200 North Main Street | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

Chicago and Alton Railroad Miscellaneous Collection

Processed by: Joe Marino, September 2013 | Reprocessed by: Brigid R. McBride, September 2013


  1. Collection Information
  2. Historical Sketch
  3. Photographs
  4. Scope and Content Note
  5. Box and Folder Inventory
Collection Information

Volume: 2 boxes
Dates: 1866-2009
Restrictions: none
Reproduction: Permission to reproduce or publish material in this collection must be obtained in writing from the McLean County Museum of History
Provenance: none
Location: Archives

See also Photograph Collection Subjects Chicago & Alton Railroad; C&A RR Correspondence; C & A RR Engine Reports and Timetables; and C & A Shops Oral History Project

Historical Sketch

The coming of the Illinois Central and the Chicago and Alton Railroads in the 1850s changed Bloomington-Normal forever. The railroads provided faster transportation and shipping throughout Illinois and the nation.

The Illinois Central was running cars into Bloomington in May 1853 and the Chicago and Alton Railroad cars started arriving in October 1853. The railroads are credited with increasing the population of Bloomington from about 1,600 to 8,000 over a ten year span. The Chicago and Alton Railroad Shops on the city's west side had several different functions: rail yards, roundhouse, repair work, and construction. The C & A Shops was the city's largest employer for a span of approximately 50 years. The facility included roundhouse, locomotive repair shop, foundry, paint shop, wheel and axle shop, powerhouse, offices, and rail yards.

The Chicago and Alton Railroad helped to shape Bloomington-Normal during the late 1800s through the mid 1900s. Several community organizations, social clubs, concerts, sports teams, picnics and Labor Day celebrations, and ethnic community organizations shaped the neighborhoods and social constructs of Bloomington-Normal.

  • Chicago & Alton Railroad, 3rd trick roundhouse crew, 1930.

  • C & A Shops employees working on an engine overhaul c. 1935.

  • Aerial image of the Chicago and Alton Shops located on Bloomington's West Side.

Scope and Contents Note

This collection contains a miscellany of items including contracts, correspondence, and items pertaining to the Chicago & Alton Railroad. Other items are union memorabilia, employee information, circulars, and railroad timetables.

