Railroads in Knox County
C. B. & Q. Passenger Depot
Burning of the C. B. & Q. Depot
Pictures from the 1912 History of Knox County Book
James Hill exclaimed, "Give me snuff, whiskey and
Swedes, and I will build a railroad to hell."
--submitted by Wini Caudell.
|Chatsworth Train Accident|
|Railroad Newspaper Articles|
|Labor Unions of Knox County|
|Overall History of Railroad in Knox County|
|History of Bringing Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway to Galesburg by Clark E. Carr|
At Galesburg, Illinois after trip Oct. 20, 1902
Engine #66 arriving in Galesburg: 1903
Pictures submitted by Donald Parkinson
Excerpt from the History of Knox County (Its Cities, Towns, and People, Vol. I, written by Albert J. Perry, published by S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. in 1912, pages 590-614.
THE CHICAGO, BURLINGTON & QUINCY RAILROAD OF KNOX COUNTY, ILLINOIS
by John Lass
Genesis of the Railroad
Before the advent of the
railroad transportation was carried on by means of canals, as in China to-day,
and the construction of government roads, such as the Appian way of Italy, and a
great deal of commerce may be carried on under that old system. Besides, those
roads were used for military purposes, and we may well be surprised with their
effectiveness when compared with modern
transportation. The discovery of the power of steam was made by Heron in the
third century, B. C. This power was first applied to naval transportation in the
year 1707 and was applied to locomotion upon land in the year 1804. As
in all other primitive efforts in the application of a new
principle, the success was at first quite indifferent, and there elapsed quite a
period of time before anything like real success was arrived at. But the general
necessities of mankind for something that would transport passengers and freight
quickly from point to point proved a great stimulus to additional invention and
constant improvements in the method of application.
The growth of the cities of the world made it imperative that some means should be discovered for bringing the products of the country to the city and in return the manufactured articles from the city back to the country. In the early days of railroad life there were but small sections of roads here and there, but the great body of the land was without any facilities of this kind. These necessities were so poorly supplied that the geniuses of the country were constantly working to produce something really efficient in the line of transportation.
The immediate forerunners of the Burlington system were projected roads from Peoria to Oquawka, from Quincy northward, known as the Northern Cross railroad, and from Chicago to Aurora, all located within the state of Illinois. With a road from Peoria to Oquawka and another from Quincy northward and another from Chicago southward there was a great desire to extend the system so as to connect all these points with Chicago. But out of those three projected roads has grown the great system and network of railways known as the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad.
THE EXTENT OF THE BURLINGTON SYSTEM
This system has become known as the Burlington route. It is the parent organization and corporation of an extensive system which operates railroads in most of the western and northwestern states. It starts at Chicago and furnishes connections at St. Louis, Kansas City, Omaha, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Cheyenne, Denver, Billings, Deadwood and many other connecting and intermediate points and has connections by affiliated roads such as the Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Quincy, Omaha & Kansas City, Colorado Midland, Western Pacific, Denver & Rio Grande, reaching the southwestern states at Los Angeles, the western and northwestern states at San Francisco, Seattle and Portland; and on the southeast to the Ohio river and the south and all the southeastern states. This system is destined, through its great controlling road, the Great Northern, to tap the large wheat and timber lands of Canada and the northwestern states. An ever increasing volume of traffic will surely be brought to the great northwestern gateway by the Great Northern, the Northern Pacific and the Colorado Southern to the Burlington route and transported to the eastern, southern, central and gulf states and thence to Europe.
From the south and east the products of the country will be transported to the important shipping points on the north Pacific coast, British Columbia and Alaska and then to the Orient and far away Asia and Europe.
Surely a stupendous system of commercial activity of such a character as that passing through the county of Knox is worthy of the most careful study.
Railroads become one of the most important features in the development of the country. They have been the means of opening up the broad domain to settlement, and by them every department in life has been most rapidly advanced, and they constitute in a large degree the vital force of an active and wealthy civilization. The country is covered with a network of roads extending from ocean to ocean, penetrating every state and territory and employing millions of men and women, expending millions of money for service, maintenance and equipment, and any serious interference with the operation of these roads would at once paralyze the business of the country and result in untold injury and suffering to the people. The combined value of the railroads of the country is represented in figures wholly incomprehensible to the human mind, unthinkable even to their managers, and every dollar is at the service of the people.
From the beginning of the agitation of railway building in this county, which was about as early as that of any other part of the state, the people have been very earnest and active on the subject. The early settlers of the county, being largely from the east, were naturally among the first to desire a connection by rail with that part of the world from whence they came. They came to this country by wagon overland, slowly pushing their way over hills and through forests, fording streams swollen with spring rains, halting for nothing except the Sabbath day. Today we find them in the midst of the noise and whir of revolving shafts, of wheels of industry and commerce, enjoying the benefits of twentieth century transportation and the journey once made with such trial and hardship is now taken with comfort and the enjoyment of books and newspapers and is completed within a few hours.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BURLINGTON SYSTEM
The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad may justly be said to be the origin of the energy and power that has turned the west and uncultivated prairies of the central west into a land of plenty, beauty, business and wealth and of all the counties in all this great central west, Knox county and its adjoining counties in Illinois have been made the most productive and the most blest of all in the advantages of business, culture and refinement.
PEORIA & OQUAWKA R. R.
On February 12, 1849, the
legislature granted a charter to the Peoria & Oquawka Railroad Co. with a
capital stock of $500,000. Under this charter a certain amount of stock had to
be subscribed by February 1, 1850, before grading
could commence and besides this, other conditions were imposed which were
burdensome, but which were modified by the next legislature. The plan was to
construct a railroad from Peoria on the Illinois river to Oquawka, on the
The first railroad meeting was held in Knox county, September 9, 1849, the object of which was to provide for the general assembling of the citizens in October. There was a large and enthusiastic meeting, speeches were made by James Knox and Robert S. Blackwell. A motion was made and carried in favor of voluntary taxation to provide funds to prosecute the work. The estimated cost was between $500,000 and $750,000. A resolution was adopted requesting the commissioners of the county to correspond with those of other counties in order to bring about concerted action in the matter. Meetings were held throughout Knox county and a great deal of interest was manifested. The Knoxville Journal, then owned by John S. Winter, was very zealous in the advocacy of the cause, awakening an interest in railroad matters. A meeting was held in Galesburg, November 29, 1849.
The people of Oquawka, refusing to aid the enterprise, the people of Burlington came forward with the necessary subscription, the route was changed to the latter place and Oquawka was left out. The company expended all their money and exhausted their credit in building the road from Burlington to Kirkwood.
A large meeting was again held in Knoxville, inaugurated by the people of Peoria, at which Judge Purple presided. The idea of the people of Knoxville at this time was that the road would build to Peoria and thereby bring manufactories nearer to them. But the defects in the charter caused the project to drag and in the meantime the people of Peoria organized a new company under an old charter which had been granted to Andrew Gray to build a road ten miles from Peoria and finally to pass through Farmington, Illinois, and then direct to Burlington, leaving Knoxville and Galesburg to the north. This road was called the Peoria & Mississippi Railroad Co.
The people of Knoxville favored the road rather than have no road in the county. However, on February 10, 1851, the defects in the Peoria & Oquawka charter were removed, which allowed the company to commence work with less stock paid in and to run the road through Knoxville and Monmouth with Galesburg left to the north again.
CENTRAL MILITARY TRACT R. R.
This did not satisfy the
citizens of Galesburg and on February 15, 1851, the Central Military Tract
Railroad company was incorporated with Wm. McMurtry,
C. S. Colton, James Bunce, W. S. Gale, C. G. Lanphere, H. H. May, W. A. Wood,
Alfred Brown, Alvah Wheeler, Peter Grouse, Amos Ward,
Patrick Dunn, Daniel Meek, Silas Willard, A. C. Wiley and their associates and
successors, a body politic and corporate under the name and style of the Central
Military Tract Railroad company, with power to build a road from Galesburg,
in a northwesterly course, to some point on the Rock Island and LaSalle
railroad. The object of this move was twofold, viz., to build in the direction
of Chicago and thereby compel the Peoria & Oquawka railroad to come to
On June 19, 1852, the charter was amended so as to give them the right to build a road from Galesburg in a northeasterly direction on the most direct and eligible route to the city of Chicago, to a point to be designated by said company at or near the line of the Chicago and Rock Island railroad. The charter originated with a body of men who were wont to meet in the office of W. S. Gale, on the south side of the public square in the city of Galesburg. Among those were C. S. Colton, W. S. Gale, Silas Willard, Geo. C. Lanphere, and James Bunce, and they were aided in their scheme by Marcus Osborne of Rock Island. Their first charter was written in the office of W. S. Gale and Geo. C. Lanphere, the democrat in the ring, was sent to the legislature, which was democratic at that time, where the bill was passed. Under the charter, a survey was made for a line to Sheffield by Messrs. Whipple, Wentworth & Churchill.
