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of land, which the building of the road will very
soon bring up to an average value of at least ten
dollars per acre making the snug little sum of
$26,500,000. The estimated cost of the road is
$16,000,000; thus giving to about a baker's
dozen of fortunate capitalists $10,500,000, and
one of the best railroads, in the Union, 704: miles
long, and running through one of the richest and
most beautiful valleys in the worli. "We envy
them not, and the people should not envy them
their good fortune. It is due to their forecast
and enterprise that they should enjoy the rich
prize they have secured

In noticing this road, it will be best understood
if we speak of it as starting from Chicago, al-
though the line from Cairo to Lasalle is cajled
the main trunk ; and the section between this
city and Centralja, in Marion county, 112 mile*

north of Cairo, is called the Chicago Branch.
From Chicago the road runs nearly direct to
Cairo, varying only a few miles at any point from
a direct line. The road is now finished south
from Chicago, and the cars are running upon it
eighty-seven miles, to Spring Creek, Iroquois
county. The track is finished fourteen miles
farther, and will be opened to Urbana, in Cham-
paign county, on or before the first of May next.
On the first of May there will be two passenger,
one freight and one construction train leaving the
city daily. The entire line will be finished to
Cairo, and from Cairo to Dubuque, on or before
the first of January, 1855. The distance from
Chicago to Cairo is 362 miles ; from Centralia to
Dubuque, 342 making the total length of the
road 704 miles. Although the line between this
city and Cairo will not be finished till the first of
February, 1855, we shall be in direct railroad
connection with that city by the first of August
next. The route will then be by St. Louis.
Reaching that city by the same means we now
do, we can take the Cincinnati and St. Louis
Railroad to Centralia, and thence to Cairo, 112
mites, by the Illinois Central, which is to be
finished by that time. But by the first of Oc-
tober next the line will be still more direct, as
the road will be completed by that time from
Lasalle to Cairo. This will give us nearly as di-
rect a communication with the south as we shall
have after the Chicago Branch is finished. That
portion north of Bloomington, with the exception
of the bridge over the Illinois, is also finished,
and the cars have been running upon it for sev-
eral months past. It will be opened north to
Dixon by the first of August next. The road
will be finished thence to Galena on the first of
September following. The bridge t ver the Illi-
nois river at Lasalle is to be a splendid structure.
It is 2,990 feet long, and is to be built in all re-
spects in the best possible manner.

The breakwater opposite this city is a very
expensive and difficult work. It extends nearly
two miles, and will cost, when completed, seven
hundred and fifty thousand dollars. For a mile
it is built in the lake, the inside line being four
hundred feet from the east side of Michigan Ave-
nue. The Michigan Central enters the city upon
the same track.

The rolh'ng stock now on the road cost six
hundred thousand dollars. It is composed of
twenty-five locomotives, nineteen -of which are
new and elegant machines. The company have
six others beyond Erie. The locomotives cost
$10,000 each. There are also twenty-four first
class passenger cars, each costing $2,285 ; one

hundred and fifty-eight covered freight cars, cost-
ing .$685 ; three hundred and fifty-seven platform
cars, costing $585 ; eight baggage cars, costing
$1,258 ; and thirty-four gravel cars, costing $358.
When the road is completed, it will require at
least one hundred locomotives ; one hundred
first class passenger cars ; five hundred plat-
form, and one thousand covered freight cars.
This amount of stock is already under contract,
and is to be finished as fast as the wants of the
road require.

The active force now engaged in the construc-
tion of the work consists of seven thousand men
and two thousand teams ; and four hundred men
are employed in engineering, and on the two
hundred and forty-five miles of the road which
are now done and in operation. The grading,
including the portions of the road on which the
cars are running, is completed on five hundred
and seventy-two miles of the line ; and we might
as well here repeat, that the entire work is to be
finished and in operation on or before the first
of Frbruary, 1855. The road will steadily em-
ploy more than five thousand men in its several
departments, when it is completed.

