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Hobart, Carroll T.


Carroll T. Hobart was a Northern Pacific Railroad Superintendent and manager of the Yellowstone Park Improvement Company early in the history of commercial enterprises in Yellowstone Park. Hobart had served as a railroad superintendent for at least ten years when he was made Superintendent of the Yellowstone Park Branch of the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1881. Shortly after this he formed an improvement company with two other men, Henry F. Douglas, a merchant of Fort Yates, Dakota Territory, and Rufus Hatch, a New York banker.

The company sought from the federal government a monopoly to construct roadways and build hotels in Yellowstone Park, but no monopoly was granted, and in 1883 a modified agreement was reached with the Secretary of the Interior. Rufus Hatch, the principal financial backer, never supplied the necessary capital, and Hobart, acting as general manager of the company, built the National Hotel at Mammoth Hot Springs largely on credit. Yellowstone Park Superintendents charged him with exploiting park resources: contracting with local hunters for wild meat to feed his workmen and later hotel guests, as well as cutting timber for his sawmill without authorization. The hotel lost money its first summer of operation (1883), and during the winter of 1883-1884 carpenters staged a strike for their wages. When creditors began demanding money, Rufus Hatch, in New Jersey, sought the appointment of a receiver without his partners' knowledge. In turn, Hobart and Douglas obtained a receiver in the Wyoming courts. This receiver, George B. Hulme, eventually won control of the company's assets.

After the summer of 1884 proved to be another losing season, Hulme leased the hotel to Hobart for $1 in 1885. Hobart thereupon made the hotel a money-making operation which thrived. The Yellowstone Park Improvement Company was later sold to an agent of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company.

Carroll was married to Alice M. Hobart, and they had at least one son. In 1898 he was engaged in the location and construction of a government road in the Argentine Republic.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Carroll T. Hobart papers

Call Number: WA MSS S-2396
Overview: The papers document Carroll T. Hobart's involvement in the Yellowstone Park Improvement Company and the Northern Pacific Railroad through correspondence, photographs, printed material, and documents. The correspondence consists mostly of Hobart's business correspondence. Principal correspondents include his wife Alice, his contractor brother Charles F. Hobart, and T. F. Oakes and Robert Harris of the Northern Pacific Railroad. The photographs include images of Yellowstone National Park by F....
Dates: 1871-1904