Ormsby logged the first stage leaving Tipton at shortly past 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 16. A record of the miles covered was kept using a viameter attached to one of the wheels of the coach. The coach ran all night long and arrived in Springfield, Missouri, at 3:15 p.m. on Friday. It had traveled 128 miles in less than 24 hours.
One hundred and forty nine years after the arrival of that first stage, Lone Writer and Happy Jack stood at the point where Springfield mail had been loaded. They read the message on the historic marker mounted into the wall of a building at 222 n. Central Park ave. at that time, the stage stop was Smith's Tavern on Boonville Road. The original building is long gone.
The coach used by Butterfield to reach Springfield was built by concord and looked very much like the ones used in modern western movies. For some reason, he did not believe it could handle the treacherous roads beyond Springfield. The concord was left behind, and a more rugged coach was hitched to the team. It had a canvas top with a body mounted with straps rather than springs. That design provided a smoother ride as the body swayed back and forth. The inside had three rows of seats. The middle row folded down in both directions forming a bed all the way across. Depending on the size of the passengers, up to 10 people could sleep side by side and end to end.
Lone Writer would make the journey a lot more comfortably. Jeep had provided a diesel-powered Grand Cherokee with all the comforts of home. With a fuel range of up to 500 miles per tank, very little time was spent thinking about the next gas station. The Cherokee was also equipped with a navigation system that came in handy during the paved portions of the journey.