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Railroad Collections, O-Z

Ogborn, Albert Duret. Papers, 1894-1907. M 0222. Four manuscript boxes. Collection guide online. Ogborn was a lawyer and Republican politician. He served as state senator for Fayette, Henry and Union counties in the sessions of 1901 and 1903. Beginning in 1901, Ogborn was involved in the planning, financing and building of an interurban line from Lawrence through Knightstown to New Castle, a predecessor of the Terre Haute, Indianapolis and Eastern line, which was incorporated in 1907. The collection includes letters relating to the Knightstown-New Castle interurban line from purveyors of all kinds of equipment, from cedar poles and railroad ties to storage batteries and electrical supplies. He also wrote several letters setting forth to potential investors the prospects of the line.

Pennsylvania Railroad. Elevated Track Construction Photographs, 1918-1923. P 0383. One photograph box, one oversized photograph box, one oversized photograph folder. Collection guide online. Herschel G. Wray was born in Oxford, Ohio, in 1890, received a civil engineering degree from Purdue University in 1913, and began his career with the Pennsylvania Railroad in June of that year. He was in charge of grade separation construction in Indianapolis and Cleveland for 10 years. The Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway was created through mergers in 1890. In 1917, through more mergers with the Vandalia Railroad and other smaller lines, the company was reorganized as the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad, which came to be operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1921. The “elevated tracks movement” in Indianapolis was a controversial topic at the end of the 19th century, with political and legal battles going on for years between local civic and political leaders. Railroad tracks in the city, especially those surrounding Union Station and running south of the Warehouse District, created the dual problems of traffic congestion and public safety. Progress was slow, but by 1888, a tunnel was constructed under the tracks on Illinois Street, and in 1905, a temporary trestle was built at East 10th Street and Massachusetts Avenue. It was not until 1912 that the first large-scale track elevation project of the Pennsylvania Railroad began in Indianapolis. The photographs in this collection document part of that project from 1918 to 1922. This collection contains photographs that document two railroad construction projects: the construction of railroad track elevations and facilities in the mile-square area of Indianapolis between 1918 and 1922, and a track elevation project in Cleveland in 1923. The photographs were once owned by Herschel G. Wray. The Indianapolis photographs document the progress of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s elevated track construction between 1918 and 1922. The images have captions that identify them as either the Indianapolis or Louisville divisions of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad. The remaining photographs omit this identification. The Cleveland images depict a Pennsylvania Railroad track elevation project in 1923. The images have captions that begin “Cleve. Trk. Elev.” followed by a “GR” number. These photographs illustrate only a two-week period in 1923 during this project.

Penny, Clarence. Reminiscences, 1998. SC 2670. Four folders. Collection guide online. Clarence Penny, born in 1926, is a native of Hammond, Lake County. After his graduation from Hammond High School in 1945, he enlisted in the United States Navy. He later graduated from college and taught school in Lake County for 32 years, retiring in the 1990s. The collection is a 252-page unpublished manuscript entitled Abby and Me – Slow Dancing in the Twilight. It focuses on Penny’s narrative about his retirement and relocation to Arizona. Interspersed in the manuscript are stories of his early years of growing up in Lake County during the 1930s and 1940s including working for the Monon Railroad while attending Hammond High School during World War II. The narrative is told in a somewhat fictional tone by a character named Charles Sparrow and his wife, Abby.

Peru and Indianapolis Railroad. Ticket Receipts, 1859-1866. F 0024. One hundred fifty-four leaves (on partial microfilm reel). Microfilm. One reel.

Pickett, Phineas, 1850-1932. Papers, 1849-1920. M 0051. One manuscript box. Collection guide online. Pickett was a teacher and farmer in Howard County and Plainfield, Hendricks County. Included in the papers is a right-of-way agreement with the Chicago & Northern Indiana Railway Company interurban.

