THE RAILROAD ERA.
The history of the railroad lines that first connected Cleveland with the outside world is one of struggle and labor; of disappointment, loss, and final triumph; of patient endeavor on the part of patriotic citizens; and of a faith than held its own until the day of results that was a justification of all that had gone before. This city owes a debt of gratitude, that can never be repaid, to the little band through whose energy and capital her first railroads, and therefore her subsequent prosperity, were made possible.
The modest local line, that for a time connected Newburg and Cleveland, has been described. Other lines of similar character were proposed from time to time, but they came to nothing.
The first of any moment that proposed to make Cleveland one of its stopping places, of which we can find record, was an ambitious project suggested by DeWitt Clinton (not the governor), in 1829. He published a plan of a line to be called the Great Western Railway, that was to find its starting place in New York City, thence to the Tioga and following that, intersecting the head waters of the Genesee and Allegheny rivers, thence to Lake Erie, following its southern shore line, crossing the Cuyahoga, Sandusky, Maumee and Wabash rivers, and on to where Rock River enters the Mississippi. The route covered a distance of 1,050 miles, and the estimated cost was fifteen million dollars. It is perhaps needless to say that it was never built.
The next project that interested the people of Cleveland and of Ohio—to their serious cost—came some seven years later. The Ohio Railroad Company came forward
with a plan that was to secure al the benefits of the railroad at a cost far below that of lines already built or in course of construction. This was to be accomplished by placing the tracks on a double row of piles, or posts, upon which planks were to be placed edgewise, and bolted together.
The Ohio Railroad Company was organized at the Mansion House, Painesville, on April 25th, 12836. Its incorporators were: R. Harper, Eliphalet Austin, Thomas Richmond, G. W. Card, Heman Ely, John W. Allen, John G. Camp, P. M. Weddell, Edwin Byington, James Post, Eliphalet Redington, Charles C. Paine, Storm Rosa, Rice Harper, Henry Phelps, and H. J. Reese.
In considering the expansive charter under which the company was to work, we must remember that it was obtained at a time when state legislatures were disposed to grant anything to corporations that promised to create great wealth out of nothing, and when the country was in the wildest state of speculation of that great speculative decade. It was obtained through the efforts of Nehemiah Allen, of Willoughby, who then represented his county in the Legislature, and who became president of the company.
The company was allowed not only wide latitude in all matters relating to legitimate railroad building, but was given also banking privileges, including the issuing of money, as the holders of some three or four hundred thousand dollars’ worth of their bills eventually discovered to their cost. In addition to this, it received the benefit of a remarkable act passed by the Ohio Legislature on March 24th, 1837184 It was a measure, possible only to days of reckless speculation and an irresponsible administration of public affairs. It provided that the State should loan its credit in six per cent. stock to the amount of one-third of the authorized capital if the other
two-thirds had been paid in "to the companies organized to build railroads," etc., which made the State a partner, to the extent of one-third, in all the reckless schemes that might be set afloat. The State issued its bonds to the amount named, and received company stock to the same amount in return.
The great advantage given a corporation by this measure can be seen at a glance. The law was repealed on March 17th, 1840, when a great loss had been put upon the State, and at a time when many new companies were being formed for added schemes of public plunder.185
The plan of the Ohio Railroad Company was to run a line from the western edge of Pennsylvania to a point on the Maumee River, near the present city of Toledo. Two great cities were to be created as a part of the scheme. One was Richmond, on the Grand River, between Fairport, on Lake Erie, and Painesville, four miles to the south, and the other was Manhattan, on the Maumee River, three or four miles north of Toledo.
