Photo of First Sioux City Train

Date: 1868

 

Description: This is a photograph of the first train to ever enter Sioux City, on the Sioux City and Pacific line. This line, started by Asahel Hubbard, John Blair and Samuel Davis, ran through Iowa and Nebraska and its main purpose was to connect Sioux City to the Union Pacific line. It was part of the Chicago North Western Railway. Though it was the first successful attempt at a railway through Sioux City, the Sioux City and Pacific was by no means the first attempt. When the great transcontinental line was being built Union Pacific originally announced plans to route through Sioux City in 1856, but they backed out in favor of Omaha, as the land was flatter and the river smoother. In 1857 the Illinois Central line assured a route to Sioux City, but plans were interrupted by the Civil War and the line was never completed. After the rail came in 1868 people and goods came by the thousands, and the city’s population and economy skyrocketed and blossomed. The city was a major connection point from rail to river and soon from rail to rail and more and more track was laid farther west. If Sioux City had gotten her promised earlier lines this would likely have happened 10 years earlier, and the additional growth and advantages of a transcontinental line would have made Sioux City comparable in size with Omaha today.

 

Donor: John F. Schmidt

 

On display