Category Archives: Railroads

The interurban railway

The Illinois Traction System, though originally an electric railway, was far more than a trolley. The ITS, also widely known as “the interurban” or “the traction,” was, in fact, a lifeline for many in central Illinois during the first half … Continue reading

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Cornelius Flagg Farmstead, Sherman

                                                  Flagg Farmstead, 2013 (SCHS photo) The Flagg Farmstead , 500 Old Tipton Road in Sherman … Continue reading

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Northern Cross Railroad

The Northern Cross Railroad, the first railroad in Illinois, briefly operated from Springfield to Meredosia, giving central Illinois long-coveted access to the Illinois River and then the Mississippi. The line was one of eight railroads called for in the state’s … Continue reading

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Pawnee Railroad

As railroads became vital to community development in the late 19th century, Pawnee farmers and businessmen took the unusual step of financing and building their own rail link. The line originally ran west from Pawnee to connect to the north-south … Continue reading

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Springfield in 1867 (map)

Although not to scale, the 1867 bird’s-eye view of Springfield drawn by A. Ruger for the Chicago Lithographing Co. is considered accurate in its placement and depiction of city buildings and streets. Note that the map is oriented with north … Continue reading

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Springfield Iron Co.

The Springfield Iron Co. — better known as “the Rolling Mill” — produced railroad rails and other products at a 45-acre plant near 11th Street and Ridgely Avenue from 1872 until the early 1900s. More than 1,000 men worked at … Continue reading

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Union Station

Springfield’s Union Station is a former railroad passenger terminal that has been converted into a visitors center for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The station opened in 1898. … Continue reading

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Wabash Railroad Employees Hospital

Wabash Railroad employees injured on the job were brought to Springfield for treatment from 1884 to 1902 at a hospital dedicated to them. The infirmary was established in the former James Conkling mansion at Sixth Street and Lawrence Avenue.  The … Continue reading

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Erastus Wright

Erastus Wright (1779-1870) was a teacher, businessman, public official and farmer in a varied career spent mostly in central Illinois. He also was an early Springfield abolitionist and was one of Abraham Lincoln’s pallbearers. Wright was born in Massachusetts and traveled with … Continue reading

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Buffalo, founded as a station on the Wabash Railroad, was platted in 1854  and incorporated as a village in 1872. Entrepreneur Josiah Green built the first house in what later became Buffalo in 1848; it was used as a boarding … Continue reading

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