Page images
PDF
EPUB

an edition principally devoted to the Adrian end. In 1848, the road was sold growth of this marvelous system.

out to a couple of eastern capitalists In 1868, what is now the Lake Shore & under accumulated judgments, and durMichigan Southern Railway Company ing the next year the purchasers leased existed as four companies.

the road in perpetuity to its rival, the The Buffalo & Erie, the Cleveland, Michigan Southern, then in operation Painesville & Ashtabula, the Cleveland & from Monroe to Hillsdale. Toledo and the Michigan Southern & In 1837 the legislature of the state of Northern Indiana.

Michigan projected and made provision By a singular coincidence these four for three railroads and one canal to run companies were each a consolidation of across the southern tier of counties, four companies, making 16 original com- which were the most densely populated panies.

portion of the state. For the construction In 1833, the then territory of Michigan, of these roads the legislature provided a with a population of only about 35,000, loan of $5,000,000 and organized a board which has since increased to more than of internal improvements. Prior to this 3,000,000, incorporated a company for the time a number of railroad companies had purpose of building a railroad from Lake been incorporated in the state and three Erie at Port Lawrence (now Toledo) to of them had made some progress in the the headwaters of the Kalamazoo river, construction of their lines. The Detroit

& St. Joseph was nearly finished to Ypsilanti, but the operation of the road had not begun. The franchises and property of this company were purchased by the state, and their line became a part of the Central railroad intended to run across the state through the second tier of counties.

The Southern road was one of the projects of the state, and was intended to run east and west, crossing the most southerly tier of counties, from Monroe to New Buffalo, on Lake Michigan. Chicago was then a mere Indian trading post, with Fort Dearborn in a quagmire.

It goes without saying that in the terrible crash which

followed the real estate boom CLIFF HOUSE, SAN FRANCISCO, CAL.-Photo. by Bro. B. Deo.

of 1836-7, when everybody under the title of the Erie & Kalamazoo. “busted,” Michigan suffered also. In a When the line was completed it was a very short time she had a couple of unsorry affair. The track consisted of a finished scrap railroads for sale. The thin iron ribbon spiked on oak stringers, Southern road, with a total length of 78 and would be rejected by a street rail- miles, was sold to the Michigan Southern way now. The line was opened in 1837, Railroad Company, with Edwin C Litchthe motive power being horses or mules field as its head, for $500,000. This was for a considerable period. In that year, a good bargain for the company, as the however, the first locomotive in the tier purchasers had long time, and met the of states bordering on the great lakes, installments with depreciated state scrip, and the third locomotive west of the Alle- bought up at 50 or 60 cents on the dollar. ghanies arrived at Toledo on a lake vessel But Michigan was no hog. She knew for this road. It was named the Adrian, when she had enough of railroad conbuilt by the Baldwin Locomotive works struction, and about that time she was at Philadelphia, and was their No. 80. glad to find some one to help her let go.

For ten years this little line had a At the first meeting of the directors of stormy existence, its affairs being man- the new company, the following quaint aged sometimes by a commissioner acting resolutions were adopted: for the board of directors, sometimes by “Resolved that no credit be given for trustees appointed by order of courts and freight or passage. (A steamboat phrase.) at certain periods by a receiver at the "Resolved that there be appointed two conductors, or captains of trains, who neighboring offices to sit in, as the sheriff shall perform the duties of collectors of had carried off all the company's furnifreight and passage money, at $10 per ture. But the Civil War with its greenmonth.”