Plans and estimates were made for this line and the work put under contract in the winter of 1851-2. The contracts were revoked, however, and nothing was done, the company having changed its plans and decided to meet the Chicago & Aurora road at Mendota.
AURORA BRANCH R. R.
On February 12, 1849, the Aurora Branch Railroad company was incorporated to build a road from Aurora to the Galesburg and Chicago railroad. On June 22, 1852, this act was amended to allow them to extend their road in a southwest direction or to build northwest to where they could interest any railroad, built or to be built, and then form connection with such road.
NORTHERN CROSS R. R.
1851, power was granted to the Northern Cross Railroad company road, extending
north from Quincy, Illinois, to build a branch from some point on that road in
Adams county and then running in a most expedient and eligible route through the
military tract, terminating at the most advantageous point at or near the south
terminal of the Illinois and Michigan canal with a proviso that the company
should not locate or construct this branch upon any line east of the city of
June 21, 1852, the act was modified to authorize the Northern Cross company to terminate the lateral branch of said road at any point where the railroad may connect with any other railroad extending north to the city of Chicago.
We now have under consideration the Peoria & Oquawka, the Central Military Tract, the Aurora Branch and the Northern Cross Railroad companies. It will be found necessary to consider all of these roads together because upon their completion the original Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad came into existence.
The changes in the plans of the Central Military Tract Co. were made because of the following circumstances: While the Peoria & Oquawka railroad interests were being slowly worked up by local subscriptions, C. S. Colton, of Galesburg, being in the east, accidentally met in Boston, J. W. Grimes, of Burlington, Iowa, who was a member of the state legislature, and also a Mr. Wadsworth, of Chicago, who was president of the Chicago & Aurora railroad, and after a conference they decided that an independent route direct to Chicago was the most practicable line. Mr. Colton returned home and had a conference with his railroad friends and the changes were determined upon.
It was found impossible to secure eastern capital to aid in the construction of the road while the rates of transportation were subject to control by the state legislature. A special charter was prepared which removed the difficulty and gave the company the entire control of the same with full power to establish and regulate their rates of transportation.
Mr. Colton was delegated to go to Springfield, Illinois, to secure the passage of the special charter, which was done June 21, 1852. At the same date he also secured the amendment to the Chicago & Aurora extension, authorizing the building of that road to Mendota. It was here that he met for the first time James F. Joy, afterwards president of the C. B. & Q. R. R. Co., who became interested in Colton's plans and who suggested to him the change of the terminus of the Northern Cross railroad and securing the interest of the Quincy people in this branch; and here undoubtedly was the inception of the great Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad, the pride of the state.
Subsequently John W. Brooks, president of the Michigan Central Railroad Co., and James F. Joy, both of Detroit, interested themselves in the Central Military Tract road and proposed that if the people along the route between Galesburg and Mendota would subscribe $300,000 they would furnish enough more capital to complete the grading of the road and laying of the ties, and when that was done they could borrow money on the bonds of the company to complete the construction of the road and put it in operation. One of the first meetings to raise stock was at the old Academy building at Galesburg. The first three subscribers were James Bunce, James Bull and Henry Ferris. Mr. Bull failed to pay. Mr. Bunce was a resident of Galesburg, also Henry Ferris, who will be remembered by many as the father of Mrs. B. F. Arnold and Mrs. Geo. W. Prince. After several months of canvassing for subscriptions to the new company for the $300,000, the required guaranty, they were still short $50,000. At this juncture Messrs. Joy and Brooks came to Galesburg and gave notice that they could not promise a further extension of time on behalf of their principals, who had agreed to build the railroad when the required guaranty was subscribed.
This was a critical time, for $50,000 must be raised immediately or the whole project would be abandoned and all the work done would be lost. Everybody in the community had been canvassed, but to no purpose. At this vital moment C. S. Colton and Silas Willard, who had been the principal movers in the enterprise, finally determined to risk everything for the success of the undertaking, and they personally subscribed the $50,000, thereby binding all the other subscribers and also the eastern capitalists to their contract for building and operating the road. This subscription was a heavy load for these men and they were obliged to borrow the entire amount at the rate of 10 per cent, all their own means being fully absorbed in their business, and it was several years before their stock paid any dividend.
In 1852 the line was surveyed from Galesburg to Mendota, at first through Henderson, but later about four miles east.
Meanwhile Knoxville was fighting Galesburg and trying to get the Northern Cross Railroad company to come to that city. The, people between Peoria and Burlington were anxiously waiting for the Peoria & Oquawka road to go ahead. The terminal cities, Burlington and Peoria, by vote subscribed $75,000 each. Burlington thus got ahead of Oquawka and then Henderson county voted to take no stock in the company.
On June 20, 1851, the stockholders of the Peoria & Oquawka Railroad Co. met at Knoxville and elected the first board of directors, as follows: Chas. Mason and J. W. Grimes of Bloomington, A. C. Harding and Samuel Webster of Monmouth, James Knox and Julius Manning of Knoxville, Asa D. Reed of Farmington, Rudolphus Rouse and Washington Cockrel of Peoria to serve one year. James Knox was chosen president, Robert L. Hannaman secretary and William Phelps treasurer. The first contract for grading the road was let in October, 1851, at the Peoria end. By September, 1853, all parts of the Peoria & Oquawka road were under contract. When the eastern end of the P. & O. road was built to Elmwood and the western end to Monmouth the work ceased. The parties controlling the line failing to complete the road, the subscribers became dissatisfied, and W. S. Mans of Peoria, James Knox of Knoxville and A. C. Harding of Monmouth entered into a contract to finish the road between Monmouth and Elmwood, but being unable to carry out their contract they sold out to the Central Military Tract Co., the latter agreeing to complete, equip and open the road, which gave the road to Galesburg. After numerous efforts by C. S. Colton of the Central Military Tract Co. and N. Bushnell of the Northern Cross Co. a junction of the two roads at Galesburg was agreed upon which was subsequently ratified by the legislature. By this act, together with the purchase of the contract for the construction of the P. & O. line by the Central Military Tract Co., the destiny of Galesburg as a railroad center was absolutely fixed.
In October, 1852, the Central Military Tract Co. increased its capital, stock from $100,000 to $600,000 and elected the following directors: John W. Brooks, Henry Ledyard, James F. Joy, W. N. Lathrop of Detroit, J. H. Birch, C. G. Hammond and John H. Kinsey of Chicago, C. G. Colton, W. S. Gale, James Bunce and Silas Willard of Galesburg, Wm. McMurtry of Henderson and John H. Bryant of Princeton, Illinois.
The road from Burlington to Peoria was not completed until the end of 1854. The first passenger trains began running in the spring of 1855. At this time the Chicago and Aurora company and the Central Military Tract company and the Peoria and Oquawka company were all consolidated under the name of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad company, the name being adopted from the terminal points of the lines that formed the consolidation. Upon the consolidation Galesburg was made a central division from Mendota west. Col. C. G. Hammond, formerly of the Michigan Central, being the general superintendent of the road, placed the Galesburg division under the supervision of Henry Hitchcock as assistant superintendent on Jan. 1, 1856.
Galesburg has always been the headquarters of the Galesburg division. Here are located the company's shops, roundhouses, locomotive and car departments, large stock yards, icing plant, timber preserving plant, cement works and other equipment, and here a large number of men live who are employed in the train, track and engine service, also bridge men, carpenters, shop men and men employed in other branches of the service, and these men have much to do in building up Galesburg and making it one of the most prosperous cities of the central west.
From Galesburg, the county seat of Knox county, the center lines of railroad diverge to many points terminating in Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Rock Island and Moline, Burlington, Quincy, Peoria, Streator, Rushville and West Havana, and from these points important connections are made with all the country, bringing Galesburg and Knox county in direct intercourse with a large territory and making it the distributing point for the merchandise and products of the central part of the state. The original offices and passenger station, which had a fine hotel connected with it, managed by the then noted hotel man H. W. Belden, was located at the intersection of Prairie and Brooks streets. This station and offices were destroyed by fire on the stormy March 1st, 1881. Temporary quarters were built for use until the new station was built in 1883 and completed and occupied May 4, 1884. This new station and office building was also destroyed by fire April 27, 1911, and temporary quarters rebuilt for use until the fine new station now being erected is completed, which will be this year, when Seminary and South streets' grade crossings will give place to large subways. Probably Main and Mulberry also will later be given subway crossings.
This, in a general way, gives the origin of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad company proper, which in 1855 consisted of but a few miles of road as compared with its present extent. This road extended from Chicago to Galesburg, Galesburg to East Burlington, south from Galesburg to Quincy and east from Galesburg to Peoria, three hundred and seventy-eight miles. This was increased in 1862 to four hundred and eight miles by a branch from Yates City to Lewistown. Now its main line, extending from Chicago to Denver, Kansas City, Cheyenne, Billings, Deadwood, and the whole number of miles of standard gauge road operated by the Burlington in 1911 was about nine thousand and seventy-five miles. Of this total seventeen hundred and thirty-two miles were in the state of Illinois.
