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Taylor, Jacob N; Crooks, M. O. Sketch Book of St. Louis: Containing a Series of Sketches of the Early Settlement, Public Buildings, Hotels, Railroads, Steamboats, Foundry and Machine Shops, Mercantile Houses, Grocers, Manufacturing Houses, Etc . St. Louis: George Knapp and Co, 1858. [format: book], [genre: guidebook; narrative]. Permission: Tulane University
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Chapter XII. Railroads — (Continued.)


This road has been in successful operation several years, and being the first route that opened railroad communication between St. Louis and the Atlantic seaboard, it gained a favorable reputation long before any competitors had entered the field, and has managed, by strict attention to the wants of the travelling and transporting community, as well as a courteous and affable manner in the intercourse which exists between the employees on the road and the public, not only to maintain, its old position, but to gather new laurels with which to garnish their already victorious wreathed brow. Possessing the advantage of being the only airline between St. Louis and Chicago, it is no wonder that, while other roads pine under the "small feed" they obtain, that this road should grow fat and good-humored. The country through which this road passes is one of the most productive in the Prairie State. Thousand upon thousands of acres are under cultivation, giving to the husband-man a rich reward for the care and labor bestowed. The golden grain yields forth in rich abundance, and makes joyous the hearts of the tiller of the soil. The lowing herds are seen grazing upon nature's pastures, and growing fat from the

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spontaneous productions which there exist in such abundance. The whole scene presented to the wayfarer is one of much pastoral beauty, while the almost illimitable fields, blooming with varied colored flowers, and filling the air with perfume, present to the eye a scene of picturesque beauty and of romantic interest. Where but a few years since the red man chased the buffalo, or pursued with no less deadly intent his savage foe, the magic wand of civilization has been swayed, and towns and villages appear. The hunting grounds of Tecumseh and Black Hawk are now the wheat fields or grazing pastures of the thrifty Illinois farmer, all of which dream-like change has been brought about by the building of railroads. Wherever the iron horse neighs, there can be found peace, prosperity and plenty.

The Hon. J. A. Matteson, ex-governor of Illinois, is the president of this road, and has won for himself more honor by his judicious management of the affairs of this road than he did by his successful career as chief magistrate of the Sucker State; possessing an intuitive knowledge of what the public will require, he always manages to forestall their wants, and is ready to serve them with the readiness which should characterize all public functionaries. In a host of local agents, Mr. M. finds auxiliaries of much weight, and to whose assistance the road owes much for the favorable position it has gained in the minds of the people.

The affairs of this road in St. Louis has been entrusted to the hands of Mr. E. B. Brown, than whom a more efficient and courteous gentleman and officer can not be found. Possessing in an eminent degree all those qualities of head and heart which endear the possessor to all who come in contact with him, he stands among our business men esteemed and respected by every one. His office, at No. 27 Fourth street, is the head quarters

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for all information concerning the affairs and transactions of the Chicago, Alton and St. Louis Railroad.

This route passes through the towns of Carlinville, Springfield and Bloomington, which can only be reached in a direct route by this road; these towns are of some note. Springfield, the capital of Illinois, contains about 14,000 inhabitants and claims to be the second city in importance in the State. It contains many very beautiful buildings, both public and private, which give the town a very pleasant appearance. The village of Bloomington is a neat and beautiful place, having a lovely location, and possessed of many advantages, situated at a point where the Illinois Central Railroad connects with the Chicago, Alton and St. Louis Railroad; it has had a growth so rapid as to surprise even the most sanguine advocate of railroad progress.

The connections of this road are at Springfield with the Great Western Railroad for Jacksonville, Decatur, State Line, &c., making this the most direct route to Fort Wayne. Pittsburgh, Toledo, Cleveland and the East, by the way of the Wabash Valley Railroad; at Peoria junction, with the Peoria and Oquawka Railroad for Peoria, Galesburgh, Burlington and points on the Bureau Valley Railroad; at Joliet, with the Rock Island Railroad for Ottawa, Peru and Rock Island, which is the only direct route to Central Iowa; at Chicago, with the Galena and Beloit Railroad, making this the preferable as well as most expeditious route to Central Wisconsin, Galena, Dubuque, St. Paul and other points on the Upper Mississippi.

The Eastern connections from Chicago are by the Michigan Central, via Detroit and Suspension Bridge, connecting with the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada to Montreal and Lower Canada, and by the Michigan Southern, via Toledo, Cleveland, Dunkirk and Buffalo.

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There are two trains leaving each end of the road for the convenience and transportation of the United States mail and the express matter and the travelling public. The arrangements for the transportation of freight are perfect in every respect, and all contracts are put through with dispatch, giving entire satisfaction to all the patrons of the road.


This railroad having for a starting place the city of Toledo, in the State of Ohio, runs in a south-westerly, direction through the valleys of the Maumee and the Wabash for about two hundred and twenty miles, from which direction it diverges in a due westerly course on the State line of Illinois, and continues on through Springfield, the capital of the latter State, to Naples, a flourishing village on the Illinois river, a distance of four hundred and twenty-three miles from the eastern terminus, under the superintendence of Mr. George H. Burrows, Superintendent for the Eastern, and Mr. George Watson, Superintendent for Western Division.