A glowing prospectus was issued, capital enlisted, and plans prepared. The first pile was driven in Fremont on June 19th, 1839. The details of actual construction, and the methods employed in this unique specimen of railroad building were as follows: A roadway, 100 feet in width, was prepared; 112 piles and 1,056 ties were used in each mile; the piles running from 7 to 28 feet in length, according to the grade, and from12to 16 inches in diameter; the ties were 9 feet long, and 8 inches in diameter. "The piles were driven by a machine, consisting of two sills, 30 or 40 feet long, placed parallel with each other, at a distance of 7 feet, that being the width of the track. At the forward end of these sills were erected four timbers, termed ‘leaders,’ 30 feet high, between which, on each side, the iron hammers, weighing one-half a ton each, were raised and let fall upon the pile. A
circular saw, attached to a shaft projecting between the leaders, cut the pile to the proper grade, when the driver was moved and the operation repeated. These machines employed eight men and drove about forty piles per day, covering some twenty rods in distance. Upon the head of each pair of piles was fitted a tie, 8x8 inches, in which a gain was cut nine inches wide and four deep, the tie being pinned down through this gain with a two-inch cedar pin; but before this was done, half a pint of salt was deposited in the auger hole of each pile, which, permeating the wood, was expected materially to preserve the same from decay. A locomotive saw-mill upon the track, and behind the pile driver, attended by three men, prepared the rails at the rate of 900 lineal feet per day. These rails or stringers were 8x8, and 15 feet in length. On the wood stringers thus provided were to be placed iron (‘strap’) rails, of the weight of twenty-five tons to the mile. Behind all, upon the prepared track, was a boarding house for the work hands, which moved with the rest of the establishment."185a
The main portion of the work was done between Fremont and Manhattan, with some sections to the eastward, near the Cuyahoga River. Some of these piles were still in evidence fifty and more years later. Misfortune overtook the enterprise at an early day, as was inevitable in the very nature of things. The panic of 1837, the repeal of "The Plunder Law," quarrels among those who favored Manhattan and those who favored Richmond, and the inherent weakness of the whole scheme, worked together and brought on a total collapse. This came in 1843. How total it was, can be learned from the report made by the Auditor of State in December of the same year. Said he: "The original subscriptions to the stock of the company were #$1,991,766. Of this sum, only $13,980 had been paid in cash; $8,000 or $10,000 in labor and material; and $533,776 in lands and town lots. These have
been reported as a basis for the credit of the State; also, there has been added $293,660 in donations of lands for right-of-way, all of which of course are conditioned to revert upon failure to complete the work. The lands received in payment of subscriptions were all taken at the most extravagant rates." He further showed that the amount received by the company, from the State, was $249,000, for which it had in return "some sixty-three miles of wooden superstructure laid on piles, a considerable portion of which is already rotten, and the remainder going rapidly to decay." In 1845, the Legislature passed a law authorizing the board of public works to sell the whole concern. But little, if anything, was realized
There were other projects put forward, in the same year which saw the incorporation of the Ohio Railroad Company, that came to little or nothing in the forms in which they were then proposed. These were: The Cleveland, Warren & Pittsburg Railroad Company,186 leading from Cleveland to the State line, or some other point on the Ohio River in the direction of Pittsburg; the Cleveland, Columbus & Cincinnati Railroad Company, leading from Cleveland to Cincinnati by way of Columbus; and the Cleveland & Erie Railroad Company, from Cleveland to Ravenna.
The panic of 1837 blocked these measures for a time.
The subsequent history of each is practically the story of the railroads of Cleveland, and each may be taken up in the order of relative importance.
The charter of the Cleveland, Columbus & Cincinnati Railroad was granted on March 14, 1836. It lay dormant until 1845, when it was revived, revised, and amended by an act of March 12th, so as to permit it to build as far as Columbus,. but not compelling it to go any further than that point. It also was permitted to "unite with any other, then, or thereafter, constructed under the authority of the general assembly, leading from any point at, or near, Lake Erie to, or towards, the southern part of the State."187 A new company was organized, with John W. Allen, Richard Hilliard, John M. Woolsey, and Henry B. Payne, as the Cleveland directors, and John W. Allen, as president. The City of Cleveland, in encouragement of the enterprise, voted to loan its credit to the extent of two hundred thousand dollars.
There were many difficulties in the way, but one by one they were surmounted. Capitalists abroad were unwilling to lend their aid. A canvass of the city resulted in securing a subscription of but twenty-five thousand dollars. Mr. Woolsey was sent to Cincinnati to negotiate the bonds subscribed by the city, and to Philadelphia and New York to enlist the aid of the capitalists of those cities. The latter part of his mission was a failure. In the spring of 1847, it looked as though the whole thing would have to be given up in despair, but help came through the willing effort of two influential and sagacious men. Richard Hilliard and Henry B. Payne agreed to
devote three months of earnest personal effort to one final attempt, and so well did they apply themselves that additional subscriptions to the amount of forty thousand dollars were obtained, and the skies began to clear.