The total earnings and disbursements of the road in the state for the year reached an enormous amount and the tonnage hauled was immense in volume and the prosperity of all the cities on its line may justly be said to depend upon the earnings of the employes of the road and to the business created and made possible by the advantages given by the road. The company paid to the treasurer of Knox county, in the year 1910, $49,646.09 in taxes.
In this sketch of the C., B. & Q. railroad we have aimed at giving the history of its inception, the events which culminated in the consolidation of the different railroad projects which resulted in the organization of the C., B. & Q. Railroad Co. and its operation in Knox county and adjacent territory, whose rails now carry the product of millions of acres of land and move the population of a continent. This company has the reputation of having the best track in the United States. Its trains are made of the most elegant and serviceable equipment and with all the latest facilities for service and comfort. The double steel rail is laid now on nearly all its lines and the trains are noted for their regularity in running on schedule time. The management of the road is, and always has been, of the best and in keeping with its equipment.
During the twelve months ending June 21, 1912, the Burlington railroad carried 22,000,000 passengers without causing a death. The management also announced that there has not been a fatality in the passenger list of the suburban system in five years.
The record covers the entire system of 9,332 miles. The suburban system, which has been clear of deaths for five years, handles an average of 11,000 passengers daily and operates 100 trains every twenty-four hours.
Of the total mileage there is 2,812 in Illinois, 1,925 in Iowa, 1,635 in Missouri, 3,523 in Nebraska, and from 54 to 600 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas, Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. The number of passengers carried one mile was 1,173,435,093, and the average distance traveled by each passenger was 53 miles.
On two or three divisions there has not been a passenger killed for three to seven years.
FROM THE PRESIDENT DOWN ALL ARE COURTEOUS AND OBLIGING AND FAITHFUL IN THE DISCHARGE OF THEIR RESPECTIVE DUTIES.
Up to the present time the
consideration of the Burlington route has been directed to a brief review of the
construction of the road beginning at Chicago and running to Galesburg, the road
beginning at Quincy and running to Galesburg, and the
road from Peoria to Burlington. There are other branches of this road which
belong in Knox county and as shown in the beginning of this article, it is worth
our while to study with some care the growth of this enormous corporation even
though we go beyond the limits of Knox county. Inasmuch as this railroad system
is of such incalculable interest to Knox county, it is well to place before
every thinking person of the county some knowledge of the growth of nearly the
entire system. We will now proceed to recapitulate very briefly what has gone
before and to take up the various branches of the Burlington system that are
contributing so much business and activity to the people of Knox county.
To refer again to the construction and organization of the road. The road known as the C., B. & Q. railroad proper consists of the main line, Chicago via Aurora, Mendota and Galesburg to Burlington, Galesburg to Quincy, the branch from Aurora to Turner Junction (on the C. & N. W. Ry.), from Galesburg to Peoria, and from Yates City to Lewistown. The name of the road built by a company incorporated February 12, 1849, under the name of the Aurora Branch Railroad Co. was changed June 22, 1852, to the Chicago and Aurora Railroad Co. February 14, 1855, the name was again change to the C., B. & Q. Railroad Co.
The road from Mendota to Galesburg was built by a company incorporated February 15, 1851, under the name of the Central Military Tract Railroad Co. On July 9, 1856, the C., B. & Q. and the Central Military Track Railroad Co. were consolidated under the name of the former company. The road from Galesburg to the Mississippi river opposite Burlington and from Galesburg to Peoria was built by a corporation incorporated February 12, 1849, under the name of Peoria & Oquawka Railroad company. On February 21, 1861, the name was changed to the Logansport, Peoria & Burlington Railroad Co. On October 20, 1862, the Logansport, Peoria & Burlington railroad was purchased by G. S. Bartlett, N. Thayer, J. W. Brooks. By authority of an act of the legislature, approved June 19, 1863, the purchasers, on March 8, 1864, organized a new company under the name of the Peoria & Burlington Railroad Co. On July 24, 1864, the Peoria & Burlington railroad was consolidated with the C., B. & Q. R. R. Co., under the name of the C., B. & Q. R. R. Co.
The road from Galesburg to Quincy was built by a company incorporated February 10, 1849, under the name of the Northern Cross Railroad Co. On February 10, 1857, its name was changed to the Quincy & Chicago Railroad Co. The Quincy & Chicago Railroad Co. was sold under foreclosure on April 28, 1864, and purchased by the C., B. & Q. R. R. Co., and deeded to that company, June 30, 1865.
The road from Yates City to Lewistown was built under the name of two companies. The Jacksonville & Savanna R. R. Co., incorporated February 14, 1855, under which name the road was built from Yates City southwesterly to a point about four miles south of Canton. The remainder of the road was built in the name of the Peoria & Hannibal R. R. Co., which was incorporated February 11, 1853, under the name of the Macomb, Vermont & Bath R. R. Co. This was changed to the Peoria & Hannibal R. R. Co., on February 24, 1854. November 4, 1860, these two pieces of road were purchased by J. W. Brooks and J. F. Joy. On November 6, 1861, they were transferred to the C, B. & Q. R. R. Co.
The branch from Buda to Elmwood was built by a company incorporated under the name of the Dixon, Peoria & Hannibal R. R. Co., on March 5, 1867. It was to be built from Dixon, Lee county, to the Mississippi river with branches. The construction was begun on a section between Buda and Elmwood, in August, 1869, and was opened for traffic February 1, 1870, leased to the C., B. & Q., July 1, 1869, and on July 1, 1899, sold to the Burlington company.
The road from Galva to New Boston was built by a company named the Western Air Line, which was incorporated February 9, 1853, to build from the east bank of the Mississippi river at New Boston via Lacon, to the eastern line of Illinois, in the direction of Fort Wayne, Indiana. On February 21, 1859, the name was changed to the American Central Railway Co. The road was built from Galva on the C., B. & Q. road to New Boston. Construction was begun soon after the organization of the company, but not very much was accomplished until the C., B. & Q. R. R., through James J. Joy, took hold of it, in 1865. The road was opened for traffic from Galva to New Boston, April 23, 1869. It was leased to the "Q" on October 12, 1868, conveyed to the "Q" July 1, 1899. The road from Keithsburg Junction to Keithsburg on the American Central was begun in 1870, and opened for traffic July 1, 1899, under the name of Dixon & Quincy R. R. Co., incorporated March 4, 1869, and conveyed to the "Q". The cars began to run regularly between Aurora and Chicago, via Turner Junction, October 21, 1850, and between Mendota and Chicago, November 12, 1853. The track of the Galena and Chicago Union R. R. was used between Turner Junction and Chicago.
The construction of the Northern Cross railroad was begun at Quincy in 1851. The first locomotive reached Quincy, March 12, 1854, and was placed on the track at Quincy, September 12, 1854. N. Bushnell, of Quincy, was then president. The road was completed from Quincy to Avon, eighty miles, in the fall of 1855. On the remainder of the road to Galesburg the track was laid from Galesburg south and connection made near Avon, January 31, 1856. April 10, 1857, the Northern Cross railroad was transferred to the C., B. & Q. R. R. Co., under jurisdiction of Col. C. B. Hammond, general superintendent.
A company, incorporated March 8, 1867, as the Quincy, Alton & St. Louis road, built a branch from Quincy to Louisiana, commencing in 1871. It was completed and opened for transportation between Quincy and St. Louis, December 28, 1871.
Another branch from Fall Creek to East Hannibal was leased to the C., B. & Q. in perpetuity February 1, 1876, and conveyed June 1, 1890, to the C, B. & Q. R. R. Co.
It may be interesting to state that several years ago there died at La Grange, Illinois, a civil engineer eighty-four years old named Geo. W. Waite. He took a prominent part in western railroad construction. He came to Illinois in 1830. In 1848 as assistant engineer of the Galena Central Railroad Co. he laid the first railroad tie in Chicago and later built that portion of the C., B. & Q. railroad between Mendota and Aurora. This road formed a part of the main line of the Burlington and the cars reached Princeton, Illinois, September 11, 1854, and on December 7, 1854, the first locomotive, The Reindeer, steamed into Galesburg in charge of James P. Patch.
The road from Galesburg to Burlington was originally built to the eastern bank of the Mississippi at a point a short distance above where the bridge is now located. When the bridge was built the line was changed and the "Q" built the main track on the west side of the river as far as Locust street. The station on the east side of the river was known as East Burlington. The bridge across the Mississippi river was built by the Burlington company. Work was commenced on approaches in 1867 and the first pile driven Jan. 30, 1867. The masonry was completed March 30, 1868, and the first train crossed August 13, 1868. Beginning July 1, 1890, this bridge was entirely rebuilt as a double track bridge, completed and put into service October, 1892.
