Window to the Past

More old railroad news


The Toledo, Delphos and Burlington R.R. is now the longest narrow-gauge in the world, and when completed will more than double its present length.

As Bluffton, Ind. failed to vote a tax of $40,000 for the location of the T.D. & B.R.R. shops, the location is an open question, and Decatur and Frankfort are ready to make inducements. Delphos, generally conceded to be more advantageously situated, is also moving for the prize. A citizens meeting unanimously voted in favor of a tax to secure the shops. Now for an active and united effort by all our people, the full fruits of all the labor and money expanded by Delphos is the construction of this railroad will be ours. The shops would employ from 300 to 400 hands.

Delphos Herald — Dec. 2, 1990

Delphos Votes — Yeas, 571 - Nays 1 for Railroad Shops

At last, the location of the T.D. & B. Machine Shops has been settled. With their accustomed unanimity on questions touching the prosperity of our little city, her citizens voted almost as a unit in favor of getting the $30,000 necessary to induce the company to build and maintain their shops here. The result was a surprise to those who did not know how Delphos did things. Who the individual is who cast the one vote is not known, but he must feel awfully lonesome.

Delphos never does anything by halves. She either goes whole hog, or don’t bite. Ever since the first handful of settlers built their log cabins in Section 10, a spirit of enter-impetus that will send her far in advance of any place in Northwest Ohio.

The shops will comprise 7 buildings. The machine and car shops will each have a frontage of 70 feet with a depth of 150 feet; the blacksmith shop 40 x 80; the paint shop 50 x 150; and the other buildings in proportion. It is estimated these shops will employ 400 skilled and unskilled workmen, who with their families will swell our population 1,500 or 2,000.

The exact location of the shops is as yet undetermined, and quite a rivalry has sprung up between the north and south sides of town.

Delphos Herald — Dec. 30, 1880

Evansville Station

The town of Evansville is situated on the Toledo, Delphos & Indianapolis Narrow-Gauge R.R., and was named in honor of Dr. Evans of Delphos who has done much toward the construction of the road.

We have not to deal with the town in general, but a gentleman from New Jersey, and a once happy but now broken family. Mr. Hollis Hanson, an enterprising lawyer of Evans, was informed by his wife (?) on Christmas morning that he was wanted at Oakwood on business; presuming all to be right he started for Oakwood and the New Jersey man and Hanson’s wife started for Delphos. Where they went from Delphos, we do not know, and in the language of Mr. Hanson, "I guess the New Jersey man had about as good a right to her as he had." The lady in question is supposed to be unmarried, Dr., look out, or your namesake will get a bad reputation as a beginner.

Delphos Herald — Jan. 17, 1878

First Accident

The first accident on the T.D. & I. Narrow Gauge occurred on Wednesday of last week, when the train was on its return from Dupont. The engine was "backing up," and drawing several heavily laden cars, when in some manner the tender jumped the track and with it the engine, which turned on its side in the ditch, demolishing the cab and doing other damage to the locomotive and tender. Fortunately the engineer and fireman took in the situation in time and by leaping, escaped being crushed in the wreck. The engine was placed on the track the next morning and brought in by noon. The company, not yet having facilities for such repairs, the locomotive was sent to Ft. Wayne for repairs, and was expected to be returned yesterday. Being the only machine in use, a temporary cessation of business was unavoidable; but trains will resume their regular trips today.

Delphos Herald — Oct. 4, 1877

Pioneer Excursion To Dupont

The pioneers of northwest Ohio propose to assemble at Dupont on Oct. 6, 1877, and rehearse the events of the past, and exhibit the relics of the "long time ago."

A general invitation is extended to join with them in this celebration. Among the many interesting entertainments of the day will be a representation of the battle in progress, between the Indians and Pioneers, in which a pioneer’s daughter was captured by the Indians and retaken by the hardy Pioneer boys, at about this point on the Auglaize river, at an early day in the settlement of this area. Persons are still living that witnessed the real battle and will assist in the representations.

Trains will run from Delphos to Dupont and will assist in the representations.

Let all go and see for themselves what Putnam County can do in the way of a pioneer meeting and how Delphos and vicinity can build and run a Narrow-Gauge Railroad.

Delphos Herald — Oct. 4, 1877

Another Narrow Gauge

The old Continental Railroad, the road-bed of which was prepared ready for the iron several years ago, has been revived, and will be completed this year from Tiffin to Ft. Wayne. It will be narrow-gauge and will cross the Delphos narrow-gauge at a point four miles north of Dupont.

Delphos Herald — Jan. 31, 1878

A Bruiser Bruised

Jos. Hunt, besides being a gentlemanly and efficient railroad manager, also knows how to bring recalcitrant passengers to terms when they do not obey the orders of the company. Nick Potts, who lays claims to being the heaviest hitter in this neck of the woods, perched himself up on the top of the railing on the side of a flat car in a very dangerous position. Upon Mr. Hunts attention being called to the matter, he promptly ordered Potts to come down. The latter refused, whereupon Hunt caught him by the lapels of the coat and jerked him out into the middle of the car and seated him without much ceremony. Such fellows should be summarily dealt with and a few more trips like this with Mr. H. as manager, they will be brought to Limerick.

Delphos Herald — May 22, 1879

Terrifying Experience On The Clover Leaf

The crew of a Clover Leaf freight had a terrifying experience at Edwardville, Ill. where their train cut off the head of an Italian section hand. Enraged by the death of their comrade, 100 Italians swarmed around the train crew. Several attempted to use knives on the trainmen, who hurried aboard and backed up to Madison. A fresh start was made and the train went through at a fast gait. The Italians had, in the meantime, secured guns and the crack of rifles was heard for a quarter of a mile, as the men along the track tried to shoot through the caboose windows.

