The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway was one of the four “Granger Lines” (along with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; the Chicago & North Western; and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul) - all of which were critical to the northern central plains region. The Granger area in the decades after the Civil War might be described as the nine states from Illinois, Missouri and Kansas north to Canada. Seven of these grain-growing states were west of the Mississippi, while two (Illinois and Wisconsin) were to the east. All were economically subservient to Chicago, and to a lesser degree, St. Louis and the Twin Cities. Each of the four Granger railroads had Chicago as its main eastern terminal, and each of the four served at least 7 of the 9 states. This particular road originated as a 180-mile long line to Rock Island. It was completed in the record time of under 2 years by Henry Farnam, for the company’s then-president John B. Jervis (builder of the Mohawk & Hudson). The Rock Island is remembered for building the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi in 1856, a bridge both legally and physically threatened by rival steamboat interests. Abraham Lincoln was among the lawyers who won the subsequent lawsuit for the railroad. This line was also one of the first to experiment with new steel rails after the Civil War. By 1880, it could boast of being the only road to have an all-steel track from Chicago to the Missouri River. The CRIP is also believed to be the first robbery victim of a famous outlaw gang. In the summer of 1873, near Adair, Iowa, this gang began their vicious pattern of wrecking and robbing trains. Led by Engineer Rafferty, the CRIP train barreled down the tracks and approached a curve. As they rounded the curve, Rafferty’s firearm saw a rope suddenly tauten, and a rail out of place. The firearm shouted a warning, but as Rafferty applied the brakes, the locomotive hit the rope and the gap in the rails and toppled over on its side. Rafferty was crushed to death. A half dozen men leapt out of a trackside hedge and proceeded to subdue the crew, rifle through the express safe, forced passengers to part with their cash and valuables. The total haul was estimated at $4,000. No one was arrested in conjunction with the robbery, but passenger descriptions closely matched Frank and Jesse James, and Coleman, Bob, John and Jim Younger – who would later be called the Jesse James Gang.
Common Stock Certificate, issued in the 1960’s
Printed by the Security Bank Note Company
8” (h) x 12” (w)
This certificate has vertical fold lines, punch hole cancels in signature areas and body, and some toning from age