The Quincy and Warsaw Railroad Co. was incorporated Feb. 16, 1865, to build a road from Quincy to Warsaw. This company built the Quincy to Carthage portion of the branch from Quincy to Burlington. In March, 1869, the act was amended to authorize the construction of a branch from Quincy to Carthage via Mention. The main, line was not built. The construction of the branch, however, was commenced August, 1869, and completed and opened for business Dec. 25, 1870. Dec. 1, 1890, the branch was leased in perpetuity and later transferred to the Burlington road.
The road from Carthage to Burlington was built by a company incorporated by an act of the legislature as the Carthage and Burlington Railroad Co. March 8, 1867, to build from Carthage via Dallas City to East Burlington. Construction began Sept., 1870, and was leased to the C. B. & Q. R. R. Co. May 10, 1869, and was transferred July 1, 1899.
The Railroad Bridge company at Quincy was incorporated under an act of the legislature approved Feb. 10, 1853. Another incorporation under the name of the Quincy Railroad Bridge Co. was incorporated in Missouri March 28, 1866, and these two companies consolidated under the name of the Quincy Railroad Bridge Co. Nov. 20, 1866. The bridge over the Mississippi river at Quincy was built by this Quincy Railroad Bridge Co. under authority of an act of congress approved July 25, 1866.
On Nov. 21, 1866, surveys were begun, and between that date and Jan. 1st, 1867, contracts were let for building the bridge, and it was completed and opened for traffic Nov. 9, 1868. On Jan. 1, 1869, the bridge was leased to the C. B. & Q. R. R. Co., Toledo, Wabash & Western Railroad Co., and the Hannibal & St. Joe Railroad Co., for the term of the corporate existence of the Bridge Co. The Toledo, Wabash & Western Railroad Co. failed to fulfill its obligations under the lease and forfeited the right when the road was sold under foreclosure, since which time the C., B. & Q. and the Hannibal & St. Joe railroads have been the sole lessees. The C., B. & Q. bought the Hannibal & St. Joe Railroad company's interest and consolidated that road with the C., B. & Q. and thereby became in full control of the bridge.
In July, 1897, the work of rebuilding the Quincy bridge was commenced. Seven spans were filled and not rebuilt. The work was completed June 18, 1898, and draw spans later. The bridge has a highway attachment and was opened for traffic Sept. 10, 1899.
The Galesburg and Rio branch was built by a company incorporated April 19, 1886, to build from Galesburg to Rio to connect the Rio with the St. Louis, Rock Island & Chicago railroad, now a part of the Savanna and Rock Island branch north of Rio. Contracts for the line were let April 15, 1886, and opened for traffic on Oct. 3, 1886. On Oct. 1, 1886, it was leased to the C., B. & Q. and on June 1, 1889, conveyed to that company.
The St. Louis & Rock Island and the Barstow & Savanna roads are a part of the road which was formerly the Rock Island & Alton R. R. Co., St. Louis, Alton & Rock Island Co., St. Louis, Rock Island & Chicago R. R. Co. and the Rockford, Rock Island & St. Louis Co.
The Rock Island & St. Louis R. R. Co. was incorporated in 1865, completed to Monmouth in 1870 and the first passenger train ran into Monmouth Aug. 22, 1870, making connections with St. Louis, and connection was made with Rock Island Nov. 11, 1870. The remainder of the line was not completed until it was sold to the St. Louis, Rock Island & Chicago Railroad Co. and subsequently came under the control of the C. B. & Q. Railroad Co. and known as the St. Louis division, and later in 1904 that part of the road from Rio north to Savanna was transferred to the Galesburg division.
The Keithsburg and Gladstone branch became a part of the C., B. & Q. when the Rock Island & St. Louis road was acquired.
From Fulton north the road was built by a corporation known as the C., B. & N. R. R., organized by C. E. Perkins, A. E. Tonzelin and Geo. B. Harris, which was sold to the C., B. & Q. Oct. 21, 1885, and conveyed to the "Q" in 1899.
The Fulton Co. R. R., now the West Havana branch, had its origin in the struggle between Canton, Centerville (now Cuba) and Lewistown for the county seat of Fulton county. It was originally planned that Lewistown should be the county seat, but the other cities tried to wrest it from her, and it was not until 1878 that the final struggle between Canton and Lewistown was fought, Lewistown coming off victorious. This contest gave birth to the idea of the Fulton County Narrow Gauge railroad. The men interested in Lewistown claimed that she must have a railroad to protect her county seat and in order to secure the votes of the northern part of the county promised to build it. The enthusiasm spread, and in October, 1878, the Fulton County Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. was organized and J. C. Wilcoxen of Lewistown accepted the contract to build the line from Havana to Fairview. After two years of hard work the first train entered Lewistown from Fairview on August 19, 1880. The completion of the Fulton County Narrow Gauge R. R. from Fairview to Galesburg in 1882 was due to the interest and financial backing of S. H. Mallory of Iowa, who secured a large interest in the road. For twenty-three years the little narrow gauge system performed its duty, and during those years the stock gradually drifted into the hands of the Burlington men, and since October, 1905, when the line was changed from narrow gauge to standard gauge, it has been operated by the Burlington, and in January, 1906., the Burlington took possession of the road. The change to standard gauge was made under the supervision of J. D. Besler of the Burlington road, who for months carefully arranged for standard gauging the line, and which was successfully accomplished.
There is an interesting incident in connection with the first train on the narrow gauge. The engine, known as No. 1, was built at the Baldwin works. By the time the road was completed between Lewistown and Fairview the treasury was depleted. An order had been placed for the engine, and upon notice being received that the engine had arrived at Cuba a delegation from the south end of the line hauled a homemade car to that place and it was triumphantly brought back over the line by its new engine. This engine commenced service in 1890 and continued in active service until the road was made standard gauge in October, 1905. The engineer and fireman on the last trip were M. K. Young and Reuben Simms, both men having been in the company's service for many years. Mr. Young helped to build the road into Galesburg. Mr. J. W. O'Donnell, the conductor of the passenger, had been for many years and is now still running the passenger train from Galesburg to West Havana.
In 1873 the B. & M. railroad in Iowa and the C., B. & Q. were consolidated under the name of the latter, with Robert Harris, president; Mr. W. B. Strong, general superintendent, and T. J. Porter as superintendent at Burlington, W. Beckwith, superintendent track, bridges and buildings.
The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad's main line has been from time to time changed to double track, the first piece of double track being constructed in 1864 from Chicago to Lyons, now known as Riverside, and from that double track has been built in sections as the necessities of the traffic of the road demanded. The double track first built in Knox county was from Center Point to Galesburg in 1877, Wataga to Center Point, October, 1880, Oneida to Wataga in 1886, Altona to Oneida, 1886, Galva to Altona, 1885, and Galesburg west to Cameron in 1879-80, to Monmouth, 1886, Monmouth to Kirkwood, 1885, Kirkwood to Biggsville, 1884, Biggsville to Gladstone, 1883, Gladstone to Burlington, 1881, Burlington Bridge switch to Locust street, Burlington, 1892. There are several pieces of third track, the first being built in July, 1885, and others in 1886-7 and 1890-91. There is also a small mileage of fourth track in Chicago. The double track from Galesburg to Saluda was built in 1907 and Saluda to Bushnell in 1910. A double track is now under construction between Galesburg and Henderson, Galesburg and Knoxville and several other parts of the road in Illinois and Missouri.
The new yards at Galesburg opened August 21, 1906. The branch from Savanna to Rio was transferred to Galesburg division May 1, 1904. For several years the Burlington, Carthage and Quincy branch belonged to the Galesburg division, but was later transferred to the Burlington division.
In the foregoing presentation we have dealt almost entirely with the physical and organic part of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Co., but it is desirable to speak something of the personnel of the road.
The development of the road in Knox and adjoining counties is largely due to the sagacious and prudent management of Col. C. G. Hammond and Henry Hitchcock. Mr. Hitchcock was from old Deerfield, Massachusetts, an agent at Rutland, Vermont, of the Rutland and Burlington railroad. Later he was in charge of the Michigan Central road's yard in Chicago. He was a man of rare ability, sagacity and good judgment, who thoroughly organized the work and for more than twenty-five years most faithfully and successfully managed its affairs. He retired June, 1881, with a special token of appreciation of his service given him by a vote of the directors of the company. When he assumed the management of the Galesburg division he had with him several men who helped to build the road into Galesburg, of whom we shall speak later.
