The entrance of Iowa farmers into the business of handling grain dates back almost to the beginning of the country grain trade in the state, that is, about the time of the Civil war. Prior to that time, Iowa producers had teamed their grain all the way to Chicago or, later, to one of the river markets that grew up at several points on the Mississippi. By 1860 there were six short railroad stubs connecting towns in the eastern counties of the state with these river markets, and three roads had rail connections east to Chicago. But it was not till in the late 60’s and the 70's that the expansion of railroads over the state, the great increase in cereal production and the marvelous development of export trade gave a great stimulus to the local grain shipping business.
Nourse, E. G.
"Fifty years of farmers’ elevators in Iowa,"
Bulletin: Vol. 17
, Article 1.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/bulletin/vol17/iss211/1