[graphic]

back inflation and feverish activity in In 1835 a bill was introduced in the In. business, came to the rescue of the com. diana legislature incorporating the At- pany, bringing its property up out of the lantic & Pacific railroad. The members depths of bankruptcy. Its stock, which laughed at so pretentious a name, and the stood at 145 in 1856, sold down to 5 cents sponsor of the project, after much argu- in 1860, but was again above par (109) in ment, came down to Buffalo & Missis. 1863. A most extraordinary and unparsippi as the title for his twelve mile road, alleled fluctuation in only seven years. and said he "would not yield another From 1863 to 1869 was a period of growth mile." This company was organized in and prosperity, during which a great 1837, the year of our first great financial depot was built at Chicago and shops at revulsion, and during the fourteen years Elkhart. In May of the latter year the following no progress was made in the construction of the road. In 1849 it was decided by the directors to abandon the high-sounding title of Buffalo & Missis. sippi and the Northern Indiana railroad was organized. The control of the road soon passed into the hands of the owners of the Michigan Southern, who were rapidly pushing their road west, and May 22, 1852, the first train passed over the two roads from Toledo to Chicago. Three years later the Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana were consolidated.

This consolidated company was very prosperous for a time, since it was a favorite line for business from the day of its opening and its stocks and bonds were favorites for speculation and investments. It paid 10 per cent per annum to its stockholders in 1855 and 1856, and launched out extensions and improvements, building the Air Line, the Detroit, Monroe & Toledo Railroad, the Jackson branch, and two magnificent steamers, which cost $600,000, but which never paid expenses and were finally sold for WINE PRESS, GOLDEN GATE PARK. SAN FRANCISCO.-Photo, by Bro. $50,000. In fact, the road was too enterprising, and was caught with history of the Michigan Southern & a heavy floating debt by the crash of Northern Indiana came to a close by its 1857, its paper going to protest on Au- consolidation with the Lake Shore railgust 19 of that year.

For the six years, way, forming the present line of the Lake 1858 to 1863 inclusive, the road not Shore & Michigan Southern. only declared no dividends, but defaulted When it was suggested in the '40s that on all of its bonds, and was kept busy a line of railway should be constructed compromising its debts. Right in the along the shores of Lake Erie from Bufmidst of this period of adversity, on June falo west, the idea was universally felt, 27, 1859, came the terribly fatal and even as late as 1851, to be the silliest costly Mishawaka accident.

possible scheme of a few cranks. It was It is related that at one meeting of the considered that no road could compete board at the company's office in New with the splendid steamers which were York, they had to borrow chairs from the plying daily, almost hourly, between

[graphic]

B. Deo.

Buffalo and Cleveland, Sandusky, To- every six months never less than 5, someledo and Detroit, and thence on to Lake times 8 or 10 per cent. Panics, hard times, Michigan points and Chicago. But in wars, pestilence or famine might come, spite of this opposition two lines were but this road could say with the Great begun in 1850 to run as far west as Erie, Apostle, “None of these things move me. Pa. One was known as the Buffalo & It made every original stockholder who State Line, and the other, which started staid in the company rich. A small stock at Dunkirk, as the Dunkirk & State Line. investment which was reluctantly made At the same time, a company was con- by the city of Cleveland was the basis stracting a road known as the Erie & and chief factor of its great sinking fand, Northeast, to extend 20 miles from Erie one of the financial wonders of the last to the New York state line and it was ex. century. pected that the eastward and westward When this last line was completed there Iines would meet somewhere west of Dun- was a railway from Cleveland to Buffalo, kirk. As it was evidently foolish to build 183 miles, but right in the middle was the two roads west of Dunkirk, & compro- Erie & Northeast with its gauge of six mise was had; the Buffalo & State Line feet, necessitating two transfers of both swallowed the other road, and completed freight and passengers, one at Erie and the line westward to the state line on one at state line, only 20 miles apart. And

yet business was actually done in that fashion for a year. As traffic increased this obstruction became intolerable, and finally a contract was made to have the 20 miles changed to the standard gauge. For various reasons the city of Erie was violently opposed to this. Hence fol. lowed a conflict between the city and the railroads, which lasted for two months, closing the road between Erie and Harbor Creek, seven miles, over which bleak stretch passengers had to ride in sleighs or walk, enduring all the rigors of a severe winter. A settlement was finally made and on February 1, 1854, the first train passed from Buffalo to Erie, and on to Cleveland over a uniform gauge. On May 15, 1867, the Buffalo & State Line and the Erie &