These companies are now pushing the work forward towards completion to the city of Quincy, one of the most flourishing places on the Upper Mississippi, and which, when finished, which it will be in the course of a few months, will make the entire route, under the control of this company, four hundred and seventy-four miles long.

A road is now being constructed for the purpose of connecting Quincy with the St. Joseph and Hannibal Railroad, which runs across the northern part of the State of Missouri, having for a western terminus St. Joseph, on the Missouri river. This

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route, when finished, which it will be in all probability during the coming year, will present to the world one of the best routes to the far West — Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, &c. — that can be pursued.

The Wabash valley, through which the eastern portion of this road passes, is the garden portion of the "Forest State," abounding in landscapes of pastoral beauty, and wild scenes of picturesque magnificence, unsurpassed by any portion of the United States. Numberless villages dot the banks of the romantic Wabash, possessing many attractions to the pleasure seeker, and richly repaying the traveller who selects this route.

One place which attracts the attention of the wayfarer with peculiar interest is the thriving city of Lafayette. This place is situated on one of the most delightful locations on the Wabash river, and contains about 12,000 inhabitants; it is the principal commercial town of Indiana, and does an immense business every year in produce and pork-packing. Adjoining this town is the Tippecanoe battle field, where General Harrison and the gallant troops under his command defeated the Indians under Prophet, Tecumseh's brother. This ground is owned by the State, and is enclosed by a neat fence, and has been the scene of many a political gathering, where the great struggle for principles have been fought over again.

The connections of this road with others are as follows: The Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Road meets the Southwestern and Western Road at Fort Wayne. It will be seen by the map that this furnishes a very direct route from Pittsburgh to St. Louis and Springfield and Naples. By this route but one change is necessary to be made between Pittsburgh and St. Louia, either of freight or passengers, and the length of line of the Pittsburgh road, which will be occupied by the Western travel and business insures the influence of that road and of

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the business done from Pittsburgh to the West. So from Philadelphia there are but two changes necessary to be made, viz., at Pittsburgh and Fort Wayne. A large amount of business may be expected from this source.

At Peru, distant 130 miles from Toledo, we meet the Peru and Indianapolis road, connecting with Indianapolis, and from thence, by two other roads, to the Ohio river. Already a very important and valuable traffic from the Ohio river has passed over this route.

At Logansport a most important connection will be made with a road now in process of construction to Peoria, in Illinois. This road will be completed in the course of a year, and leading directly west, furnishes the most direct route to the southern part of Iowa.

At Attica, by the construction of thirty-one miles, a connection will be made with the Evansville and Terre-Haute road, which connection, it is hoped, will be made in the course of this year.

At Lafayette it connects with the Lafayette and Indianapolis Railroad, for Indianapolis, Cincinnati, etc.; with New Albany and Salem Railroad, for Greencastle, New Albany, Michigan City, Chicago, &c.

This road has a splendid rolling stock, consisting of the best manufactured cars and locomotives, and has in its employ a skillful corps of engineers — no better evidence of which can be found than the fact that, although this road has been in running operation for near three years, not a single accident resulting in loss of life has ever occurred. This must be most gratifying to the management and convincing to the travelling community. In fact all the officers of this road are noted for their urbane, courteous and gentlemanly conduct towards all

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with whom they come in contact. We would like to specify several from whom we have received delicate attention, but are denied that pleasure from not being in possession of their names. But of one thing we wish to make particular mention, and that is the station hotels. These are conducted upon sound principles, evidencing a desire to render every accommodation to the wearied travellers who are thrown in their way, and comparing to the great disadvantage of many on other roads. We speak by the book, for we have been entrusted to the tender mercies of these land-sharks more than once. But on this lino of travel the public will always find every attention that could be expected or desired.

The management of this road have recently succeeded in effecting arrangements with the Chicago, Alton and St. Louis Railroad by which they are enabled to put passengers through to the East in as short time as any other route leading from St. Louis. With but one change of cars between St. Louis and Cleveland — baggage checked through to Dunkirk and Buffalo — the certainty that as quick time as the fastest will obtain — together with the attractiveness of the country through which this route passes, all combine to make it a favorable route to those going East or coming West.

The officers of this road are, Wm. A. Boody, of New York, President; W. Colburn, of Toledo, Vice President; G. H. Burrows, Superintendent; E. B. Brown, General Agent in St. Louis.

Mr. Brown is also the General Agent in St. Louis for the St. Louis, Alton and Chicago Railroad, and is well known to our citizens as a courteous, obliging and efficient officer, and one who has done much to place these roads in so favorable a position before the public.

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The arrangements for the transportation of freight are such as to be sure of attracting a portion of the vast business which is annually offered. The road is well stocked and presents as good an appearance as any of the many excellent roads which checker the western States.

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Taylor, Jacob N; Crooks, M. O. Sketch Book of St. Louis: Containing a Series of Sketches of the Early Settlement, Public Buildings, Hotels, Railroads, Steamboats, Foundry and Machine Shops, Mercantile Houses, Grocers, Manufacturing Houses, Etc . St. Louis: George Knapp and Co, 1858. [format: book], [genre: guidebook; narrative]. Permission: Tulane University
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