Col. C. G. Hammond, whose name we have connected with that of Mr. Hitchcock, was general superintendent of the road, and it is doubtful if any man ever acquired the full confidence of his associates and those under him to a greater degree than he. There were associated with Colonel Hammond and Mr. Hitchcock, Mr. C. W. Mead as division superintendent at Quincy, Henry Martin, general freight agent; Samuel Powell, general passenger and ticket agent; W. W. Hawkins, general agent at Aurora; Amos T. Hall of Detroit, treasurer; J. W. Cothren, also of Detroit, and who became local freight agent at Galesburg and who opened all the stations from Galesburg to East Burlington; T. W. Seymore, assistant general agent, and Max Hjortsburg, chief engineer, who later built the Burlington bridge. Among those who helped to build the road from Aurora to Galesburg were James T. Clark, John D. Besler, John Sullivan, E. C. Olin, J. H. Linsley and Samuel Burch. James F. Joy was president of the road. He commenced his railroad career in the Galesburg yards and in 1883 went into the office of the superintendent of the Illinois lines, where he continued until Mr. Besler was promoted to general superintendent, with whom Mr. Byram went to Chicago. Later he returned to Galesburg, then to the Great Northern in the general manager's and vice-president's office, then division superintendent, then to the C., R. I. & P. R. R., later returning to the Burlington as division superintendent of the lines west of the Missouri, and then to Chicago in charge of the employment bureau, and from that position to the position of vice-president, as above stated.
It is a pleasure to refer to some others who are more particularly associated with Knox county and Galesburg and who helped to make the Galesburg division the banner division of the Burlington road and the one from which men, since prominent in railroad affairs, graduated for service in all parts of the United States.
The local chief from the beginning was Henry Hitchcock, assistant superintendent and later division superintendent, who had as his aids men whom he had trained and promoted, B. O. Carr, brother of Hon. Clark E. Carr, and Gen. Eugene Carr, Augustus Sargent, Charles Chappel, who in after years was general manager of the Chicago & Alton road; Sanford Kingsbury, his office assistant; John Lass, chief clerk; H. F. Hawley, train master, who left for the Chicago & Alton as superintendent; James Alexander, train master; Fred Tubbs and J. M. Ballantine of the telegraph department; L. A. Rowland, conductor, afterward assistant superintendent. But of all his assistants none have succeeded more than A. N. Towne, a brakeman and conductor, chosen by Mr. Hitchcock to be his assistant and who later became assistant general manager and then called to the Central Pacific, now the Southern Pacific, at $50,000 a year in gold.
J. T. Clarke, formerly known as "Jim Clarke," was road master of the entire Galesburg division. He came to Galesburg in 1859 and was appointed assistant road master and in 1864 general road master. Mr. Clarke had two assistants, S. F. Shanklin, who had charge of the Quincy road, and J. H. Linsley, who had charge of the remainder of the division, The main line from Galesburg to Mendota having been completed, was placed under the supervision of J. D. Besler in 1863, the present live, active advisor of the road. Mr. Clarke continued in charge until after the consolidation of the B. & M. of Iowa, when he resigned to accept a call to the Union Pacific as general superintendent. After several years of service at the most critical time in the life of the Union Pacific, Mr. Clarke left to become the general superintendent of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul road, where he remained for several years. Unfortunately his railroad life was cut short and upon his death his remains were brought to Galesburg, his old home, and deposited in Hope cemetery.
Mr. Besler commenced his railroad life in Illinois in 1853 by working from time to time on what is now the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis road, and in 1855 he first began work for the C., B. & Q. R. R. Co. on track between Mendota and Aurora. In 1856 he went to Galva and the following year became track foreman at Prairie City. In 1859 he was transferred to Augusta and for four years was extra gang foreman in charge of the construction train. In 1863 Mr. Besler came to Galesburg as assistant road master. In 1865 he was appointed road master in charge of the main line from Galesburg to Mendota with the addition of the Galva and New Boston branch and continued to hold that position with great credit to himself until 1873. He was appointed assistant superintendent of track, bridge and buildings. In 1878 he was, in addition to his other position, appointed assistant superintendent of the Galesburg division. In 1881 he became superintendent of all the lines in Illinois and in 1885 general superintendent with headquarters in Chicago, which necessitated his move from Galesburg in 1887. In 1902 after serving the company as general superintendent for seventeen years, he left that position and became assistant to the second vice-president, and is still connected with the vice-president's department.
Mr. S. T. Shanklin, one of Mr. Clarke's assistants, was a track laborer, then conductor of construction train with headquarters at Abingdon, then road master at Galesburg, from 1864, in charge of the Quincy line. On account of ill health he left the road and accepted a position as division superintendent of the Union Pacific with headquarters at Omaha. Later he left the Union Pacific and became superintendent of the Missouri Pacific, which position he held until at the age of seventy-five he retired to a well earned rest.
Mr. J. H. Linsley, the other assistant of Mr. Clarke, was well known in Galesburg where for many years he resided and where his widow still resides. His daughter, Mrs. G. W. Thompson and his son Fred, an engineer on the Burlington, also reside in Galesburg. Mr. Linsley was an old C. B. & Q. man, commencing before the road reached Galesburg. In 1848 he came west to Michigan and was engaged in the building department of the Michigan Central railroad, following the construction of that great thoroughfare into Chicago. Later he was with the Michigan Southern until 1854 when he came to the Burlington road and was located at Princeton in connection with the building department of what was then the Central Military Tract railroad. He helped build the Bureau bridges. In 1859 Mr. Linsley, having the gold fever, left the road for Pike's peak. He returned to Illinois in 1865, entered the track department of the C. B. & Q. railroad as assistant road master under Mr. Clarke and for many years faithfully served the company and retired at a good age to enjoy his remaining days in Galesburg.
These four men, James T. Clarke, S. T. Shanklin, James H. Linsley and J. D. Besler, had full charge of the Galesburg division at a time when it required most arduous and strenuous efforts to bring the new roadbed in safe and first class condition and keep it so.
Associated with these men was Mr. J. B. Scheitlin, who had full charge of the office or inner work of the track department, which then had its own store department. Mr. Scheitlin commenced his railroad work at Abingdon as assistant to the station agent. Soon after (in February, 1856) the first train from Quincy ran through to Galesburg, when the station was first opened. In August, 1856, the agent suddenly left the service. Mr. Scheitlin was given charge of the station. About that time Abingdon had a one stall engine house and turntable and the conductors and firemen of the construction crews made their headquarters there. Mr. Scheitlin gave up the station and came to Galesburg to assume charge of the books of the track department. In 1866, Mr. Scheitlin was selected to go with the pay master, W. E. Gillman, and later C. S. Bartlett, to assist in paying the men, for twelve successive years, making the trip over the whole road, still having charge of the office work. Mr. Scheitlin was a thorough office man and while the outside work was done by the road masters and superintendent, much of their success was due to the efficiency and faithfulness of the inside men looking after the details and keeping the supplies to the front.
Associated with Mr. Scheitlin for a time was Henry Moore and upon his being transferred in 1867 to the position of special agent, Mr. John Lass became assistant to Mr. Scheitlin, in charge of the office and track supplies and stores. Mr. Lass after five years' service in office of Mercer and Edwards, solicitors and lawyers, in England, commenced his work on the Burlington, in November, 1866, in the building department headquarters, which then was a larger department, where he had the pleasure of doing a pleasant service to the clerk of that office, the editor of this history, our esteemed friend Mr. Albert J. Perry, by relieving him from his duty when he responded to a call from his bride-to-be in the east. Mr. Lass was for four months in a position as assistant to the treasurer of Knox county. In the fall of 1867, he again entered the service of the "Q" in the track department, where he remained until the year 1872, when Superintendent Hitchcock called him to his office, where he was associated with Mr. Samuel Charles and others. After the consolidation of the C., B. & Q. with the B. & M., changes were made in the division superintendent's office. Mr. Sanford Kingsbury, for many years Mr. Hitchcock's chief deck, was transferred to the position of train master and later left for the Central Pacific with Mr. A. N. Towne. Mr. Lass then became chief clerk and continued with Mr. Hitchcock until he retired from the service of the Burlington, in 1881. The office work of the assistant superintendent, Mr. Besler, was also under his charge. In 1890, Mr. Lass was appointed superintendent of the Galesburg division which then included the main line Mendota to Burlington as well as the Burlington to Quincy branch, and all the present division with the exception of the Savanna branch north of this, and after three years he returned to the inside work in charge of the Illinois lines office.
Mr. Lass has been continuously in the service from 1866 to the present time, closely associated with the first superintendent, Mr. Hitchcock, as well as with Mr. Besler, and all the other superintendents and the track, bridge and building department men.
Mr. Samuel Burch was also one of the first men in the service and had charge of the bridge department. Another old employe was E. C. Olin. In 1853, Mr. Olin, a carpenter, came west from New York, and for some time worked for the Chicago Northwestern railroad. In 1885, he began work for the Burlington, at Aurora. He moved to Galesburg, in 1873, where he was in charge of the bridge department for many years, until he retired to his farm in Iowa, where he died at an advanced age. His daughter, Mrs. George W. Bridge, still resides here.
