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Railroad Collections, A-C

Adams & Westlake (Adlake) Collection, ca. 1872-ca. 1959. M 0961. Five manuscript boxes, three OMB boxes, one OM folder, 13 bound volumes. Collection guide online. The Adams & Westlake Company, otherwise known as Adlake, is reported by the company to have been founded in 1857, most probably the date at which one of the first concerns that would grow, merge and evolve into Adlake was organized in Chicago. In 1874, however, J. McGregor Adams and William Westlake officially joined their interests and provided the lasting name for the company. Adlake remained in Chicago until 1927 when it moved its operations and headquarters to Elkhart, where it remains today. Hailed as one of the largest suppliers of transportation equipment, Adlake has manufactured hardware such as lamps, lanterns, lights, keys, sashes, luggage racks, lavatories and much more. They have absorbed at least portions of other prominent railway suppliers throughout their long history. The collection is divided into four series: Series 1 is correspondence, as well as personnel and legal documentation. Series 2 contains product designs and technical information. Advertising leaflets and other product information, including catalogs form series 3. The final series, series 4, includes price lists, ledgers and account books.

Anderson, Indiana Big Four Railroad Museum Collection, 1904-1997. M 0873. Three manuscript boxes, four photograph folders, five color photograph folders, one OVA graphics box, one OVA graphics folder, two OVA photograph folders, two oversized folders in flat file storage. Collection guide online. After the last passenger train left the Big Four depot in Anderson in 1971, it was boarded up. In 1980, John Eisele rescued the dilapidated building. It became a gift shop after extensive remodeling which included a new roof, interior painting, floor repair and the addition of a display platform on the interior at the east end of the building. This inclusion did not disturb the interior walls. This shop closed in 1982. In 1983, Elsie Perdiue purchased the building. It was utilized as a center for performing arts hosting competitions for artists and poets, street fairs, poetry readings and afternoon musicals. A railroad museum was located in the west side of the depot with displays of model trains and early railroad trivia. In 1985, the Anderson Young Ballet Academy signed a lease, and it became an academy for the study of the dance arts. Costs of operating the center could not be maintained and the buildings ownership reverted back to Eisele in 1993. The collection contains items that were previously housed and on display at the Big Four Railroad Museum in Anderson. It consists of papers from the museum related to operations, along with items related to exhibits and museum events. There are newspaper clippings about the museum and those affiliated with it, as well as those on Indiana railroads and railroads that run through Indiana. Photographs of the museum and railroad cars taken throughout the years, along with drawings also make up a portion of the collection. The second half of the collection incorporates materials related to the railroads that made up the “Big Four” including but not limited to brochures, time tables and photographs.

Anderson, Lebanon and St. Louis Railroad. Records, 1878-1886. SC 2310. One folder. Collection guide online. Work on the Anderson, Lebanon and St. Louis Railroad (also called the Chicago and Southeastern) began in 1875. Col. T.N. Stilwell was the first president. The railroad experienced a number of problems that slowed its construction, including lack of funds and several changes in ownership. The tracks reached Brazil, Ind., in 1893, the line's apparent terminus. An effort was made to extend the tracks to Muncie in 1894, but failed due to lack of funds. The railroad probably ceased operations around the turn of the century (ca. 1900). The collection contains items regarding financial status and general operations of the railroad from 1878 to 1886, including right of way, corporate and individual claims, and passes with other railroads. James A. Larnerd was superintendent of the railroad when most of the records were created.

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Train Orders, 1969. SC 2524. One folder. Collection guide online. Train orders on the Chicago Division of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad issued to westbound trains in January and February 1969.

Belknap, Edwin P. Collection, 1888-1976. P 0183. Four photograph boxes, one oversized photograph box, two oversized photograph folders, one oversized graphics box, five oversized graphics folders, 17 oversized graphics flat file folders, 13 manuscript boxes, two oversized boxes, one rolled item, one acetate negative box. Collection guide online. Railway enthusiast Edwin P. Belknap of Anderson accumulated this collection before about 1980. His desire to collect was motivated by an interest in railway history. Material in the collection indicates that Belknap had worked for the Central Indiana and Pennsylvania Railway. The collection consists of business records, correspondence, personnel records, black-and-white photographs, color photographs, albums, maps, blueprints, linen trace drawings, graphics and ephemera. Interurban and other railroad companies that operated in Indiana during the 19th and 20th centuries generated most of the material. Railroad companies represented in this collection include: Terre Haute, Indianapolis and Eastern Traction Company; Indiana Union Traction Company; Indianapolis & Cincinnati Traction Company; Indiana Service Corporation; Interstate Public Service Company; and Central Indiana Railway Company. Other material in the collection consists of manuscript material, photographs, negatives and clippings accumulated by Edwin P. Belknap for research purposes and personal enjoyment. Images in the collection include views of railway cars, stations, track construction and railway employees. Albums include views of railroad activity during the late 19th and 20th centuries.

Big Four Railroad Bridge Accident, Terre Haute Photographs, 1900. P 0333. One photograph folder. Collection guide online. The west span of the Big Four Railroad bridge over the Wabash River at Terre Haute collapsed on Feb. 23, 1900, under the weight of Big Four Locomotive 96, its 49 freight cars and ice. Fireman Dan Ruddell of Indianapolis died in the accident. The collection consists of three photographs, made by William H. Bundy, of the Big Four Railroad Bridge over the Wabash River at Terre Haute. Photographs of damage and repair of the bridge date from Feb. 23 and March 2, 1900.

Big Four Shops, Beech Grove, Indiana Photographs, ca. 1919, 1923. P 0171. One half size photograph box, one Cirkut photograph. Collection guide online. In June 1889 the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis Railway combined with the Indianapolis and St. Louis Railway and the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Chicago Railway to form the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway, better known as the “Big Four Railroad” or C.C.C. & St. L. Much of the company's 1,850 miles of trackage lay in Indiana. In 1906, the company, parts of which were already headquartered in Indianapolis, acquired the New York Central RR, later Penn Central. They recognized the need for larger repair facilities, with the Indianapolis area, specifically Beech Grove to its south, providing the easiest access to existing tracks. Beech Grove was a small hamlet at the time of its being chosen, growing with the four year building program for the railroad shops. By 1908, the Beech Grove shops replaced the earlier Brightwood facilities for the repair of locomotives, freight and passenger cars in all six divisions of the Big Four. The compound was completed in 1910 and, during the early 20th century, more than 700 locomotives and 4,600 cars could be repaired annually. AMTRAK took charge of passenger rail service in 1971, and the Beech Grove Shops became part of that entity. In 2010, the workers continue to restore passenger cars and locomotives there but on a more modest scale than previously done. The collection contains photographs of the management and employees of the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway shops at Beech Grove for the years 1919 and 1923. The images include group portraits of track crews, workers beside heavy equipment, men and women office workers and management at their desks, and one interior view of the facility. There are no names on the photographs. The panoramic photograph of employees at the Beech Grove facility is dated Feb. 6, 1919. The other photos are not dated.

Bishop, John M., 1819-1890. Diaries and Papers, 1835-1887. M 0465. Two manuscript boxes (27 volumes). Collection guide online. John M. Bishop was a Presbyterian minister in Indiana from 1844 to 1887. His son, Deming R. Bishop was born in Bedford, Ind. in 1855.  Deming graduated from Wabash College in 1879.  He was listed as a surveyor in the 1880 census and was staying at a hotel in the Dakota Territory at the time. He was listed in the 1900 census as a civil engineer living in Kentucky. The collection includes a railroad survey book of Deming Bishop (ca. 1880).  

Bogle, Victor M. Indiana Railroad History Papers, 1826-1999. M 0852, OM 0428. Twenty-seven manuscript boxes, one oversized folder, one OVC graphics box. Collection guide online. Victor Morton Bogle was born in 1921 in New Albany, Ind. Eventually, he became a university professor teaching history. One of his scholarly interests was the history of railroad building. Victor Bogle passed away in 2011. The collection consists of photocopies of articles, reports, maps, theses and other documents that he used for his research on the history of Indiana railroads. Also included is an unpublished manuscript titled: Chronology of Madison & Indianapolis Railroad. The collection remains in the 13 series in which Victor Bogle arranged them.

Bradley, George K. Papers, 1877-1991. M 0808, OMB 0097. Nine manuscript boxes, two photograph boxes, 10 negatives, one box OVA size photographs, one box OVB size graphics, one slide box, 17 printed items. Collection guide online. George Kitching Bradley, railroad history enthusiast and author, was born in LaPorte, Ind., in 1930. He was first published in 1953 with a book titled The Northern Indiana Railways. His best-known work is Indiana Railroad: the Magical Interurban (1991), a history of the largest interurban railway system in the nation in terms of route mileage. He also authored Ft. Wayne’s Fire Department, 1939-1964 and founded a museum in Fort Wayne, the Fire Fighters Museum. He passed away in April 2000. The collection contains Bradley’s research files and papers on Indiana railroads and public utilities. Included is correspondence, reports and schedules, drafts, notes, and other research materials, property plats, photocopies of magazine articles, magazines and newsletters, books, clippings, and photographs.  It is organized by subject matter with the first three series related to specific railroads, Chicago, South Bend & Northern Indiana, Fort Wayne & Wabash Valley Traction Co., and Indiana Railroad. The fourth series relates to early traction industry developments. The fifth includes general materials and the sixth is for photographs.

Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen Eureka Lodge no. 14 (Indianapolis). Records, 1875-1975. BV 3429-BV 3445, M 0774, OM 0395. Seventeen bound volumes, one manuscript box, three oversize folders. Collection guide online. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen was formed on Dec. 1, 1873, at Jervis, N.Y. Incentives for joining this labor union included medical insurance and funeral benefits. Eureka Lodge no. 14 was organized in Indianapolis on Feb. 21, 1875. The union merged with the International Firemen’s Union in 1879. Membership was opened to engineers in 1902, and in 1906, the organization became the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen. On May 1, 1969, the Brotherhood joined with other transportation unions to form the United Transportation Union. The collection includes 17 minute books dating from Feb. 21, 1875 to May 1, 1969. Books are missing for the periods July 1877 to June 1882, January 1887 to April 1889, September 1902 to August 1905, and May 1910 to December 1916. Other material includes correspondence, financial reports, applications for benefits, rosters and an annual report (June 30, 1901).

Callahan, T.D. Papers, 1852-1950. SC 1961. Two folders. Collection guide online. This collection is made up of unrelated items donated by T.D. Callahan, including a book of subscribers for the Lake Erie, Wabash and St. Louis Railroad Company, 1852. It lists subscribers, number of shares bought and amount paid.

Central Indiana Railway Company. Records, 1903-1966 (bulk 1903-1930). M 0336, OMB 0004. One manuscript box, two OMB boxes, one oversized folder in flat file storage. Collection guide online. The Central Indiana Railway Company had its origins as the Anderson, Lebanon and St. Louis Railroad, chartered in 1875. It was sold and reorganized as the Cleveland, Indiana and St. Louis Railway in 1882, and then reorganized as the Midland Railway Company in 1885. A Chicago attorney, Henry Crawford, acquired control of the line in 1891 and organized it as the Chicago and South Eastern Railway. This line was jointly acquired by the Pennsylvania and Big Four Railroads in 1902 and was incorporated March 16, 1903, as the Central Indiana Railway Company. The railroad ran 127 miles from Muncie to Brazil. Ike Duffey, an Anderson meat packer, bought the line in 1951 and attempted to revive it economically. The line became part of the Conrail system for 10 years (1976-1986), but by 1986 only the nine-mile segment running from Anderson to Lapel survived. The collection contains typescript mimeographed annual reports (1903-1930); monthly operating reports showing expenses and revenues (1906-1927); and completed forms for the telegraph register of trains (ca. 1908-1915), and the dispatcher’s record of movement of trains (1923-1924). For a later period (1960-1966) the collection includes income statements and carload business reports.

Chicago Pullman Strike Reports, July 1894. SC 2857. One folder. Collection guide online. George Pullman developed a comfortable car for railroad passengers, named for him, it was called the Pullman Car. The Pullman Palace Car Company was located just outside of Chicago in a town named for Pullman. The town comprised the company as well as worker’s housing owned by George Pullman. It was mandatory that the workers live in these houses to work for the company. In the 1890s, workers were agitated by the high rent of company housing  and wage decreases. In 1893, Euguene Debs began the American Railroad Union to represent all railroad workers. On May 11, 1894, 90 percent of Pullman employees walked off their jobs. In June, the A.R.U. decided to back the Pullman strike and all members of the union would then stop working on trains that pulled Pullman cars. This frightened railroad owners who began viewing the A.R.U. as a threat. Most newspapers and U.S. Attorney General Richard Olney were on the side of the owners. Olney issued an injunction stating that the strike was illegal because it was disrupting mail service and therefore free trade. On July 4, 1894, federal troops were sent to Chicago, but instead of aiding peace they incited riots. These riots were quickly blamed on the railroad strikers. A few days later the workers realized that the strike was lost. Seventy-five percent of those who walked off the job returned to their low pay and high rent at Pullman. They were also required to sign a pledge stating they would never join a union. Although a loss for the Pullman workers, the nation was made more aware of workers’ rights. This collection contains reports from three special meetings of the Central Association of Railroad Officers that were held in Indianapolis on July  5 and 6, 1894. They list reports from the officers of the railroads in central Indiana and the effects of the strike on their operations.

Chicago, South Shore & South Bend Railroad Collection, 1906-1989. M 0834, OM 0421, OMB 0999, BV 3507-3515. Forty-two manuscript boxes, 33 postcard size boxes, three oversize boxes, one oversize folder, nine bound volumes, seven posters. Collection guide online. The South Shore Line has had successes and failures throughout the years and has survived to be the country’s last electric interurban railway. Begun in December 1901 as the Indiana Air Line Railway, it was planned to run from South Bend to East Chicago, Ind. By 1904, the name was changed to the Chicago, Lake Shore & South Bend Railway signaling the owners’ intentions for service to Chicago. After 1921, the company faced declining passenger and freight traffic. There was still a lot of potential for this fledgling company however, and Samuel Insull Jr., acting for Midland Utilities Company, bought the railway in 1925 and renamed it the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend Railroad. In 1933, the South Shore entered bankruptcy due to the Depression but by 1937 the railroad was once again picking up speed, ending bankruptcy in 1938. Once the war began, the South Shore set one record after another. Success continued into the 1950s, as the line carried out the greatest single line improvement since the 1920s Insull era. By the late 1950s, the South Shore began some bumpy years but turnaround was quick with the help of new president William P. Coliton who launched a vigorous cost reduction and traffic expansion program in the early 1960s. In 1967, the Chesapeake & Ohio took control of the South Shore allowing the line’s affiliation to increase its competitive position for freight traffic in the face of continuing mergers in the East, and to assure a supply of cars that would permit the line to effectively serve the new Bethlehem Steel plant. Due to a number of factors, by 1976, the railroad was ready to end all passenger service. In 1976, the railroad filed a petition with the Interstate Commerce Commission to end all passenger operations, but the ICC replied in April 1977 that they should continue running the operations to allow the state of Indiana time to work out the steps necessary to save the service. With this grace period, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District was formed with federal, state and local funds to support South Shore passenger service. Attempts at acquiring the freight service back were difficult, the company who had purchased the service from C&O, Venango River Corporation, had its own troubles and filed for bankruptcy in 1989. By early 1990, a new era of the South Shore and NICTD began. Since its near demise in the late 1970s, the South Shore has transformed into a modern, efficient commuter rail line, carrying an average of 12,000 passengers each weekday to their jobs in Chicago. This collection consists of five series arranged by topic and chronologically within each topic. Series 1 constitutes operating papers from 1906-1989 relating to the day-to-day operations of the railroad, including correspondence, maps, articles, clippings, employee service records from 1937-1957, tariffs and accident reports, among others. Series 2 contains board meeting minutes and supporting papers for 1939-1987, as well as proceedings of annual shareholders meetings form the 1960s and 1970s. Series 3 consists of financial papers including annual reports, accounts paid records, papers regarding investments and others. Series 4 contains ICC filings from 1923-1988 including agreements and petitions filed by the South Shore and correspondence regarding the filings.  Series 5 constitutes seven posters used in publicity efforts for the line during the 1920s.

Chicago, South Shore and South Bend Railroad. Photographs, 1926-1986. P 0424. One photograph folder. Collection guide online. The Chicago, South Shore and South Bend Railroad had its beginnings in the Chicago and Indiana Air Line Railway, which was incorporated in 1901. In 1904, the name of the line was changed to the Chicago, Lake Shore and South Bend Railway, and by 1912, there was limited service between Chicago and South Bend. By 1924, the Lake Shore Line was one of the fastest interurbans in the country. Soon thereafter, use of the railroad declined and the company fell into debt. In 1925, utilities magnate Sam Insull Jr. bought the struggling railway and renamed it the Chicago, South Shore and South Bend Railroad. Within four years, Insull completely rehabilitated the company by offering more and faster trains and freight service. The Depression and competition from automobiles threatened the railroad by the early 1930s. Insull resigned in December 1932, and nine months later the company declared bankruptcy. Today the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend Railroad is a short-line freight carrier, with headquarters in Michigan City. This collection consists of 14 black-and-white photographs, printed from the original negatives, of railroad cars from the Chicago, South Shore and South Bend Railroad. They were collected by the donor to document South Shore car restoration work. Most of the photographs are of exteriors, with two of interiors. Extensive notes included with each photograph were supplied by the donor.

Chicago, South Shore and South Bend Railroad. Records, 1924-1944. SC 2313, OM 0062. Four folders, one oversized folder. Collection guide online. Electric high-speed interurban railroad begun in 1901 to serve the cities of northwest Indiana. Correspondence files of R.E. Dougherty, the railroad’s vice president, 1924-1944. Included are letters received, copies of correspondence, financial reports and maps regarding the railroad’s offer to sell the line to the New York Central Railroad.

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Collection, 1863-1969. M 0831: Series 1-Railroad. Four folders. Collection guide online. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis was founded in 1924. The collection consists of items dealing with different subjects that were received from the Children’s Museum. Series 1 contains railroad materials. It constitutes items from different railroad companies across different time periods. Included is an annual report and stock certificate from the Indianapolis Belt Railroad & Stock Yard Company, railroad passes, ticket inquiries to the Nickel Plate Road, and receipt requests from the New York Central System.

Christie, Lambert M. Postcard Album, 1913. P 0326. One album (205 photographic prints, three photomechanical reproductions). Collection guide online. Lambert M. Christie assembled the album for his future wife Lela May Levier, arranging the postcards mostly by place. Postcards in this album document events of the spring of 1913, including a railroad accident in Indianapolis.

Cincinnati Car Corporation Collection. 1902-1931; 1965. P 0376. Fifteen photograph boxes, two boxes drawings, one folder blueprints, six folders linen trace drawings (65 drawings), one manuscript box, printed material. Collection guide online. The Cincinnati Car Company manufactured interurban railway cars, streetcars and buses between 1902 and 1931. In 1928, the company merged with the Versare Corporation of Watervliet N.Y., which made gas-electric buses and electric trolley coaches, to become Cincinnati Car Corporation. Its most significant product was the curved-side car, which was lighter than those of competitors. The company ceased operations in 1931, and its assets were liquidated in 1938. The collection was acquired by its donor over a number of years from various sources. The processor arranged the material in five series according to format. The collection consists of original photographs, blueprint sales drawings, linen trace drawings, blueprints, and manuscript material created by and for the corporation between 1902 and 1931. Series I, Photographs, includes interior and exterior views of cars under construction and completed. Series II, Sales Drawings, consists of blueprint drawings and customer order information. Series III, Blueprint Drawings, are four large blueprints that may have been used during construction of the cars. Series IV, Linen Trace Drawings, includes specifications for interurban cars built and not built between 1902 and 1913. Series V, Manuscript and Printed Material, consists of contracts and a list of cars built by the Cincinnati Car Corporation. A company history, Curved-Side Cars Built by Cincinnati Car Company, is in Printed Collections (TF949 .W33 1965).

Coleman Family Papers, 1852-1892. SC 2564. One folder. Collection guide online. The Coleman family, of Union Township, Rush County, included Joseph F., John P., W.J., Harriet P., Angelina E. and Albert Coleman. Letter topics include the placement of a railroad station between Rushville and Cambridge City.