Chicago and North Western Transportation Company (CNW) records
This collection, MSS-227, Chicago and North Western Transportation Company (CNW) records, documents administrative and rail activity of the CNW’s Peninsula Division from 1890 to 1998. The files are incomplete and the dates covered are not all inclusive. The materials are copies and the location of the original documents are unknown.
The administrative activity is represented by timetables and brochures, along with property valuation, tax assessment, and tariff records of the CNW’s operation relating to the Escanaba Ore Docks and its joint operations with Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad (LS&I) and the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (MILW) across the Marquette Range. Administrative activity includes records on the retirement and dismantling of track segments, railroad land grants and mineral reservations, an analysis of large ships that operated on the lakes identifying fleet, vessel, size, and status of the ships and the docks they serviced. Newspaper and magazine clippings cover mergers with other railroads, employee-ownership of the CNW, and tell the story of lawyer-turned-railroad executive, Ben W. Heineman.
The rail activity of the CNW’s Peninsula Division is documented by Station Maps and Right of Way Track Maps. These maps depict CNW service in and around the areas of: the Volunteer Mine in Palmer, Michigan; the Jackson Iron Company Addition in Negaunee, Michigan; and the Dock Yard and Ore Docks of the CNW located in Escanaba, Michigan. The CNW railroad bridge standards are presented in a set of blueprints from the Office of the Engineer of Bridges in Chicago, Illinois, and span the years 1912-1962. In 1985, plans were developed to convert the Ore Dock Yard Office into a Division Office. A series of 6 floor plans lay out the renovations expected for the Office and those to be made to other facilities at the CNW’s Escanaba Ore Docks. The ore conveyor belts at the Ore Port Facility in Escanaba were updated in 1988 and the specifications for the new components are contained in schematics produced by Ramsey Technology, Inc.
- 1890 - 1998
- Chicago and North Western Railway Company (Organization)
- Chicago and North Western Transportation Company (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish material from MSS-227,Chicago and North Western Transportation Company (CNW) records, must be obtained from the University Archivist. The University Archivist may be reached by phone at 906-227-1225, or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. The University Archivist may also be reached in Room 126 of the Learning Resource Center, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI.
Biographical / Historical
The Chicago and North Western Railway Company (CNW), also known as the North Western, was chartered in Illinois and Wisconsin on June 7, 1859. In 1864 CNW merged with the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, which had been chartered in 1836 in Illinois. The merged companies operated as the Chicago and North Western Railway Company. The company served commuters in Chicago, the iron mines of Michigan, and the Illinois coal fields. It ran a network of branch lines that ran throughout the Midwest, serving as a key link between Chicago and the West. In 1972 the C&NW Railway Company was sold to its employees and was renamed the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company. It partnered with Union Pacific Railroad in 1984 and established a connector line serving the Wyoming Powder River Basin’s coal fields. The two organizations merged in 1995; the last day of operation for the Chicago and North Western Railroad was April 24, 1995.
CNW adopted the “ball and bar” logo in 1891 and it has had few modifications, however the text has changed throughout the years:
• The North Western Line (1891-1902)
• Chicago and North Western Line (1902-1944)
• Chicago and North Western System (1944-1957)
• Chicago and North Western Railway (1957-1971)
• North Western: Employee Owned (1971-1982)
• Chicago and North Western System (1982-1995)
1836: Galena and Chicago Union Railroad (GCU) is chartered in Illinois.
1847: GCU track construction begins.
1848-1864: GCU in operation.
1859: The bankrupt Chicago, St. Paul and Fond du Lac Railroad is purchased by a group of investors led by William B. Ogden, head of GCU.
1859: The reorganized Chicago, St. Paul and Fond du Lac Railroad is renamed the Chicago and North Western Railway Company.
1859: Chicago and North Western Railroad (CNW) is chartered in Wisconsin and Illinois.
1862: Cedar Rapids and Missouri River Railroad is leased to GCU in perpetuity.
1862: A new railroad corporation is organized by Ogden, the Peninsula Railroad of Michigan, and becomes the Peninsula Division of the Chicago and North Western Railway Company.
1863: The Peninsula Railroad line from Escanaba to Negaunee, Michigan, was completed.