Alfred Kelley, then of Columbus, accepted the position of president, and thus a new source of influence and strength was added. Another fortunate move was made when the managers prevailed upon Frederick Harbach, Amasa Stone and Stillman Witt, to undertake the construction of the line; and they agreed to take the principal portion of their pay in stock.
`An episode which illustrates the difficulties they had in keeping the charter alive, and the low ebb to which the enterprise was at one time reduced, is related by George F. Marshall,188 one of the actors therein, as follows: "In order to save the charter, it was thought best to make a show of work on the line already surveyed. One bright autumn forenoon about a dozen men got themselves together near the ground now occupied by the A. & G. W. Railway depot, with the noble purpose of inaugurating the work of building the Cleveland, Columbus & Cincinnati Railroad. Among the number was Alfred Kelley, the president, T. P. Handy, the treasurer, J. H. Sargent, the engineer, James A. Briggs, the attorney, and H. B. Payne, Oliver Perry, John A. Foot and others, besides your humble servant. On that memorable spot one could look upon those vast fields of bottom land, and nothing could be seen but unbroken wide meadows; the brick residence of Joe Scranton on the north, and the ruins of an old mill in the ravine of Walworth Run on the south, were the only show of buildings in all that region roundabout. These gentlemen had assembled to inaugurate the wok on the railway, yet there was a sadness about them that could be felt; there was something that told them that it would be difficult to make much of a railroad without money and labor. Yet they came on purpose to make a show of a
beginning. Alfred took a shovel and with his foot pressed it well into the soft and willing earth, placing a good chunk in the tranquil wheelbarrow close at hand, repeating the operation until a load was attained, and dumping it a rod or so to the south. We all shouted a good sized shout that the road was really inaugurated. Then Mr. Handy did a little of the same work as well as Sargent and Briggs, while I sat on the nearest log rejoicing to see the work going so lively and in such able hands. The fact was demonstrated that the earth was willing, if man would only keep the shovel, the pick and wheelbarrow moving lively according to this beginning. All that fall and winter one man was kept at work on the great enterprise simply to hold the charter, with a hope that something would turn up to enable the directors to push things with a greater show for ultimate success. During the winter that followed, any one passing up Pittsburg street near the bluff could see day by day the progress this one-man power was making in his work. Foot by foot each day the brown earth could be seen gaining on the white snow on the line towards Columbus, and hope remained lively in the breast of everyone that saw the progress, that if the physical powers of that solitary laborer held out long enough, he would some day be able to go to State’s prison by rail."
Success so crowned the efforts of the earnest men who had this great project in hand, that on February 21st, 1851, the first through train was run from Columbus to Cleveland,189 bearing the members of the general assembly, State officers, and many prominent citizens from the capital, and from along the line. It was a day of great re-
joicing in the city, which now for the first time found itself in actual steam connection with the outside world.
Ample preparations were made to make the event of a character to reflect credit upon Cleveland. A special meeting of the City Council was held on February 13th, at which a formal invitation was extended to the governor of the State, the members of the Legislature, the heads of the various State departments, and the mayors and city officials of Columbus and Cincinnati, to visit Cleveland on Washington’s birthday, and participate in the formal opening of the railway. A committee of arrangements and reception was appointed consisting of Messrs. Gill, McIntosh, and Stedman. The invitation was cordially accepted, and the occasion was one of great rejoicing. The "Herald’s" extended report of the celebration says: "On Saturday, as we saw Buckeyes from the banks of the Ohio and the rich valleys of the Miami and The Scioto mingling their congratulations with those of the Yankee Reserve, upon the completion of an improvement, which served to bring them into business and social connection, and to break down the barriers which distance, prejudice, and ignorance of each other had built up, we felt that the completion of the Cleveland, Columbus & Cincinnati Railroad would be instrumental in accomplishing a good work for Ohio, the value of which no figures could compute. . . . On the morning of the twenty-first, the members f the Legislature, the State officers, the councils of Cincinnati and Columbus, and citizens of Columbus and Cincinnati, in all four hundred and twenty-eight persons, left the capital on the C. C. & C. Railroad cars, for a visit to Cleveland, as guests. On their arrival, they were greeted
by discharges of artillery, and the welcome of thousands of our citizens."
