The following extract was taken from the Havana Herald of September 11, 1857, edited by W. W. Stout:|
It is with no small degree of satisfaction that we inform our readers that active operations have commenced on the Illinois River Railroad at this place. At the present time, between forty and fifty men and some dozen teams are busily at work in despoiling the enormous sand hill, which has so long been an eyesore to the citizens of this place, of its huge dimensions, and they are now hauling away the dirt and making fills therewith on other portions of the road. The citizens of our town seem to manifest an extraordinary interest in the work, judging from the fact that all the shady spots in near proximity to where the work is going on are constantly occupied all day long by persons who seem to contemplate, with immense satisfaction, it progress. The enormous sand-hill is rapidly giving way before the "Mickeys," and it is a great pity but the road had been located through the center of it, for the Railroad Company, in making excavations for the road, would have done more for the benefit of the town, more toward improving the appearance thereof, in three months' time than the town Council would be able to do in the next three years.
During the war, the road changed hands by reason of a foreclosure of first mortgage, and the name was changed to that of the "Peoria, Pekin & Jacksonville Railroad," and has for years been operated for that Company by John Allen and J. F. Kelsy, Vice President of the road, who have given general satisfaction in their management.
Something like a year ago, the road went into the hands of a receiver-Mr. John Allen-who continues to operate the road to this time. The controlling interest of the road has recently passed into the hands of the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw Company. What that control may develop, when in possession, depends upon the hereafter.
The entire length of the road is eighty-three miles, mostly steel rails. The stations that have been located and built up on the line of the road are: Manito, Forest City, Bishop's, Topeka, Havana, Bath and Saidora. Length of road in Mason County, thirty-six miles; length of side-track, three miles; standard gauge.