Historic Railroad Map of the Midwest - 1897

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Chicago Great Western Railway "Maple Leaf Route".

This railroad map of the mid-western United States was published in 1897 by Poole Brothers. Poole Brothers Co. was an important printing company in Chicago during the late 1800's, mostly printing transportation tickets and maps. This map displays counties, cities and towns, stations, rivers and lakes, and the railway network of the 1890's emphasizing the main line. It shows Iowa, and portions of Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota.

In the late 1800's Iowa thrived as an agricultural state, and as a major west-bound conduit, due to its many railroads. Burlington, located along the Mississippi River, was the home base for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. Dubuque was also a railroad hub for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, the Illinois Central Railroad and the Chicago, St. Paul & Kansas City Railroad.

The Chicago Great Western Railway was a newer modern system connecting Chicago, Minneapolis, Omaha, and Kansas City in the 1890's. It was popularly called the “Corn Belt Route”. The interstate line was valuable in the transportation of regional produce and manufactures during the era. In 1909 the railway was purchased by J.P. Morgan.

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