Map of the Illinois, Iowa, & Minnesota Railway, Chicago Southern Ry., Southern Indiana Railway, and the Chicago Indianapolis and Evansville R.R.

Unrecorded map showing four real and proposed railways running from the Ohio River to Lake Michigan.

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This fascinating and little-known map is attributed in the lower right to C.H. Matthews and dated 1907. The routes of four separate railways are identified with heavy colored ink, applied by hand, running various between Milwaukee, WI on Lake Michigan and Evansville, IN on the Ohio River.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw rapid and widespread electrification across American railroads. Dozens of independent operators provided freight and passenger service before a period of massive consolidation decades later.

The image shows a group of relatively short-lived lines in various levels of operation across Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. Its exact purpose is unknown, though the inclusion of constructed, proposed, and suggested routes indicate that the map’s creation was directly related to the management and operation of the lines. A handful of manuscript annotations, in pencil, identify further speculative lines in southern Indiana.

Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota Railway – Organized in 1904 and renamed the Chicago, Milwaukee & Gary Railway in 1908. Completed lines are running between Rockford and Momence in Illinois, with proposed connections to Milwaukee and Gary, foreshadowing future plans.

Chicago Southern Railway – Organized in 1904 and renamed the Chicago, Terre Haute, and Southeastern Railway of Illinois in 1910 (at the same time the Southern Indiana Railway was acquired). A long route connecting Terre Haute to the Chicago Belt Line Railway, with the majority shown as under construction. A small spur connects to Danville, IL.

Southern Indiana Railway – Originated in 1886 as the Evansville and Richmond Railroad, sold at foreclosure in 1897 and renamed the Southern Indiana Railway. Shown connecting Richmond in eastern Indiana (not seen) to Terre Haute. Joined with the Chicago Southern Railway in 1910 to form the Chicago, Terre Haute, and Southeastern Railway.

Chicago, Indianapolis, and Evansville Railroad – Organized in 1904, but totally abandoned by 1910. An ambitious project that shows an approximately 400-mile proposed route between Chicago and Evansville. No portion is noted as completed, but there is a significant suggested detour between Martinsville and Petersburg in southern Indiana. Additional manuscript notes (pencil) can be seen nearby.

Sources: Industrial History; Monon Railroad Historical Society; Clay County Genealogical Society;

Map Details

Publication Date: 1907

Author: C.H. Matthews

Sheet Width (in): 30

Sheet Height (in): 44

Condition: B

Condition Description: One 1" hole in the center right and some heavy damp staining in the right margin. Several areas along former fold lines show wrinkling, wear, and some small tears that have been repaired on the verso with archival tape. Discoloration, creasing, and wear visible along the outer edges of the sheet. About good condition overall.

Out of stock