On November 11, 1858, Richard S. Thomas, President of the Illinois River Railroad, announced that first mortgage bonds had been sold to buy "all the Rails, Chairs, Spikes, Frogs, and Switches, that are required to complete the road from the junction of the Peoria and Hannibal Road, to Jacksonville in Morgan County."

The Illinois River Railroad would run from Jacksonville north to LaSalle eventually, but first would run to the junction of the Peoria and Hannibal Railroad between Peoria and Pekin. It would run through the towns of Jacksonville (where it would connect with the Jacksonville, Alton, and St. Louis Railroad), near Virginia, through Chandlerville, Bath, Havana, and Pekin.

Harvesting the River:  The Illinois River Railroad

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