A grand procession was formed, and the guests were escorted to the Public Square, where an address of welcome was delivered by Mayor William Case. Hon. C. C. Converse, president of the State Senate, responded. Samuel Starkweather then delivered the oration of the day, and speeches were made by Alfred Kelley, Henry B. Payne, Mr. Pugh, of Cincinnati, Governor Reuben Wood, and Cyrus Prentiss, president of the Cleveland & Pittsburg Railroad Company. The visitors were then taken to Hudson, over the last named line.190 On the return to Cleveland, a banquet was served at the Weddell House. A torch-light procession paraded, the city firemen taking a leading part. On the Sabbath, Dr. Aiken preached a powerful sermon on railroads in the Stone Church, and on Monday the visitors departed for home leaving Cleveland to settle down to the realities of every-day life.
By act of the Ohio Legislature, on March 14th, 1836, the same day on which that of the above described road was passed, a charter was granted to the Cleveland, Warren & Pittsburg Railroad Company, permitting it to construct a line from Cleveland to the eastern border of Ohio, and there to connect with any road built under the laws of Pennsylvania. As all railroad experience was limited in those days, in matters of legislation as well as actual opera-
tion, the charter was broad in its scope and loose in its provisions. It allowed the president and directors to issue and sell stock to any limit that their desires or necessities might direct, gave them permission to select any route they might choose, to condemn land, and to propel their cars by any motive power they might prefer. The same evil days that befell the connection between the Forest City and Cincinnati, disturbed and delayed the venture toward the southeast, and the same revival of confidence that set the one afloat had a similar effect upon the other.
An act of revival and amendment was passed on March 11th, 1845, and the route was changed from "the most direct in the direction of Pittsburg," to "the most direct, practicable, and the least expensive route to the Ohio River, at the most suitable point." The company was organized at Ravenna, in October, 1845. James Steward, of Wellsville, was elected president, A. G. Cattell, secretary, and Cyrus Prentiss, treasurer. Preliminary arrangements were made as speedily as possible, and the usual amount of labor and responsibility placed upon the shoulders of the willing few. The history is similar to that of its neighbor, and its final triumph and usefulness formed a parallel thereto. In July, 1847, the first contracts were let from Wellsville northward, and the actual work commenced. The Cleveland end of the line dragged, somewhat, through lack of money, and it was not until 1849 that the last of the work was let. By legislation had in February of that year, the City of Cleveland was authorized to subscribe to the capital stock of the company. In February, 1851, the long trial began to have an ending, and the line was opened from Cleveland to Hudson, in March to Ravenna, and in November to Hanover.191 In
1852, the connection through to Pittsburg was arranged for. On April 18th, 1853, the Legislature of Pennsylvania passed a law incorporating the Cleveland & Pittsburg Railroad Company, and giving full assent to all the provisions of the Ohio charter. In October, 1871, the Cleveland & Pittsburg Railroad Company passed into the control of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, where it has since remained.
Another venture of the same busy period of railroad building was the Cleveland & Mahoning Valley Railroad Company, which, eventually, had much to do with the manufacturing and commercial development of this city. This line was projected for the primal purpose of opening and developing the coal and mineral regions of the Mahoning valley, and also to furnish a connection between Cleveland and Pittsburg. It was chartered on February 22nd, 1848, incorporated in 1851, and the first meeting of stockholders held at Warren, in June, 1852. Local subscriptions to the amount of $500,000 were reported, and estimates and surveys ordered prepared. The prime mofer and most earnest friend of the scheme, was Jacob Pertkins, of Warren, who risked his fortune, gave his strength, and finally sacrificed is life in its behalf.192
The directors, in the day of beginning, were Jacob Perkins, Frederick Kinsman, Charles Smith, David Tod, Dudley Baldwin, Robert Cunningham and James Magee—the first three residents of Warren, and the rest of Youngstown, Cleveland, New Castle and Philadelphia, in the order named. It was a long and uphill struggle before the day of success was reached. Cleveland was
selected as the headquarters, and a purchase of land made that gave the road a foothold here. There was much surveying of proposed routes, and hesitation among those proposed, but finally the present one, through Mantua, Warren, and Youngstown, was chosen. Attempts were made to induce the Pennsylvania Legislature to allow an extension of the line into that State, but the influence of rival lines prevented.
