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THE



RAIL-ROADS,



HISTORY AND COMMERCE



C H I C A G O.




COOK COCSTT COCR



SKl'OM) KMTION OF fc.OOd



THREE ARTICLES PUBLISHED IN THE DAILY DEMOCRATIC PRESS.



CHICAGO, ILLINOIS:

DEMOCRATIC PRESS JOB AND HOOK STEAM PRINTING OFFICE, 4,') CLARK ST.

1854.



EEES & KERFOOT,

LAND mm, REAL ESTATE



AND



STOCK BROKERS,

lark Street, Chicago, JUinois.



Make all their deposits with, and effect their exchanges through

TT us*
JL Jtf




And through him have made arrangements for the REM1TANCE of FUNDS to and from ALL
PARTS OF THE BRITISH DOMINIONS, CONTINENTAL EUROPE AND THE UNITED
STATES. Remittances may be made through him and his several Correspondents as published
iu his card, (page 73,) and thus REKS & KERFOOT offer their services 10 PERSONS OF ALL LAS-
SES AND i OUNTRIES, pledsrinc themselves to a faithful discharge of thtir duties in making
INVESTMENTS IN OR SALES OF REAL ESTATE.

*** For the benefit of non-residents of the United States, R. & K. beg to saj, that, by the
laws of Illinois, Foreigners can hold Real Estate, and dispose of the same. Lands as beautiful
as the grass lawns of England, or the cultivated fields of the continent of Europe, can be pur-
chased contiguous to Chicago and on the lines of her numerous Railways, at prices, per acre,
ranging from five shillings to four pounds sterling. In order that the public may fully understand
the confidence that is entertained in the permanent and increasing value of Real Estate in Chica-
go and vicinity, R. & K. will undertake to guarantee a rise of from six to ten per cent per an-
num, (which from experience they know to be a safe estimate,) dependent upon the rate of com-
mission given and received for such insurance this guarantee to hold only where expressly stipu-
lated, and to stand only for such length of time as may be agreed upon by them.



unniTinm TD ruin/inn
AIM HUM IU UnlUAuU.



Rees & Kerfoot beg leave to call particular attention to this Property lying wholly within the lim-
its of the city, and having upwards of 5.000 feet of River front, and which has lately been sub-
divided and placed in Market.

It offers to persons desiring to establish MANUFACTURES opportunities which can be enjoyed in
no other part of the city. Situated, as its title indicates, on the South Bianch of the Chicago
River, it lies immediately between the heart and center of business, and the point of the City at
which the Illinois and Michigan Canal connects with the Chicago River. It is thus evidently the
site of the MANUFACTURING DISTRICT ..f the city.

Lumber, Coal, Iron, and all materials, with manufactured ai tides can be most conveniently
received at and discharged from this point by Lake, Canal, Railroad and Teams.

Property for ACTUAL USE will be sold at reasonable prices and on terms to suit the means and
convenience of purchasers for such purpose.

(SEE PAGES 72 AND 73.)



THE



I



HISTORY AND COMMERCE



CHICAGO




coo*; oouswr COOST House,



SECOND EDIHOK.



CHICAGO, ILLINOIS:
PRESS JOB A^ BOOK STEAM PRINTING OFFICE, 45 CLARKE ST.

1354:.



MILWAUKEE AND FOND DU LAC R. R.
A road is chartered, and, if we mistake not, it
is under contract from Milwaukee to Fond du
Lac, a distance of about sixty miles. It runs
through a fine portion of Wisconsin, and while
it will mainly benefit Milwaukee, it will be of
great advantage also to Chicago, as it will place
us in direct railroad communication with Lake
Winnebago, and will doubtless bring a large
trade to this city.

RACINE AND BELOIT RAILROAD.

The city of Racine is mainly interested in the
construction of this road ; but it will act as an
important feeder to the Chicago and Milwaukee
Road, and open to this city the trade of some of
the finest counties in the State of Wisconsin. It
has been surveyed, and, we believe, is under
contract. The distances from Racine to Beloit is
about sixty-five miles.

The next trunk road west of the Milwaukee, or
Lake shore line, is the

ILLINOIS AND WISCONSIN R. R.

Hon. WM. B. OGDEN, President.
HENRY SMITH, Vice President.
A. S. DOWNS, Secretary.
W. S. GURNEE, Treasurer.
S. F. JOHNSON, Superintendent.