Northeast railroads were conAIGH BRIDGE, SOUTHERN PACIFIC COAST LINE, CALIFORNIA. AP- solidated into the Buffalo &

PROACHING THE BIG LOOP.-Courtesy H. M. Rhodes, Div. 226. Erie railroad, and on June 22, February 22, 1852, running up against the 1869,

this company was consolidated into Erie & Northeast, which had been com- the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, pleted a month earlier. The Buffalo & after 20 years of marvelous growth and State line had been built with a standard prosperity. gauge, while the gauge of the Erie & The remaining link of the present Lake Northeast was six feet. This difference Shore system, from Cleveland to Toledo, was the cause of much trouble before was formed by a union of the Toledo, many months had passed.

Norwalk & Cleveland Railroad, a Norwalk In the meantime the city of Cleveland enterprise, and the Junction Railroad had been moved to construct a railway which was started by Sandusky and Cleve. east to Erie, though it was the consensus land capitalists. The new line was called of opinion that such a project could never the Cleveland & Toledo, and in March, be successful. Most of the stockholders 1869, when a consolidation was effected never expected to get their money again. with the line from Cleveland to Erie, the The road was opened November 20, 1852; name was changed to the Lake Shore July 1, 1853, the stockholders were invi- Railway. Two months later this company ted to call at the treasurer's office and was consolidated with the Michigan draw a dividend of 5 per cent; six months Southern & Northern Indiana Railroad, later the same. And so on for 20 years, so in May, 1869, the consolidated Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway was out of existence about the year 1850.” born.

[graphic]

The following announcement (origiThe new consolidated company immedi- nally appearing in the Toledo Blade) of ately inaugurated an extensive system of a day's pleasure in (and out of the improvements. The line between Elyria, "Pleasure car" in 1841 is both interesting O., and Buffalo was double-tracked and and amusing. several extensions were built. Large pur- "During most of the year 1841 I was chases of locomotives and cars were made, employed as repairing agent of the Erie and other improvements were contempla- & Kalamazoo railroad, then in operation ted, when came the financial cyclone of between Toledo and Adrian. According 1873, overtaking this road as the crash of to schedule time, a passenger train with 1857 did the Michigan Southern & North- one coach would leave Toledo in the ern Indiana, and brought its progress to a morning, make the run to Adrian and resudden halt. The next four years was a turn to Toledo in the afternoon, arriving period of great depression--paying updebts, about 6 p. m. and paying small dividends, under the : "In December, 1841, che Saturday the careful and conservative management of train left Toledo on time for Adrian. I Commodore Vanderbilt. On Dec. 29, just was then at Palmyra intending to take a week before his death (January 4, 1877), the train for Adrian and return to Toledo occurred the terrible Ashtabula accident, killing 92 persons outright and injuring 64. Only 8 escaped unhurt, and when one considers all the destructive elements that entered into a conspiracy against that doomed train, it is a wonder any person escaped from it alive. The accident cost the company directly $750,000, saying nothing of the large indirect loss by interruption of business.

The same careful, vigorous, clean management manifested by Commodore Vanderbilt was continued by his son, William H. Vanderbilt, until his death, December 8, 1885, and has since been maintained by his successors.

There are several illustrations in existence of the first locomotive and car which were run on the Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad in 1837. The locomotive has already been a scene on THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC.-Photo. by Bro. H. M. referred to. The car would

