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The town of Sturtevant lies West of Racine, Wisconsin , USA on the edge of Lake Michigan

[Extract from 'Descendants of Samuel Sturtevant' by kind permission of Robert H.Sturtevant]

Rumors and beliefs get started by various ways and my original belief as to how Sturtevant, Wisconsin was named is such an example. When I was about 10 years of age, my grandfather Charles Granville Sturtevant told me that he was responsible for naming the town. He worked for the Soo Line Railroad and in that the Soo Line (he stated) had maintenance shops there, he named the town Sturtevant, Wisconsin. It was not until I started to work on this Sturtevant history that I found out the truth in its naming.

The following is an excerpt from information prepared by the Village of Sturtevant, Wisconsin.

Racine County was set off from Milwaukee County in 1836. It was four times its present size. In 1839, half of it went to Walworth County and in 1850, half again went to Kenosha County.

In 1874, Mr.S. Parker platted 25 acres of land lying adjacent to the depot. He put the plat on the market, readily Disposing of several lots. He then called this PARKERSVILLE.

The Racine and Mississippi Railroad was built In 1875 and ran as far as Beloit. Shortly after that, the depot and other railroad buildings were erected. The name was then changed from PARKERSVILLE to WESTERN UNION JUNCTION.

On February 17, 1876, the Chicago-Milwaukee Railroad was completed. This line connected Chicago and Milwaukee, going through WESTERN UNION JUNCTION.

On August 13, 1901, the name of the village was changed to CORLISS. The Brown Corliss Engine Company of Milwaukee erected a large building and manufactured some of the largest steam engines in the United States.

On July 20, 1907 the recession set in, causing a great deal of confusion and the result was the filing of bankruptcy by the Brown-Corliss Engine Company. One of the reasons for this was the experimentation with the gasoline engine and the inevitable fact that the steam engine would be replaced by the gasoline engine.

The B. F. Sturtevant Company of Boston, Massachusetts bought the Brown-Corliss Engine Company in 1923 and on October 2, 1923, the name of the village was changed from CORLISS to STURTEVANT.

[Extract from 'Descendants of Samuel Sturtevant' by kind permission of Robert H.Sturtevant]

Historical facts of the railroad in Sturtevant:

The first railroad was built in 1852 and was named the Racine, Janesville, and Mississippi. It ran into financial difficulty and became the Western Union Railroad in 1879. The Western Union became part of the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul. A town began to develop when the main link was built between Milwaukee and Chicago, and a major junction developed when it met the link from Racine to Beloit and points west.

Western Union Junction became a village in 1901. In 1902 the Milwaukee Road built the present station. By 1912 over 65 trains stopped at Sturtevant .

Western Union Junction was re-named Corliss in 1907. Corliss was renamed once more when the B.F. Sturtevant Company moved here from New York (Boston?).

Today there is no more B.F. Sturtevant Company in Sturtevant , in fact their old factory was torn down in the late 1980's. There are only a few dozen freight trains that go through town. The only passenger trains that go through are now run by Amtrak. Ten of those trains run between Milwaukee and Chicago, and Two of them run between Chicago and Seattle, Washington (these two trains do not stop in Sturtevant .)

Today CP Rail (Canadian Pacific Railway) runs through town. The Milwaukee road went out of business in 1986 when the Soo Line bought the bankrupt railroad. In 1991 CP Rail took Control of the Soo.

Today only two segments remain of the old Racine, Janesville and Mississippi Railroad (the Milwaukee Road called this line their Southwestern Division). CP Rail still operates the line between Waxdale (SC Johnson Wax on the east end of Sturtevant) and Kansasville. While the Wisconsin Southern operates a section between Burlington and Beloit.

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Last Update 8th August 2010