Contributed by Tom Jacobs
Tom writes: "I have enclosed a picture of the CB&Q, CRI&P track crossing. David T Nichols was a ticket and freight agent for the CB&Q RR for 22 years." (See RR history below)
Taken from the Past and present of Bureau County, Illinois. Chicago: Pioneer Pub. Co., 1906., Page 109-110
The first railroad to enter Bureau County was what is now known as the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway.(CRI&P). It was first chartered in 1847 as the Rock Island & La Salle County Railroad. The charter was amended in 1851 and became the Chicago & Rock Island. It commenced the work of construction April, 1852. The first passenger train was run to Joliet, in October, 1852; to Morris, sixty-two miles, January 5, 1853; to Ottawa, eighty-four miles, February 14; to Peru, one hundred miles, March 24; to Tiskilwa, one hundred and eighteen miles, September 20, at which time a celebration was held and great rejoicing was manifest all over the county, as it meant a new era in the progress and development of the country. It was finished to Geneseo, one hundred and fifty-nine miles, December 19, 1853, and to Rock Island, one hundred and eighty-one miles, February 22, 1854. The branch from Bureau Junction to Peoria was completed in 1854. The short length of time in which this railroad was completed was phenomenal at that early day in railroading.
The road enters the county near the southeast corner of Hall township, runs nearly west until it reached Depue, when it dips about three miles to the south, where it forms a junction with the Peoria branch at Bureau, then turns north and follows the Bureau valley to a point west of Tiskilwa, where it turns in a northwest direction until it reaches South Wyanet, where it passes nearly due west to Sheffield, then turns in a northwesterly direction and passes out of the county on section 7, in Mineral township. The entire length of this road in Bureau county is 44. 8 miles.
Taken from the Past and present of Bureau County, Illinois. Chicago: Pioneer Pub. Co., 1906., Page 110
The second railroad that entered the county was the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy. It was first organized under the name of the Aurora Branch Railroad. It extended from Turner Junction, in DuPage county, to Aurora, a distance of thirteen miles, and cars began running in November 1850. This road was extended from Aurora to Mendota, a distance of forty0six miles, and was known as the Chicago & Auroa Railroad Company, and began its traffic in the fall of 1853. In 1855 this road took the name of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, and in July, 1856, it was consolidated with the Central Military Tract Company, which was chartered in February 1851, and had to build a road from Mendota to Galesburg, a distance of eighty miles, and opened it for shipments in 1853. It will be seen by the foregoing statement that when the road first passed through Bureau county it bore the name of the Central Military Tract Road, and its first passenger train reached Princeton October 10, 1854.
This road entered the county on section 25, in Clarion township, and ran southwesterly through Westfield, Berlin, and came within about one mile of the courthouse in Princeton, then, on account of the difficulty in crossing the creek, it deflected north until it reached East Bureau, when it again ran in a southwesterly direction until it passed out of the county on section 19, in Neponset township. The Rushville branch of the Burlington was built in 1870, commencing at Buda and passing out ot the county on section 35, Macon; there is about seven miles of this branch in this county. The Mendota and Fulton branch was also built in 1870. It enters the county on section 24, in Clarion, and passes through Clarion, La Moille, Ohio, Walnut, and leaves the county at section 1, in Greenville. This branch covers about twenty-seven miles in this county.
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