There is now in the service of the company, Mr. John Sullivan, a thorough going track man, none better in that line of work. He is another of the old stock.
When Mr. Sullivan came west upon his arrival upon these shores from Ireland, the land of the green and beauty, he began to work on the track of the Burlington at Somonauk, in 1857. In May, 1860, he came to Galesburg, when, after three years he was appointed track foreman at Kewanee, and five years later at Hinsdale, Illinois, where he remained until 1868, where he was foreman of an extra gang at Sandwich. This position he held until 1871, when he was promoted to the position of division road master with headquarters at Aurora, from whence he was transferred to Galesburg. He had charge of all the main line from Mendota to Burlington, including the Galesburg yard, also the Galva and Gladstone branch. Mr. Sullivan's home has been in Galesburg from the time he became road master on this division and he and his family are well known and respected.
There were two other men in the track department associated with Mr. Clarke. Succeeding Mr. Shanklin was Archer Bracey from New York, and Mr. C. H. Cuyler, who commenced work on the track on the Quincy branch in 1857. Later he became section foreman, then in charge of an extra gang and for years he was also assistant road master.
Mr. C. P. Stringham was also road master and was a good track man. His daughters are still living in Galesburg. When Mr. Shanklin went to the Union Pacific he was followed, in 1871, by Mr. Stringham, Isaac Kennedy and Michael Carey, and others.
The water department was in charge of James V. Pangburn until 1891, when he was succeeded by William Harrison, who is now in charge.
The building department had charge of the erection of all the stations and other buildings on all the new branches which were opened from time to time. Mr. Abe H. Huntington was at the head of this department. In 1874, he went to Denver, where he died some years later. With Mr. Huntington, from 1865 to 1873, was Albert J. Perry, who as chief clerk had charge of the office.
Mr. Perry resigned January 1, 1873, and in July of that year entered the circuit clerk's office, where he remained for nine years, when he was elected county clerk for two terms. He is well known to all people of Knox county and will further be known as the editor of this history. He was elected treasurer of Knox college in 1891, and still holds that office. He was also president of the Second National bank from January, 1891, to February, 1903, when he entered into the loan and investment business, which he has followed to the present time, and is still conducting a nice business in that line.
Mr. W. A. Boydstun succeeded Mr. Huntington and was foreman of the building department and continued in charge until he retired. Mr. Boydstun's son, J. F. Boydstun, was for a time assistant train master and has been for many years one of the best engineers in the road's service. Mr. Boydstun's wife, family and brother, C. O. Boydstun, formerly a "Q" man. still reside in Galesburg.
Mr. Fred H. Tubbs was superintendent of the telegraph of the Galesburg division for a time, but left to be general superintendent of the Western Union Telegraph office in Chicago.
Another employe most closely connected with the Galesburg division was Fletcher C. Rice, who commenced his railroad career as an operator at Monmouth, Kirkwood, and other stations, when he came to Galesburg as train dispatcher, in 1867. He was made chief dispatcher and chief operator in 1878, and train master in 1881. He was appointed superintendent of the Galesburg division in 1888, superintendent of Illinois lines in 1902, general superintendent in 1904. Later he became general inspector of transportation on the vice-president's staff. Mr. Rice always had the confidence and respect of the men who were under his supervision while on the Galesburg and Illinois divisions.
Mr. C. F. Jaureiet, a Canadian Frenchman, was for a long time in the early operation of the road master mechanic of the C., B. & Q. lines at Aurora, with Mr. Cheney, in charge of the locomotive department at Galesburg.
Mr. Cheney was killed at Canton in a train accident. Mr. William Wilson succeeded Mr. Cheney and after several years he was called by the general manager, Chappell, of the Chicago & Alton road to be head of the locomotive department of that road. Mr. Chappell, who was Mr. Hitchcock's assistant, while on the Burlington, recognized Mr. Wilson's' ability. Mr. Wilson was succeeded by Mr. Geo. Hackney, who afterwards became superintendent of motive power of the A. T. & S. F. road.
There were others connected with the locomotive and car departments, one for many years, Mr. John Bassler, whose family still reside in Galesburg. Mr. Bassler had charge of the car department and was a competent man, who later went to Burlington to take charge of the shops there and afterwards resigned and was in business in Galesburg for many years.
Mr. James Lamb, Mr. H. J. Small and others may be remembered in connection with the locomotive and car departments.
Robert W. Colville. one of the old employes, a Galesburg boy, for many years was in charge of the locomotive and car departments at Galesburg. He was well known to all the men as "Bob." Under his jurisdiction the departments were well handled. Mr. Colville and the men worked as a unit in good service. But unfortunately the life of Mr. Colville was instantly terminated December 28, 1909, by an accident which spread a gloom over the whole C. B. & Q. road. Men from all parts of the road attended the funeral services. Mr. Colville's family are residing in Galesburg.
Mr. J. T. Bassett was also in the old car department and still is in the service of the company. He had charge of this department for many years, was known and respected by all. He and his family make their home in Galesburg.
In connection with the C. B. & Q. and Knox county, more particularly Galesburg, it may be interesting to know of the number of young men who have practically had their start in the offices or departments of the C. B. & Q. at Galesburg.
Another Galesburg boy, W. G. Besler, entered the assistant superintendent's office in April, 1880. From there he was called to the office of superintendent of Illinois lines. He went to Chicago in 1886 with his father, Mr. J. D. Besler, where he entered the general manager's office. He took a course in the Boston School of Technology. Returning to Chicago, he was appointed train master at Fulton, then became division superintendent of the St. Louis division and from there he went to the Reading railroad as general manager and is now vice-president and general manager of the Central railroad of New Jersey.
Mr. H. M. Tompkins, clerk of the superintendent of chief dispatcher, is now superintendent of the Michigan Central railroad.
C. J. Balch, former clerk, is now on western railroads.
A. T. Lindgren, clerk of division superintendent, was promoted to chief clerk, then to general superintendent's office in Chicago with Mr. Besler and later left the service and is and has been for many years secretary of the large Scandinavian Loan association.
C. S. Belden, clerk to assistant contractor of construction work, is now in Minneapolis connected with the wholesale exportation of flour and flour expert.
Will Van Schaak, general agent of the St. M. & Pere Marquette railroad, W. A. Armstrong, cashier P. T. & S. bank; C. K. Armstrong, assistant passenger agent of Central railroad of New Jersey; P. N. Granville, Cashier of the Bank of Galesburg; C. M. Hunt, court stenographer; Fay Scudder of the C. B. & Q. railroad office and Geo. L. Price, now of Galesburg Furnishing Co., have all been efficient and active employes.
The following are familiar names upon the books of the Burlington at Galesburg: Fred Barndt, J. P. McDermott, W. E. Fuller, chief dispatcher; Frank Hart, clerk, now general agent at Clinton, Iowa; W. H. Wallace, O. F. Price general solicitor at Galesburg; Wilkins Seacord, superintendent stock yards; Asbury Cochrun, Mr. Seacord's assistant and now superintendent; Chas. F. Cothren, assistant to his father, J. W. Cothren, the first freight agent, until he retired from the road, then succeeded him as freight agent and is still in the employ of the company; W. L. Barnes, Fred Seacord, assistant train master and later assistant ticket agent; Hamilton R. Kearney, clerk; A. S. Crawford, deceased, division passenger and ticket agent at Galesburg; E. S. Gunnell, claim agent, now of the O. T. Johnson store; W. E. Kee, claim agent, now in Chicago law department; C. M. Snyder, H. D. Skidmore and A. L. West, division freight agents; J. P. Van Clute, J. M. Root, James Hopcraft, deceased; A. T. Chittenden, Gus Halline, C. H. Stead, deceased, dispatchers; James Dickson, now in charge of Quincy shops; C. S. Belden, A. C. Noteware, Michael Franey, deceased, in charge of track, Galesburg yard; Patrick McQuillan, also of track department; C. G. Hurd, deceased, E. S. Moulton, C. S. Twyman, W. F. Bloomquist, George Tobin, Patrick Tobin, all of the ticket office; J. R. Weeks, formerly superintendent's chief clerk; H. E. Husted, Chas. F. Lass, E. M. Bristol, E. J. Dickson, Grover F. Ekins, now in charge of a church in Cleveland; W. H. Spinner, operator, chief clerk with Mr. Rice, later the well known ticket agent at Galesburg, now with the New York Life Insurance Co.; F. W. Churchill, C. P. Matingly, Fred Finch, now of the Great Northern; W. C. Blaich, chief clerk division superintendent, now with the Big Creek Colliery Co., and the People's Fuel Co.; Mr. Wesley Woods, now with the relief department; Ed. F. Toben, for many years in the superintendent's office and track department and now chief clerk in division superintendent's office; Loren M. Peterson, now assistant chief clerk; E. E. Watson, clerk superintendent's office; John B. McAuley, formerly city engineer now contractor, and C. H. Simcaskey, chief clerk, Aurora.