In order that persons at a distance may be able
to trace out this splendid road upon the map
for it is not laid down on those in ordinary use
we mention several of the principal towns and
cities through which it passes. Siarting from
Chicago, it runs in nearly a direct line to Urbana,
in Champaign county ; thence on a pretty direct
line to a point a few miles southeast of Salem, in
Marion county ; thence it runs south within a
few miles of the third principal meridian, to
Cairo. Starting from Cairo and coming north to
Centralia, the new town above referred to a few
miles southeast of Salem, in Marion county, the
main trunk runs thence north to Vandalia; thence
to Decatur, in Macon county ; thence to Clinton,
in Dewitfc county; thence to Bloomington, in
McLean county ; thence through Lasalle, Dixon,
Freeport and Galena, to a point opposite to
Dubuque, in the State of Iowa. By following the
line indicated on the map, strangers will be en-
abled to form some definite idea of the magni-
tude of this splendid work. It is by far the
longest line of railroad owned by any one com-
pany in the Union. The country is settling very
rapidly along the whole line of the road. Great
numbers of villages are constantly springing up,
and when completed there will be some seventy
stations along the line. We look for an immense
emigration to the region bordering upon the road
during the next Summer. The finest of land, in
any quantity, can be purchased at from three to


ten dollars per acre, in its vicinity. Jfo better
opportunity will ever be offered to the enter-
prising young men of New England and the
Middle States, who wish to escape from the
barren hilla and rugged mountains among which
they were reared, to find a home upon the mag-
nificent and fertile prairies of Illinois.

The road runs through thirty-two counties, and
of the quality of the soil and its agricultural re-
sources it is scarcely necessary to speak. We
should only repeat what we have said so often in
reference to other roads. The mineral resources
of this section of the State shonld not be for-
gotten in making an estimate of its business, and
the benefits it is to confer upon our citizens. It
runs directly across the largest coal field in the
world, and with our magnificent canal and the
other roads we have mentioned running south-
west, will furnish us fuel not only for domestic
purposes, but for the immense manufactures
which will be located in every part of the city.
It will bring us the products of the sanny South
in a few hours ; and its construction will be worth
a dozen compromise measures in binding together
the North and the South in bonds of friendship
and mutual interest for all time to come.

Another road, highly important to the interests
of Chicago, has been projected, and will doubt-
less be constructed. We will call it the


This road will connect at Joliet with the Rock
Island Road. From thence it is proposed to con-
tinue it through Paris, Edgar county, Marshall,
Clark county, to Vincennes, where it will connect
with the Vincennes and Paducah Road. The
trade of the Wabash Valley formerly centered in
Chicago. Of late years, however, other channels
have absorbed it almost entirely. The Illinois
Central, the New Albany and Salem, and the
Cincinnati Roads, will each restore a portion of
this trade. But no one of them is so essentially
a Wabash Valley Road as the one we are consid-
ering ; and its construction would bring back to
us a thousand fold more trade from that valley
than we have lost. The Vincennes and Paducah
Road was chartered at the last session of the
Legislature, and the company is organized; the
Northern portion of what we style the Wabash
Valley Road is also in charge of an organized
company. Considering the many inducements
which there will be to connect the two together,
the opening up of another route to the South,
and furnishing a market to the Wabash Valley

country, we think we hazar<f nothing in saying
that it will be built.
The next road in order is the


We mentioned this road last year, and still in-
clude it in our list, as we believe Cincinnati will
extend her lines to this city on this route within
the next two or three fears. It will bring us the
trade of an excellent portion of the Wabash Val-
ley and parts of Indiana, that now seek other
markets. It would form, with the other road*
now building in Ohio and Indiana, a very direct-
route to Cincinnati. Such a road would be a great
advantage to both cities. The distance to Cin-
cinnati is about 280 miles.

The road next to be considered is the


SAMUEL BANNA, Eeq., Fort Wayne, Pretident.

A. L. McJuNKix, ** Secretary

and Treasurer.

J. R. STKAUGHAN, Fort Wayne, Chief Engi-

This is a very important road, and will open a
rich country to the trade of our city. After pass-
ing the south bend of the Lake, it runs through
a beautiful country direct to Fort Wayne, through
Valparaiso, Plymouth, Warsaw and Columbia
all thriving towns, and the seats of justice for the
counties in which they are located. Fort Wayne
is situated at the confluence of two streams
which form tho Maumee river. The whole line
was put under contract in May last, and is to be
finished to this city by the first of November
next. We are assured that the company are in
possession of abnndant means to complete the
work promptly at the time above specified. A
large force is at work on the east end of the road.
There is no grade on the whole line that exceeds
twenty-six feet to the mile.

At Fort Wayne the road is to connect with a
line of ether roads running east across the State
of Ohio to Pittsburg. The distance to that city
is 462 miles, and to Fort Wayne 145 miles. By
" cyplicring 1 ' 1 the friends of this road make it the
shortest route possible to the principal cities in
the Eastern States.

The two great lines that connect us with the
Atlantic seaboard only remain to be noticed.
These are so well known that they will not re-
quire an extended notice.

