The Mineral Point Railroad was chartered on April 17, 1852, to provide the town of Mineral Point in Wisconsin with a connection to the Illinois Central Railroad in Warren, IL. By 1857, 31.28 miles of track had been laid from Mineral Point south to the Illinois state line, with the remaining 2.5 miles of track laid within Illinois soon after.
See also the abandoned Dubuque, Platteville and Milwaukee Railroad, which connected with the MPRR at Calamine and came under control of the MPRR in 1862.
In 1880, the MPRR was purchased by the Chicago, Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railroad, who subsequently built a line west from its operations in Monroe to connect with the MPRR at Gratiot. This was to allow the CM&StP to ship passengers and freight over its own line and to avoid relying on the MPRR's connection with the IC at Warren. This rendered the portion of the line between Gratiot and Warren as redundant and it was abandoned in 1922.
With the decline in business and fortunes in Mineral Point, primarily due to the declining zinc mining in the area, the former MPRR was put up for abandonment in 1980. However, a local shortline railroad, the Chicago, Madison and Northern Railway, purchased and resumed operations along the line. Ultimately, it was all for naught, and the remainder of the MPRR was abandoned in 1984.
Today, the right-of-way serves as the Cheese County Trail. The stone depot at Mineral Point was rebuilt in the year 2000 and is now a railroad museum.