There was a fair promise of success up to 1854, when the annual report of the directors took on a tone of despondency that boded ill for the future. The condition of the money market had altered for the worse, and capital became very cautious; at this time, Jacob Perkins and his associates stepped in, and by pledge of their personal fortunes, secured the continuation of the work. In 1857, the road was completed as far as Youngstown, and a point thus reached where returns began to come in from the growing coal and iron regions. In October, 1863, it was leased to the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad Company, and later, with that organization, passed into the control of the Erie system.
A detailed history of all the charters, acts, amendments, incorporations, and, above all, financial struggles, that went to build the half-score of minor roads finally merged into the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway Company, would make a volume in itself, so only a bare outline is possible here. Trunk lines, with a through business to depend upon and a local traffic as incidental, did not enter into the calculations of the railroad projectors in the early days. Two or more cities having come to the conclusion that there was business and travel enough within their influence, and along the section of country to be traversed, to warrant a railroad, it was set on foot and the matter of extensions in any direction was left, generally, to be decided as an afterthought. After a time, a number of these disjointed sections would be joined by the absent links, and the great trunk line brought into being. The road under consideration is a marked example of this character.
The links in this great chain may be briefly noted. The Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad was chartered in April, 1833, by the Territory of Michigan, with authority to construct a road from Toledo, Ohio, to a point on the Kalamazoo River; it built from Toledo to Adrian; and leased in perpetuity to the Michigan Southern Railroad, chartered in 1846. In 1835, the Buffalo & Mississippi Railroad, was chartered by the State of Indiana, to construct a road from the eastern to the western boundary line of that State. In 1836, its title was changed to the Northern Indiana Railroad Company. Eventually, under various acts, a line was constructed from the eastern to the western line of the State and from Elkhart to the northern State line, where connection was made with the above-named Michigan Southern road.
Meanwhile, the links of the future great line were being welded at points further east. In March, 1851, Ohio permitted the incorporation of the Northern Indiana Railroad Company of Ohio, with authority to run a line from Toledo to the State line of Indiana; also one from Toledo northward to Monroe. Under this charter, a road was built between the points named, connecting with the Northern Indiana Railroad of Indiana, and running from Toledo to the northern line of the State, forming a portion of the Detroit, Monroe & Toledo line. As was foreshadowed, in the similarity of names, the Northern Indiana Companies of Ohio and Indiana, on July 8th, 1853, consolidated into one organization, under the name of the Northern Indiana Railroad Company. In November, 1850, the Northern Indiana & Chicago Railroad Company filed articles of association, with the Secretary of State of Illinois, for the construction of a road southeasterly to the
State line, to intersect the road of the western division of the Buffalo & Mississippi Company. The road was immediately built between these points, a distance of thirteen miles.
Manifest destiny and the present demands of the situation worked together for consolidation. On February 7th, 1855, a compact was entered into by which the Northern Railroad Company of Ohio and Indiana, the Buffalo & Mississippi Railroad (Western division) of Indiana, and the Northern Indiana & Chicago Railroad Company of Illinois, wee merged into one, which was called the Northern Indiana Railroad Company, and which gave a through line from Toledo to Chicago. Two months later a still more important step was taken, by which the above line was again consolidated, this time with the Michigan Southern Railroad Company, under the growing name of the Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana Railroad Company. In the year following, this new corporation obtained a lease of the Detroit, Monroe & Toledo Railroad, then unfinished, and this finally connected the points named in its title.
Attention must now be turned to the movements going on still farther east. On April 12th, 1842, the Erie & Northeast Railroad Company of Pennsylvania was incorporated, to build a road from Erie to some point on the east boundary line of the township of Northeast, in Erie County. Twenty miles of road was the practical result. In October of 1849, the Buffalo & State Line Railroad Company was organized in western New York, for the building of a road from Buffalo to the western State line, there to connect with a like road leading through to Cleveland, Ohio. On March 9th, 1867, an act was passed by the New York Legislature permitting this company to join forces with the Erie & Northeast Company, and the result was the Buffalo & Erie Railroad Company. Meanwhile, on March 2nd, 1846, the Ohio Legislature passed an act incorporating the Junction Railroad Company, with authority to construct a road from some point to be selected
on the Cleveland, Columbus & Cincinnati line, within thirty miles of Cleveland, thence, by way of Elyria, to intersect the Mad River & Lake Erie road at Bellevue or some other point, and thence on to Fremont; also, for a branch thereof from Elyria via Sandusky, to Fremont. It was this line, as mentioned above, that finally made use of the right of way belonging to the old Ohio road, or the "road on stilts," as it was often described. In March, 1850, the Toledo, Norwalk & Cleveland Railroad Company was incorporated, for the building of a line from Toledo, by way of Norwalk, to connect with the Cleveland, Columbus & Cincinnati Railroad at, or near, Wellington, and subsequent power was given it to continue the line on to Cleveland, either by an agreement with the last-named road, or independent of it. In October, 1852, the Port Clinton Railroad Company sprang into existence, with a mission to build a line from Sandusky, via Port Clinton, to Toledo. Finally, on July 15th, 19853, there was a grand consolidation of these small and irregular interests, and the result was that the Junction Railroad Company, the Port Clinton Railroad Company, and the Toledo, Norwalk & Cleveland Railroad Company, all disappeared from sight, to emerge as one in the Cleveland & Toledo Railroad Company. At that time not any of them had completed their lines, but the work was done subsequently by the consolidated company.