Queen City Electric Railway Company Records, 1892-1893. OM 0434. One oversized folder. Collection guide online. The Queen City Electric Railway officially began in early 1891 under company president Russell B. Harrison. Construction of the tracks was not completed until late 1892. The Queen City Electric Railway competed with other Marion, Indiana street railways such as the Marion Street Railway and later the Marion City Railway. Having gone out of business, in 1895 the company was sold at auction to the Marion City Railway. The collection contains a company ledger for the years 1892 and 1893.

Railroad Company Waybills Collection, 1896-1904. OM 0432. One oversized folder. Collection guide online. This collection consists of nine waybills, documents giving details and instructions relating to a shipment of goods. Four are from the Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad company from the years 1901 and 1902. Two are for the Toledo, St. Louis & Kansas City Railroad for the years 1899 and 1900. Also included are one each for the Toledo, St. Louis & Western Railroad Company (1904), the Wabash Railroad Company (1897), and the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway Company (1896).

Railroad Pattern Book, 1905. BV 2596. One bound volume. Collection guide online. This collection consists of a volume labeled “Pattern Book November 1905,” and contains penciled and inked entries with the numbers and descriptions of patterns for various railroad engine parts.

Railroad Surveying Letter, 1853. SC 2322. One folder. The collection consists of one letter from “N” in Somerset, Wabash County, to his sister, while engaged in laying out a railroad between Marion and Peru in 1853. Topics include his trip from Marietta to Peru, his surveying crew and attitudes about his wife.

Railroad Tickets and Receipts, 1954-1969. SC 2739. Two folders. Collection guide online. The collection consists of ticket stubs and receipts from different railway lines, including: the Pennsylvania Railroad, the New York Central, the Erie-Lackawanna, the Erie Railroad Company and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Also included in the collection are forms for the Central Indiana Railway Company, a freight waybill and a monthly locomotive inspection and repair report from the New York Central System about a Central Indiana locomotive.

Railroadmen’s Federal Savings and Loan Association. Records, 1887-1994. M 0655, BV 3015-BV 3037.
Three manuscript boxes, 23 bound volumes. Collection guide online. The Railroadmen’s Building and Savings Association was founded in Indianapolis in 1887 at the initiation of William Taylor Cannon for employees of railroads operating through Union Station. In 1939, the name changed to Railroadmen’s Federal Savings and Loan Association. It merged with other savings and loans in 1981, 1987 and 1990. In 1993, it was purchased by Huntington Bancshares of Ohio and became Huntington Bank of Indiana. The collection includes bylaws, annual reports, advertising, bank statements, clippings and press releases, and photographs documenting the savings and loan from its founding in 1887 to its sale in 1993.

Raisbeck, Samuel M. Papers, 1836-1904. M 0231. One manuscript box. Raisbeck was an officer in the Columbus, Picqua and Indiana Railroad, later known as the Columbus and Indianapolis Railroad (1852-1862); and a resident of Piqua, Ohio, and Tuckahoe, N.Y. The bulk of the collection consists of letters to Raisbeck concerning Columbus, Piqua and Indiana Railroad business, including correspondence relating to the acquisition of land and materials construction and operation of the railroad, and company finances (1852-1862). The collection also includes papers relating to Raisbeck’s acquisition of property in Piqua (1836-1881). Correspondents include Hervey Bates.

Rauh, Samuel E. (Samuel Elias), 1853-1935. Samuel E. and Charles S. Rauh Papers, 1900-1948. M 0406. Two manuscript boxes. Collection guide online. Rauh emigrated from Germany to Dayton, Ohio, as a child. After working in the family business there, he moved to Indianapolis in 1874 and ran a number of businesses in the areas of tanning, fertilizer production, meat packing, railroads, stockyards, banking, realty and public utilities. His son Charles S. joined him in business and succeeded him upon his death. The collection includes personal and business correspondence and documents dealing with family businesses in Indianapolis and Dayton, including the Indianapolis Belt Railroad and Stock Yards Company.