1863: CNW begins construction on Merchant Dock, the first ore dock in Escanaba, Michigan.
1863: First ore shipment leaves CNW dock in Escanaba, Michigan.
1863: First locomotive engine of the CNW, Old Appleton, arrives by boat in Escanaba, Michigan.
1864: CNW acquires the Peninsula Railroad Company of Michigan in the Upper Peninsula.
1864: GCU merges with Wisconsin-based Chicago and North Western Railway Company.
1864: After the merger the name of the combined company is the Chicago and North Western Railway.
1864-1972: Operates as Chicago and North Western Railway
1867-1872: CNW purchases and operates the steamship line Green Bay Transit Company, originally the Lake Forwarding Company, providing mail and passenger service to and from Escanaba, Michigan, and to serve as a means of transport for locomotives, cars, iron rails and other supplies essential to the construction of the CNW rail lines in the Upper Peninsula.
1936: Chicago and North Western Railway declares bankruptcy.
1944: Chicago and North Western Railway emerges from bankruptcy.
1968-1972: The holding company, Northwest Industries, was formed to manage the diverse business acquisitions of CNW.
1972-1995: Employee buyout with a name change to Chicago and North Western Transportation Company.
1985-1995: A new holding company, CNW Corporation was formed.
1989: CNW Corporation acquired in a leverage buyout by a group of investors led by Blackstone Capital Partners, L.P.
1989: A new holding company, Chicago & North Western Holdings Corporation, was formed to replace the CNW Corporation.
1989: CNW Corporation remained as a subsidiary of CNW Holdings Corporation.
1989: CNW Corporation remained as the parent company to Chicago and North Western Transportation Company.
1989-1995: Chicago and North Western Holdings Corporation was incorporated in 1989 as the holding company for Chicago and North Western Transportation Company stock.
1995: Union Pacific Railroad acquired Chicago and North Western Transportation Company and ceased operation.
Language of Materials
The materials in this collection, MSS-227, Chicago and North Western Transportation Company (CNW) records, are arranged in seven series that have been arranged as follows:
1. Assessment Records, 1962-1989 (Chronological)
2. Brochures, 1960-04-24 - 1967-06-01 (Chronological)
3. Clippings, 1964-09-01 - 1973-03-01 (Chronological)
4. Maps, 1890-1990 (Subject)
5. Blueprints, 1912-1969 (Original Order)
6. Floor Plans, 1985 (Alphabetical)
7. Schematics, 1988 (Alphabetical)
The materials in Accession M15-11, which include the maps, blueprints, floor plans, and schematics contained in this collection, were obtained on February 10, 2015, by Marcus Robyns, University Archivist, and Bruce Sarjeant, Reference, Government Documents & Maps Librarian of the Olson Library.
Prior to that, the materials were in the possession of Barry A. and Cristin R. Williams of Ishpeming, Michigan. Cristin R. Williams indicated that her husband, Barry A. Williams, an employee of the Canadian National Railroad (CN) in Escanaba, Michigan, saw some workers preparing to destroy the material. Barry transferred as much as he could to his car and took the collection home.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The materials in Accession M15-11 were received from Barry A. and Cristin R. Williams of Ishpeming, Michigan, as a gift in 2015.
Deed of Gift and Agreement, signed by both individuals and dated May 4, 2015, is on file at the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives. The original document is maintained in the Donor File for collection MSS-363, The Soo Line Railroad (SOO) collection, with a copy filed in the Donor File for this collection.
The Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives continues to add material to this collection as it becomes available.
Most maps, blueprints, floor plans, and schematics have tears around their periphery, slight water damage, and all maps are currently rolled up. Tears have been repaired and maps are being stored rolled in tube containers.
The Historical/Biographical note and the Scope and Contents note were compiled from information retrieved from the collection, MSS-227, Chicago and North Western Railway Company records, and from the Source Materials listed below.
Barkley, Alonzo J. “How Boonesboro Lost a Railroad Station.” In The Annals of Iowa: A Historical Quarterly, edited by Edgar R. Harlan, 12:540–43. The Annals of Iowa 3rd. Des Moines, IA: Historical Department of Iowa, 1915. https://archive.org/stream/annalsofiowa12statuoft#page/n5/mode/2up.
