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Historical Events

  • Some of Abraham Lincoln's first law cases were for the Alton & Sangamon Railroad.


  • In 1865 Abraham Lincoln's funeral car was moved from Chicago to Springfield, Illinois on the C&A Railroad.


  • Fire equipment was moved on the C&A Railroad from Bloomington, Illinois to Chicago to help fight the "Great Chicago Fire" that Mrs. O'Leary's cow supposedly started.


  • When the depot was built in 1879 there were 38 stars on the American Flag.


  • In 1879 Rutherford B. Hayes was president.


  • William Jennings Bryan came to Independence on October 10, 1908 while on tour for his third campaign for president.


  • Jessie James robbed the C&A train three times near the Glendale, Missouri depot, which was located at 39th Street and Selsa Road. The name of this depot was later changed to Selsa because of these robberies.


  • President Woodrow Wilson stopped at the Independence C&A Depot on September 6, 1919 while waiting for the proper time to arrive in Kansas City. He was on his League of Nations Tour and a large affair was planned upon his arrival.


  • Two Railway Express baggage carts on site are original C&A carts. One is original to the Independence Depot and the other came from Roodhouse, Illinois.


  • The last passenger train stopped at the depot in 1960.


  • The depot building was abandoned in 1972 waiting to be demolished.


  • Friends of Chicago & Alton Depot moved the structure to the present location in 1996 and started restoration.

C&A Firsts 
  • First Sleeping Car --the "Springfield"

  • First Dining Car -- The "Delmonico"

  • First Reclining Sleeping Car -- which was designed by Dr. Horton of Kansas City, Missouri

  • First to connect the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes

  • First to build an all steel bridge in the U.S.A. -- built at Glasgow, Missouri

  • First to place railroad ties closer than normal for smoother ride.

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