Builders of Wooden Railway Cars ... and some of other stuff

Danville Car Company

The Danville Car Company was begun about 1900 at Danville, Illinois.

It likely had something to do with the acquisition in 1900 of the Danville street railway system by William B. McKinley, a former attorney and banker.

Danville Car Company Advertisement

The following is from Twin Cities Traction; The Street Railways of Urbana and Champaign, Illinois, Chapter 18; A Short Biography of William B. McKinley, by H. George Friedman, Jr. Copyright 2001 H. George Friedman, Jr. found online at --

"In 1896, McKinley became involved in plans to extend the Joliet, Illinois street railway system to Chicago.  This was his first interurban project, and was perhaps the first interurban in the state.  An eleven mile line was built at this time, but the line did not reach Chicago until 1901, long after McKinley had sold his interest in it."

"In 1898, he bought and modernized the street railways in Quincy and Galesburg, Illinois, and built a suburban line from Galesburg to Knoxville.  In 1899, he bought back the Urbana and Champaign street railway and the gas and electric utilities.  Then he acquired the Danville street railway in 1900, and built suburban lines from Danville to Westville and Catlin the following year.  These lines were the beginnings of the future Illinois Traction System."

(ITC made extensive use of Danville Car Company equipment.)

It specialized in electric street cars and interurban cars.

Car #29 of the Ft. Smith Trolley System

Fort Smith (AR) Light & Traction Co. car #25, built by Danville Car Company ca. 1910.

Many midwestern systems used its cars.

The Danville Car Company was acquired in 1908 by the J.G. Brill Company but went out of business 5 years later as the industry began the transition from wooden cars to steel.

09 April 2006

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