Chicago & Alton Railroad
My Present Past
A genealogical experience
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The original charter under which this company operated was granted February 27, 1847, under the name of the
Chicago & Mississippi Railroad. Various amendments and reorganizations were made from time to time and the
present company (1874) was organized under an Act passed February 16, 1861 and amended February 16, 1865.
The company and various portions of its line, have had several different names from time to time; among them
which have been Alton & Sangamon, Joliet & Chicago, St. Louis, Jacksonville & Chicago, St. Louis, Alton & Chicago
and Alton & St. Louis Railroad Company, now consolidated all or into or operated under lease by the Chicago &
Alton Railroad Company.
The Alton & Sangamon line was to connect the Mississippi River town of Alton to the state capital at Springfield
in Sangamon County. The line was finished in 1852, and as the Chicago & Mississippi Railroad extended to
Bloomington in 1854 and Joliet in 1855. Initially, trains ran over the completed Chicago and Rock Island Railroad
to Chicago.
The Joliet and Chicago Railroad was chartered February 15, 1855, and opened in 1856, continuing north and
northeast from Joliet to downtown Chicago. It was leased by the Chicago & Mississippi providing a continuous
railroad from Alton to Chicago. In 1857 the Chicago & Mississippi was reorganized as the St. Louis, Alton and
Chicago Railroad, and another reorganization on October 10, 1862, produced the Chicago and Alton Railroad.
The C
hicago & Alton chartered the Alton and St. Louis Railroad to extend the line to East St. Louis,
opened in 1864 giving it a line from Chicago to East St. Louis.
The Alton Railroad was the final name of the railroad linking Chicago to Alton, Illinois, St. Louis, Missouri and
Kansas City, Missouri. Its predecessor, The Chicago & Alton Railroad, was purchased by the
Baltimore & Ohio in
1931 and was controlled until 1942 when the Alton was released to the courts.
On May 31, 1947, the Alton Railroad was merged into the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad.
The line to Alton and St. Louis is now mostly part of the Union Pacific Railroad system; the line to Kansas City is
part of the Kansas City Southern Railway system. Metra's Heritage Corridor provides commuter rail service on
the old main line, now owned by the Canadian National Railway through its Illinois Central Railroad, between
Chicago and Joliet, Illinois.
1865 Private Laws of Illinois  Page 137

1865 Private Laws of Illinois
 Page 138

1865 Private Laws of Illinois
 Page 139

1865 Private Laws of Illinois
 Page 140
1851 Private Laws of Illinois  Page 279
1855 Private Laws of Illinois  Page 263

1855 Private Laws of Illinois  
Page 264

1855 Private Laws of Illinois  
Page 265

1855 Private Laws of Illinois  
Page 266

1855 Private Laws of Illinois  
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1855 Private Laws of Illinois  
Page 268
The train schedule for President Abraham Lincoln's remains after he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.
His body was carried by the Chicago Alton Railroad from Chicago to Springfield, Illinois on May 02, 1865.
The cortege also carried special instructions and provisions for the entire trip.
Above:
1884 Chicago & Alton Train Schedule
1906 Chicago Alton Pass for Mrs. John B. Engel
1906 Chicago Alton Pass for Mrs. John B. Engel