In THE MAKER OF CITIES, extracted from THE WORLD ON WHEELS, written by Benj. F. Taylor in 1874, you'll find a brisk summary of how towns grew up along the route of a railroad as the iron rails went west. The material is informative, pithy, and humorous. Taylor was a prominent Chicago author and newspaperman. The extract is approximately 1300 words long, not including the well-illustrated title page and notes about the author, book, and publisher. Reading Taylor's often-funny description of towns that "grew like Topsy" gives one the feeling of being there at this rough and ready point in the westward expansion of the United States of the mid-19th century.