This is one of the most important roads lead-
log into the city. It is of the broad, or six feet
guage. It is now finished and cars running upon
it, thirty-two miles to Deer Grove. The grading
is nearly done to Janesville, Wisconsin, eighty
eight and a half miles, and it is to be completed
to that city by the first of July next. It is to
run on nearly an air line, and passes through one
of the richest agricultural portions of Illinois and
Wisconsin. Without speaking of its branches
and continuations, it is safe to say, that the busi-
ness of the country through which it passes would
furnish a fair dividend to the stockholders. The
section of country in the vicinity of the road is
well worthy the attention tof settlers, as unoccu-
pied lands of excellent quality can be had at from
two to ten dollars per acre, according to the dis- !
tance they are from a town or station, and im- '
proved lands at from fire to twenty dollars. On j
this road there will be, on the first day of May
next, two passenger trains and one freight train,
per day. The road has two, and virtually three
branches, although one of them is to be built
under a separate charter.

FOND DU LAC BRANCH.
This road is to extend from Janesville to Fond



du Lac, about seventy-eight miles. It is under
contract, and will probably be completed in alJ
during the year 1855. It passes throngh the
counties of Rock, Jeffci-son, Dodge and Fond du
Lac, and will bring us the trade and travel of the
very heart of Wisconsin. The section is rich in
agricultural resources, and its trade is a prize
well worthy of the attention it has received from
our enterprising merchants and business men.

MADISON BRANCH.

The distance from Janesville to Madison is
thirty-five miles. This branch is also under con-
tract, and is to be completed within the present
year. At Madison the road will meet two other
roads ; but it does not become us to say in thia
article whether they should be spoken of as ex-
tensions of this road, or of the Beloit and Madi-
son extension of the Galena Road T soon to be
noticed. We presume the guage has not yet
been fully determined. But before speaking of
the roads running northwest of Madison, we no-
tice the road running from Janesville to Dubuque,
Iowa. It is called the

SOUTHERN WISCONSIN RAILROAD.

This road is to be of the six feet guage, and is
in fact, we believe, pait and parcel of the Illinois
and Wisconsin. It passes through the counties
of Rock, Green, Lafayette and Grant the very
heart of the lead region. It is universally con-
ceded that there is not in the wide world a sec-
tion of country so rich in this mineral ; and none
that yields so cheaply its treasures to the labors
of the miner. This road will at once make Chi-
cago as much, if not more, of a mart for the
purchase of lead than our sister city of Galena,
thus adding another important element to the
sources of our wealth and prosperity.

But this is not all. We have never seen better
land, or a section more admirably adapted to
agricultural pursuits, than that through which
this road passes. Moat of it is high rolling prai-
rie ; but occasionally you find vallies of surpass-
ing richness and beauty. Mining seems to absorb
the attention of the people ; and hence, if we
consider the quality of the soil, farming has been
sadly neglected. We know of no section of
Wisconsin that holds out greater inducements to
the hardy, enterprising emigrant. Excellent
farming lands can be had along the route at from
one and one fourth to five dollars per acre. The
length of the road is about ninety-eight miles.

The next trunk road that we notice iu order,
is the



GALENA & CHICAGO UfflON R. R.

J. B. TCEXER, Esq., President and Superin-
tendent.

P. A. HALL, Assistant Superintendent.

WM. M. LARRABEE, Secretary.

N. H. TOWNER, Secretary of the Operating
Department.

WM. II. BROWN, Esq., Treasurer.

J. VAN NORTWICK, Chief Engineer.

This road is the parent of the Railroad system
of Illinois. After surmounting the most formi-
dable obstacles, it demonstrated beyond the pos-
sibility of a doubt that, owing to the cheapness
with which railroads could be built across our
rich and beautiful prairies, they would pay a
large dividend to the stockholders. This import-
ant fact once established, it was not difficult to
induce capitalists, both at home and in the East-
ern States, to iavest their money in Illinois rail-
roads, and hence, at the present time, if we mis-
take not, no State in the Union has so many
miles of railroad under contract and rapidly ap-
proaching completion; and perhaps no other,
save New York and Massachusetts, has so many
trunk lines, of equal length, that contribute di-
rectly to their wealth and prosperity. Compari-
sons in reference to the cost of the Galena show
that it was built at a very large per centage less
than roads of equal length in the Eastern States,
and that it can be operated at a much less aver-
age expense per mile. Hence the large divi-
dends it has distributed amomg the stockholders ;
that on the first of August last was eleven per
cent ; and that payable on the first of February
prox. is ten per cent. A very fair business that
for a road that less than four years ago was
obliged to borrow money on th individual credit
of its President and Directors!

