King of the Electric Rail

McKinley was known as a man who could get things done. His concepts for creating and transforming interurban travel resonated across the state and the country. Passengers widely referred to the Illinois Traction System as the "McKinley Lines," because his name became synonymous with all rail travel.

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Illinois Traction Earnings (1908-1924)

His success was evident by the incredible growth in the traction system. His sole ownership of the system made him a millionaire many times over. At the peak of ITS passenger service in 1920, the $7,000,000 in earnings would equal $94,000,000 in today's dollars. This incrediible amount did not include freight service or his power company.

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A large electric sign at the downtown St. Louis station proclaimed "Illinois Traction,(McKinley Lines)".