Friday, January 13, 2006

East St. Louis-Columbia and Waterloo Railway Souvenir

Esther Clara Kraus was born in Columbia, Illinois in 1905. Her family had first settled in Columbia in the 1850s. Esther lived in Columbia until her marriage to Neil Mabry in 1925.

The Monroe County GenWeb site has a neat scan: The East St. Louis - Columbia and Waterloo Railway Official Time Table and Souvenir.

The timetable (jpg), published in 1913, shows that one could travel from East St. Louis to Columbia in a mere 52 minutes. The "Railway" appears to use overhead electric lines that I associate with streetcars rather than railroads.

Every town along the route was given a glowing description:
[Columbia] is the subject of attention of all visitors on account of its cleanliness, its large per cent of property owners, its well kept lawns, its painted dwellings, its good streets, its granitoid sidewalks, and it s many ohte rcommendable improvements. Its population is largely German of the best class, and whose thrift and general intelligence have made the city one of the best along the lines of railway above mentioned.
The other fine qualities of the town are listed, including that it is "free of malaria".

There are several pages with description and photos of Columbia (all jpg files):
page 17 - page 19 - page 21

It gives a nice picture of Columbia when Esther was a girl.

Related Links
American Car Company
Map of the East St. Louis "electric railway system at its peak", list of transit routes, and timeline of East St. Louis transit history.
Map of the Columbia-East St. Louis area (google maps)

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