Ostrander and Scioto Township History

 
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History of Delaware and Ohio
O.L. Baskins Co., Historical Publishers, 1880

(Selected text regarding railroad in Delaware County)

It was not until some time after the completion of the "Short Line, Railroad." as it was called, that the Cleveland & Columbus road passed under the name and title of Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railway. The latter part of 1850, a project was strongly agitated of building a road from Springfield to Mount Vernon via Delaware and on northeast. The Olentangy Gazette of April 25, 1851, has the following in reference to it: "The Directors of the Springfield & Mansfield Railroad Company, accompanied by a corps of engineers, have been in this place and neighborhood for several days past, exploring the country and making; the preliminary surveys, preparatory to locating the road through the county. The surveys show the county to be admirably adapted to the construction of a road, and that it will be speedily built may be regarded as a fixed fact. A single glance at the map will show the vast importance of the work. At Springfield it will connect with two roads to Cincinnati and one to the lake; and by reducing the distance from the river to tile lake so as to make the route over this road considerably shorter than any other can be, it will defy all competition for through travel. At this place it will unite with the Cleveland &. Columbus road, and on east at Mount Vernon with the Pennsylvania & Ohio road, now being constructed from Philadelphia west through Pennsylvania and this State to Indianapolis. It roust necessarily be a very important road, and the stock cannot but pay well. In its issue of June 13, the Gazette hay the following under the head of " Springfield & Delaware Railroad:" " On Saturday last, a vote of Delaware Township. to take $25,000 stock in the above road, was decided in the affirmative by 303 votes for and 13 against it. A meeting was held at the court house on Wednesday night, for the purpose of discussing the proposed subscription on the part of the county to the Springfield & Delaware Railroad. After remarks by Powell and Little of Delaware, and Whitley of Springfield, in favor of subscription, the following resolution was offered by Powell, and passed with but three dissenting votes: - Resolved, That, in the opinion of this meeting, it is expedient to vote a county subscription of $50,000.' " The issue of June 27 announces the fact that officers and Directors of the Springfield &. Mansfield Railroad and a road in contemplation from Mount Vernon to Loudonville, and Mr. Roberts, the chief engineer of the Ohio & Pennsylvania road, who represented the Directors of that Company, held a meeting in Delaware, and consolidated the Springfield & Mansfield, and the Mount Vernon & Loudonville Companies, into one company for the construction of a road through Marysville, Delaware, Mount Vernon and Loudonville, where it will intersect the Ohio & Pennsylvania road. A meeting, large and enthusiastic, was held the same night at the court house, which was addressed by Gen. Anthony, Judge Powell, and Air. Roberts, of the Ohio & Pennsylvania road. In the Gazette of July 4, a communication from Gen. Anthony announces that a subscription of $50,000 has been voted by Delaware County, and $25,000 by Delaware Township, and that everything is being arranged for beginning work on the road. August 8, it is announced that a corps of engineers are laying out the route between Marysville and Delaware, and October 17, that the route is permanently located.

The Gazette of May 13, 1853, has an article on the. building of the bridge over the Olentangy at Delaware, and states that the road will soon be in running order to this place. Early in 1854, it notes the completion of the road, and connection made at " this city with the Cleveland & Columbus road." This road, for several years after its completion, was known as the Springfield, Delaware & Mt. Vernon Railroad. It finally became involved, however, in financial difficulties, and, unable to stem the tide of misfortune that environed it, it was sold in January, 1862, and purchased by the Cleveland & Columbus Railroad for $134,000. Several years afterward, an arrangement was made, or consolidation effected, with the Cincinnati & Dayton Road, whereby a direct route was formed to Cincinnati, which was considerably shorter than by way of Columbus. A line had previously been established to Indianapolis by way of Galion and Bellefontaine, but, upon the opening of the new route to Cincinnati, direct communication was also made with Indianapolis by way of Cincinnati. Thus it was that the road obtained the title of the " Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railway."

In August, 1872, the Springfield Republic makes the following announcement in regard to the Short Line Division of this road: "Six magnificent sleeping-cars, to cost $55,000 apiece, and to be unequaled in style, comfort and coveniennce, are being built at the factory at Philadelphia for the Short Line Route between Cincinnati and Cleveland, and will be on the road in a few days.'' Referring to the same matter, the Cincinnati Commercial, a few weeks later, said: "The Empress, one of the four fine sleeping-coaches now being built, made its first trip out on Monday, at 9:30, in charge of Capt. F. Long, over the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railway, to Cleveland. The exterior of these coaches is plain, and they are provided with rotundas at each end, and balconies with iron railing, and a patent safeguard over the steps. The gates close securely, and 'travelers desiring a whiff of fresh air, and a view of the country while they enjoy their Partagas, can regale themselves sitting on the verandas."

From the report to the Railroad Commissioner, in 1868, we find that the road had 25 stations, 9 engine-houses and shops, 45 engines, about 800 cars of all kinds, and 1,315 employees. The main line (in 1868) had 138 miles of track, 29 miles of double track, and Springfield Branch 50 miles. Average cost of road, $34,000 per mile.

Before the purchase of the Springfield, Delaware & Mt. Vernon Railroad by the Cleveland & Columbus road, it had occurred to the people of Delaware that their city was a suitable place for the shops and offices of the former road. Upon this subject we find the following in the Democratic Standard, of May 13, 1852: " Mr. J. Muzzy, of Springfield, employed to construct freight cars for the road, is now in Delaware seeking subscriptions to enable the Company to erection buildings and build cars at this place. If the plans of the Company, as stated to us, are carried out, it will involve an expenditure of from $50,000 to $100,000. This county has subscribe $50,000 ; three of its townships $50,000, an individuals about $10,000, making, in the aggregate, $110,000. * * * We make this statement from reliable authority, to show to the citizens of Delaware, and the farmers of this vicinity who are, and should feel, equally interested in the importance of making every exertion to induce the Company to adopt this central point in the road a their headquarters for making cars. This would be of great advantage to Delaware, and it is but right that we should take stock enough to enable the Company to erect the necessary buildings and establish their workshops at this place."

After the consolidation of the two roads, negotiations were opened with the new company, the result of which was a contract for the building the city of Delaware, the shops, offices and depot buildings of the consolidated road, upon the pay ment by the city of $35,000 for the purpose assisting in erecting the buildings. The money was paid according to contract, and excellent shop put up by the Railroad Company, but the depot buildings (as agreed upon) have not yet been erected. Recently, too, the Company have withdrawn most of the employees from the Delaware shops, leaving them, in a manner idle, but, upon a remonstrance from the city, have agreed to send them back, and re-open the shops as usual, as soon as the revival of business will justify it.