First in order is the



JOHN B. JERVIS, Esq , New York, President.
JAS. ARCHIBALD, Vice President
EDWIN C. LITCHFIELD, New York, Treasurer,
J. H MOORK, Adrian, Mich., Superintendent.

This road was opened to this city February 20,
1852. Since then it has been doing a large and
constantly increasing business. It was the first
to open a railroad communication to us at all sea-
sons of the year with New York and other cities
on the Atlantic coast Before this, our mer-
chants, in order to purchase their Spring stock,
were forced to endure a most fatiguing journey,
and considered themselves fortunate if they
reached New York in a week or teu days. It is,
in all respects, one of the best railroads in the
country, and must ever form one of the principal
thoroughfares between Chicago and the Atlantic

The distance from Chicago to Toledo is 242,
and to Monroe ' 245 miles. To New York the
most direct route by the south side of Lake Erie,
from Toledo, is by the Toledo, Norwalk and
Cleveland, Cleveland and Eric, Buffalo and State
Line, and New York and Erie Railroads. The
Southern roads, and the Central and Canada
roads, both claim to be the shortest route to New
York ; but be that as it may, the time it will re-
quire to go to that city by either cannot be very
different That will usually be from thirty to
thirty-six hours.

We notice but one branch of this road the


How. W.M. BEBB, Rockford, 111., President.
J. C. PAYNK, Peru, Ind., Secretaoy.

This road starts at Peru, Indiana, where four

important railroads concentrate, to wit : the Wa-
bash Valley, the Indianapolis and Peru, the Cin-
cinnati, Cambridge and Chicago, and the Ohio
and Indiana, and runs thence through the
counties of Plymouth, Marshall and La Porte,
to the city of La Porte, where it connects with
the Northern Indiana Road,, and thus reaches

This company was organized last July, and
Gov. Bebb, late of Ohio, elected its President.
Books were opened for stock, engineers placed
in the field, and running arrangements entered
into with all the connecting lines by which the
parties agree to adopt a uniform guage, meet in
the same depots, and in all respects to make these
roads great through lines, by which passengers
and freight are to be transferred, without change

of cars, from Chicago to Indianapolis, Cincinnati
and Columbus, respectively.

The road has been located over a fertile and
beautiful country, abounding in fine forests, iron
ore and agricultural products, and let to Messrs.
French & Tyner, highly responsible contractors,
who have obligated themselves to make it, in all
respects, a first class railroad, with depots and
water stations and rolling stock complete, by the
first day of March, 1855.

We look upon this short line of railroad sev-
enty miles long connecting, as it will, the capi-
tals of the great States of Ohio and Indiana, and
the city of Cincinnati, with the commercial em-
porium and great railroad center of the North-
West, as soon to become one of our most im-
portant thoroughfares.


J. M. FORBES, Boston, President.
J. W. BROOKS, Detroit, Vice Prefident.
GEO. B. UPTON Y , Boston, Treasurer*
E. NOYES, Detroit, Superintendent*

This road connects us with Detroit, a distance
of 282 miles. It is built in the most substantial
manner, and is managed with great ability and
energy. It was opened to Chicago on the 21st
of May, 1852. On the 17th of February last the
Canada Great Western Railroad was opened from
Detroit to Buffalo and Niagara Falls, thus giving
us two great thoroughfares to the Atlantic sea-
board. Both of them will always have as much
as they can possibly da They are both managed
with consummate skill; and all that can be done
to facilitate travel and render the wayfaring man
comfortable, competition will be sure to afford.

Three passenger and two freight trains will be
put on this road on or before the first of May.
An important branch of this road is the


JAS. BROOKS, Esqv, New Albany, Ind., Presi-

C. KXOWI.TON, Michigan City, Superintendent.

This road connects Michigan City, Ind. r with
New Albany, nearly opposite Louisville, Ky., on
the Ohio river. Its length is 284 miles. The
road is now finished some 155 mites south from
Michigan City, and a portion of the line running
north from New Albany is now in operation.
Only 38 miles remain to be completed, and for
this the grading is nearly done, and the cars will
be running by the first of June next. It forms
now the main route to Cincinnati, and is already


of great advantage to our city. It brings us into
connection with some of the finest portions of
Indiana, and gives us a direct route to Kentucky.
It cannot fail to furnish us a large trade.

