Tom Jackson collection of railroad memorabilia and photographs
1850, 1890-1950, 1962-1976

MSS 304
approximately 3.3 linear feet (including oversized materials)


Jackson, Tom




There are no restrictions on the use of this collection

Access points:

Jackson, Tom.
Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railway Company.
Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railway Company.
Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Company.
Central Electric Railfans' Association.
Electric railroad trains.
Railroad trains.
Trolley cars.

Finding aid prepared by:

Jennifer Baumann, 1992. Updated by Emily Hughes Dominick, 2007, and Samantha Crisp, July 2014.

Preferred citation:

[identification of item], in MSS 304 Tom Jackson collection of railroad memorabilia and photographs, Special Collections, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois.


Augustana College Special Collections
Thomas Tredway Library
639 38th Street
Rock Island, Illinois 61201

Custodial History
Historical Note
Scope and Content
System of Arrangement
Container List
Related Collections


The collection was loaned to the Augustana College Library for copying by Mr. Tom Jackson from November 1979 through April 1980. The original collection was returned to Mr. Jackson on April 3, 1980. Negatives for the copies are stored with the general negative collection. A few items are original items donated in January 1980.



Tom Jackson is a railroad memorabilia and photograph collector and resident of Rock Island, Illinois.

Rock Island Lines
The first of the Rock Island Lines of locomotives was incorporated February 27, 1847, as the Rock Island & LaSalle Railroad. When the track was completed, it connected the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. The line expanded to Chicago with a formal opening June 5, 1854, and changed its name to the Chicago & Rock Island Railroad. The first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River was completed in 1856; it connected Rock Island to Davenport, Iowa. The company purchased the Mississippi & Missouri Line in 1866 and changed its name to the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. In 1880, the many lines were consolidated under the title of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company. Through the late 1800s, the Rock Island system grew to include lines in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota, Texas, Tennessee, and Arkansas. In 1902, service to Los Angeles via the Golden State Limited was started. By the end of 1902, the Rock Island System was comprised of over 6,000 miles of track.

Over the next several decades, the railway went through some difficult times. During the years 1915-1917, the railway was under a receivership. From December 1917 to February 1920, the railways were under control of the government for wartime use. The Depression ad the Drought of 1931 hurt the Rock Island Lines and it once again fell into a receivership. The Rock Island Lines were rejuvenated during the late 1930s with the help of J. D. Farrington, Chief Operating Officer. But, again, the company fell on hard times. By 1976, the Lines were losing $1700.00 per day and averaged only 17 passengers per day on its Quad Cities-Chicago route. The Rock Island Lines went out of business December 31, 1978.

Hayes, William Edward. "The Great Rock Island Route." Rock Island Lines News Digest, Vol. 11, no. 10, Oct. 1952, p. 3-15.

Arpy, Jim. "Ghost Train," Quad City Times, Aug. 15, 1976, p.1D-2D.

Rock Island Southern Railway

The Rock Island Southern Railway was founded in 1904 by W. W. Mc Collough as the Western Illinois Traction Company. It ran into financial difficulties and was reorganized as the Rock Island Southern Traction Company in 1905. The Southern Line ran in Illinois from Monmouth to Galesburg while the Northern Line ran from Monmouth to Rock Island. Both lines were fueled by electricity but the Northern Line ran on steam until 1910 when generators became operational. The Northern ran on steam again from 1920 until it closed down in 1952. Passenger service was abandoned on the Northern line in 1924 and on the Southern line in 1925.

Ramacitti, Dave. "The Rocky Doodle," Times-Democrat, n.d.

Clinton, Davenport & Muscatine Railway and the Tri-City Railway Company
The Clinton, Davenport & Muscatine Railway and the Tri-City Railway Company were both subsidiaries of the United Light & Railway Company. The Clinton, Davenport & Muscatine provided street service in Muscatine and interurban service from Davenport to Clinton. It was formed when the United Light and Railway Company acquired the Iowa-Illinois Railway Company and the Davenport-Muscatine Railway. The two companies operated under their own names until January 1916. The Muscatine city lines were sold to the Iowa Electric Company in 1928 and service was discontinued in 1929. Clinton, Davenport & Muscatine interurban passenger and freight service continued until 1938. Trains ran to Clinton until 1940 when buses replaced street cars. The track was dismantled except for a section which was purchased by the Davenport, Rock Island, & Northwestern Company for use as steam lines. The Tri-City Railway Company ran until about 1940.

