Window to the Past
Old Railroad and Canal News
By BOB HOLDGREVE
Fat engineers are barred
Firemen on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad have suddenly become greatly interested in looking up diets for people who wish to reduce.
Itís all on account of a recent decision of the officials of the Baltimore and Ohio that hereafter no man weighing more than 180 pounds shall be eligible to promotion as an engineer on the Royal Blue Line. By some peculiar provision of nature it has come to be a fact that almost all firemen are fat and as all firemen hope some day to be engineers, their present distress of mind may be imagined.
The whole trouble rests with the crowded cab quarters of the latest type engine. On its fast lines the B. & O. uses an immense locomotive with driving wheels 78 inches in diameter. This seems to necessitate extending the boiler back through the cab to the tender. That leaves a space of only 14 inches between the boiler and the wall of the cab. Into this narrow space the engineer has to squeeze himself and sit through his hours of vigil while flying along the track at a sixty or seventh-five-mile-an-hour clip.
Naturally no man who is wider than 14 inches at his widest part can occupy the engineers seat and hence, this latest order. The cab cannot be widened because they would strike trains on the opposite track.
Delphos Herald, Feb. 25, 1901
The development of electrotechnics, dealing with the application of electricity as motive power for railroad trains, has made great strides in Germany recently. In April a series of tests with electrical locomotives was begun on the branch line between Gesundbrunner and Lagerhof, Prussid, which have proved so successful that they promise a complete revolution in transportation of the world in general. That line was chosen because it offered the greatest number of difficulties in the form of curves, crossings and steep grades. An alternating current of 12,000 volts is supplied by overhead wires and is reduced by overhead wires and is reduced by one-twelfth of its tension by the commutator placed upon the locomotive. Water power is used to generate the electricity. The greatest practical speed of steam locomotives is about sixty miles an hour while with the new electrical locomotive it is expected to reach a velocity of 120 miles. The cost of running a steam locomotive is estimated at $7 a day, while the cost of running one of the new electrical railroad motors is only $4.25 a day. Similar experiments have been made on other lines in Germany and Italy.
Delphos Herald, Feb. 13, 1901
Hogs killed in a smash-up
This afternoon an unfortunate accident occurred at the Clover Leaf shops yard, that was an unfortunate beginning for a new engineer.
Engine 75 was being used for switching purposes, and was in charge of Mike Friedline, who was promoted from fireman to engineer Friday. The 75 was pulling four cars and was on the main line, north of the telegraph tower, running at a pretty rapid rate. The engine was faced south, and a cut of ears standing on the main line several hundred yards north of the tower were encountered by the engineís tender.
The first one was a double deck stock car, loaded with hogs. It was almost telescoped by the engine, and broken in the middle. Hogs were hurled in all directions and scampered off squealing. Three were killed and several injured. Those that escaped were driven into the stockyard. The tender of the 75 was somewhat damaged and the wrecked stock car blocked the main line for a short time. No. 2, the eastbound passenger and westbound local went around on one of the side tracks, with but little delay.
Delphos Herald, Feb. 2, 1901
Jacob Woemer and G.V. Alexander, Delphos boys, are schooling themselves for positions as firemen on the Clover Leaf.
Delphos Herald, Feb. 1, 1901
A big force of men are at work west of Delphos on P., Ft. W. & C. double track. The second track has been completed from Middle Point to Delphos, to Clay Street, and was connected up to the main line today.
The main line west of the connection meets the long sidetrack that goes through town, south of the main line. Material from Middle Point is being used and the work train brought a force of men from that place this morning.
Delphos Herald, Feb. 8, 1901
New Style Engine
A novel engine, one unusual in appearance to those to which people in this vicinity are accustomed, passed through this city Saturday, on the P., Ft. W. & C. The engine is a monster in size, having on the tender a patent appliance which scoops water up from basins along the track while the engine is in motion. This saves much time over the old system of stopping for water at tanks. The boiler is of unusual length and the stack is short. The engine was made by the Juciata Locomotive Works and caused comment all along the road.
Delphos Herald, April 1, 1901
Train Load of Gold
Friday evening a train load of eight cars of gold bullion passed through Delphos over the P., Ft. W. & C., enroute from San Francisco, Calif. to the United States mint at Philadelphia, Pa. A passenger engine pulled the train and it was run on passenger time. It barely stacked up for the railroad crossing here.
Similar trains frequently pass over the railroad and the contents of the cars is bonded freight, the railroad company giving bond to the government for the safe delivery of the consignment.
In the west a detachment of U.S. soldiers accompany these trains of bonded freight and woe to the robbers who attempt to rob them. Any attempt would call forth a galling fire from a bunch of Winchesters.
At times, soldiers or armed officers accompany the trains, but the men are never in sight when the train passes through a town.
Delphos Herald, April 6, 1901
State Street Hill
The hill at the State Street crossing of the P., Ft. W. & C., occasioned by the railroad company raising their tracks about three feet is, in its present condition, almost impossible to get over with a heavily loaded wagon, but the company provided nine or ten loads of stone to be used in lengthening the grade so that the hill on either side of the track will not be so steep.
