There were at least five railroads in Coles County. The first construction was on the Terre Haute and Alton and the Illinois Central. Work began on the Terre Haute and Alton in 1851. This road later was known as the Big Four, and still later as the Penn-Central. This line has since been abandoned and the track removed. This railroad was going East to West, and they were in a race with the Illinois Central, which was going North to South. They agreed that the last one to the crossing would have to pay the expense of the crossing. At the point of the crossing in 1852 there were no houses, but because of the crossing of these two railroads, Mattoon was born, and is now the largest city in the County. The most likely road for your grandparents would be the Terre Haute and Alton. There are about six pages of railroad history in the 1976 History of Coles County, Illinois. I have a copy if anyone needs a lookup. I believe there were only 2,000 copies printed.
Bob Roy in California
|Home | Help | About Us | Site Index | Jobs | PRIVACY | Affiliate|
|© 2007 The Generations Network|