Great Western Railroad

State: Illinois

In 1853, the Great Western Railroad became the successor of what had first been the Northern Cross Railroad and then subsequently the Sangamon and Morgan Railroad. The line was founded to cross the state of Illinois from Quincy to Danville and from there to the Indiana state line. In 1854, the railroad reached Decatur, and, by 1856, the line extended to the Indiana state line as part of the Toledo, Wabash, and Western Railroad Company. From Quincy, the railroad was to connect with the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad. During the 1850s, Abraham Lincoln represented numerous clients in cases against the Great Western Railroad. On February 11, 1861, a special train of the Great Western Railroad transported Lincoln from Springfield to the state line as he traveled to his inauguration.

Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 5 January 1854, 2:1; Report of the President and the Executive Committee of the Toledo, Wabash and Western Railroad Company, to the Stock and Bondholders (New York: George F. Nesbitt, 1857), 5-7; For Lincoln's cases against the railroad, search Participant, "Great Western RR," Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009),; Clint Clay Tilton, Lincoln’s Last View of the Illinois Prairies (Danville: [Interstate, 1937]).