Rhodes, Div. 226. be a revelation to the present generation. that evening. Owing to a severe storm Hon. Richard Mott of Toledo, a director of rain, freezing as it fell, the track be. of the road when the car was in use, came covered with ice. The train reached wrote concerning it: “The Gothic Palmyra about 4 p. m. I entered the car (the board called it the "Pleas- middle compartment of the car, as the ure car' in their official proceedings) was train started for Adrian and met in the the second passenger car of the Erie & car J. Baron Davis and wife of Toledo, Kalamazoo Railroad, and was placed in sitting in the forward seat. Being acservice in 1837. It was rather shorter quainted with them, I thought I would than the three-compartment vehicles first take a seat with them, but seeing the used by the Schenectady Railroad and cushion upon the seat was out of place. afterwards by the Utica Railroad. The car I took the

rear seat, facing the one I had when full held 24, eight in each compart- rejected. We had not gone more than ment. The lower middle door opened half a mile from Palmyra, when a 'snakefrom a place for storing baggage. The head,' as they were called (the end of a middle section projected a few inches loosened bar) came crashing through the wider than the end section. The car floor of the car, passing diagonally was about the size of a street rail- through the seat I had left vacant, the way car of the present day. It passed end of the bar striking me in the neck lame and sore from contact with the ‘snakehead, but gratified that we were enjoying the modern improvement'railway travel.

[graphic]

M. BRIGHAM, "Toledo, January 13, 1882."

New Year.

under the chia, and pushing me backward with such force as to break through the panel work partition which divided the compartments of the car. Just at this moment the other end of the bar was torn from the track and carried along with the car. Recovering my consciousness a little, I found myself with head and shoulders protruding through the broken partition, while I held the assaulting 'snakehead' firmly grasped in both hands. Being a stormy day I had an extra amount of clothing about my neck, which the bar did not penetrate, so that my injuries were not serious. The train was stopped. Frederick Bissell, the conductor, was much frightened. Before leaving the spot the guilty ‘snakehead' was once more spiked down, and we moved on, reaching Adrian at 6 p. m., having made the run of 33 miles in 10 hours.

“The train left Adrian for Toledo at 7 p. m. and worked its way along over the ice-covered track until we got out of wood and water, when we picked up sticks in the woods and replenished the fire, and with pails dipped up water from the ditches and fed the boiler, and made another run toward Toledo. Passing Sylvania we got the train in a point four miles from Toledo, when, being again out of steam, wood and water, we came to the conclusion that it would be easier to foot it the rest of the way, than to try to get the train along any further. So we left the locomotive and car standing on the track and walked into the city, reaching here about 2:30 a. m. I was rather

o fair New Year, in robe of white,
What are you bringing to me tonight?
What is there hidden beneath the fold
of your furry coat-a bar of gold?
What are you hiding behind your dress?
A smile, a tear, or a sweet caress?
Have you a book with the tale writ down,
O stranger year with your sparkling crown?
It is a dimpled and fairy form,
Hands like a rose leaf soft and warm ;
A pearl picked up from the heavenly shore.
Will this be mine when your reigu is o'er ?
What do you hold in your hand close hid,
Some flowers to lay on a coffin lid?
I dare not look, though you stood aside
And showed me the door held open wide.
What are you bringing for me to wear,
Threads of silver to weave in my hair?
Rings that are bordered with bands of black,
Is 't these you are hiding behind your back?
What are you bringing me-Peace and Rest?
A narrow bed with its head to west ?
A dreamless slumber, a sweet repose ?
A waking far from earthly woes?
O fair New Year, in robes of white,
What are you bringing to me tonight?
What will you take from me ere you go,
O fair New Year, in your robe of snow?

- Isabel Richey, Plattsmouth, Neb.

[graphic]

The Inspector's Romance.

BY CLAUDE PAMARES. Copyright, 1906, M. M. Cunuingham.

Once every two monthsnow a day or two earlier, and now a day or two later-Iuspector Cranforth had entered the different postoffices on his route and checked up and straightened out affairs. There were postmasters who had seen him grow old and gray since his appointment. They had always found him a pleasant-spoken and a just man, but all stood in awe of him. In no department of the public service is Uncle Sam more particular than in the postal. The cash must balance to a cent with the postmasters, and any man or woman who attempts to play

tricks with his letters is cerA scene near MARSHALL HILI, U. P. RY – Photo. by Bro. H. M. tain to be pursued with reRhodes, Div. 226.

lentless energy.

« PreviousContinue »