Open main menu

BURLINGTON. A city, railroad centre, and county-seat of Des Moines County, Iowa, 206 miles west-southwest of Chicago, Ill., on the right bank of the Mississippi River, and on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy and several other railroads (Map: Iowa, F 4). Burlington, sometimes called the ‘Orchard City,’ occupies a natural amphitheatre, formed by the limestone bluffs that slope back from the river, and on which many of the residences are built, and is regularly laid out. The river here is broad and deep, and is spanned by the railroad bridge of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. Burlington is connected by steamboat lines with important points on the Mississippi, and its river commerce is important. The industries are the manufacture of machinery, wagons, wheels, desks, furniture, lumber, agricultural implements, screens, mattresses, brooms, soap, flour, linseed oil, etc.; pork-packing and the quarrying of limestone found in the vicinity. The extensive machine and repair shops of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad are located here. Among the prominent buildings are the opera house, Young Men's Christian Association building, court-house, city hall, and hospitals. The city has a public library of over 17,000 volumes, Burlington Institute College, besides high schools and grammar schools. Crapo Park, of 100 acres, situated in the southern part of the city, has a fine location and scenery not excelled along the Mississippi. The city is governed by a mayor, elected for two years, and a city council, which has the power of appointment to most of the city's offices. Burlington was named from the city of Burlington, Vt., by its first settlers. A fur-trading post was established here as early as 1829; the first dwelling-houses were erected in 1833, a town was laid out in 1834 and incorporated in 1837, and the city chartered in 1838. It was the capital of Iowa from 1837 to 1840. Population, in 1890, 23,201.