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Mss:945 1846-1888

Illinois Land Agency. Illinois Central Railroad Company Land Records, 1846-1898: A Finding Aid

Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University

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Harvard Business School, Boston MA 02163.

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: Mss:945 1846-1888
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Title: Illinois Central Railroad Company land records
Date(s): 1846-1898
Quantity: 2 linear feet (16 volumes, 2 boxes)
Language of materials: English

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Gift of Edith Rantoul, 1929, 1938.

Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open for research. Materials are stored offsite. Please contact specialcollectionsref@hbs.edu for more information.

Preferred Citation:

Cite as: Illinois Central Railroad Company Land Records. Baker Library, Harvard Business School.

Related Materials

See also the David Augustus Neal business records.

Biographical / Historical

The Illinois Central Railroad Company land records represent a land selling scheme in Illinois, arising out of a grant of lands by the United States to the State of Illinois, to aid in the construction of the Illinois Central Railroad. The vacant lands in the alternate sections within six miles of the road were conveyed by direct terms in the grant under Act of Congress approved September 20, 1850.
The State of Illinois in 11851 incorporated the Illinois Central Railroad Company, and conferred upon it the right of way and all the lands which may be selected along the lines of the road within the state under the grant made by the US above mentioned.
Two of the directors of the Illinois Central were Jonathan Sturges and George Griswold. They apparently were instrumental in organizing a group of "Associates", composed of themselves, David A. Neal, and the estate of the late firm of Ketchum, Rogers and Bement. They held four, undivided, equal parts of the land, which they bought from the Illinois Central.
Another group was the proprietors of Bourdonnais, a place 47 miles from Chicago, and was held as by the Associates.
Another group was called the proprietors of Amboy, which with the same membership, and R.B. Mason, who was the civil engineer of the Illinois Central.
An early letter book, shows that Sturges and Griswold managed the affairs of the investors at first. Then David A. Neal (Vice-President) kept the books, and was succeeded by his son, Theodore A. Neal, who opened the account book in the collection on July 1, 1858. This account book recites the important facts in regard to the transactions of these Associates and Proprietors. The organization was changed later to a corporation, organized under Connecticut laws, called "The Associate land Company."

Scope and Contents

Journals, letter books, stock books, plans, claims and sales of titles of the Associates of the Illinois Land Agency. The Agency grew out of a grant of lands by the United States to the State of Illinois to aid in the construction of the Illinois Central Railroad. The Associates included Jonathan Sturgis and George Griswold, Directors of the Railroad, David A. Neal, and the esteate of Ketchum, Rogers & Bement.

Container List


bak00370