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In order to bind the nation together from [[California, United States Genealogy|California]] to the eastern states visionaries proposed a railroad between the west and east coasts of the [[United States Genealogy|United States]]. During the [[United States Civil War, 1861 to 1865|Civil War]] Congress authorized the building of this railroad. Congress offered [[Grants to Land Companies and Railroads#Railroads|land grants]] along the tracks in a [[Grants to Land Companies and Railroads#Railroads|checkerboard pattern]] as an incentive to the builders. The company that could build the most track would receive the most land.  
 
In order to bind the nation together from [[California, United States Genealogy|California]] to the eastern states visionaries proposed a railroad between the west and east coasts of the [[United States Genealogy|United States]]. During the [[United States Civil War, 1861 to 1865|Civil War]] Congress authorized the building of this railroad. Congress offered [[Grants to Land Companies and Railroads#Railroads|land grants]] along the tracks in a [[Grants to Land Companies and Railroads#Railroads|checkerboard pattern]] as an incentive to the builders. The company that could build the most track would receive the most land.  
  
Starting in 1865 in [[Omaha Links|Omaha]] and [[Nebraska, United States Genealogy|Nebraska]], the&nbsp;Union Pacific&nbsp;Railroad laid their first tracks.&nbsp;They&nbsp;slowly started&nbsp;their&nbsp;westward race toward the oncoming&nbsp;[[Central Pacific Railroad|Central Pacific Railroad]] by building only 40 miles after spending&nbsp;$500,000.&nbsp;As the pace quickened Irish immigrants and soldiers looking for work at the end of the [[United States Civil War, 1861 to 1865|Civil War]] increased the size of the labor force. The Union Pacific faced a shortage of timber for [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railroad_ties railroad ties] on the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_plains Great Plains] of [[Nebraska, United States Genealogy|Nebraska]], and had to defend themselves against hostile Indian attacks, and&nbsp;harsh weather.&nbsp;Eventually they would average a mile of new track a&nbsp;day.&nbsp;In [[Wyoming, United States Genealogy|Wyoming]] they were challenged by deep ravines, and the&nbsp;[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weber_River Weber&nbsp;River] in [[Utah, United States Genealogy|Utah]] was crossed 31 times.<ref>"Contruction" in ''Union Pacitic'' at http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/history/hist-ov/hist-ov4.shtml (accessed 14 July 2009).</ref>&nbsp;B<span id="fck_dom_range_temp_1247607257296_36" /><span id="fck_dom_range_temp_1247607257296_196" />y the end of&nbsp;1865&nbsp;the end of the track had only reached Fremont, [[Nebraska, United States Genealogy|Nebraska]]. In late 1866&nbsp;they reached North Platte, in 1867 Cheyenne, [[Wyoming, United States Genealogy|Wyoming]], in late 1868 track reached Evanston, Wyoming.<ref>"Union Pacific Railroad End of Track Dateline 1865-1869" in ''Union Pacific'' at http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/maps/graphics/goldspik.gif (accessed 14 July 2009).</ref> On 10 May 1869 the&nbsp;Union Pacific&nbsp;joined track with the&nbsp;Central Pacific at [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promontory,_Utah Promontory Summit], [[Utah, United States Genealogy|Utah]] north of the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Salt_Lake Great Salt Lake] to form the first [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcontinental_railroad transcontinental railroad] in the [[United States Genealogy|United States]].<ref>"Central Pacific Railroad" in ''American Western History Musuems'' at http://www.linecamp.com/museums/americanwest/western_clubs/central_pacific_railroad/central_pacific_railroad.html (accessed 10 July 2009).</ref> In 1872 a bridge was completed across the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_River Missouri River] to Council Bluffs, [[Iowa, United States Genealogy|Iowa]]. Later in 1904&nbsp;the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucin_Cutoff Lucin Cutoff] was completed across the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Salt_Lake Salt Lake] to shorten the route to Ogden, [[Utah, United States Genealogy|Utah]] and avoid steep mountain grades and curves.<ref>Wikipedia contributors, "Lucin Cutoff" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lucin_Cutoff (accessed 10 July 2009).</ref> In 1925 the Union Pacific Railroad opened another transcontinental branch&nbsp;from Granger, Wyoming via Boise, [[Idaho, United States Genealogy|Idaho]] to Portland, [[Oregon, United States Genealogy|Oregon]]. Through mergers and acquisitions many other lines have been opened to&nbsp;make it&nbsp;one of America's premier railroads.  
+
Starting in 1865 in [[Omaha Links|Omaha]] and [[Nebraska, United States Genealogy|Nebraska]], the&nbsp;Union Pacific&nbsp;Railroad laid their first tracks.&nbsp;They&nbsp;slowly started&nbsp;their&nbsp;westward race toward the oncoming&nbsp;[[Central Pacific Railroad|Central Pacific Railroad]] by building only 40 miles after spending&nbsp;$500,000.&nbsp;As the pace quickened Irish immigrants and soldiers looking for work at the end of the [[United States Civil War, 1861 to 1865|Civil War]] increased the size of the labor force. The Union Pacific faced a shortage of timber for [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railroad_ties railroad ties] on the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_plains Great Plains] of [[Nebraska, United States Genealogy|Nebraska]], and had to defend themselves against hostile Indian attacks, and&nbsp;harsh weather.&nbsp;Eventually they would average a mile of new track a&nbsp;day.&nbsp;In [[Wyoming, United States Genealogy|Wyoming]] they were challenged by deep ravines, and the&nbsp;[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weber_River Weber&nbsp;River] in [[Utah, United States Genealogy|Utah]] was crossed 31 times.<ref>"Contruction" in ''Union Pacitic'' at http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/history/hist-ov/hist-ov4.shtml (accessed 14 July 2009).</ref>&nbsp;By the end of&nbsp;1865&nbsp;the end of the track had only reached Fremont, [[Nebraska, United States Genealogy|Nebraska]]. In late 1866&nbsp;they reached North Platte, in 1867 Cheyenne, [[Wyoming, United States Genealogy|Wyoming]], in late 1868 track reached Evanston, Wyoming.<ref>"Union Pacific Railroad End of Track Dateline 1865-1869" in ''Union Pacific'' at http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/maps/graphics/goldspik.gif (accessed 14 July 2009).</ref> On 10 May 1869 the&nbsp;Union Pacific&nbsp;joined track with the&nbsp;Central Pacific at [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promontory,_Utah Promontory Summit], [[Utah, United States Genealogy|Utah]] north of the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Salt_Lake Great Salt Lake] to form the first [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcontinental_railroad transcontinental railroad] in the [[United States Genealogy|United States]].<ref>"Central Pacific Railroad" in ''American Western History Musuems'' at http://www.linecamp.com/museums/americanwest/western_clubs/central_pacific_railroad/central_pacific_railroad.html (accessed 10 July 2009).</ref> In 1872 a bridge was completed across the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_River Missouri River] to Council Bluffs, [[Iowa, United States Genealogy|Iowa]]. Later in 1904&nbsp;the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucin_Cutoff Lucin Cutoff] was completed across the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Salt_Lake Salt Lake] to shorten the route to Ogden, [[Utah, United States Genealogy|Utah]] and avoid steep mountain grades and curves.<ref>Wikipedia contributors, "Lucin Cutoff" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lucin_Cutoff (accessed 10 July 2009).</ref> In 1925 the Union Pacific Railroad opened another transcontinental branch&nbsp;from Granger, Wyoming via Boise, [[Idaho, United States Genealogy|Idaho]] to Portland, [[Oregon, United States Genealogy|Oregon]]. Through mergers and acquisitions many other lines have been opened to&nbsp;make it&nbsp;one of America's premier railroads.  
  
