Settlers and the Rails

MtCanan rail

Settlements were part and parcel of the building of the railroads. Not only did the rail open new areas for settlement, by providing an easy way for settlers to get there, but they also made many new crops profitable, as there was now a new way to get them to market, but most important, settlers became an economic necessity for the rails. For by settling the land around the rails, the railroads were not only selling the lands they often received as land grants, but also more importantly they were the future to the economic viability of the railroads. The railroad that was most aggressive in its settlement efforts was the Illinois Central. It pioneered the sending of agents to Europe to look for settlers. And it succeeded. As its rails spread forth through the state, so did the settlement of the state