Berry, Dale. “Railroad History of Michigan.” RRHX: Michigan’s Internet Railroad History Museum. Accessed August 18, 2016. http://www.michiganrailroads.com/RRHX/RRHXHome.htm.
Bowen & Co., B. F. Bowen’s Michigan State Atlas: Containing a Separate Map of Each County, Showing Section, Township and Range Lines, Railroad and Interurban Lines...with a Historical Sketch of Each County...Also Containing Maps of Michigan, the United States and the World. Indianapolis, IN: B. F. Bowen & Co., 1916. http://name.umdl.umich.edu/2911289.0001.001.
Burns, Adam. “The Chicago and North Western Railway, Route of the ‘400.’” American-Rails.com, 2016 2007. http://www.american-rails.com/.
Camp, Walter Mason, Ed. The Railway and Engineering Review. 1st–52nd ed. Vol. 48. Chicago, IL: Railway Review Incorporated, 1908. https://books.google.com.
“Chicago and North Western Holdings Corporation History.” Funding Universe. Accessed August 15, 2016. http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/chicago-and-north-western-holdings-corporation-history/.
“Chicago and North Western Transportation Company.” Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia, 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_and_North_Western_Transportation_Company.
“Chicago and North Western Transportation Company.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia Foundation, 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_and_North_Western_Transportation_Company.
Cook, Catherine C., S. A. Bartholow, and R. L. Simmons. “Employer Status Determination: Chicago & Northwestern Transportation Company.” Railroad Retirement Board. Accessed August 18, 2016. https://www.rrb.gov/pdf/bcd/bcd96-23.pdf.
Dunathan, Clint, ed. “The Chicago & North Western Railway.” In The Century Book, 1863-1963: As Years Pass by...Escanaba, Its First 100 Years. Escanaba, MI: Escanaba Centennial Corporation, 1963. http://www.escanaba.org/images/10/file/THE_CENTURY_BOOK.pdf.
Fergusson, Jim. “Michigan Railroads (1)-SL205: Passenger Stations & Stops,” November 15, 2015. http://www.railwaystationlists.co.uk/pdfusarr/michiganrrs1uprp.pdf.
Grant, H. Roger. “Chicago & North Western Railway Co.” Edited by Mark R. Wilson. The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago, IL: Chicago Historical Society, 2005. http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1036.html.
“History of Escanaba Area.” Escanaba: Pure Michigan, 2016. http://www.visitescanaba.com/history-51/.
History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan Containing a Full Account of Its Early Settlement; Its Growth, Development and Resources; an Extended Description of Its Iron and Copper Mines. Chicago, IL: The Western Historical Company, 1883. https://archive.org/stream/arg9598.0001.001.umich.edu#page/n5/mode/2up.
“Leases of Chicago, Iowa & Nebraska Railroad, Cedar Rapids & Missouri River R.R. Co., Beloit & Madison R.R. Co., to the Galena & Chicago Union R.R. Co.,” July 3, 1862. https://ia802705.us.archive.org/31/items/leasesofchicagoi00chic/leasesofchicagoi00chic.pdf
“Leases of Chicago, Iowa & Nebraska Railroad, Cedar Rapids & Missouri River R.R. Co., Beloit & Madison R.R. Co. to the Galena & Chicago Union R.R. Co.,” July 3, 1862. https://ia802705.us.archive.org/31/items/leasesofchicagoi00chic/leasesofchicagoi00chic.pdf
“List of Wisconsin Railroads.” Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia, 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wisconsin_railroads.
Pierson, Joe. “Chicago & North Western - A Capsule History.” Chicago & North Western Historical Society, 2004. http://www.cnwhs.org/ch_cnw.htm.
“The History of Union Pacific: Timeline.” Union Pacific Building America, 2016. http://www.up.com/index.htm.
- Articles. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Brochures. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Clippings (information artifacts). Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Construction drawings. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Correspondence. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Maps. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Railroad tracks. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Railroads. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Tax Records. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Timetables. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Upper Peninsula (Mich.). Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Chicago and North Western Transportation Company (CNW) records
- Glenda K. Ward, Arrangement and Description Specialist
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note