Box and Folder Inventory
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Box 1 (10 folders)
Folder 1
General History
1.1 Computer printout of "St. Louis, Alton, and Chicago Railroad" advertisement, 1860; printout obtained in 2000 from Chicago City Directory 1860-61 (2 pgs)
1.2 Photocopy of an invitation to see "The New Streamline Train-'The Abraham Lincoln,'" May 6, 1935 (1 pg.)
1.3 "Some Firsts on the Alton," author unknown, date prior to 1947 (8 pgs.)
1.4 "Rail/Labor History Chronology," for Bloomington Rail-Labor Oral History Project by Mike Matejka and Greg Koos, January 1983 (8 pgs.)
1.5 Public invitation to the Railroad Display and Exposition Grand Opening of the Shops, no date (1 sheet)
1.6 "Please do not Disturb" sign
Folder 2
2.1 Chicago & Alton Railroad Lines, no date
2.2 Railroad Map Showing City of Bloomington, Ill, no date, Bloomington Mutual and Life Benefit Association letterhead on reverse (1880) (original and photocopy)
2.3 The St. Louis, Alton & Springfield R.R., no date
2.4 Chicago and Alton Railroad Plat Maps (KC 195) printout from Western Historical Manuscript Collection Kansas City, University of Missouri
Folder 3
Newspaper Articles
3.1 "Louis M. Doyle Back in Town," Pantagraph, no date, p 2
3.2 "Held for Forgery and Embezzlement," Pantagraph, no date
3.3 "Doyle Still in Jail," Pantagraph, no date
3.4 "Doyle's Desk Was Searched," Pantagraph, no date
3.5 "The Freight House Ball," Daily Pantagraph, 1888
3.6 "They Want Union Depot," Pantagraph June 7, 1902 p. 13 c.3-4
3.7 "Track Shift Made in Six Hours," Pantagraph, August 2, 1908 (transcript)
3.8 Untitled, Pantagraph, July 31, 1909 (2 sheets)
3.9 "Say Farewell to This in 1912" Pantagraph December 30, 1911
3.10 "Up to Alton to Build Depot," Daily Bulletin, April 19, 1912
3.11 "Old Time 'Elegance' Described in Alton's 1872 Timetable," Pantagraph, October 25, 1938
3.12 "In the Railway World, It Took a 1,400 Pound Camera to get Picture of Alton Train," Pantagraph, November 28, 1939
3.13 "Shops Rich in History," Pantagraph, May 23, 1972, p. A-10 (includes picture)
3.14 "Retiree reflects on railroad's history," Pantagraph, November 22, 1987 (original and photocopy)
3.15 "Piece by Piece Chicago & Alton shops are silenced," Pantagraph, January 2, 1994
Folder 4
Magazine Articles
4.1 "A Pullman Postscript," Trains, November 1969, p 20-33
4.2 "Rail Remnants, A Locomotive's Contribution Toward Stopping the Great Chicago Fire," The Train Dispatcher, Oct.-Nov. 1973 (v. 55, no. 7) p 304-305
4.3 "Locomotives of the Alton Route," by William D. Edson, The Railway and Locomotive Historical Society, Inc. Spring 1987, p 55-85
4.4 "A Chicago & Alton Railroad Watch," by Eugene T. Fuller, National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc. (v. 30 no. 6) 467-474
4.5 "The Chicago & Alton Bloomington Shops," by Roger P. Bryan, Trainmaster February 1993 (v. 6 no. 1)
4.6 "Salute to the Chicago & Alton Railroad Shops," Great Prairie Union News, January 2003 (v. 24 no. 9), includes calendar for 2003 (2 copies)
4.7 "Salute to the Chicago & Alton Railroad Shops II," Great Prairie Union News, January 2004 (v. 24 no. 8), includes calendar for 2004 (2 copies)
4.8 "George R. Lawrence & the Alton Limited," Illinois Heritage, July-August 2009, p. 15-16 (relates to 1.3.10)
Folder 5
5.1 Circular #1028, details happenings of April 16, 1859 employee meeting, donated by R.C. Rogers 1908 (original and photocopy included)
5.2 Circular #1037, details happenings of August 18, 1859 employee meeting, donated by R.C. Rogers 1912 (original and photocopy included)
Folder 6
6.1 Includes round trip tickets, one way tickets, employee passes, employee wife pass card, baggage storage receipts, selective service tickets, and day tickets. Also includes agent's stub for one can butter fat or cream and a conductor's personal check
Folder 7
7.1 The Rand-McNally Official Railway Guide and Handbook, October 1882; includes maps (6 sheets)
7.2 "Special Time Card for the Train Conveying His Excellency Grover Cleveland and Mrs. Grover Cleveland from St. Louis to Chicago," October 4 and 5, 1887
7.3 "Time Card-Special Passenger Train"
7.4 "Cloverleaf-Alton" timetables July-August, 1909
7.5 "Alton Railroad Timetables," March-July 1947
Folder 8
Miscellaneous Receipts
8.1 Receipt for shipping goods dated April 26, 1866
8.2 Itemized list of track improvements from 1873 on Chicago & Alton Rail Road Company letterhead (3 sheets)
8.3 Receipt to Walter Moore for shipping house construction supplies dated September 20, 1876
8.4 Receipt to C. Devering for shipping dated December 31, 1877
8.5 Receipt to Wright and _arms for shipping of grocery supplies dated January 30, 1878
8.6 Receipt from Western Railroad Supply Depot bought of Crerar, Adams & Co. dated September 14, 1880
8.7 Receipt for H. Cruggles shipping boxes of drugs dated December 4, 1883
8.8 Postcard, blank, notifies of shipped items being held for recipient
8.9 Receipt from Leyden & Doyle, Groceries and Meat Market includes food items dated September 1, 1902
