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Liberal in Seward County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Rock Island Lines

Seventieth Anniversary

— 1852-1922 —

 
 
Rock Island Lines Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2022
1. Rock Island Lines Marker
Inscription.  
October Tenth
The memorial tree planted nearby
is dedicated
by the Rock Island in affectionate memory
of
Joseph B. Smalley
who by his industry courage and loyalty
through every vicissitude signally
aided in the development of the
Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railway
into a great transportation system
devoted to the public service

 
Erected 1922.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical date for this entry is October 10, 1852.
 
Location. 37° 2.373′ N, 100° 55.231′ W. Marker is in Liberal, Kansas, in Seward County. Marker is on East 2nd Street just east of North Washington Avenue (East Trail Street), on the right when traveling east. Marker is located beside the sidewalk, at the northeast corner of the old Rock Island Railroad Depot parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Liberal KS 67901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Seward County War Dead and Missing in Action (approx. 0.2 miles away); War Memorial
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(approx. 0.2 miles away); Replica of the Statue of Liberty (approx. ¼ mile away); Liberal Memorial Library (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Pioneer Mother of Kansas (approx. 0.3 miles away); International Pancake Day (approx. 0.3 miles away); When Coronado came to Kansas (approx. 0.7 miles away); Original Hand-Dug Well (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Liberal.
 
Also see . . .
1. Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad.
Its predecessor, the Rock Island and La Salle Railroad Company, was incorporated in Illinois on February 27, 1847, and an amended charter was approved on February 7, 1851, as the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad. Construction began in Chicago on October 1, 1851, and the first train was operated on October 10, 1852, between Chicago and Joliet. Construction continued on through La Salle, and Rock Island was reached on February 22, 1854, becoming the first railroad to connect Chicago with the Mississippi River.

The railroad expanded through construction and acquisitions in the following decades. The Rock Island stretched

Rock Island Lines Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2022
2. Rock Island Lines Marker
(looking north • marker is on top of pedestal • Rock Island Railroad Park in background)
across Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas. It was also known as the Rock Island Line, or, in its final years, The Rock. The song "Rock Island Line", a spiritual from the late 1920s first recorded in 1934, was inspired by the railway.
(Submitted on January 11, 2023, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Joseph Benjamin Smalley (1858-1914).
While yet a mere youth he mastered telegraphy and at the age of sixteen he began as an operator for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad. He remained in the continuous employ of that company from 1874 until 1902, the first six years of which time was spent as an operator at different points. From 1881 to 1888 he was train dispatcher at Milwaukee and from 1888 to 1894 he was chief dispatcher at Dubuque and Marion, Iowa. He was made trainmaster at Marion, Iowa, in 1894, and remained there until 1902. From 1902 to Dec. 15, 1909, he was superintendent of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific railroad successively at Estherville and Des Moines, Iowa, Herington, Kan., and Rock Island, Ill. On Dec. 15, 1909, he became general superintendent of the southwestern district.
(Submitted on January 11, 2023, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Rock Island Railroad Depot (<i>northeast elevation</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2022
3. Rock Island Railroad Depot (northeast elevation)
(looking southwest from marker • now home to the Liberal, Kansas Chamber of Commerce)
Rock Island Railroad Depot (<i>southwest elevation</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2022
4. Rock Island Railroad Depot (southwest elevation)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 11, 2023. It was originally submitted on January 11, 2023, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 173 times since then and 84 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 11, 2023, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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