In 1848, a line was projected that now forms an important part of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern system, which seems to have been a more distinctively Cleveland enterprise than any of the small lines described in the foregoing. It was the incorporation, in February of that year, of the Cleveland, Painesville & Ashtabula Railroad Company, with authority to construct a line from Cleveland , via Painesville and Ashtabula, to the Pennsylvania State line, and there to connect with any railroad running eastward. The company was organized with a directory consisting of Alfred Kelley, Samuel L. Sheldon, Heman B. Ely, George
E. Gillett, David R. Paige, L. Lake and Peleg P. Sanford. Heman B. Ely was elected president, Abel Kimball, treasurer, and Frederick Harbach, engineer. A survey was made under the direction of the last named. The difficulties in the way were many, but the company finally secured the needed money, and made a contract with Frederick Harbach, Amasa Stone and Stillman Witt, on the 26th of July, 1850, for the construction of the road from Cleveland to the Pennsylvania State line. For the first six months, the work progressed slowly, the chief fear of the time being that steam-cars cold never compete for business with the great boats then running from Cleveland to Buffalo. But the backers kept at it with persistent energy, and finally, late in 1852, a locomotive was enabled to travel its entire length. On May 5, 1854, the Pennsylvania Legislature gave the company permission to construct an extension of its line along the Franklin Canal Railroad, an enterprise that had passed into the control of the State of Pennsylvania, to Erie. The purchase of the Franklin property was made, and thus a road was completed between Cleveland and Erie, with connections through to the east. Steps leading up to the grand final consolidation began to be taken. On October 8th, 1867, a lease of the Cleveland & Toledo Railroad Company was made to the Cleveland, Painesville & Ashtabula Company. On June 17th, 1868, the name of the later organization was changed to the Lake Shore Railway Company, and in February, 1869, the Cleveland & Toledo Company formally became, by consolidation, a part of the Lake Shore Railway Company. Thus a continuous line, owned and operated by one company, extended from Erie to Toledo. That extension was made still greater, when on May 8th, 1869, this great organization was consolidated with the Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana Railroad Company, heretofore fully described, and the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad came into being. The consolidation from Buffalo to Chicago was completed on August 10th, 1869, when the Buffalo & Erie Company came into
the scheme, and this great railroad and commercial force of to-day became an accomplished fact. Of its extensions and dependent lines that were afterwards purchased, leased, or built, from various points on the main line to Oil City, Youngstown, Jackson, and other places in Pennsylvania, Ohio,. Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, no mention in this connection can be made.
A brief glance at the origin of some of the later railroads of Cleveland may be taken here, although some of them came into existence at a date considerably after the period now under consideration. On March 10th, 1845,the Franklin & Warren Railroad Company was chartered to build a road from Franklin, Portage County, Ohio, via Warren, Trumbull County, to the eastern State line, and having power to continue the same westerly or southwesterly. As a result, a line was built from the State line in Trumbull County to Dayton. By decree of court on October 17th, 1854, the name of this company was changed to the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad Company. This was later incorporated with other roads under the same name; and after many years of financial trouble it became known in 1880, as the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio Railroad Company, and later, in company with its Mahoning line into Cleveland, already described, became a part of the Erie system and as such connects Cleveland with both the east and the west.