We have now completed our sketch of the
railroads centering in Chicago. We have given
the names of the officers as far ar we could pro-
cure them, in order that our readers might know
to whom to write in regard to the business of
each respective road. Where the residence is
not stated, it may be taken for granted that they
live in this city. In most cases we have traced
the branches and extensions of the roads leading
from this city only into the States adjoining our
own. It would have been easy to extend the
liues to the Pacific and the Atlantic coast. This
is totally unnecessary, as each one of our readers
can do it for himself. We have now two Eastern
lines, and another will soon be added. The Pa-
cific Railroad must soon become a fixed fact, and
should it be built through the South Pass, or
through that discovered by Gov. Stevens, we
need not stop to speculate as to the influence it
will have on the destiny of our city. That cer-
tainly needs no illustration.

As the mathematician, after he has wearied
himself amid the Intricacies of long difBcult the-
orems, at length arrives at the summation of the
series, so it remains for us to give a synopsis of
our article, that our readers may the better be
able to comprehend the great railroad system
that has its centre in Chicago.

The following is the total number of roads in
process of construction, with the proposed exten-
sion and branches of each :


Chic.igo and Milwaukee,

Milwaukee and Fond do Lac,

Racine and Beloit Riilroad,
Illinois and Wisconsin t JanesviHe, 88X

P. nd du Lac Branch, Janesviile to P. D. L., 78

Madison Branch,

South Wisconsin. JansYiile to Bubuqae,
Galena and Chicago Union, Chicago to Freeport, 121

Fox River Valley Railroad, 34

Wisconsin Central, 150

Beloit Branch of the Galena,

Beloit :ind M lititnn Railroad. <7J<

Milwaukee and Mississippi. Western division,
Madison to Prairie du ( hien, 96

Madison and rt. Paul Railroad.

Milwaukee and La Crosse. Western division, 180

Madison and Lake Superisr, 275

Chicago and Galena Air-Line, Chicago to Fulton

Lyons Iowa Central, Fulton to Council Bluffc, 308
Chicago, St. Charles and Mfetusippi Air Line to

Savanna, Y 130

ChiCHgo nd St. Charles Branch to Galena, SO

Galena and Minnesota, 350

Iowa ( entral Air Line, 825

Chicago and Aurora Railroad to Mendcta. 89 '



Central Military Tract Railroad,

Peoria and Oquawka, West, division, 40

Burlington und Missouri Railroad, 220

Northern rosa Railroad, Galesburg (o Quiccy, 120

Hannibal and Missouri, 205

Chicago and Rock ls!<uid Kailroad, 181

Mississippi und Missouri. It division, 300

do. do. 2d do. 300

do. do. 3d do. Muscatine

to Cedar Rapids, 59

Peoria and Bureau Valley Railroad, 47

Peoria and Warsaw Railr ad, 90

Peoria and Hannibal Railroad, 123

Peoria to Illinoistown, opposite St. Louis, 180

Peoria and Oquawka, Eastern division, 60

Chicago and Mississippi, Alton to Chicago, 265

Great Western, Naples to Springfield, 65

Alton, Illinoi stown and Muiphysboro', . 114

Illinoi- Central Railroad, 704

Wubash Valley Kailroad, 360

Chicago and Log.icsport Railroad to Cincinnati, 280

Fort Wayne and Chicago, 145

Mich. South, and North. Indiana, 243

Cincinnati. Peru and Chicago Railroad, 70

Michigan Central Railroad, 282

New Albany and Salem Railroad, 284

Total. .14 Trunk and 34 Extension and Branch
Lines, 7,803

We have not the means of making compari-
sons ; but we should like to see tables from other
interior cities. We doubt whether any other city
in the Union, not situated on the seaboard, can
show a similar list. Lest it shall be said that
most of these roads are merely to be built "o
paper," we have other tables to give, that will
put to flight, all such vagaries. The money to
build the following liues is all provided to com-
plete them at the time specified in the table ; and
we have not a doubt that the number of miles in
operation will be more, rather than less, than we
have given.

The following list shows the roads that are, or
will be, completed by the first of December of
the present year j

Chicago and Milwaukee Railroad, 90

Illinois and Wisconsin, 88K

Galena and Chicago Union to Freeport, 121

Fox River Valley Railroad, 34

Beloit Branch of the Galena, 2i>

Beloit and Madison (about), 30

Chicago and Galena Air Line, 135

Lyons Iowa Central, to Tipton, 50
Chicago, St. Charles and Mississippi Air-Line, to.

