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Songs and Stories
     April 20, 2020      #7F-111 SsK
This promotional postcard for the Chicago & Southern Traction Company was produced some time before 1912, when the line’s name was changed to the Chicago & Interurban Traction Company. The car at left was a “Limited,” which made the Kankakee to Chicago (or vice-versa) run in two hours. Regular

Interurban makes Chicago more accessible 


By Jack Klasey

Driving from downtown Kankakee to the Chicago Loop today can take as little as 60 minutes, depending upon weather and traffic congestion.

Making that same trip by auto in 1907 would have required spending a good part of a day on the road, since virtually all highways between towns were unpaved (some were topped with gravel; but most were just plain dirt).

An attractive alternative to that long and difficult road trip emerged on Nov. 5, 1907, when an interurban line — the Chicago & Southern Traction Company — began operating between the two cities.

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Tickets for the Kankakee to Chicago interurban were sold at this counter in a newsstand on the first floor of the Arcade Building at Schuyler Avenue and Merchant Street. The men in this 1911 photo are from left, William Spillane, Julian Wilhelm, an unidentified man and William Bond. The promotional

Jack Klasey
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