Delphos Herald, April 13, 1901
Ft. Jennings and a Railroad
It has been circulated in our place that the Toledo, Delphos and Indianapolis Narrow-Gauge could, or would only build said road to Ft. Jennings and there terminate. Now to show the fallacy of this report, I will here state that the president and superintendent have been here and contracted for grading for that portion of the road between Ft. Jennings and the Kalida and Ottoville road in Jackson Township. The contract was let to Boehmer and Alkire, and they will commence work tomorrow.
L. & W. Boehmer and also F. H. Klekamp inform all those indebted to them that they can liquidate the indebtedness by delivering ties on the line of said road, for which 15 cents per tie will be allowed. Ties to be six feet long, six inches face and five inches thick ó sound burr on white oak, walnut or red elm.
By the fourth of July, coming trains will be running through Ft. Jennings, and on the strength of this we propose celebrating the nationís great holiday in becoming manner on the grounds of the old fort. A brass band will be in attendance. A picnic and platform dance, music for which will be furnished by Prof. Gierís string band, will constitute some of the attractions of the day. A jolly time is anticipated.
Delphos Herald, May 31, 1877
Books for subscriptions to the capital stock of the Delphos and Kokomo Railway have been opened at Delphos, Ohio. Subscriptions can also be made at points along the line.
By order of the Corporators
Books for subscription to the capital stock of the Delphos Southern Railway Company have been opened at Delphos, Ohio. Subscription can also be made at points along the line.
By order of the Corporators
Delphos Herald, August 9, 1877
Delphos and Paulding R. R.
Notice is hereby given that the books of the Delphos & Paulding Railroad Company are now open, at office of Company in Delphos, Ohio for subscription of stock to the capital stock of said Company.
By orders of Incorporators
Delphos Herald, April 29, 1880
A Scare at the Beckman Hotel
Clover Leaf freight conductor Strickler was the innocent cause of a great amount of excitement at the Beckman Hotel Sunday morning about 2 oíclock. He had been on duty for many long hours and was nearly dead for sleep when he retired to a room at the hotel.
He is naturally a sound sleeper and when called to go out again at 2 a.m., he was called by a hotel attacker. All kinds of racket was made outside the door, with no response. The transom was raised and loud calling into the room had no effect ó the man did not move. The fear that he was dead gained ground when those on the outside failed to awaken the man by resorting to prodding with a pole through the transom. Just as they were about to give up and conclude that he was dead, Mr. Stickler dispelled their fears by waking up.
Clover Leaf Roadmaster Davy has been supplied with a "bicycle hand car" that is built on the principle of a bicycle, but has four wheels and made to run on the railroad. It is very light, is propelled by pedals and has a set of handles, the same as a road cycle. All Roadmasters along the line have been supplied with them.
Delphos Herald, April 22, 1901
Old Canal News
"Electric Mules" Will Soon Travel Canal Tow Path.
Thos. Fordyce, of Detroit, is entering into a contract with Westinghouse Electric Co., for electrical machinery to cost $600,000 to equip an electric railroad from Cincinnati to Lake Erie.
The plan is to construct a standard gauge railroad on the bank of the canal and upon it run electric motors and instead of hauling cars, haul long strings of boats in the canal.
Delphos Herald, Sept. 25, 1900
Partial obituary of Henry Voltz
Deceased was born in Hessen, Germany, Dec. 7, 1932 and died Feb. 11, 1901. When 20 years of age, he came to America. Thirty-five years ago Mr. Voltz run a packet line on the canal, carrying mail between Spencerville and Delphos and Spencerville and St. Marys. He lived in Delphos 23 years and was employed at the Clover Leaf shops from the time they were built. Previous to that he worked at the south end shops.
Delphos Herald, Feb. 11, 1901
Plunged into Canal with Buggy
On Thursday of this week Capt. J. R. Spencer drove north along the canal and below Kundertís Lock, his horse frightened at the roar of escaping gas from a hole in the main that brings gas from the Ottoville field to Delphos.
The animal jumped sideways and horse, buggy, driver and all went down on an eight foot embankment into the cold water of the canal. The driver remained in the buggy, but the task of getting the horse out of the water was more than he cares to undergo again.
Delphos Herald, March 30, 1901
Canal Boat Sunk
The canal boat "Walters," of St. Marys owned by Capt. Stoker, was sunk this afternoon in the lower level north of E. E. Hookerís sawmill, and the water will be let out tomorrow and the boat repaired.
The craft was going from St. Marys to Ottoville, after a load of straw, and hit an old scow lying below the Fifth Street bridge.
Delphos Herald, Nov. 13, 1900
The wastewater at the Erie mills lock of the canal in Defiance gave way Friday, allowing all the water in the upper level to enter the lower level. Banks were overflowed and water entered the hoop mill and yards, rusting machinery, destroying hoops and stopping work. Many cellars in the business portion were flooded.
Delphos Herald, Oct. 29, 1900
Capt. J. R. Spencer and the state boat crew will complete their work on Lock No. 29, two miles north of Ottoville, this week. An entire new lock was put in.
Delphos Herald, June 25, 1900
Old Iron Bridge
The old iron bridge that spanned the canal near the paper mill is being loaded today by Tom Rice and will be shipped to Columbus Grove.
Delphos Herald, Nov. 28, 1900
Compiled by Robert Holdgreve
Delphos Historical Society
May 19, 2007 Delphos Herald Newspaper