In the charter of the Cleveland & Pittsburgh road, an amendment was made on February 19th, 1851, to permit the organization of a separate and distinct company to construct a branch line from Hudson, via Cuyahoga Falls and Akron, to Wooster, or some other point between Wooster and Massillon, and to connect with such other roads as might be desired. The company was organized in the following March, and the road constructed from Hudson to Millersburg. In 1853, the name Akron Branch was changed to Cleveland, Zanesville & Cincinnati Railroad Company. It passed under the control of the Penn-
sylvania system in 1869, and thus secured connection with Cleveland.
The Lake Shore & Tuscarawas Valley Railway Company was incorporated on July 2nd, 1870, its declared purpose being to build a road from a point near Berea to Mill township, Tuscarawas County, on the line of the Pittsburg, Cincinnati & St. Louis road, with a branch from Elyria to a convenient point on the main line in Medina County. The road was built from Elyria, via Grafton, to Uhrichsville, and completed in August, 1873. In October, 1872, the company purchased from the Elyria & Black River Railway Company eight miles of the line of the latter, extending northward from Elyria to Black River harbor, now known as Lorain. In 1875, the Cleveland, Tuscarawas Valley & Wheeling Company was incorporated, and all of the above property passed into its possession, under sale by the courts. An extension through to Wheeling, West Va., was completed in 1880; and soon after that the whole line became known as the Cleveland Lorain & Wheeling Railroad Company.
The Valley Railway Company was chartered August 31st, 1871, with a capital stock of three million dollars. It was formed for the declared purpose of building a line from Cleveland to Wheeling, through Akron and Canton. The survey was made in 1872, and work commenced in 1873. The panic of the latter year fell upon the new enterprise at a critical moment, and in 1873 all proceedings were stopped, and so remained until 1878, when operations were resumed, and so pushed forward that cars ran from Cleveland to Canton in February, 1880. Extensions were pushed forward at a later date. Its entrance into Cleveland was by way of the old canal bed, which was ceded by the State of Ohio to the City of Cleveland on consideration that a weighlock should be built at the new junction, between the canal and Cuyahoga River. The city then leased the canal bed to the Valley road for ninety-nine years, receiving in payment $265,000 in the road’s first
mortgages.193 An attempt was made, before construction commenced to make the city a part owner, and a vote taken as to whether bonds should be issued for that purpose. The answer at the polls was a negative. The enterprising business men of Cleveland went to work, however, and raised five hundred thousand dollars in subscriptions, and thus made the road a possibility.
Yet another line from Cleveland, down into the coal and iron regions of the south and southeast, demands consideration. The Carroll County Railroad Company was chartered as early as March 9th , 1850, and a strap-rail road, operated by horse power, was constructed from Carrollton to Oneida, a distance of twelve miles. It was opened for business in 1854, but the company became insolvent, and the road went at forced sale in 1859. The new purchasers operated it for several years, but it deteriorated in their hands, and on February, 1876, there was organized the Carrollton & Oneida Railroad Company, which took possession of the old line. After varying fortunes, it because known as the Connotton Valley Railway Company, and was completed, into Canton, in 1880. In the same year the Connotton Northern Railway Company was incorporated to build a line from Canton to Fairport on the lake shore. This line was built to a point in Portage County, when it was decided to change its northern terminus to Cleveland, and it was run through to Commercial street, in this city, in January, 1882. The Connotton Northern was consolidated with the Connotton
Valley, under the name of the Connotton Valley Railway Company. The line was pushed down to the present depot on Huron and Ontario streets. It was sold by the court, on May 9th, 1885, to the stockholders and bondholders, who reorganized it in the following month, under the name of the Cleveland & Canton Railroad Company.
The charter for the construction of the New York, Chicago & St. Louis road, from Buffalo to Chicago, via Cleveland and Fort Wayne, was issued under the general railroad law of New York, on April 13th, 1881, and the construction was commenced in the same year. The road was opened for traffic on October 23rd, 1882. It was sold soon afterwards to William H. Vanderbilt, and is still a part of the great Vanderbilt system of western roads.
Returning from this somewhat long quest after railroad beginnings and experiences, we resume the thread of general narration for the closing years of the first half of the century. A new township, that of East Cleveland, was organized in 1847, which embraced "all of the one-hundred-acre lots of the original surveyed township No. 7, north of the Newburg line;" and on March 22nd, 1850, an act was passed by the general assembly of Ohio, annexing the remaining part of said township to the City of
Cleveland, which embraced "all of the ten-acre lots, and all the unsurveyed strip lying along the bank of the river north and south of the mouth of Kingsbury Run."
