My Present Past
A genealogical experience
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Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad
The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, with over nine thousand miles of road in eleven different
states, is a corporation of the State of Illinois. It comprises and includes about two hundred different railroad
companies of these states, with which it has been consolidated or whose roads it has acquired.
The first of these companies was called "
Aurora Branch Railroad Company," organized at Aurora Illinois, by
citizens of that place in February, 1849. On February 12, 1849, the Illinois Legislature granted a special
charter for the company and on September 2, 1850, the road was completed from Aurora northerly twelve
miles to a connection with the
Galena and Chicago Union Railroad (now the Chicago and Northwestern) at Turner
Junction (West Chicago). Under contract with the Galena Company, beginning December 1851, the company
operated its trains into Chicago thirty miles over the Galena road and until 1864, when it built its own line
directly into the city from Aurora via Naperville. The following section will deal mainly with the Illinois
operation of the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad.
Citizens of Galesburg, Illinois in 1851, procured a charter for a road called "Central Military Tract Railroad
Company," which in December 1854, completed a line from Mendota to Galesburg, seventy nine miles.
Peoria and Oquawka Railroad Company was chartered February 12, 1849, to build from Peoria via Galesburg
to Burlington, Iowa in March 1855 and between Peoria and Galesburg in February of 1857.
In July 1856 the Central Military Tract and the Chicago Burlington and Quincy were consolidated under the
name "The Chicago Burlington and Quincy Rail Road Company" and in June of 1864 the company was
consolidated by purchase with the successor to the Peoria and Oquawka (
Logansport, Peoria & Burlington
Railroad) but retained it's name, the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company. The road between
Galesburg and Quincy (one hundred miles) was built by the
Northern Cross Railroad Company and completed in
January of 1856. Mortgages upon its line were foreclosed and the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad
Company became purchaser at the foreclosure sale in July 1865.
In 1861, The Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company acquired the road of The Jacksonville and Savanna
Railroad Company from Yates City to St. David and the Peoria and Hannibal Railroad Company to Lewistown,
Illinois. It also acquired in 1856 an undivided one-fourth interest in the
St. Charles Air Line which gave it
access to the Illinois Central Station in Chicago, on the lake front, which it occupied from 1856 to 1881,
when it began to use the Union Station and on the west side, at Canal and Adams streets.
Meantime, several branch line railroad companies were organized in Illinois and acquired by the
Chicago Burlington & Quincy; their names and length and date of acquisition were as follows:

The Ottawa Oswego and Fox River Valley Railroad Company
Streator to Geneva - 64.83 miles on October 20, 1870

The Illinois Grand Trunk Railroad
Mendota to Fulton - 64.38 miles on October 07, 1870

The American Central Railroad Company
Galva to New Boston - 50.59 miles on October 12, 1868

The Dixon and Quincy Railroad Company
Keithsburg to Arpie - 5.6 miles on November 01, 1870

The Dixon Peoria and Hannibal Railroad Company
Buda to Elmwood - 44.6 miles on July 01, 1869

The Carthage and Burlington Railroad Company
30.4 miles on May 01, 1869

The Quincy and Warsaw Railroad Company
Quincy to Carthage - 40.6 miles on December 01, 1870

The Quincy Alton and St. Louis Railroad Company
Quincy to East Hannibal - 47.71 miles on February 01, 1876

The Chicago and Iowa Railroad Company
Aurora to Arlington and Rockford - 101.94 miles on July 01, 1875

The Chicago and Rock River Railroad Company
Shabbona to Rock Falls - 46.95 miles on October 09, 1872

The Illinois Valley and Northern Railroad Company
Streator to Walnut - 59.9 miles on January 02, 1888

The Joliet Rockford and Northern Railroad Company
Sheridan to Paw Paw - 19.54 miles on May 01, 1882

The Galesburg and Rio Railroad Company
12 miles on October 01, 1886

The Fulton County Narrow Gauge Railway Company
59.3 miles on February 01, 1906

The St. Louis Rock Island and Chicago Railroad Company
281.3 miles on May 18, 1876

The Jacksonville and Saint Louis Railway Company
121.86 miles on July 02, 1904

Northern and Southern Illinois Railroad Company was organized in 1904 and the Herrin and Southern
Railroad Company in 1909. They were extensions of The Jacksonville and Saint Louis Railway Company south
from Centralia to Metropolis, 105.82 miles, where the road connects with the road of the
Paducah and Illinois
Railroad Company, which company was organized and built from Metropolis to Paducah, Kentucky, in the joint
interest of the C. B. & Q. and the
Nashville Chattanooga and St. Louis Railroad. The Paducah & Illinois line is
13.93 miles long. The bridge across the Ohio River, known as the "Metropolis Bridge" was completed in
December of 1917. The Paducah & Illinois forms a connecting link between the Chicago Burlington & Quincy and
the Louisville and Nashville System.
In 1883 the companies were organized which afterwards were united as the
Chicago Burlington and Northern Railroad Company which built from Oregon and Fulton, Illinois to St. Paul,
Minnesota, the road being completed to St. Paul on August 23, 1886. Of date June 01, 1899, this road was
conveyed to the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company by deed.
The length of the Burlington road in Illinois is 1866 miles; in Wisconsin 228 miles; and in Minnesota 22 miles.
The bridge across the Mississippi River at Burlington was built in 1868 and rebuilt in 1890. The bridge at
Quincy was built in 1868 and rebuilt in 1897.
In the next section of the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad, you will learn about my ancestors,
David Thomas Nichols, Edward John Engel, Clifford Lamont Nichols and my father, Robert Eugene Jacobs legacy
with this great railroad company. Also included are the friends and relatives who also worked with them at the
C. B. & Q. So sit back, relax and enjoy the story.
1857 advertisement for the
Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad
Princeton. Illinois
In June 1852 the name of the company was changed to "Chicago and Aurora Railroad Company" and the company
extended the road in a southwesterly direction forty six miles, the line being completed to
Mendota in October of 1853.  
1855, the name was changed to "The Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company."