Oregon, 95

Chicago and Aurora, 89

Cen tral Mil! tary Tract, 84

Peoria and Oquawka, Galeshvrgh to Burling-

ton, 40

Chicago and Rock Island Railroad, 181

Mississippi and Missouri, to Iowa City, 1st di-

vision, 47

Mississippi and Missouri, 2d division, to Mus-

catine, 80

Peoria and Bureau Valley, 47

Chicago and Mississibpi Railroad, 285

Great Western, Naples to Springfield, 68


Illinois Central Railroad (about),

Mich. South, and North. Indiana, to Toledo,

Michigan Central,

New Albany and Salem,


Total.. 11 Trunk and 11 Branch and Exten-
sion Lines, 2.P79K

But we may be permitted to look forward a
year and five months. The following is the list
of the roads that now are, or will be, in operation
on the first of July, 1855 :


Chicago and Milwaukee, 90

Illinois, and Wisconsin, to JanesTiHe, 88X

Madisn Branch, 35

Galena and Chicago Union, Chicago to Freeport, 121

Fox River Valley Railroad, 34

Beloit Branch of the Galena, 20

Beloit and Madison, 47X

Chicago and Galena Air-Line, 135

Lyons Iowa Central to Iowa City, 73

Chicago, St. Charles and Mississippi Air-Line, to

Oregon, P5

Chicago and Aurora, 89

Central Military Tract, 84

Peoria and Oquawka, Galesburgh to Burling-
ton, 40

Northern Cross, Galesburgh to Quincy, 120

Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad, 205

Peoria and Hannibal, 120

Chicago and Rock Island Railroad, 181

Mississippi and Missouri, 1st division, to Iowa
City, 57

Mississippi and Missouri, 2d division, to Mus-
catine, 30

Mississippi and Missouri, 3d division, Musca-
tine to Cedar Rapids, 50

Peria and Bureau Valley, 47

Chicago and Mississippi Railroad. 285

Great Western, Naples to Springfield, 65

Illinois Central, 764

Fort Wayne and Chicago, 145

Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana, to To-
ledo, 242

Cincinnati, Peru and Chicago Railroad, 70

Michigan Central Railroad, 283

New Albany and Salem Railroad, 284

Total. .12 Trunk and 16 Branch and Exten-
sion Lines, 3,839

But lest any venerable "croaker" "with
spectacles on nose," should still be in doubt as
to our commercial facilities, we submit one more

The following table exhibits the number of
railroads that are now in operation, leading into
this city, with the number of miles that are now
completed :


Illinois and Wisconsin, to Deer Grove, 32

Galena and Chicago Union, to Freeport, 121

Beloit Branch of the Galena, 29

Galena Air-Line, to Lane, Ogle co., 75

Chicago, St. Charles and Mississippi Air Line. 10

Chicago and Aurora, 89

Chicago and Rock Island, 181

Chicago and Mississippi, Alton to Bloomington, 132

Great Western, Naples to Springneld, 65


Illinois Central, 253

Mieh. South, and North. Indiana, to Toledo, 242

Michigan Central, 282

New Albany and Salem, 2S<*

Total.. 10 Trunk and 3 Branch and Exten-
sion Lines, 1.735

On these roads there will be daily leaving and
entering the city on the first of May next forty-
six trains, making in all ninety-two trains per day
over the roads, to accommodate oar travel and
commerce. Here is a fact which, had we time,
it would be worth while to atop and contemplate.
A fact of still greater significance is, that less than
two years ago we had only one railroad entering
the city the Galena and Chicago Union and
that was finished only a few miles. Now we have
1,785 miles, counting only two States from our
own, and by the first of December we shall have
2,979^ miles. GJUI it be wondered at that our
city has doubled its population within the same
time, and that the price of real estate and busi-
ness of all kinds have increased in a correspond-
ing ratio. Splendid fortunes have been made in
two years. Men who were trading m small
seven-by-nine wooden tenements, now find a
splendid brick store too small to accommodate
their customers. Real estate in the suburbs of
the city that could be bought five years ago for
fifty dollars per acre, is now worth five thousand,
and many fortunate speculators have realized
splendid fortunes. The rise in real estate is by
no means confined to a few shrewd operators.
From the first our citizens generally have been
determined to have a home of their own. Gen-
erally they would purchase a lot eighty feet front,
and often four or even ten times that amount.
The rise hi the value of their homes, so much
larger than was necessary in a city, has placed
many a family in easy circumstances.

But will some cautious wiseacre ask, Are these

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Online LibraryDaily Democratic PressThe Rail-roads, history and commerce of Chicago → online text (page 3 of 15)