Before you could go from St. Louis to Kansas City by rail, you could catch a train westbound from Kansas City. By the time you could go across central Missouri on a train, you could cross almost the entire nation by rail. Even during the Civil War Kansas City was becoming the jumping-off place for those going west by railroad. In later years, those rails made Kansas City into an agricultural center and a greater railroad center than St. Louis. In 1860 Kansas City’s population was about 4,500. Leavenworth, with 7,500 people, was rivaling Kansas City as a western trade center.