 
== Route  ==
 
== Route  ==
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== Settlers and Records  ==
 
== Settlers and Records  ==
  
Settlers using the&nbsp;Union Pacific Railroad were likely to be from Eastern or Midwestern states along the tracks of the Union Pacific and connectors such as [[Illinois, United States Genealogy|Illinois]], [[Iowa, United States Genealogy|Iowa]], [[Missouri, United States Genealogy|Missouri]], [[Nebraska, United States Genealogy|Nebraska]], [[Wyoming, United States Genealogy|Wyoming<span id="fck_dom_range_temp_1247630731765_52" />]], and [[Utah, United States Genealogy|Utah]]. Most would have settled in Utah, [[Nevada, United States Genealogy|Nevada]], or northern [[California, United States Genealogy|California]].  
+
Settlers using the&nbsp;Union Pacific Railroad were likely to be from Eastern or Midwestern states along the tracks of the Union Pacific and connectors such as [[Illinois, United States Genealogy|Illinois]], [[Iowa, United States Genealogy|Iowa]], [[Missouri, United States Genealogy|Missouri]], [[Nebraska, United States Genealogy|Nebraska]], [[Wyoming, United States Genealogy|Wyoming]], and [[Utah, United States Genealogy|Utah]]. Most would have settled in Utah, [[Nevada, United States Genealogy|Nevada]], or northern [[California, United States Genealogy|California]].  
  
