This locomotive saw the light of day as number 40 on the Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad and still exists today after changing owners several times. It was built in 1857 by Breese, Kneeland & Company in Jersey City, New Jersey, christened the “Spring Green” and is the only surviving engine from this manufacturer today. The latter existed from 1853 to 1873 and was one of two manufacturers that operated simultaneously under the name New York Locomotive Works. The railway company was initially renamed the Milwaukee & Prairie du Chien Railway Company in 1861 and became the property of the Milwaukee & St Paul Railroad in 1867. This made the locomotive number 111 of the company known from 1874 as the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad.
In 1889 the locomotive came to the southern United States, where it received the number 1, which it still bears today. Its new owner was the Arizona & Southeastern Railroad Company, which later operated as the El Paso & Southwestern Railroad. The network stretched between Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas across the border into Mexico. The locomotive was converted from wood to coal firing and received its current appearance with a long, narrow chimney and extended smokebox. It was used, among other things, to supply mines and was retired in 1903.
Just six years after the end of its service, the number 1 was optically brought back into shape and set up in the middle of downtown El Paso. In 1939 it was even allowed to play a role in the western movie “Let Freedom Ring”. In 1960 it was donated to the University of Texas at El Paso. From this time comes the anecdote that students often rang the bell of the locomotive at night and therefore the clapper had to be removed. Declared a national treasure in 1999, the locomotive was restored for over a million dollars over the following years. Since 2003 it can be found in the Railroad and Transportation Museum in El Paso.