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The Pioneer


This steam engine is much larger than "The Pioneer".


The Pioneer was the first locomotive used by any line out of Chicago.  It reached Chicago on a sailing brig in 1848 and was drawn across the city by horses and place upon the tracks of what became the Galena division of the Chicago North Western, then known as the Galena & Chicago Union Railway.  It made its first trip in November, 1848, with a party of prominent people (to Elgin) and on the return trip a farmer with a wagonload of wheat hailed the train, and "The Pioneer" on its return trip brought to the city this, the first rail shipment of grain, to the Chicago market.  Similarly, a few days later, a drove of hogs was transferred to the railway a few miles outside of town, and thus became the forerunner of the livestock shipments for which the City of Elgin became noted.  "The Pioneer" later was placed at the Field Columbian Museum of Chicago.


The credit for having saved the historic engine from being scrapped must be given to Mr. Marvin Hughitt, president of the Chicago & NorthWestern.  By his sensible act in saving 'The Pioneer' Mr. Hughitt introduced a new fashion, which is still popular and has saved many interesting articles from the melting pot.



page 153

Kane County History, by Joslyn & Joslyn, 1908

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Last Updated 10-Oct-1999