 
There are no known&nbsp;Union Pacific Railroad passenger list records.
 
There are no known&nbsp;Union Pacific Railroad passenger list records.

Latest revision as of 12:25, 24 January 2020


Union Pacific steam locomotive 3985 at the Boise, Idaho depot.

In 1869 the Union Pacific Railroad out of Omaha, Nebraska, and the Central Pacific Railroad out of Sacramento, California linked tracks in the Golden Spike ceremony at Promontory Summit, Utah to form the first transcontinental railroad service in the United States.[1] Settlers were attracted to communities near railroads because they provided access to markets. Railroads encouraged settlement along their routes to help increase the need for their service. If an ancestor settled near a railroad, you may be able to trace their place of origin back to another place along the tracks.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

In order to bind the nation together from California to the eastern states visionaries proposed a railroad between the west and east coasts of the United States. During the Civil War Congress authorized the building of this railroad. Congress offered land grants along the tracks in a checkerboard pattern as an incentive to the builders. The company that could build the most track would receive the most land.

Starting in 1865 in Omaha and Nebraska, the Union Pacific Railroad laid their first tracks. They slowly started their westward race toward the oncoming Central Pacific Railroad by building only 40 miles after spending $500,000. As the pace quickened Irish immigrants and soldiers looking for work at the end of the Civil War increased the size of the labor force. The Union Pacific faced a shortage of timber for railroad ties on the Great Plains of Nebraska, and had to defend themselves against hostile Indian attacks, and harsh weather. Eventually they would average a mile of new track a day. In Wyoming they were challenged by deep ravines, and the Weber River in Utah was crossed 31 times.[2] By the end of 1865 the end of the track had only reached Fremont, Nebraska. In late 1866 they reached North Platte, in 1867 Cheyenne, Wyoming, in late 1868 track reached Evanston, Wyoming.[3] On 10 May 1869 the Union Pacific joined track with the Central Pacific at Promontory Summit, Utah north of the Great Salt Lake to form the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.[4] In 1872 a bridge was completed across the Missouri River to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Later in 1904 the Lucin Cutoff was completed across the Salt Lake to shorten the route to Ogden, Utah and avoid steep mountain grades and curves.[5] In 1925 the Union Pacific Railroad opened another transcontinental branch from Granger, Wyoming via Boise, Idaho to Portland, Oregon. Through mergers and acquisitions many other lines have been opened to make it one of America's premier railroads.

Route[edit | edit source]

Some of the towns, with their modern county names, built along the original transcontinental Union Pacific Railroad from east to west were:

Nebraska

Colorado

Wyoming

Utah

Ogden connected the Central Pacific tracks to

  • Sacramento, Sacramento County, California

Settlers and Records[edit | edit source]

Settlers using the Union Pacific Railroad were likely to be from Eastern or Midwestern states along the tracks of the Union Pacific and connectors such as Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah. Most would have settled in Utah, Nevada, or northern California.

There are no known Union Pacific Railroad passenger list records.

Workers on the Railroad[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Central Pacific Railroad," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Central_Pacific_Railroadoldid=299761457 (accessed 6 July 2009); Wikipedia contributors, "Union Pacific Railroad," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Union_Pacific_Railroad oldid=298717292 (accessed 6 July 2009); Wikipedia contributors, "Golden spike," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Golden_spike oldid=290578008 (accessed 6 July 2009), and Wikipedia contributors, "Promontory, Utah," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Promontory,_Utah oldid=297584143 (accessed 6 July 2009).
  2. "Contruction" in Union Pacitic at http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/history/hist-ov/hist-ov4.shtml (accessed 14 July 2009).
  3. "Union Pacific Railroad End of Track Dateline 1865-1869" in Union Pacific at goldspik.gif (accessed 14 July 2009).
  4. "Central Pacific Railroad" in American Western History Musuems at http://www.linecamp.com/museums/americanwest/western_clubs/central_pacific_railroad/central_pacific_railroad.html (accessed 10 July 2009).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Lucin Cutoff" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lucin_Cutoff (accessed 10 July 2009).