Small, Jay, 1917-2000, Postcard Collection, [ca. 1907-ca. 1940s]. P 0391. Thirty-one postcard boxes (apporximately 7,500 postcards). Collection guide online. Jay Small was an Indianapolis antiques dealer. His personal interests included collecting postcards and books related to Indiana history. The collection contains real photo and printed postcards from ca. 1907 to the 1940s, depicting views of towns and cities across Indiana, including interurbans and railway stations.

Stereograph Collection, ca. 1860-1939. P 0402. Six manuscript boxes. Collection guide online. A stereograph is a pair of nearly identical photographic images positioned side by side on a card intended to be viewed through a stereoscope designed to hold it. The two photographs were usually made simultaneously with a camera with two lenses. When looking at a stereograph through a stereoscope, one sees a single image that appears both three-dimensional and life-sized. The collection contains stereographs of scenes taken in various parts of Indiana. Subjects include train stations.

Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad Company Stock Certificate, 1888. SC 2734. One folder. Collection guide online. Originally chartered as the Terre Haute & Richmond Railroad Company in 1847, by the end of the Civil War, the TH&R found itself as part of an increasingly important east-west trunk line. In March of 1865, the Indiana legislature changed the name to the Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad to better reflect the reality of its travels. The Railroad represented an important asset by connecting Terre Haute to Indianapolis and therefore the eastern markets. When threatened by a Cincinnati syndicate in 1867, the board of directors voted William Riley McKeen its president. McKeen began a long and complicated series of maneuvers to keep the railroad independent. In 1868, McKeen made a deal with the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad to lease the St. Louis, Vandalia & Terre Haute to the TH&I. McKeen renamed the system the Vandalia Line and used the lease to keep the Pennsylvania at arm’s length. He employed the Vandalia to open branch lines into the Indiana coalfields and invested in other railroads promoting local growth. By 1872, dealing with various problems, McKeen saw fit to purchase a sizeable block of TH&I stock and replacing some members of the board with his friends and associates. Over the next year, McKeen made several adjustments to the organization and modernized and expanded the line. In June 1887, McKeen sold his stock in the TH&I to Henry Ives & Company who also owned the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton. Ives had purchased the TH&I and the CH&D in the hopes of using money from the lines to purchase the Baltimore & Ohio. Within two months, however, Henry Ives & Company had suspended operations and McKeen had been re-elected president of the railroad. In the brief tenure of Henry Ives & Company the railroad had accumulated a substantial debt. McKeen began fixing the financial problems once he resumed control. As 1892 came to a close, he brought lingering problems to satisfactory resolutions and things were beginning to look brighter for the TH&I. McKeen signed an agreement to sell the line to the Pennsylvania Company on Aug. 18, 1893 which gave him everything he had originally asked for when the Pennsylvania first expressed interest in 1885. Taking over during an economic depression, the railroad was not doing well in the following 10 years. At the end of 1904, the TH&I board voted to consolidate the company into an all new Vandalia Railroad Company. The vote passed and at midnight on Dec. 31, 1904, the 58-year history of the railroad came to a quiet end, and the next day the new Vandalia Railroad took its place. The collection consists of a stock certificate for 1888.

Terre Haute & Richmond Railroad Company Letter, 17 March 1851. SC 2738. One folder. Collection guide online. The Terre Haute & Richmond Railroad Company was chartered in January 1847. the line between Terre Haute and Indianapolis soon became the sole focus of the TH&R’s construction efforts (the eastern half of the line was recharted and completed as the Indiana Central Railroad), having started in late 1849. The entire 73 miles of the TH&R opened in February 1852. With the railroad in operation and immediately successful, the former president Chauncey Rose turned his attention toward extending the TH&R’s reach westward to St. Louis. For a time, the TH&R used the Terre Haute, Alton & St. Louis as its primary western connection. However, in April 1858, the TH&R board instructed its superintendent not to deliver any more freight to the Alton line. The Alton line had begun to delay its payments in an attempt to stay solvent accumulating a deficit in its account with the TH&R. Legal action was threatened if some form of regular payment was not initiated, and despite hostile relations, business as usual continued between the two lines. The Civil War caused the TH&R to cease being a small, hometown enterprise with additional traffic requiring more equipment, more locomotives and cars meaning increased shop space, more machinery and a bigger workforce. By the end of the war, the TH&R found itself part of an increasingly important east-west trunk line. In February 1865, with the incorporation of the St. Louis, Vandalia & Terre Haute Railroad a new western connection was made supplanting the Alton Line. In March 1865, the Indiana legislature changed the name of the TH&R to the Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad to better reflect reality, and finally in 1905 it was taken over as the Vandalia Railroad Company. The collection consists of a letter from John Scott the treasurer of the Terre Haute & Richmond Railroad Company to W. Robson regarding stock in the company.