8.10 Receipt from Leyden & Doyle, Groceries and Meat Market includes food items dated September 3, 1902
8.11 Receipt from Leyden & Doyle, Groceries and Meat Market includes food items dated September 5, 1902
8.12 Receipt from Leyden & Doyle, Groceries and Meat Market includes food items dated September 8, 1902
8.13 Receipt from Wm. L. Mueller, Dealer in Fresh and Smoked Meats, Poultry and Game in Season dated September 19, 1902 and September 29, 1902 (2 items)
8.14 Receipt from Wagons, Carriages and Buggies Blacksmithing and Horse Shoeing dated September 29, 1902 (?)
8.15 Receipt from A.J. Dunbar Stoves, Hardware, Tinware, Paints, Oils Glass, Brushes, Furniture and Carpets for supplies dated September 12, 1902
8.16 Receipt for John Smith board dated September 22, 1902
8.17 Receipt for John Smith board dated September 22, 1902 in Brighton Park
8.18 Blank receipt that signer has received the Eastern Division Time Table No. 6
8.19 Cashier's Memorandum to Lewis D. Cuess from Mont. Ward Co. dated September 16, 1941 (2 sheets)
Folder 9
Local Passenger Tariff
9.1 Chicago & Alton R.R. Local Passenger Tariff adopted by April 25th, 1869
Folder 10
Stock Certificates
10.1 Certificate, The Chicago and Alton Equipment Association, blank, no date
10.2 Photocopy of The Alton Railroad Company dated August 15, 1937, check for five cents
Box 2 (12 folders)
Folder 11
Pay Agreements
11.1 Photocopy, "Chicago & Alton Railroad Company," by T.W. Bates, Superintendent of Transportation, dated May 26, 1890, p 33
11.2 Photocopy, "Chicago & Alton Railroad Company, Agreements Between Railway Employes and Railway Officials," dated March 1, 1888, p 190-193
Folder 12
Union Books
12.1 Agreement Between the Chicago & Alton Railroad and Passenger Car and Locomotive Painters, (printed by the Dellahaunty Bros), agreement dated June 1, 1911
12.2 By-Laws of Local Union No. 766 Coach, Car and Equipment Painters Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators, and Paperhangers of America, (printed by the Dellahaunty Bros.), agreement dated December 3, 1912
12.3 Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers of America Official Time Book for 1915, H.A. Woizeski, blank
12.4 Official Membership Book, Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers of America, receipts for dues and assessments, H.A. Woizeski, 1916
12.5 Constitution of the Grand Lodge Statutes for the Government of Lodges and Protective Laws of the Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express and Station Employes , dated July 1, 1955
12.6 The Alton Railroad, Schedule for Mechanical Crafts Comprising Machinists, Boilermakers, Blacksmiths, Sheet Metal Workers, Electrical Workers, Carmen, Their Apprentices, Helpers and Coach Cleaners, effective July 1, 1946 (two copies)
12.7 Alton System Federation No. 29, 1936 Year Book, purpose to "acquaint the general public with the facts of the harmonious relations existing between employer and employee in railroad labor..." dated 1936
12.8 Agreement between the Alton Railroad Company and its Employes , represented by the Brotherhood of Maintenance-of-Way Employes , effective April 1, 1938
Folder 13
Employee Rosters
13.1 The Trainmen of the C&ARR Bloomington, Ill. Official Roster and Time Book, 1925
13.2 McLean County Historical Society Gift Agreement, Fred C. Hougham donated C & A seniority rosters 1929, 1937, and 1941, donation agreement dated September 8, 1997
13.3 Roster of Machinists, Bloomington, List of names, date of seniority given, and rank, dated January 1, 1929 (4 sheets)
13.4 Roster of Machinist Apprentices Machinist Helper Apprentices and Special Apprentices, Bloomington, List of names, dates of seniority, and rank, includes for boilermakers, machinists, blacksmithing, forging, sheet metal workers, molders, truckmen, and cranmen, among others, January 1, 1929 (27 sheets)
13.5 Seniority Roster, 1929, for various departments, (7 sheets)
13.6 The Alton Railroad Company Roster, includes several departments: Machinists, Machinist Helpers, Machinist Helpers Apprentices, Boilermakers, Boilermaker Helpers, Blacksmiths, Blacksmith Helpers, etc., dated January 1, 1937 (74 sheets)
13.7 The Alton Railroad Company Kansas City Car Department Roster, dated May 1, 1937
13.8 Names, Telephone Nos., Addresses, Shop Supervisory Forces and Office Force, dated May 24, 1937 (2 sheets)
13.9 The Alton Railroad Company, All Locomotive Supervisors, Clerks and Committeemen, dates include June 2, 1937, August 3, 1937, May 4, 1937, July 29, 1937, and from December 27, 1937 to January 3, 1938, includes list of names, occupation, and date retired (12 sheets)
13.10 The Alton Railroad Company, Bloomington Locomotive Department Seniority Roster, includes names, rank, and date retired, 1941 (20 sheets)
Folder 14
Employee Time Books
14.1 Train and Engine-Men's Time Book, blank
14.2 Shop Men's Time Book, blank
14.3 The Chicago & Alton Railway Company Eastern Division Time-Book, September 1902