As this article will be read by thousands who
never eaw the beautiful country through which it
runs, it will not be superfluous to add, that it
passes through a rich and most beautiful portion
of our State. "We hazard nothing in saying that
the soil for twenty miles on each side of the road,
throughout its whole length, is, on an average,
better than that of the gardens in any of the
New England or Middle States. Certainly, with
proper Yankee cultivation, it could be made to
produce more abundantly. The same remark
will apply, with equal truth, to all the remainder
of the list, round to the great Illinois Central.
Need it be wondered at that the (jalena road
pays? And with equal certainty may it be
expected, if managed with prudence and econ-



omy, that nearly all our other roads will pay
equally well.

The Galena road was opened to Freeport, one
hundred and twenty-one miles west of Chicago,
on the fourth of September last. Here the road
terminates, and reaches Galena by the Illinois
Central. Twenty-six miles of the latter road be-
yond Freeport was opened on the ninth of Jan-
uary, and it is to be completed to Galena, about
twenty-five miles farther, by the first of Septem-
ber next. This will at once open up to us the
trade of the Upper Mississippi. The value of
that trade to our city we should not dare to esti-
mate, as any figures drawn from its amount last
year, and its prospective growth, would appear
wild and chimerical.

The number of trains that it is expected will
be on the road on the first of May next, is at
least two passenger trains west and three freight
trains. The first branch road to the Galena west
of this city, is the

FOX RIVER VALLEY RAILROAD.

B. W. RAYMOND, Esq., President.

A. J. WALDRON, Elgin, Secretary.

M. C. TOWN, " Treasurer.

MILO SMITH, " Chief Engineer.

This road commences at Elgin, and runs up
Fox River through the towns of Dundee, Algon-
quin, Crystal Lake and Ringwood, to Richmond,
on the Wisconsin State line. The length of the
road is thirty-four miles. Three fourths of the
grading is already completed, and the Company
will commence laying iron the last of May. As
an extension of this road, though under a com-
pany in Winconsin, we notice the
, iW *: A . '

WISCONSIN CENTRAL R. R.

LE GRAND ROCKWELL, Elkhorn, President.

EDWIN HODGES, " Secretary.

MILO SMITH, Elgin, Chief Engineer.

This road is intended to run on nearly an air
line through the very heart of Wisconsin. Com-
mencing at Richmond in Illinois on the State line,
it passes through Walworth, Jefferson, Dodge
and Columbia coumties to Portage, on the Wis-
consin river, and it is intended to extend it to
Stevens 1 Point the very heart of the best pine
region in the State. The length of the road to
the latter point is about one hundred and fifty
miles. The country along the line of the road is
remarkably fine, abounding in untold agricultural
riches. It would also do an immense lumber
business. Seventeen miles of the road to Elk-
horn, the county seat of Walworth county, is



6



located and in process of construction. Sufficient
stock is taken to extend it to Burlington, where
it meets the Racine and Beloit Eailroad. It is
in the hands of experienced men, who have both
the means and the energy to push it forward
successfully.

The directors are ambitious to extend it to
Lake Superior. There is also a charter for a
road from Richmond, the northern terminus of
the Fox River Valley Road, for one direct to
Milwaukee. The road, we believe, is not yet
located, and therefore we pass it by for the
present.

Next we notice the

BELOIT BRANCH OF THE GALENA R. R.

This road leaves the main line at Belyidere,
eighty miles west of Chicago, and runs to Beloit
in Wisconsin, twenty-one miles. It was finished
a few months since, and is an important feeder
to the main road. All the winter travel between
this city and Milwaukee passes through Beloit,
and reaches Janesville by stage, fourteen miles.
From Janesville passengers take the Milwaukee
and Mississippi road, arriving in Milwaukee the
same evening.

As an extension of the Beloit Branch, we have
the

BELOIT AND MADISON R. R.
J. B. TURNER, Esq., President.
B. DURHAM, Secretary.
E. I. TINKHAM, Treasurer.

The distance from Beloit to Madison is forty-
seven and a half miles. Of this distance seven-
teen miles are already graded, and will be put in
operation as soon as the iron can be brought on
and laid down after navigation opens. It is to
be completed in all by the first of July, 1855.

We did not speak of the lines projected west
and northwest of Madison, when treating of the
Illinois and Wisconsin Railroad, for the reason
that they may be regarded as extensions of that
road, and also of the Beloit and Madisoni There
are at least three or four main lines beyond Madi-
son that will be completed in a very few years.
They are, first, the western division of the

MILWAUKEE AND MISSISSIPPI R. R.