In the year 1900 there was a gigantic struggle for the possession of the C. B. & Q. between the Great Northern Railroad Co., represented by J. H. Hill and the Union Pacific, represented by E. H. Harriman, terminating as all know in the control of the C. B. & Q. passing out of the hands of the men of Boston and the east and into the hands of the Great Northern and Northern Pacific and
finally terminating with the Great Northern practically in full control. This struggle was so fierce that stocks went soaring to unheard of heights and for a time railroad managers generally feared a most disastrous result. Nevertheless, things settled down and no one outside of the parties interested realized that anything had happened. All that is known or felt today is that James J. Hill became one of the greatest of railroad kings and if anything happens to interfere with the great property concentrated by him, it will probably some day become the greatest factor in existence in the transportation problem of the United States and the world. Northwestern Canada is nowhere near developed, no one can make accurate prediction of the importance of Alaska, there is a constant growth in the products and productive power of the great west as well as the east and there is yet to be a greater interchange of the products of the two sections of this country than one can imagine and this enormous system of railways must perform the bulk of this work. The great growth in the population of the United States was the first cause that called this system into being.
Millions of men and women have made up the constructive force and it is now proper to group a few of the commanding figures that have guided the great mass in its constructive work, all of whom at some time have been prominent in C. B. & Q. matters and many of them residents of Knox county.
A. M. Towne, president Southern Pacific; E. P. Ripley, president A. T. & S. F. R. R. Co.; F. A. Delano, president Erie railway; H. B. Stone, general manager C. B. & Q.; W. C. Brown, president New York Central & H. R. R.; G. H. Ross, vice-president Alton; J. D. Besler, C. B. & Q., of Chicago; W. G. Besler, vice-president and general manager Central of New Jersey; Chas. Chappell, president Chicago & Alton; J. T. Clarke, general superintendent Union Pacific and later C. M. & St. P.; S. T. Shanklin, division superintendent Northern Pacific; Daniel Willard, president Erie railroad; Robert Mather, president Rock Island system; C. H. Hudson, Chicago and C. & O. L.; C. H. Smith, traffic manager C. & O.
So intimate has been the relation between the Michigan Central railroad and the C. B. & Q. railroad that a history of the latter does not seem complete without a brief account of the former. Three men, whom we have already mentioned, deserve a little further notice before taking up this part of our subject, viz.: John W. Brooks, James F. Joy, and John Murray Forbes, who may be credited with the organization, consolidation and building of the Michian Central and all of whom have been prominent in one way and another with the Burlington system.
John M. Forbes from 1846 to 1881 was a great power in the financial world, who provided funds for the completion and successful operation of the Michigan Central and who did very much the same thing for the C. B. & Q. He was a man of strict and unswerving financial integrity and thereby established a credit for these roads upon a firm basis with moneyed interests of the east. Well known in London and the orient, his word became good for any needed amount of money.
John W. Brooks at the age of twenty-six came west and saw the condition of the Michigan Central road. He returned to Boston and New York in the hope of interesting financial men in his scheme. He met John M. Forbes, who had already some experience in matters of this kind, and presented the subject to him. The Michigan Central had been built westward from Detroit one hundred and forty miles to Kalamazoo. It had been backed by the state of Michigan and had cost $3,500,000. State aid, however, failed at this period and the road was put up for market. Mr. Forbes had faith in the scheme and undertook to furnish money for the purchase of the road. He employed the great lawyer, Daniel Webster, to draft a charter of the Michigan Central railroad embodying the best features of what had been learned from eastern railroad experience and sent Mr. Brooks back to Michigan to secure the passage of the charter by the legislature. In 1846 after much discussion and predictions of dire results, the charter was granted and by the act of incorporation the Michigan Central was granted the property of the road forever with the proviso that after twenty years the state might repurchase and after thirty years might alter, amend or repeal the charter. The purchase was made for $2,000,000.
Mr. James F. Joy was a graduate of Dartmouth college and the Harvard Law school. He came to Detroit and while waiting for his practice to grow, he was called into this scheme. It was Brooks and Joy who presented this matter to Forbes and they naturally became active in the work of bringing order out of the chaos into which the road had fallen. Forbes was made president of the road, Brooks of Detroit was to have charge of the operating. The Michigan Central company took possession of the property on the 23rd of September, 1846, and when the directors held the first annual meeting in Detroit, June, 1847, the road had already prospered enough to justify immediate preparations for a forward march toward Lake Michigan. Funds were easily found to complete this work and soon these men began to look for opportunities west of Chicago and by a series of negotiations heretofore mentioned in this work, they became interested in the Burlington road.
At the time these men took hold of the Michigan Central road, it ran through a section of country which was practically a wilderness, but the moment that efficient management was substituted for the previous bad management, traffic increased to such a degree that the road was shortly built to Chicago and transportation from Buffalo to Chicago was reduced from four days to a few hours.
Towns have sprung up along its line, it has a magnificent road bed, its depot buildings are of the finest in the country and it is one of the first class roads of the United States.
ATCHISON, TOPEKA & SANTA FE RAILWAY
by J. F. Jarrell
The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway company, which has a valuable plant in Galesburg, operates in thirteen states. These Santa Fe states are Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California. This territory generally is known as the Great Southwest. If the thirteen states named were isolated from the rest of the world, the inhabitants would lack neither necessities nor luxuries in all the time to come, for in this section everything that mankind desires is produced in abundance.
The Santa Fe has been a pioneer in the development of the territory described. Starting in Kansas when the buffalo ran wild and Indians were on the war path, it pushed its way steadily westward and southward, across plains and through mountains, toward the Pacific ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Having obtained an outlet to tide waters on the west and south, to obtain a definite eastern terminus at once became a problem for the Santa Fe management to solve.
Southern California was, in the late eighties, beginning to boom its products eastward; the mines of New Mexico and Colorado were contributing a heavy traffic; the plains of western Kansas, Indian Territory and Texas were shipping vast and increasing numbers of cattle to eastern markets, and the grain fields of Kansas were developing at a remarkable rate. The enormous volume of traffic which the then 5,300 miles of the Santa Fe system was creating and handling demanded an eastern outlet beyond the Missouri river.
Chicago, the traffic center of the great lakes and the Mississippi valley, was then, as today, the central market. It was, furthermore, the center of westward traffic operations, and the great homeseeker movement, occasioned by cheap lands and booming conditions in the west focused in that city. Chicago was, in short, the logical eastern terminus for the Santa Fe system.
To do full justice to its traffic requirements and to fulfill its ambition for a line from the lakes to the gulf and Pacific coast points, the Santa Fe must, then, strike directly from Kansas City to Chicago, and, under the indomitable leadership of President William B. Strong, the dream of building into Chicago became a splendid reality in the year 1887.
To carry out this project, the Chicago, Santa Fe & California Railway company was incorporated under the laws of the state of Illinois on December 3, 1886.
In the month of January, 1887, according to information furnished by G. D. Bradley of the Santa Fe's accounting department at Topeka, the stock markets of Boston, New York and London announced the sale of $15,000,000 gold bonds of the Chicago, Santa Fe & California Railway company. These bonds, which were payable semi-annually in each of the above mentioned cities, were guaranteed by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad company and were secured by a first mortgage on the entire new road as projected subject only to $1,500,000 of prior lien bonds. In consideration of this guarantee, the Santa Fe was to receive the entire $30,000,000 stock issue of the Chicago, Santa Fe & California Railway company, thereby gaining control through a direct ownership of two-thirds of its $45,000,000 capital.
Several plans were proposed for getting into Chicago, but the one adopted was to construct as much of a direct line as necessary, and to purchase such minor lines as could be used to advantage in covering the distance. By this plan it was found possible to reduce the amount of main line construction about one hundred miles through the purchase of a small road leading into Chicago from Pekin, Illinois. Shortly after its incorporation, in December, 1886, the Chicago, Santa Fe & California Railway company acquired the road and other properties of the Chicago & St. Louis Railway company, which extended from Chicago to Pekin, about 158 miles, including a short spur from Streator to Coalville. By the terms of its charter the Chicago, Santa Fe & California Railway Company was authorized to build an extension from Streator, Illinois, to Fort Madison, Iowa, connecting at the latter point with an extension of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe from Kansas City. It was authorized, further, to construct a line from Pekin to Springfield, Illinois.
