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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Monticello in Piatt County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Railroads Bring Change

 

—Looking for Lincoln —

 
Top Section - - Railroads Bring Change Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
1. Top Section - - Railroads Bring Change Marker
(Click on any of these photos to see details.)
Inscription. The I.C.R.R. Co. Steam locomotive was popular in the mid 1850's, when Lincoln worked for the Illinois Central. It was named “American Standard,” and latter ran from Decatur to Champaign. Locomotives were originally wood burning, and the railroad often purchased wood from local landowners. The crew frequently asked passengers to assist loading wood at fuel stops. Fuel stops were simply a platform located adjacent to a land-owner’s timber. Water was stored in a tank by the Sangamon River. Early trains traveled at fifteen to twenty miles per hour, much faster than the horses and stage coaches they replaced.

Before the Railroads arrived in Piatt County, Lincoln and the other circuit lawyers traveled buffalo trails that became Indian trails and later became roads, created by oxen dragging timbers. Lincoln was a great proponent of the railroads, realizing the great advantage they would bring to central Illinois. He started out as a lobbyist for the Illinois Central, and between 1853 and 1860 he handled many cases in the Eighth Judicial Circuit involving the Illinois Central. Lincoln was an advocate of the Northern Cross railroad in the 1850's, wanting it built through Centerville in Piatt County, across the center of Illinois, to link Western Illinois with Eastern Illinois.

Although he had this vision, it didn’t
Close-up Photo - - Locomotive image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
2. Close-up Photo - - Locomotive
quite happen that way. The Northern Cross eventually merged with several other railroads, ultimately becoming the Wabash, running from Springfield through Decatur and Bement. This was the only line in Piatt County that Lincoln rode when he traveled the circuit or later campaigned in the area. At the time (1856-1875) many railroads in Illinois were “paper” only railroads and were concept pending, leveraging locals or land rights and wealthy interests for funding.

Small Towns, like Centerville in Piatt County, prospored or declined, based on the route of the railroad. In 1866 Centerville had a post office, thirty houses, an assortment of businesses, and 200 residents. Lincoln supported bringing the Northern Cross railroad through Centerville, backing it to be the new State Capitol. In 1869 a new law permitted townships to vote bonds to bring railroads through their area. Sangamon Township voted to provide $40,000 to the company that would run the first line through the township. The Illinois Central ran a branch line from Champaign through White Heath and Monticello. Centerville gradually faded away when White Heath was established at the junction of the Monticello Railroad and Havana Line. The first rain ran from Monticello to Champaign in January 1872. Part of this branch line is currently owned and maintained by the Monticello Railway Museum.
 
Erected
Middle Section - - Railroads Bring Change Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
3. Middle Section - - Railroads Bring Change Marker
2009 by City of Monticello and Monticello Chamber of Commerce.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
 
Location. 40° 3.247′ N, 88° 33.593′ W. Marker is in Monticello, Illinois, in Piatt County. Marker is on Iron Horse Place east of Iron Horse Lane, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Monticello IL 61856, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Monticello Journeys (approx. 2 miles away); Trail of Death (approx. 2 miles away); Potawatomi Trail of Death (approx. 2.1 miles away); Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (approx. 2.1 miles away); Piatt County Veterans Memorial (approx. 2.1 miles away); Lincoln in Monticello (approx. 2.1 miles away); Lincoln - Douglas (approx. 3.3 miles away); a different marker also named Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (approx. 7.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Monticello.
 
More about this marker. Marker is located at the Monticello Railroad Museum. From Monticello go North on Illinois 105 to I-72. Just as you get close to the I-72 ramp area will be Iron Horse Lane which runs as a frontage road to I72 and ramp area. Go to the end
Lower Section - - Railroads Bring Change Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
4. Lower Section - - Railroads Bring Change Marker
of Iron Horse Lane - it will turn into Iron Horse Place.
 
Also see . . .
1. Looking for Lincoln::. Many resources for the Tracking of Lincoln through History and Illinois. Aimed at all ages. (Submitted on October 29, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 

2. Looking for Lincoln Video - on P. B. S. Follow Henry Louis Gates, Jr. "...from Illinois, to Gettysburg, to Washington, D. C., and face to face with people who live with Lincoln every day...". (Submitted on October 29, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 

3. Travel with Lincoln ::. Climb into Lincoln’s buggy and take a trip with Lincoln and his fellow lawyers on the job traveling Illinois as Circuit Lawyers. See all the Lincoln Circuit Markers (and a surprise or two), in the order of his travels while a member of the Circuit of the Eighth Judicial District (of Illinois) during 1847-1857. Use the “First >>” button in the upper right to see these markers in sequence, starting from Springfield. (Submitted on October 29, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 

4. Monticello Railway Museum. Train rides, Exhibit cars, Picnic area, Special events:: There are a number of links that will help including photos. (Want to run a locomotive? --> Ask them about "Throttle Time"!) "Family Fun" - Rain or Shine! (Submitted on November 12, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
Close-up Photo - - Graph - Railroad Growth in Illinois image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
5. Close-up Photo - - Graph - Railroad Growth in Illinois
 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable PersonsRailroads & Streetcars
 
Full View - - Railroads Bring Change Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf
6. Full View - - Railroads Bring Change Marker
Obverse Side - - Railroads Bring Change Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf
7. Obverse Side - - Railroads Bring Change Marker
Long View - - Railroads Bring Change Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
8. Long View - - Railroads Bring Change Marker
Many things to see and do at this marker location. All within walking distance - and - excellent parking.
Railroad Museum - Sign image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
9. Railroad Museum - Sign
This sign faces the Railroads Bring Change marker. Iron Horse Place runs between them.
Many Signs to Pick From. . . image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf
10. Many Signs to Pick From. . .
Future Home of Piatt County Museum - - Under Construction image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
11. Future Home of Piatt County Museum - - Under Construction
"Nelson's Crossing" Depot - - A Short Walk . . . image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
12. "Nelson's Crossing" Depot - - A Short Walk . . .
Closer View of "Nelson's Crossing" Depot image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
13. Closer View of "Nelson's Crossing" Depot
Some of the "Rolling Stock" of Railroad Museum image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
14. Some of the "Rolling Stock" of Railroad Museum
Obverse View - - "Nelson's Crossing" Depot image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
15. Obverse View - - "Nelson's Crossing" Depot
Obverse Side - - Baggage Building at "Nelson's Crossing" Depot image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
16. Obverse Side - - Baggage Building at "Nelson's Crossing" Depot
Look for the Locomotive at Entry to "Iron Horse Lane" - - Follow it to the Museum. image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
17. Look for the Locomotive at Entry to "Iron Horse Lane" - - Follow it to the Museum.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 29, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 1,195 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. submitted on October 29, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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