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William McKinley's Road of Good Service: Illinois Traction System

Champaign-Urbana Water Company abt 1914.jpg
Curated by TJ Blakeman and Michael K. Ryan

Beginning in 1902 and lasting for fifty-four years, the Illinois Traction System crisscrossed the state of Illinois, drastically changing the way people traveled. The building of this system by its founder, William B. McKinley of Champaign, revolutionized the existing transportation network and changed the ways in which cities and towns were interconnected.

By 1956, the golden age of electric train travel had given way to the rise of the automobile, but not before the system, its employees, and riders made a lasting imprint on communities from St. Louis to Peoria and Danville to Springfield.

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