Thompson, Richard W. (Richard Wigginton), 1809-1900. Papers, 1838-1899. SC 1914. Three folders. Thompson was an Indiana lawyer and politician, serving in the Indiana House and Senate, United States Congress, and as Secretary of the Navy under Hayes. The collection includes the letters of G.B. Roberts of the Pennsylvania Rail Road Company.

Trask, George Kellogg. Papers, 1855-1911. SC 1468, OM 0414. Five folders, one oversized folder.  Collection guide online. George Kellogg Trask was a journalist who was credited at the time of his death as being the originator of the railroad column in the American press. His first railroad column was published in the Evansville Evening Journal in 1870, and he went on to write railroad columns for the Indianapolis Journal and the The Indianapolis Star from 1871 to 1911. Trask was born and grew up in Massachusetts, and moved to Indiana around 1860. He worked on the Indianapolis, Peru and Chicago Railroad, and then for the American Express Company before becoming a journalist. Trask was married to Ellen Waite and had two daughters. He was affectionately known as “Uncle George” to generations of journalists and railroad men. He died on June 26, 1911. The collection includes correspondence of railroad executives with Trask in his capacity as a railroad columnist, two contractual agreements and one Civil War-era letter. Correspondents include: Elijah Walker Halford, secretary to President Benjamin Harrison; George C. Hitt, vice- and deputy consul of the United States in London, England; F.A. Murray of The Wall Street Journal; M.E. Ingalls of the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway Company; and Harry S. New. The papers are arranged chronologically. A detailed list of the individual items is available in Folder 1.

Union & Logansport Railroad Company Promissory Notes, 1865-1867. SC 2736. One folder. Collection guide online. Construction on the Union & Logansport line began in 1863. It was built to link Union City, Randolph County, Indiana and Darke County, Ohio with Logansport in Cass County, Indiana further connecting the line with the Chicago & Great Eastern Railroad. With the Pennsylvania Railroad providing some of the financing, the line was completed in 1867. In February 1868, the Union & Logansport line was consolidated with the Columbus & Indiana Central and the Toledo, Logansport & Burlington to form the Columbus, Chicago & Indiana Central. This collection consists of three promissory notes for installment payments to the Union & Logansport Railroad Company. The notes lay out a payment plan in relation to the laying of track as well as other time factors.

