Submitted by scott on Fri, 06/03/2022 - 09:55

It was at this juncture that Mr. John J. Mitchell, a warm friend and supporter of the Chicago and Alton interests, offered to build an independent road from Alton to East St. Louis, provided that the Chicago and Alton, on completion of the road, merge the franchises of the Alton and St. Louis charter, obtained in 1850, then owned and controlled by Mr. John J. Mitchell, with their own. The proposition was accepted, and during the winter of 1864 trains of the Chicago and Alton Railroad were running to East St. Louis, and terminating there on valuable depot grounds, obtained by Mr. Mitchell for the Chicago and Alton Railroad from the Wiggins' Ferry Company. . . . Four years later, viz: in 1868, the Chicago and Alton Railroad Company secured control of the line from Bloomington to Godfrey, a distance of 180 miles, built under the charter of the St. Louis, Jacksonville and Chicago Railroad Company. The lease of this valuable property covers a period of nine hundred and ninety years.
The arrangement with the St. Louis, Alton and Terre Haute Railroad (referred to above as the Terre Haute and Alton Railroad) did not work out to the satisfaction of the Alton, nor did the location of the Alton and East St. Louis  Railroad (called in a previous paragraph the Alton and St. Louis charter) meet with the requirements of the road, so a  charter for a railroad to be known as the Alton and St. Louis Railroad Company, was obtained by special act of the legislature of Illinois, February 4, 1859. Surveys made in February and March, 1864, located the line, which was finished and placed in operation on January 1, 1865. Operational difficulties through the city of Alton, consisting of a grade of ninety feet to the mile, and a very sharp curve, were a severe annoyance to the company. A decision to relocate the line at this point resulted in a survey made in the summer of 1865 which showed that by building five and one-half miles of new line around the city the grade could be reduced to thirty feet per mile, excessively sharp curvature avoided, and the distance lessened by seven-eighths of a mile.45 On February 15, 1866, an additional issue of stock was sold, pro rata, to the stockholders of the Alton to provide means for the purchase of the stock of the Alton and St. Louis, and by the close of the year 1867, this latter road was entirely owned by the Alton.

An Excursion into the Early History of the Chicago and Alton Railroad

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