Delphos Herald — Aug. 10,1900

Western Horses

Sixty horses from the West, have been sent to Delphos by Arnold and Stenger, and are corralled at the P. Ft. W. & C. stock yards.

Delphos Herald — Aug. 30, 1900

Mail Service

Beginning with today, the local post office will send ouch mail out of Delphos on the new east bound P. Ft. W. & C. fast train No. 20, at 5:52 p.m. and receive mail therefrom. The new service will be quite a convenience.

Delphos Herald — June 20, 1900

C.H. & D. Bridge

C.H. & D. bridge carpenters are here to put in two new bridges over Flat Fork Creek, in the south part of town. They will also construct a stockyard and chute, near the water works plant.

Delphos Herald — Dec. 28, 1900

Coal Burners Out

Coal has almost ceased to be a factor in railroad matters in California. By the end of the year it is said that not a single locomotive in that state will use coal, as all of them are being converted into oil burners, the oil being a product of California.

Delphos Herald — Dec. 12, 1900

Crossing Alarms

Some weeks ago in response to a letter sent to the State Railway Commissioner by the City Clerk, requesting that watchmen or safety gates be placed at various crossings of the P., Ft. W. & Co. and the F., St. L. & W. in Delphos, an inspector was sent here and looked into the matter.

The findings of the inspector were received here this morning and they promised to have an O’Neill alarm bell installed at the Bredeick street crossing and upon the completion of the second track through town, electric bells will be placed at Pierce and Franklin streets to give notice of westbound trains on westbound main track, and at Main, Franklin and Pierce streets for eastbound trains on eastbound track, and one at Clay street, connected with track circuit, to give warning of trains approaching from either direction.

Delphos Herald — Dec. 15, 1900

New Electric R.R. Will Extend Through Delphos

The survey for the Ohio Electric Co.’s line has been completed between Defiance and Bryan. The route of the proposed electric R.R. has been definitely settled and will be eventually a through trunk line from Cincinnati into Michigan and to Toledo. To the south it will extend through a part of Paulding, Delphos, St. Marys, Piqua and on to Cincinnati.

Little public right of way will be needed, management only wishing to secure private. (This is where the C.H. & D. ran along the canal. R.H.) The line intends to run freight and passenger business combined and will not resemble others, as it will be much heavier.

Defiance was selected as the center because it is about midway between St. Marys and Toledo and power can be furnished from there in both directions.

(The 217 mile Cincinnati-Toledo main line was the longest through trolley run in the United States for years.)

Delphos Herald — Feb. 6, 1901

A Pious Diplomat

Some few days ago, a minister from a neighboring town came to Wheeling on a short visit. He was out calling late one night, and upon returning home he was met in a lonely part of the city by a highwayman, who thrust a pistol at the clergyman and demanded his money or his life.

The minister was startled, but his presence of mind did not forsake him.

He said, "My good man, you shall have every cent I possess. I give it willingly but I hope you will listen to me for a moment."

The preacher then fell to work and went over a whole sermon and in most melting terms beseeched him to change his ways, causing the robber to soften and grow penitent. The preacher saw this and exclaimed, "My friend you have done me wrong, though you shall have my money, get down on your knees and ask forgiveness for your sins.

The thief got down on his knees and when he had completely unhinged, the preacher kicked him in the stomach and then ran up the street like a narrow gauge engine.

Delphos Herald — Mar. 22, 1877

Different Gauge Railroads

(I always thought there were two gauges - narrow gauge at 3 ft. 6 inches and standard gauge at 4 ft. 8 1/2 inches. Now I find that there were many different gauges but these two were most common.) This measurement is from the inside edge between the rails.

It is thought that the 4 ft. 8 1/2 in. gauge evolved from the wheel spacing of vehicles used on early English wagonways or tramways. Standard gauge got its foothold in North America through the English locomotives imported for some of the earliest W.S. lines. (The rails for the Pennsylvania railroad were made in England and brought on the canal to Delphos, where they were then laid in both directions from here.)

In sparsely settled country, as in much of the United States during the last half of the 1800’s, narrow gauge was mostly used as it was less costly to construct and maintain, curves could be tighter and the equipment lighter and cheaper. The disadvantages were: the limitation of speed because of stability and limitation in size of locomotives and rolling stock.

Gauges around the world varied from 1 ft. 11 5/8 inches to as wide as 7 feet. There were a few railroads in the U.S. that used broad gauge which was 5 feet 1 inch. The Atlantic & Great Western was one of them.

The benefits of a uniform gauge were recognized early. It permits free interchange of cars between various railway lines, thus speeding the flow of goods and people and reducing the over-all-cost of transportation.

From Encyclopedia Britannia

Improvements To Be Made

The ladies waiting room at the depot is to undergo some important changes. The frescoed walls and ceiling will be retouched, the present upholstered chairs replaced with a later and recherche pattern, and the somewhat tarnished silver water pitchers will give way to more gorgeous ones. The gentlemen’s waiting room will, also, receive some attention. A very handsome carpet of original design will take the place of the one now on the floor, the frames of the massive mirrors will be regilded and the walls re-papered in tint and gold. The present comfortable seats will be retained.

Delphos Herald — Jan. 18, 1877

Compiled by Robert Holdgreve
Delphos Historical Society

November 18, 2006 Delphos Herald Newspaper

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