COLES & CUMBERLAND COUNTY 1871
|This is a map of part of Coles and Cumberland County as of
1871. I bought this map on eBay. The Chicago Branch of the Illinois
Central Railroad is shown going through Mattoon and Neoga. The Alton &
Terra Haute (later the Big Four) Railroad is shown going through Kansas,
Charleston and Mattoon. The Vandalia (Later the Pennsylvania) Railroad is
shown going through Casey, Greenup and Woodbury. Note that the Clover Leaf
railroad going through Charleston and Neoga is not shown on this map for
it did not exist in 1871. |
Each of the squares on the map is 640 acres, that is a section which is one mile on each side. Townships are shown in big block letters like NEOGA, LAFAYETTE and county seats are in smaller capitol block letters like Charleston and Prairie City (later called Toledo). Roads are not easily followed and are shown as black or gray lines. Let us consider how to travel from Mattoon to Neoga. Note there is a road going straight south from mid Mattoon like today's Route 45 but it appears that at the Coles Cumberland County border, there is an east and west road. Hence to get to Neoga, one would turn right on this road, go about a mile and a half west and then south for about 4 miles (this appears to be the road to the east of my 80 with the oil well and hill that ran past Sam Anderson's house that burned in 1923. It is reported that he much enjoyed driving his first car on this road at, for that day, high speed) to turn right on what is now the four mile road running straight east of Neoga. and thence to Neoga. The road past Sam's house no longer extends in a straight line past the first intersection but now jogs a about a quarter of a mile to the west then continues straight south.
In considering this Mattoon to Neoga trip, recall that it at best would be by horse and buggy, speed less than 10 miles per hour and the road surface just plain dirt. By the route described here is is about 16 miles from Mattoon to Neoga. Via Route 45 it is about 13 miles and a bit less than that by the new Interstate 57,
Note above the U in Cumberland there is a road with a small v in it. That may be the road to Long Point which in 1871 was still a significant community.
There appears to be no road that directly connects Neoga with its county seat, Prairie City now known as Toledo. The words Majority Point are below the BE in Cumberland and those words may refer to the fact that a hill of high elevation for this area exists in that region. Note that in Cumberland County, the village of Johnstown is shown and in Coles County Farmington with Campbell listed as the Post Office is shown. The town was named Farmington by one of the Drydens who had moved there from Farmington, Tennessee but the State refused to accept that because another community near Rockford had earlier been named Farmington so the official name became Campbell after 1871. This map is a section from an ATLAS OF ILLINOIS COUNTIES published in 1871 by Warner, Higgins & Beers.
A 12 mile trip on an Illinois Central Railroad passenger train would take about one half hour and would take you from Neoga to Mattoon. Thus the IC train schedule provided this trip several times per day and that was the primary mode of travel at that time.