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Midlothian () is a village in Cook County in the state of Illinois, United States. It is a southwestern suburb of Chicago.
Like many southwest suburbs of Chicago in the 1800s and early 1900s, the area now known as the Village of Midlothian consisted of a few area farmers being surrounded by large and small endeavors alike as the industrial age began its exponential expansion process in the Bremen Township in Cook County, Illinois community.
By 1854, the sprawling landscape comprising the township of Bremen had a trail of railroad track carrying both passengers and commodities between Chicago and Joliet on the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad.
It had been a somewhat brutal battle for the Illinois Central Railroad over the decades, with Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln working hard to establish the presence of the Illinois Central Railroad on a State level until Douglas moved to the federal level. By 1850, Douglas was busy working on federally mandated development of transportation plans into law at a federal level for the benefit of the Illinois Central Railroad.
According to the 1976 Bremen High School Bicentennial Book, there is evidence of existing plans to run the Illinois Central Railroad through the property that would eventually become the location of Bremen High School in 1953.
While plans existed as late as 1861 showing not only a surveyed plan for a railroad, a portion of property is set aside with the label "Washington" and nothing more than a relatively square outline around the name and that's it. Although it suggests plans for perhaps a station, there may have been a manufacturer or other business planning to set up shop in this particular location.
Had the Illinois Central Railroad managed to lay down their tracks through Midlothian in the 1850s and 1860s, the history of the Village would most likely look a lot different than what transpired with the one full-time railroad meeting the needs of the public and one temporary one meeting the needs of one of the first formal "members only" country clubs with golf in the nation.
While significant time and resources were spent on the planning stages of a railroad through Bremen Township (and subsequently Midlothian) by both Stephens and Douglas, it was members of the private sector relying on approval at a state level to spur the development of a railroad connecting Rockford, Illinois to LaSalle, Illinois. The Rock Island and La Salle Railroad Company was incorporated on February 27, 1847 in the State of Illinois and an amended charter was approved by a special Act of the Illinois Legislature on February 7, 1851 where the name was changed to the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad amongst other modifications to the original corporation.
This approval at a State level came a year after Stephen A. Douglas passed legislation mandating the building of the Illinois Central Railroad on a federal level.
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