TABLE OF CONTENTS
Iowa Land and Railroad Company Records, The Newberry Library, Chicago.
Gift of Selina F. Little, 2006.
Virginia Hay Smith, 2007.
The Iowa Land and Railroad Company Records are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 5 folders at a time maximum (Priority II).
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Iowa Land and Railroad Company Records are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.
Correspondence, maps, reports and other documents and records kept by nineteenth century Iowa company investors, including directors and officers of the Chicago, Iowa and Nebraska Railroad, the town of Clinton, Iowa, the Iowa Land Company, the Iowa Rail Road Land Company and associated organizations.
Collection primarily concerns the founding of the city of Clinton, Iowa, and three organizations important in the early development of the state of Iowa, namely the Chicago, Iowa and Nebraska Railroad Company, the Iowa Land Company and the Iowa Rail Road Land Company. The Chicago, Iowa and Nebraska Railroad and the Chicago Land Company were instrumental in the founding of the city of Clinton. The individuals concerned later became investors in the Iowa Rail Road Land Company and several other railroads and companies vital to the settlement and growth of the state.
In 1855, the Chicago, Iowa and Nebraska Railroad, building from Illinois westward, announced it would cross the Mississippi River at Little Rock Island in Iowa. The Iowa Land Company, established by a group of Eastern investors, bought the land, established a relationship with the railroad, and named the area Clinton, in honor of the governor of New York. On November 10, 1855, the first plat of the city of Clinton was signed and by June, 1859, the railroad line was completed to Cedar Rapids. The Iowa Land Company was incorporated for a period of twenty years, sold shares at $100 each, and henceforth transacted its business in Clinton.
Four partners of the Chicago, Iowa and Nebraska Railroad Company and the Iowa Land Company were Philo E. Hall, David P. Kimball, James T. VanDeventer and Horace Williams, with New Englander John Bertram as principle stockholder. These men then became associated with a number of other companies, such as the Albany Railroad Bridge Company, the Iowa Falls and Sioux City Railroad Company, the Maple River Railroad Company, the Blair Lot and Land Company, the Elkhorn Land and Town Company and the Missouri Valley Land Company and several others.
In 1856, the Iowa legislature had passed an act to accept land grants from Congress. The land grants specifically apportioned land to four railroads, which would facilitate the settlement of the state. Among these was the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad Company, organized in 1859, which was composed largely of stockholders in the Chicago, Iowa and Nebraska Railroad. Eventually, this railroad was reorganized under the name of the Iowa Rail Road Land Company, and the transfer of the railroad land grant to the company took place on September 15, 1869.
While the Iowa Land Company’s incorporation ended in 1875, the Iowa Rail Road Land Company continued to function into the twentieth century.
For further information on railroad development in nineteenth century Iowa, consult the “Information File” for this collection kept in the Special Collections office.
Records relating to the business of early Iowa railroad and land companies and the founding of Clinton, Iowa. Includes correspondence, business and incorporation documents, annual reports, stock certificates, stockholder inventories, maps and plats of Clinton, Iowa, and lists of various company directors. Also a reminiscence by James T. VanDeventer regarding Horace Williams, founding partner in the Chicago, Iowa and Nebraska Railroad.
Arranged by type of material.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Newberry Library's public catalog. Researchers desiring additional materials on a particular topic should search the catalog using these headings.