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Indiana railroads collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: L221

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, legal documents, tickets and other papers regarding railroads that operated in Indiana and range from 1839 to 1946, and undated. The collections contains an inventory of the Chicago, South Bend and Northern Indiana Railway; a letter to stock holders of the Columbus, Piqua, and Indiana Railroad Co.; a letter regarding an excursion to Northern Michigan by the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad Co.; legal documents of the Junction Railroad Co.; letters and reports of the Jefferson, Madison, and Indianapolis Railroad; a Madison and Indianapolis Railroad account book, a stock agreement document and a typewritten copy of "History and Reminiscences of the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad Company by C.C. Sappington; Michigan Southern and North Indiana Railroad documents; Monon Railroad correspondence; an indenture of the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad; Russell B. Harrison's stock certificate for the Queen City Electric Railway Co.; a Valparaiso and Northern Railway local passenger tariff rules and rates pamphlet; miscellaneous railroad documents including an indenture, stock certificate, side elevation blue print of a Pullman railroad car and correspondence and notes written by a workman stationed in Chicago describing mobs and wrecks during strike; collection of railroad passes, tickets,and timecards from Charles B. Lasalle, Ira J. Chase, William H. Hays, and others; and copies of the "Railroad Information Series," numbers 3-4, 6-7, 10, 12-13 produced by the Association of American Railroads.


  • 1839-1946, 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.

Historical Note

The history of Indiana railroads goes back to the early 1830s when the state legislature chartered 8 possible railroad lines to connect the state with its neighbors. In 1838, the state funded, 15 mile line from North Madison to Graham's Ford began running. By 1920, Indiana had more than 7,000 miles of track. The state also had an electric interurban system, largely built in the early 1900's, that peaked at just over 1800 miles in 1914.

The Chicago, South Bend, and Northern Indiana Railroad was an interuban line and was started in 1907.

The Columbus, Piqua, and Indiana Railroad was built in 1856 and ran between Columbus, OH and Union City, Indiana.

Called "The Fishing Line", the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad served the northern Michigan resort areas. The Indiana section was completed in 1870, but abandoned between 1979 and 1982.

Taking 10 years to complete, the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad was the state's first intercity railroad line, reaching Indianapolis in 1847. In 1866, it merged with the Jeffersonville Railroad, a rail line completed in 1852 and running from Columbus, Ohio to Jeffersonville, Indiana.

The Cincinnati and Indianapolis Junction Railroad line was completed in 1869.

The Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana began in 1837 and reached Chicago in 1852.

The Chicago, Indianapolis, and Louisville Railroad, known as the Monon, began as the New Albany and Salem Railroad which was completed in 1851. As new lines were built and acquired, the Monon peaked at a total of 603 miles and was the fifth largest system in Indiana.

The Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad was a merged line created in 1856. The track through Indiana was level and straight, so it was referred to as "the race track."

The Queen City Electric Railway Company was completed in 1892, but went out of business and was sold at auction in 1895. The president of the short lived company was Russell B. Harrison, President Benjamin Harrison's son.

The Valparaiso and Northern Railway was an interurban and was incorporated in 1908.


Benedict, Roy G., and George K. Bradley. "Northern Indiana Railway." Shoreline Interurban Historical Society. Accessed April 11, 2016.

Marlette, Jerry. Electric Railroads of Indiana. Indianapolis, IN: Council for Local History, 1959.

Simons, Richard S. and Francis H. Parker. Railroads of Indiana. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University, 1997. "Trolleys of Marion." WikiMarion. Accessed April 13, 2016.


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 from Paul North in 1951/05; Fred J. Hayden on 1930/01/17; Edward R. Gilgour on 1930/04/18; Cincinnati Book Co. on 1928/01/11; Mrs. N.J. Howe on 1928/09/28;


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2016/04/13 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2016/04/13 by Laura Eliason.
Indiana railroads collection
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.