This division extends from Madison to Prairie
du Chien, on the Mississippi, ninety miles above
Galena. The distance is ninety-six miles, thirty-
six of which, from Madison to Arena, on the
Wisconsin river, are already under contract, and
are to be completed at an early day. The coun-
try about Prairie du Chien, and in that part of



Iowa opposite to it that wonld naturally find an
outlet over the road, is excellent, and is filling up
very rapidly with an inteliigent, industrious and
enterprising population. This road will make a
large addition to the business of our city, and
our merchants can well afford, if necessary, to
furnish a portion of the capital required for its
construction.

There are, we believe, two or three charters
for roads to Minnesota ; but, in order to be de-
finite, we will consider them as but one, and call
it the

MADISON AND ST. PAUL RAILROAD.

There can be little doubt that there will be a
railroad completed between these two points,
perhaps in five, and at most, in eight years.
The distance is about three hundred mile* ; and
the country through which it would pass, we
learned from Dr. Otis Hoyt, Receiver of the
Land Office at Willow River, is excellent, and
very favorable for the location of a i-ailroad. Dr.
Hoyt has traversed the entire route, and was
very much pleased with its agricultural and other
resources.

The western portion of the

MILWAUKEE AND LA CROSSE R. R.

May also be regarded as a part of the system of
Railroads centering in Chicago. La Crosse is
ninety miles above Prairie du Chien, on the Mis-
sissippi. It is the centre of a very fine region of
country, whose resources are being rapidly de-
veloped. An enterprising company have a char-
ter for the construction of this road, and are
pushing it forward with commendable energy.
The length of the road beyond Madison would be
about one hundred and eighty miles.

There is another road soon to be built from
Madison or Fond du Lac to Lake Superior, of
great importance to this city. Both the Illinois
and Wisconsin and the Galena company are
anxious to secure the prize. We will call the
road the

MADISON AND LAKE SUPERIOR R. R.

We believe charters already exist in the State
of Wisconsin for such a road. 1 he mines of Lake
Superior are being extensively worked, and are
yielding a large return to their proprietors. So
important and extensive has become the business
of that rich mineral region, that a road must soon
be built to accommodate it. There are also im-
mense groves of pine along the route, which
alone would furnish nearly business enough to
warrant the building of the road. Chicago has



a deep interest in its construction. The length
of the road would be about two hundred and
seventy-five miles.

The next trunk road south of the main line of
the Galena and Chicago, is the

GALENA AIR LINE RAILROAD.

[Same officers aa the Galena and Chicago



The Galena and Chicago road, as now in oper-
ation, doee not run by the shortest route to the
Mississippi. When the road was built it was ab-
solutely necessary to procure all the aid possible
to construct it. Hence the nourishing towns and
cities along the route Elgin, Belvidere, Rock-
ford and Freeport subscribed liberally to the
eteck, in order that the road might be brought
to their own doors. At the time it was argued,
correctly, that they could afford to take stock if
they never received a dollar in dividends, and
yet be amply paid in the increased value of real
estate, and the impetus it would give to busi-
ness. When only forty miles of the road was
completed, the stock was some ten per cent,
above par. It was well the main line of the road
was built where it is, as the towns and cities along
its route will furnish it with a large and lucrative
business. The through trade to Galena must also
be very extensive.

But this is the day of " air lines" and "short-
cuts," and the Galena Company have thought
best to build another road to the "Father of Wa-
ters." The ears run on the same track to the
Junction, thirty miles from the eity. The road
is now completed, and the cars are running upon
it to the village of Lane, in Ogle county, seventy-
five miles west of the eity. It crosses the Fox
River at Geneva, the county seat of Kane oo.,
and runs a few miles south of Sycamore, De Kalb
co., by Franklin Grove, to Dixon, Lee county ;
thence through Stirling, Whitesides co., to Ful-
ton City, on the Mississippi. The whole of the
road is under contract, and is to be completed to
the Mississippi by the first of August next. At
Dixon it crosses the main line of the Illinois
Central, and will furnish the people living on the
line of that road, for many miles north and south
of that point, direct railroad communication with
our city.

The extension of the Galena Air Line west-
ward is called the

LYONS IOWA CENTRAL RAILROAD.

SILAS SETMOOR, Esq., St. Louis, President.
JAS. McCoT, Fulton City, Secretary.