14.4 The Chicago & Alton Railway Company _____Division Time-Book September ___
14.5 The Chicago & Alton Railway Company Time Slip (2 sheets)
14.6 The Chicago & Alton Railway Company Eastern Division Time-Book, September 1902
14.7 Chicago & Alton Railway Company, September 1902
Folder 15
15.1 Chicago & Alton Railroad contract for masonry work at the freight depot near Van Buren Street at Chicago, dated June 18, 1866
15.2 Live Stock Contract, dated July 1868
Folder 16
Rule Books
16.1 General Rules of the Chicago & Alton Railroad Co., printed by J.C. Winship & Co., 1892
16.2 The Chicago & Alton Railroad Company Rules Governing Application of Brown System of Education and Discipline, Chicago, ILL, March 1, 1927 (2 originals, 1 photocopy)
Folder 17
Railroad Safety
17.1 "Association of American Railroads Safety Section Circular No.. S-435," Committee on Education, All the Year-Every Year-Safety Program, details information about falls at work
17.2 "The Alton Railroad Company Safety First Party," Program, dated May 24, 1937
17.3 "Hand and Lamp Signals to Communicate Information to Train Crews," poster, undated
Folder 18
Employee Publication, The Limited
18.1 The Limited: A Railroad Man's Magazine, December 1925 v. 1 (2 copies)
Folder 19
Miscellaneous Correspondence
19.1 Correspondence from W.M. Larrabee to the station agent at Petersburg dated October 10, 1868
19.2 Chicago & Alton Railroad Company letterhead, undated, notes on back
19.3 Correspondence between Chicago & Alton Railroad and various county clerks (Logan County, Dwight, and Chenoa) concerning the land used for railroad, dated 1874 (5 sheets)
19.4 Western Union Telegraphs September 1880 (2 items)
19.5 Correspondence from K. F. Booth Chief Engineer Chicago & Alton Railroad to J. Cruse, Esq. dated September 20, 1883 concerning relocation of residents on Company land
19.6 Correspondence from J.C. Cruse to K.F. Booth dated October 6, 1883 concerning the relocation of residents on Company land
19.7 Correspondence from K.F. Booth to Th__ Doonan (?) dated May 16, 1888 concerning the depot at Lexington, and response concerning approval of depot dated May 19, 1888
19.8 Correspondence from F.D. Tracy to K.F. Booth dated September 9, 1890 concerning the plan of Broadwell
19.9 Correspondence from H.C. Draper to S.T. Tuttle concerning Anheuser Busch construction dated October 30, 1899
19.10 Correspondence from Willis E. Gray to S.T. Tuttle dated September 18, 1899concerning Anheuser-Busch construction
19.11 Correspondence from S.T. Tuttle to W. E. Gray dated Septmeber 21, 1899 concerning Anheuser-Busch construction
19.12 Correspondence from S.T. Tuttle to H.C. Draper dated November 1, 1899 concerning the Anheuser-Bucsh construction and lease
19.13 Correspondence from R.B. Kutch___ to H.C. Draper dated December 8, 1899 concerning the Anheuser-Busch construction and lease of land
19.14 Correspondence from H.C. Draper to C.H. Chappell dated December 30, 1899 concerning the incorrect lease to Anheuser-Busch and the Bushnell
19.15 Correspondence from Richard P. Morgan and Ezra M. Prince dated June 17, 1905 concerning a book about the Chicago & Alton Railroad
19.16 Correspondence to J. Schneebuger to A. V. Manskey dated July 20, 1934 concerning the railroad community band
19.17 Correspondence from M. Lassig concerning prices (last page of letter)
19.18 Envelope
19.19 Correspondence from Fred A. Wann to C.H. Chappell dated June 11, 1890 concerning the glassworks at Alton
19.20 Correspondence from Fred A. Wann to C.H. Chappell dated August 13, 1890 concerning new track and past planning
19.21 Correspondence from W.K. Dunbar to McLean County Historical Society dated October 6, 1994 concerning a photograph which appeared in On the Square
Folder 20
Male Chorus
20.1 Chicago & Alton Male Chorus, program dated April 16, 1926
20.2 List of music furnished by Jos. Schneeberger, dated January 28, 1932
20.3 Chicago & Alton Male Chorus, program, undated
Folder 21
Bluelines and Diagrams
21.1 Correspondence from C.W. Esch to C.M. House dated October 1, 1929 regarding blue prints of new engine
21.2 Diagram Y-13594 engine, dated October 1, 1929 (7 sheets)
21.3 Pressure and Drum Test Data (7 sheets)
21.4 Cast Steel Truck Frame for Alton 4-Wheel Pass. Truck blueprints
21.5 Alton R.R. Truck Springs, Passenger Equipment Folio No. 2, dated September 12, 1944
21.6 Simplex Clasp Brake Beam
21.7 The Alton Railroad Office of Mechanical Engineer, Diaphragm, dated July 21, 1945
21.8 The Alton Railroad Company Chicago & Alton R.R. Locomotive Diagrams revised July 7, 1945
Folder 22
Lexington Station
22.1 Specification of Work and Materials for a Passenger Station to be Erected for the Chicago & Alton Railroad Company at Lexington, Ill, undated
Folder 23
Annual Reports
23.1 Tenth Annual Report of the President and Directors of the Chicago & Alton Railroad Company for the year ending December 31, 1873, issued February 1873 (21 pages)