This map showing portions of Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and the Dakota Territory was published in 1862 by the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Land Department.
The Chicago & Northwestern Railroad is considered the first to reach regions in Iowa and Nebraska. Historically, cattle, hogs, grain and other farming products were abundantly grown and traded in Chicago, as well as a number of dependent branch manufactures such as milling, slaughtering, packing, rendering, soap and candle making, tanning, brewing and distilling.
The Galena & Chicago Union Railway was built in the 1830's for the shipping of the many agricultural products that were grown in the region. The railroad expanded through acquisitions of several other lines including the Winona & St. Peter Railroad, the Litchfield & Madison Railway, as well as the 1500 mile Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway between Peoria and Minneapolis. It was renamed the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad in 1865. The line would later be absorbed into the Union Pacific Railway system. The Union Pacific prompted much westward travel through Nebraska during the 1870's.
This map shows completed and proposed railroad lines, cities, towns, counties, boundaries, and waterways.