H. P. ADAMS, " Treasurer.
ALLEN SLACK, " Chief Engineer.

The report of the consulting Engineer of this
road, Wm. C. Young, Esq., is before us. He
says: "The site of the proposed bridge" at Ful-
on City, to connect this road with the Galena
Air Line, "is peculiarly favorable. The rocky
bluffs on the banks of the river, exceeding one
hundred feet in height, bold and precipitous on
the east side, and more sloping on the west, ap-
proach each other more cloself at this point than
at any ather locality available for a railroad cross-
ing. The superstructure of an arch and pier
bridge may be built ninety feet above the river,
so as to place it entirely above any danger of
interfering with steamboat navigation." He also
suggests the propriety of building a suspension
bridge, if experience shall prove them suitable
for railroad purposes. The length of the bridge
would be about two thousand feet.

Council Bluffs, on the Mississippi, is the point
to which several of the extensions of the roads
from this city are aiming, and that is to be the
western terminus of this road. It is under con-
tract, and the money is provided to build it to
Iowa City, seventy-three miles. The distance
from Lyons to Council Bluffs is three hundred
and eight miles. It is to be completed to Tipton,
fifty miles west of the Mississippi, by the first of
October next. This part of the road is to be
nearly an air line. Five hundred men are now
at work upon the road. The country through
which it passes is as fine as any portion of the
Mississippi Valley, and it may therefore be ex-
pected to add very much to the business and
general prosperity of the city. It is to be com-
pleted to Iowa City by the first of April, 1865.

The road entering the city next south of the
Galena, is the

CHICAGO, ST. CHARLES AND MIS-
SISSIPPI AIR LINE.

IRA MINARD, Esq., St. Charles, President.

G. S. HUCBARD, Vice President.

S. S. JONES, St. Charles, Seeretary.

G. W. WAITK, " Chief Engineer.

ALT AH HUNT, New York, Treasurer.

G. S. HUBBARD, Assistant Treasurer.

The depot of this road is to be directly north
of North street, on the West side, opposite the
old depot of the Michigan Southern, a1, Twelfth
street. From the western limits of the city it
runs on an air line to St. Charles on Fox river,
about forty miles. The road is finished ten miles
to the Aux Plaines river, and will be completed



to St. Charles as soon as possible after the frost
is out of the ground in the Spring. The mason
work for the bridge at St. Charles is finished, and
the whole line is to be completed to Oregon, on
Hock river, about ninety-five miles, by the first
of October next. About twenty miles west of
Chicago it crosses the Galena Air line, and runs
between that and the main trunk- of the Galena,
all the way to the Mississippi. The whole line
is to be completed to Savanna, a distance of 1 30
miles, on the Mississippi, with a branch to Galena,,
thirty miles, by the first of January, 1856. The
road is in the hands of a wealthy and enterprising
company, and no doubt exists as to 'its prompt
completion by the time specified in the- contract.
The country through which it passes is- unsur-
passed in richness and beauty,, and the projectors
of the road are also determined to share with the
Galena and the Illinois Central the rich trade of
Iowa and the Upper Mississippi.

An important extension of the roads centering
at Galena is one projected to run up the valley of
the Tete des Mortes river to the aouth bend of
the Minnesota. W-e shall call it the

GALENA AND MINNESOTA RAILCOAD,

There is much interest felt in the construction
of this road at Galena, and ere many years it will
no doubt be among the things that Wester*
energy has accomplished. The country along
the line is said to be remarkably fine, and a
glance at the map will show that it is the short-
est route by which we could secure the trade of
the Minnesota Valley. It will probably be one
of the lines by which we shall connect with the
Pacific Railroad', should it be built on Gbv.
Stevens' route, from Lak Superior to Puget's
Sound. The length of the road would be about
260 miles.

As an extension of the Chicago, St. Charles
and Mississippi Air Line, the next in our list is
the

IOWA CENTRAL AIR LINE.

Hon. GECX. GREE.V,. Cedar Rapids (Iowa),. Pre-
sident.

S. S. JONESJ St. Charles (111.),. Vice President.

E. A. WOOD, Sabula (Iowa), Treasurer.

G. W. WAITE,. St. Charles, Chief Engineer.

This road is to run from Sabula, nearly oppo-
site Savanna, following very nearly the 42d par-
allel of latitude to a point on the Missouri river,
from 123 to 150 miles above Council Bluffs. The
friends of the road claim that from this point
there is a shorter and better route for a railroad



to the South Pass, up tfie valley of tfie EehaiV
Paha river, than that which has usually been
traveled, up the valley of the Pktte. And be-
sides,, the road would have the best opportunity
to secure the rich trade of the Upper Missouri,.
as it would reach that magnificent stream higher
up than any other road. A glance at Colton's
latest map of the U. S. will show that the Kebab
Paha river lies due west from Chicago, and that


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Online LibraryDaily Democratic PressThe Rail-roads, history and commerce of Chicago → online text (page 1 of 15)