Scarce promotional map for the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway Company.
Shows sections, counties, settlements, railroad in parts of Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin and Manitoba. Inset: Map of the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway, and connections. Includes text, timetables, illustrated panel title on verso.
The history of the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba begins with James J. Hill, creator of the Great Northern. In 1856. at age 18, Hill left home and arrived in July, 1856 at St. Paul, where he began work as a shipping clerk in the office of a Mississippi River steamboat company. The Minnesota legislature, eager for rail lines in its territory, granted charters as early as 1853 and issued one in 1857 to the Minnesota & Pacific Railroad Company. The latter provided for construction of a line from Stillwater, Minn., on the St. Croix River, to St. Paul, St. Anthony (now Minneapolis) and Breckenridge, and another by way of St. Cloud to St. Vincent on the Canadian border.
There were delays and difficulties. The St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Company acquired the Minnesota & Pacific's rights, completed the first ten miles of construction in Minnesota -- from St. Paul to St. Anthony, now Minneapolis -- and began
regular operations on July 2, 1862.
In 1865, Hill entered the transportation field on his own account, to represent a steamboat line connecting with east-bound rails at lower Mississippi River points. A year later he was agent for the First Division of the St. Paul & Pacific. By 1870, he was in a partnership doing general business in wood, coal and commissions, and in another to operate a steamboat service on the Red River of the North.
Success here preceded acquisition in 1878 of the St. Paul & Pacific, and the First Division, St. Paul & Pacific. Mr. Hill interested three men in joining him. One was Norman W. Kittson; the others were George Stephen, president of the Bank
of Montreal who became Lord Mount Stephen, and Donald A. Smith, chief commissioner of the Hudson's Bay Company, later to become Lord Strathcona. The latter two subsequently gained fame as pioneer railway builders in Canada.
The properties were reorganized in 1879 as the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway Company. Settlers came. By 1881, the Manitoba company operated 695 miles of track. Rail reached west to Devils Lake, North Dakota by 1885 and on some north and south branches. Colonization progressed and traffic grew. Montana was reached in 1887 to connect with other lines operating to the Pacific Northwest.
On September 18, 1889 the name of the old Minneapolis & St. Cloud Railroad Company was changed to Great Northern Railway Company. The latter, on February 1, 1890, took over properties of the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway Company.
OCLC locates 1 copy (Minnesota Historical Society).