In 1848, the first Superior Court of Cleveland was created, with Sherlock J. Andrews as judge, and George A. Benedict, clerk. It continued for the period of five years, but was dispensed with on the revision of the judiciary system, under the new State Constitution. In the fall of the same year the corner-stone of St. John’s Cathedral, on Erie and Superior streets, was laid.
The growth of the two cities was at this time of a gratifying character, Ohio City having pushed out as far as Clinton street, while Cleveland was pushing toward the east and south. Euclid road had long since taken on the name of Euclid street, and was already beginning to show those evidences of beautiful home-making that have made Euclid avenue one of the famous streets of the world. A writer has well said of this great thoroughfare and its natural advantages: "The land rose from the lake to within a short distance from the street, then fell as far as a line of the street, and then rose gently to the southward. Somewhat singularly, both the ridge and the depression occupied by the street ran almost due east from the Public Square for two miles, and then, with a small variation, ran two mile farther to Doan’s Corners. The wealthy residents of the city early found that they could make extremely pleasant homes by taking ample ground on the ridge in question, and building their houses on its summit; leaving a space of from ten to twenty rods between them and the street. The fashion, once adopted by a few, was speedily followed by others, and a residence on Euclid street, with a front yard of from two to five acres, soon became one of the prominent objects of a Clevelander’s ambition."194
It was in 1848 that the Cleveland Board of Trade took its place among the commercial organizations of the west. The need of such center for the business of Cleveland
had been felt and discussed for some little time. The records of the Board, previous to 1864, have been lost, or destroyed, and the chief sources of information concerning it are found in the newspapers of the day. In the "Herald" of July 8th, 1848, we find the following: "At a large meeting of the merchants of the city, held, pursuant to a notice, at the Weddell House on Friday evening the 7th, William Milford, Esq., was called to the chair, and S. S. Coe appointed secretary. After a statement from the chair of the object of the meeting, on motion by Joseph L. Weatherley: Resolved, That the merchants of this city now organize themselves into an association to be called The Board of Trade of the City of Cleveland." Some of the best known of the early members were Joseph Weatherley, R. T. Lyon, Richard Hilliard, L. M. Hubby, Philo Chamberlain, Charles Hickox, Thomas Walton, S. S. Stone, R. K. Winslow, W. F. Otis and Sheldon Pease. The first officers were: Joseph L. Weatherley, president; W. F. Allen, Jr., vice-president; Charles W. Coe, secretary; R. T. Lyon, treasurer. At a later date, we shall see how much has grown from this humble beginning.
The second of Cleveland’s medical institutions was formed in 1849, being the Homoeopathic Hospital College, the first session of which was held in 1849-50. The faculty was composed as follows: Charles D. Williams, dean; Storm Rosa, A. H. Bissell, Lewis Dodge, H. L. Smith, E. C. Witherell, John Brainard, and L. K. Rosa. The first board of trustees was composed of John Wheeler, Joel Tiffany, Dudley Baldwin, A. H. Brainard, Edward Wade, Thomas Brown, R. F. Paine, Amos
Hutchinson, George King, Benjamin Bissell, Samuel Raymond, Richard Hilliard, L. M. Hubby, Thomas Miller, and A. O. Blair.
The college building, in which this useful institution was first located, was at the corner of Prospect and Ontario streets. It was at this point, in 1852, that considerable damage was done to the building and its contents by a mob of several thousand people, who were incited thereto by stories of stolen bodies being traced to the college dissecting room. The college had an honorable and useful career, not only in connection with its educational work, but through the hospital under it control. The second home of the college was in a church building, formerly owned by the Congregationalists, on Prospect street, a little below Erie street. It remained here for several years, working in connection with the Homoeopathic Hospital, on Huron street, In 1890, the college became divided into two schools, one taking the name of the Cleveland University of Medicine and Surgery, with headquarters on Huron street, and the other, the Cleveland Medical College, located on Bolivar street.
The Cuyahoga County Agricultural Society also was formed in 1849, and for a number of years its fairs were held on Kinsman street (now Woodland avenue), and later at Newburg and Chagrin Falls.