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Monon Railroad Company collection

Identifier: L101

Scope and Contents

This collection includes letters, stock transaction records, ledgers, company reports, newspaper clippings, railroad ticket stubs and envelopes, business cards and memorabilia, such as playing cards, a patch, a pamphlet, and centennial commemorative seals, from Monon Railroad Company and others in Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, and the United States, ranging from 1946 to 1972 and undated, regarding the organization and its activities.


  • 1946-1972, undated

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Administrative History

The New Albany-Salem Rail Road was founded in July 8, 1847, running from the Ohio River at New Albany, Indiana Salem, Indiana. By 1854, the railroad was complete, connecting the Ohio River at New Albany with Lake Michigan at Michigan City, Indiana. The railroad went into receivership in 1858 and when it emerged,the name became the Louisville, New Albany and Chicago Railroad. Morgan's Raiders attacked the railroad lines during the U.S. Civil War. In April, 1865, a Monon engine pulled President Abraham Lincoln's funeral train over the 90 miles from Lafayette to Michigan City, Indiana.

In 1897, the name was changed again to the Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville Railroad. The nickname "Monon" came from the fact that the lines added to the system crossed in Monon, Indiana. "Monon" is an Indian word, perhaps meaning "tote" or "swift running".

The Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville Railway Company was reorganized as the Monon Railroad, "The Hoosier Line", and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, beginning in 1946 and effective in 1956. The Monon Railroad was the first class "A" railroad to become fully dieselized. It became an all-freight line in 1967, when the last of its passenger trains, the Thoroughbred, ceased running.

Indiana limestone was used to construct the Empire State building, the Pentagon, the National Cathedral, the Washington monument, and countless private buildings, museums, bridges, churches, walkways, monuments, statues, and gravestones. Each new slab of Indiana limestone rode a Monon flatcar first, wherever its destination.

The Monon Railroad then merged into Louisville and Nashville Railroad, effective July 31, 1971, with Louisville and Nashville Railroad (headquartered in Louisville, KY) becoming the surviving corporation. Some of the former Monon right of way is operated today by CSX Transportation.


Items in the collection.

"History Of The Monon." Monon Railroad Historical Technical Society. Accessed March 16, 2015.

"The Monon Railroad." The Dept - Railroad Museum. Accessed March 16, 2015.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Related Archival Material

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

L317: Monon Railroad research collection

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2015/03/18 by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding aid created 2015/03/18 by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding aid revised 2024/05/23 by Brittany Kropf.
Monon Railroad Company collection
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.