Humiston, John F. "Clinton, Davenport & Muscatine Railway Company," Reprinted in Modernization of Car 15 and Other Early C.E.R.A. Bulletins. Central Electric Railfans' Association, 1984.



The Tom Jackson collection contains published articles, manuscripts, printed pictures, photographs, and maps. Much of the collection is composed of copies of the originals which were lent to the Augustana College Special Collections department by Tom Jackson for copying. This collection is arranged by railway company chronologically by establishment date. The collection has been organized into five series: Rock Island Lines; Rock Island Southern Railway; Clinton, Davenport, & Muscatine Railway; Tri-City Railway Company; and Miscellaneous. Each series is divided into subject files. Photographs are at the end of each company section and are arranged alphabetically by subject.

The Rock Island Lines series contains an undated newspaper article about a retired coal miner who worked in the Gilchrist mines where coal was mined for the Quincy and Rock Island Lines; historical outlines of the Rock Island Railroad, the Rockford, Rock Island & St. Louis Railroad, and the Warsaw & Rockford Railroad; Hand-drawn route maps; an issue of Rock Island Lines News Digest from 1952 celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the company; and photographs of coal mining, depots, and locomotive cars.

The Rock Island Southern Railway series includes correspondence between the Rock Island Southern and the Illinois Public Utilities Commission, an article about the corporate history, route maps, and photographs.

The Clinton, Davenport, & Muscatine Railway series contains a corporate structure of the United Light & Railway Company; a 1984 reprint of the Central Electric Railfans' Association bulletins; a history of the railway; and photographs of railway cars, street cars, as well as the buses which replaced the first street cars in the 1940s.

The Tri-City Railway series includes a list street cars owned by the railway in 1918 and photographs of various street cars used by the railway.

The Miscellaneous series contains photographs, printed drawings, and maps not related to the four companies represented in the other series in this collection. Most of the photographs and drawings are images of electric trains and locomotives belonging to the Davenport, Rock Island & Northwestern Railroad; Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad; and the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad. The series also contains several route maps.



In general, files are arranged alphabetically by subject. See scope and content for more detail regarding arrangement.



Box 1
      Rock Island Lines
            Coal Mining
            Historical outlines
            "One Hundred Years of Progress," 1952
            Photographs, Coal mining, circa 1909
            Photographs, Depots & stations, 1915, 1916, 1956
            Photographs, Locomotives, 1850-1900, 1915-1930, 1949-1969

      Rock Island Southern Railway
            Historical information
            Route maps and time tables, 1911 and undated
            Photographs, Electric trains, 1905, 1911, 1918, circa 1950
            Photographs, Locomotives, 1911, 1920-1930, circa 1950, 1962-1963
            Photographs, route maps, undated

      Clinton, Davenport, & Muscatine Railway
            Corporate structure of United Light & Railway Company of 1916
            Historical information
            Photographs, Buses, 1940
            Photographs, Electric trains, 1910, 1936-1938

      Tri-City Railway Company
            List of street cars, 1918
            Photographs, Electric trains, 1890-1940

            Electric trains, Photographs, 1905, 1963
            Electric trains, Printed photographs,1940-1967
            Locomotives, Photographs, 1880, 1948
            Locomotives, Printed drawings, 1976 and undated
            Miscellaneous photographs, circa 1900, circa 1941, and undated
            Route map, Camanche Township, undated

OPF-304/1-2 [formerly box 2]
      Miscellaneous (continued)
            Route maps, 1975 (2 folders)



For additional photographs of trolleys and trains, see the James Radcliffe collection of railroad photographs and clippings, MSS304a.

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