.  Fare 12½¢ to Hewlett's Exchange, all other places 25¢.  Sched: From the RR 7:00 a.m., 8, 8½, 9, 9½, 12, 4, 5, 6, 7.  Leave Arcade 7:00 a.m., 9, 12, 1, 2, 4½, 5½, 6½, 7.  Possibly a Slawson line, possibly his Chartres line listed by MY in 1858.
5. Bayou Bridge (Bayou St. John) (DP 8/29/1854) Owner Charles Hennard selling line to Messrs. Philip Herzberger & P. W. Renkin.  Schedule, DP 8/27/1854.
6. Bayou Road (not replaced by, but close to, several streetcar lines built after 1865) MY lists this line in 1858 as owned by Rodriguez, Binachi & Co.
7. Bayou St. John (Bayou St. John) (Bee 3/18/1838 & 3/19/1838) Starting service Canal St. to Bayou Bridge.
Possibly owned by Charles Hennard (see no. 5) until 1854.
8. Bienville - Metairie Ridge - Halfway House
(Bayou Bridge & City Park, later part of Esplanade & Canal Belts)
(DP 6/26/1853) J. B. Slawson to open this line with omnibuses carrying 16 passengers inside, 12 outside.  (12 passengers carried “outside” seems a larger than usual number.  Most 'buses could carry four, but not much more.  See photo of 5th Ave. omnibus.)  2 hr. freq.
9. Camp & Prytania (Prytania) MY lists as a Hart, Thomas & Co. line in 1858.
10. Chartres (Levee & Barracks) MY lists as a J. B. Slawson line in 1858.
11. Common & Claiborne (N. Claiborne) MY lists as a J. B. Slawson line in 1858.
12. Common St. Road & Carrollton Ave. to Carrollton (Tulane and St. Charles Belts) (DP 8/29/1854) Run by John Hoey.  Announced “to open.”  (DP 4/1/1854) The ninth line of J. B. Slawson (could these be two competing lines?).  It's possible Slawson had bought out Hoey, or formed an association with him.  Slawson was a major backer of the New Orleans City RR Co., which began a city-wide network of street rys. in 1861.
13. Government Wharf (Levee & Barracks) MY lists as a J. B. Slawson line in 1858.
14. Hercules St. — now S. Rampart St. (Dryades) (DP 12/13/1853) Operating, owned by “Patrick” (Patrick Irwin).
15. Lake (West End) (CB 6/9/1836, 6/17/1836) Sewell T. Taylor opened an omnibus between City Hotel (Arcade) and Bishop's Hotel via Merchant's Exchange, Hewlett's Exchange, to Lake.  5¢ fare, two daily trips, lv. city 7:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m.  Return 10:00 a.m., 6:30 p.m.  Service to begin 6/10.  Reaches Light House Hotel and Elkin's Hotel, formerly Washington Hotel (is this the hotel at Milneburg?).  This would be a parallel route to the West End line, which came in the 1870s using steam, then electric in 1898.
16. Livoudais & Delassize (route uncertain) Route uncertain.  Located in city of Lafayette.  One of Louis A. Reed's three omnibus lines (see Magazine & Tchoupitoulas).  (CB 12/21/1840) Excellent.  Sched. 12/22/1840.
17. Lower Steam Cotton Press (Levee & Barracks) (LA 12/11/1832 & 12/20/1832, C 12/21/1832) New Levee St., connecting the Press with Pontchartrain RR station and Canal St.  Frequent schedules, close headways, perhaps the city's first “full service” omnibus line.
18. Magazine (Magazine) (MA 1/13/1834) Line owned by N. O. & Lafayette Omnibus Co.  Began service 11/21/1833, also known as “Upper Omnibus.”  Route: Jackson & Levee Road to Camp & Canal via Magazine.
(CB 11/11/1836) “New Line” Canal & Arcade to Orleans Cotton Press “above town” (Magazine or possibly a parallel street).
(CB 5/26/1838) “Lafayette Omnibus” sold by Messrs. Behan & Freeland to Kip, Reed & Co.  Canal St. to Lafayette, passing Orleans Cotton Press, “'bus every 30 min.”
(CB 5/27/1839) Kip & Reed open “new line of omnibuses” on Magazine St. from Canal St. to Planters Press, hourly freq., 12½¢ fare.
(CB 12/21/1840) Winter & spring arrangement, as of 12/20.  Louis A. Reed owner.
According to MY, in 1858 this was one of J. B. Slawson's lines.
19. Main St. — now Dumaine (Broad) Another J. B. Slawson line in 1858 (MY).
20. Mexican Gulf RR Station (route uncertain) Yet another Slawson line (MY).
21. New Basin & Apollo MY lists this line as owned by Patrick Irwin in 1858.  See no. 2.
22. New Levee St. (Barracks & Slaughter House) (C 4/5/1831) C. Robertson opens probably the city's first omnibus — suburban and urban — Belle Chasse “Pointe” (opposite present town same name, on river's left bank), to Pontchartrain RR station, foot of Elysian Fields.  Three round trips daily, fare 25¢ for full or partial trip.
23. New Orleans Jackson & Great Northern RR Depot (Clio & Erato) (FP 1/18/1855) To begin service. N O J & G N RR became the Illinois Central RR.
24. Tchoupitoulas (Tchoupitoulas) (LCA 1/15/1842) Auch & Geiger's Lafayette & N. O. omnibus line.  Three lines running (Livoudais & Delassize and Magazine the others), appears to be new owner of Louis A. Reed's three lines.  (CB 12/21/1840), q. v.
25. Upper Shipping (route uncertain) MY lists (1858) as a J. B. Slawson line.

Individuals, Partnerships, and Corporations Owning Omnibus Lines in New Orleans

This surely is not a complete listing.  There is duplication of numbers due to the volatility of omnibus corporate history.  There were many mergers, for instance.  Much more research is called for, especially in the pre-1861 Mortgage Office records of vendors-vendees books, which go back into the early 1800s.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina damaged many of these, and a program to restore them has an indefinite completion time.

In the following list of owners, the numbers refer to the lines in the list above.

Auch & Geiger 16, 18, 24
Behan & Freeland 18
Charles Hennard 5
Philip Herzberger & P. W. Renkin 5
Hart, Thomas & Co.* 1, 3, 9
John Hoey 12
Patrick Irwin* 2, 14, 21
Kip, Reed & Co. 16, 18, 24
Lafayette & New Orleans Omnibus Line 16, 18, 24
Lower Steam Cotton Press Co. (Hart family) 17
New Orleans & Carrollton RR Co. 3
New Orleans & Lafayette Omnibus Co. 18
Louis A. Reed 16, 18, 24
Sewell T. Taylor 15
J. B. Slawson* “Rough & Ready Line of Omnibuses” 4, 8, 10, 11, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25
C. Robertson 22
Rodriguez, Binach & Co.* 6
*These four owners operated 12 lines in 1858.

Copyright © 2014 Louis C. Hennick.  All rights reserved.


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