Later in 1851, Kilbourn, who could be a controversial, obstinate and arrogant person, found himself in trouble with the company’s board and was removed from the presidency, being replaced by John Catlin.
During the remaining part of 1851, the main line was extended to Eagle and then in the fall of 1852 to Milton, where it forked. From there, a subsidiary company built a line from Milton to Janesville, completing this in January, 1853.
Also during 1853, the main line was extended to Stoughton and, early in 1854, to Madison. In 1857, the line was completed through to Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi River, the railroad’s original destination. The first train entered that city on April 15, 1857.
Even as the Milwaukee & Mississippi was growing, other things were happening, some not so favorable.
For one thing, a number of other budding railroads were being built in that part of Wisconsin. One of these was the La Crosse & Milwaukee Railroad Company, chartered by the state legislature in 1852 (Wisconsin became a state in 1848) and authorized to build between the two cities named.
Byron Kilbourn, let go by the M&M directors, was president of the La Crosse & Milwaukee, which was consolidated in 1854 with the Milwaukee, Fond du Lac & Green Bay Railroad Company, chartered in 1853. The combined company built a line to Horicon, 50 miles from Milwaukee, completing this in December of 1855, and the next year extending it to Portage, about 95 miles from Milwaukee.
Onward to the Mississippi...
An entry from Four Generations on the Line: