The Railroad, and German Immigration 1855-1860's.

Map of Chicago & Rock Island, Peoria and Bureau Valley, and Mississipi & Missouri Railroads With Their Connections to New York

1862 Chicago-Rock Island Railroad Map

This railroad map shows how the city of Davenport, Iowa became connected to the east coast in 1856. Many immigrants would travel west using this rail line to establish new lives in lands that had not yet been settled by non-Native Americans.

Paper, Print.

Sketch of Rock Island Railroad Bridge

Sketch of Rock Island Railroad Bridge

On April 22, 1856 the citizens of Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island, Illinois celebrated the opening of the first railroad bridge to cross the Mississippi River. This bridge would be struck many times by steam boats, catch fire, and ultimately have to be rebuilt. The creation of this bridge helped to enable more immigrants to come into and through the area.

c.1856

The construction of the very first railroad bridge to span the Mississippi River aided the small town of Davenport, Iowa to boom. This bridge was built by the federal government and the Chicago-Rock Island Railway was the first to connect the east coast to the western United States. The bridge served as a pipeline for many immigrants, so that they may take an overland route to the west, instead of navigating around the coast via ship.

With the revolutions coming to an end in many Germanic states, many of its participants were exiled. Additionally, many who were not happy with the political aftermath of the region sought new homes. Many of these people, especially those from Schleswig-Holstein, became interested in the city of Davenport, Iowa. This interest came from the immigrants to Davenport from the roughly 100 Schleswig-Holsteiners who came to the area in 1847. Many of these immigrants would come to Davenport, Iowa with hopes of one day returning to their respective Germanic state. With that sentiment they helped to shape Davenport, Iowa into a town largely influenced with Germanic culture

The Railroad, and German Immigration 1855-1860's.