Timeline 1845-1854
In their own words
The era and the effort
Founders: Tragedy to triumph
Builders: Executing the plan.
Rock Island throws a party
Note on sources
Railroad home
Grand Excursion 2004
Quad-Cities Tourism
A taste of 1854
R.I. Lines links
Rock Island Technical Society
Matt Willett's R. I. Family Tree
Preservation of the C, RI & P
Illinois Trails
Related links
R.I. County Historical Society
Col Davenport House
Putnam Museum
Quad-Cities Online

Rock Island Lines timeline --1845-1854

June 1845: Col. George Davenport hosts meeting at his home on Rock Island at which plans to bring a railroad to the area are laid. Attendees

July 4, 1845: Col. Davenport murdered in his home by bandits. More on murder

Feb. 27, 1847: Illinois Legislature charters the LaSalle and Rock Island Railroad and authorizes $300,000 in capital stock, all of which must be subscribed before formal organization and election of officers.

--- 1847 A 12-man commission is named to receive and sell stock. Commission members

Nov. 12, 1850: Commission reports stock issue is fully subscribed; James Grant of Davenport elected president of LaSalle and Rock Island in an informal vote.

November, 1850: James Grant leads delegation of directors to meet with Henry Farnam and Joseph Sheffield.

November-December 1850: Mr. Farnam and Mr. Sheffield do a horseback survey of proposed line. They agree to finance and build the road if the charter is amended to that the trains can run through to Chicago, rather than ending at LaSalle.

Feb. 7, 1851: The Illinois Legislature approves amended charter.

April 8, 1851: LaSalle & Rock Island directors accept the amended charter; name changed to Chicago & Rock Island Railroad.

Sept. 17, 1851: Farnam & Sheffield sign contract to build and equip the railroad from Chicago to Rock Island. Contract details

Oct. 1, 1851: First shovelful of dirt turned at the southern edge of Chicago.

October, 1852:Track reaches Joliet, 40 miles west of Chicago.

February, 1853: Track reaches Ottawa, an additional 43 miles.

March, 1853: Track reaches LaSalle, an additional 15 miles.

Dec. 18, 1853: Track reaches Geneseo, 158 miles west of Chicago, and 22 miles east of Rock Island.

Feb. 22, 1854:First train arrives in Rock Island.

June 5, 1854:Guests on the Grand Excursion depart Chicago.

June 10, 1854: Grand Excursion guests return to Rock Island.

July 10, 1854: Sheffield & Farnam formally turn completed road over to the board of directors.

July 10, 1854:Henry Farnam elected president of the C & RI.

Comments, suggestions, questions: John Beydler

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