The Chicago & St. Louis Railway company, which the Santa Fe absorbed, was known originally in railroad circles as the "Hinckley road." About the year 1869, a Chicago promoter, named Francis C. Hinckley, associated with Philip B. Shumway and Colonel Ralph Plumb, and backed largely by Moses Taylor, president of the National City Bank of New York, had built a line from Streator to Pekin, a distance of about sixty-four miles. This was called the Chicago, Pekin & Southwestern railroad. In 1876 this road was extended northward about thirty miles to Maxon creek, near Coal City, the enterprise having been conducted under the name of the Chicago & St. Louis Railway Company. In 1881 these roads became involved in financial difficulties and, on May 10, 1882, both properties were reorganized under the name of the Chicago, St. Louis & Western Railroad company. On January 1, 1884, this line was completed from Mazon bridge to Chicago, nearly seventy miles. More financial troubles ensued, and another reorganization took place, this time under the name of the Chicago & St. Louis Railway company, on January 1, 1885. The property of the Chicago, St. Louis & Western was transferred to the Chicago & St. Louis Railway company on May 1, 1885, and the latter named road was formally opened for traffic on December 21, 1885, only to pass to the Chicago, Santa Fe & California Railway company a year later.
In February, 1887, A. A. Robinson, chief engineer of the Santa Fe system, received orders from President Strong to push the line through and have it ready for operation by January 1, 1888. This order was literally carried into effect, work being started all along the line with tremendous energy.
The grading and bridge building were let to private contractors, and approximately five thousand men were employed along the entire route, this force being increased later by about two thousand railroad employes engaged in track and structural work. The organization of the engineering staff and this body of workmen was not unlike that of an army in the field. Over the entire enterprise, with headquarters in Topeka, but everywhere present, was A. A. Robinson, chief engineer. At one time five hundred men were employed on Santa Fe work in Knox county.
Mr. Robinson, who now resides in Topeka, having retired from active railroad work, told the writer that he negotiated the arrangement for building the Santa Fe through Galesburg with a committee of which Mr. W. Selden Gale was chairman. Mr. Gale was the son of George W. Gale, founder of Galesburg. When news was received in Galesburg that the Santa Fe would build east of the Missouri river, the people of Galesburg promptly organized to capture the new line. Galesburg's proposition was to furnish a right of way through the city without expense to the Santa Fe. A guaranty, signed by many leading citizens, was telegraphed by Colonel Clark E. Carr to the directors of the Santa Fe, in session in Boston, and they accepted it. The money to pay for the right of way was afterwards raised by subscription. The road was built through Knox county late in the summer of 1887. When the work was started in Galesburg, Mr. Robinson submitted all matters pertaining to grades, crossings, depot site, etc., to Chairman Gale and the other committeemen, who put them through the council.
An important feature of the line from Chicago to Kansas City is that, while the Santa Fe crosses thirty-four railroads in the total distance of 458 miles, there are only four grade crossings. The Santa Fe goes over or under these railroads at all the other points. This feature prevents danger and saves time.
After the completion of the Chicago-Kansas City line, Mr. Robinson became vice-president and general manager of the Santa Fe, and later went to the Mexican Central railroad as its president.
Reaching Chicago, in 1888, the Santa Fe began spreading its network of rails into a system now aggregating approximately 11,000 miles of lines which serve this vast empire of the southwest, its wealth-yielding farms and ranches, its extensive mines, and its growing cities teeming with factories and the marts of trade.
The manufacturing industries in the thirteen states served by the Santa Fe have increased in number and output more than 100 per cent in ten years. All of the states produce lumber for the market, except two. Ten of the states are coal producers. Petroleum and natural gas are found in nine. The wool industry is important in twelve. Stone for the market is produced in four, salt in four, lead and zinc in seven, gypsum in eight, lime in three, cement in nine, sand and gravel in ten, clay in eight, precious metals in six, copper in five, iron in six, the fishing industry is extensive in six, and every state is rich in products from the farm, orchard, ranch and garden.
The rapid development of the southwest has made it necessary for the Santa Fe to have a two-track railroad from Chicago to the Pacific. It now has two tracks from Chicago to Belen, New Mexico, a distance of 1,400 miles, and by the end of 1912 additional double tracking for 400 miles will have been finished west of Belen. From Chicago to Kansas City the tracks are side by side. From Kansas City the main line runs through central Kansas, southeastern Colorado and New Mexico, another line through southern Kansas, northwestern Oklahoma, the panhandle of Texas and central New Mexico, the two lines meeting at Belen, making a two-track way. In addition the Santa Fe has double tracked its main line in Kansas City to Newton, a distance of 201 miles. It also has two tracks through the Arkansas valley, from Holly to La Junta, in Colorado. The tracks west of Belen are side by side. The double tracking from Chicago to Kansas City was completed in 1911. The double tracking in Knox county was done in the summer of that year.
The Santa Fe of to-day, under the guidance of President E. P. Ripley, is recognized as one of the great railway systems of the world, at once conservative and progressive. The Ripley policy for team work in all branches of the service and for maintaining a cordial relationship between officials and the company's patrons has been a strong factor in the success of the Santa Fe.
LABOR UNIONS OF KNOX COUNTY
No. 62, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, has the distinction to-ay of being
the oldest labor organization in Knox county. Its charter, now hanging on the
east wall of the Trades Assembly hall, bears the date January 17th, 1865, though
its history dates back almost two years prior to that time.
Galesburg Division No. 83, Order of Railway Conductors, was next in line
(fourth...behind the cigar makers) and was formed July 23rd, 1883. The following
years, in September, Galesburg Lodge No. 24, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen,
first saw the light of day. Both of these railroad organizations met with some
opposition on the part of the company at first, but later were well received,
and today are flourishing brotherhoods.
About the middle of June, 1863, ten or a dozen of the engineers running out of Galesburg, imbued with the idea that "in union there is strength" and inspired by the institution of the first railroad brotherhood in America only a month previous at Detroit, met in a little back room over where is now Burt's drug store and formed a local organization known as the "Brotherhood of the Footboard." And Stephen A. Randall of 556 South Broad street is the only surviving charter member of that little band of devoted men who, in this county, first awoke to the realization of the need of workingman banding themselves together for protection and advancement.
Knowing full well that capital was unalterably opposed to combinations of labor, the utmost secrecy was maintained as to membership in the new society, for knowledge of its existence had spread to the company to whom it was a "thorn in the flesh." The railroad officials determined to nip the new union in its infancy and used every tactic to find out just who were members. Every engineer found to belong, or thought to belong, was summarily discharged. Mr. Randall was one of the men instrumental in forming the organization and one also who was soon let out of the company's employment. Those who were discharged left the city and sought work elsewhere, only to learn that they were blacklisted, and securing a run on other roads was a difficult proposition. Mr. Randall returned to Galesburg, however, and was one of the men who, in January, 1865, transformed the "Brotherhood of the Footboard" into Galesburg Division No. 62, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.
Notwithstanding the opposition of the company, the men were determined that they should not be deprived of their rights to organize, and soon the organization grew so strong that the company began to realize the futility of further antagonism and ceased its hostility. Many of the discharged engineers were reinstated to their former runs, among whom was Mr. Randall, who remained in the engine service of the Burlington, the Wabash and one or two other roads, until, as he puts it, "the trains were made so long that the engineer could not hear the shouts of the conductor from the way-car," when he retired from the service and has since devoted himself to caring for a small farm he succeeded in acquiring, though he still maintains his membership in the brotherhood, and was last year given an honorary membership by the grand lodge, a thing held by few members of the order.
Mr. Randall is authority for the statement that Galesburg's Brotherhood of the Footboard was the fourth railroad brotherhood to be formed in America, and though given No. 62, many lodges have lower numbers which were since formed, such as Los Angeles No. 5, Indianapolis No. 11, Springfield No. 23, Aurora No. 32, etc. With a twinkle in his eye, he relates that Galesburg, though the fourth to form, was given No. 62 to make the railroads believe there were many locals in existence and that the order was exceedingly strong.
Galesburg now has two lodges of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the second. No. 644, being instituted February 29th, 1904, and is the largest brotherhood in the United States on any one railroad division.
Singular as it may seem, though the engineers had sown the seed of unionism in this county in 1863, no further efforts were made to formulate other organizations for almost twenty years. The records at headquarters in Peoria of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen show that Progress Lodge No. 105, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, was organized at Galesburg March 15th, 1882, with twenty-two charter members. Also that the lodge was removed to Chillicothe, Illinois, in September, 1899 (after the Burlington strike), and finally surrendered its charter on June 10th, 1902. However, the firemen soon realized that this was too big a division point to be without an organization, and Lodge No. 477, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, was instituted here May 1st, 1904. The name was changed to Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen March 1st, 1909...
Galesburg Division No. 83, Order of Railway Conductors, was next in line
(fourth...behind the cigar makers) and was formed July 23rd, 1883. The following
years, in September, Galesburg Lodge No. 24, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen,
first saw the light of day. Both of these railroad organizations met with some
opposition on the part of the company at first, but later were well received,
and today are flourishing brotherhoods.
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