Union Station (Indianapolis, Ind.) Collection, 1882-1996. M 0876, OMB 0143. Six manuscript boxes, two oversized manuscript boxes, two photograph folders, two color photograph folders, one oversized color photograph folder. Collection guide online. Originally built in 1853, Union Station had a dramatic effect on the growth and development of Indianapolis. The station prospered for decades serving up to 200 trains and thousands of people per day. The original depot was replaced in 1888 by a three-story Romanesque-Revival style structure know today as the Grand Hall. Union Station was one of the earliest attempts by a major American city to unite the passenger and express freight services of several competing railroad companies in a single convenient downtown terminal. In its original form, Union Station possessed a large iron train shed at street level. By the early 1900s, the surface-level traffic was getting entangled with growing vehicle traffic in the downtown area. The solution was to create an extensive new grade-separated right-of-way through downtown. As part of this project, the original iron train shed was replaced with a new, larger, poured concrete shed in 1916. The new shed offered twelve through passenger and two stub freight and express tracks. It’s this combination of 1888 headhouse with 1922 train shed which survives today. As rail travel declined throughout the 20th century, Union Station eventually became a dark, ghostly relic of a bygone era. By 1979, Union Station was largely vacant and served by only a few trains a day. In 1982, inspired by the success of adaptive reuse projects in cities like Boston’s Faneuil Hall area and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the city government stepped in and decided to try its hand at a similar project for Union Station. A local developer began a renovation project that turned the facility into an urban festival marketplace. The renovated Union Station opened its doors in 1986. The 1888 headhouse became the grand entrance to the complex, housing an upscale restaurant on the former concourse floor. The eastern half of the shed became a festival marketplace with specialty stores, bars and a food court, while the western half was converted into a hotel. Four tracks at the north and south ends were retained and stocked with old heavyweight Pullmans which were gutted to the shell and rebuilt with completely new interiors containing two rooms each. Faced with declining patronage and continued high maintenance costs, city officials shuttered the mall venture in 1996. Since then, the city has scrambled to find paying tenants for various parts of the property. The festival marketplace had been torn out, replaced by a go-cart track. The hotel is still in business, now in operation as a Crowne Plaza. The headhouse is essentially vacant, reduced to intermittent use as a ballroom floor for special events at the hotel. The collection consists of memorabilia from the Union Station in Indianapolis. There are accounts receivable ledgers, reports and other working papers from railroads that used the station. There are also brochures, maps, freight waybills, and rule books from railroad companies. The Pennsylvania Railroad has the most papers, including circulars, maps, brochures, and reports. There is some general railroad history material, primarily booklets, information about Pullman cars, and clippings. Information from when the station was renovated into a marketplace, such as photographs, mockups of the new interior, and flyers for one of the new establishments are included as well. Materials from the “Remember Union Station” program of 1986 are also present, these consist of correspondence, photographs and artifacts

Union Station (Indianapolis, Ind.) Records, 1852-1864. SC 2130. One folder. The collection contains photostats of seven items relating to the first Indianapolis Union Station, 1852-1864, including a front elevation of the building by Joseph Curzon and bill for same, two letters concerning the transportation of soldiers, a notice to sell no more tickets to Baltimore, a letter concerning the building of a bridge, and a bill.

W.H. Bass Photo Company Collection, ca. 1900­-ca. 1965. P 0130. Seventy-three manuscript boxes. Collection guide available in library. Digital images online. The W.H. Bass Photo Company Collection comprises approximately 200,000 items, including more than 144,000 black-and-white negatives and 20,000 photographic prints. Perhaps the company’s 1906 Indianapolis city directory advertisement best describes the surviving collection: “Photos of Any Thing, Any Where, Any Time.” Railroad-related images include: Interurban Railroads (2 folders); Railroad and Interurban Tracks (1 folder); Railroads (8 folders); Railroad Bridges (1 folder); Railroads – Illinois Central Railroad – Engines (1 folder); Railroads – Illinois Central Railroad – Pullman Accommodations (2 folders); Railroads – Illinois Central Railroad – Railroad Fair, 1948-1949 (2 folders); Railroads – Illinois Central Railroad – Publicity (2 folders); Streetcars (11 folders); Traction Railroads (12 folders); Train Wrecks (1 folder); Trains (10 folders); Trains – Interiors (1 folder); and Union Station – Indianapolis (7 folders).

Wetherhill, Thomas B. Deed, 1853. SC 2484. One folder. Collection guide online. The collection consists of one deed, April 1853, by Thomas B. Wetherhill to the Cincinnati Western Railroad Co. for two tracts of land in Hamilton County, Ohio. The railroad was planned to run from Cincinnati to New Castle.

Ziess, George Interurban Railroad Photographs, ca. 1925-ca. 1940, P 0503. Fourteen photograph boxes. Collection guide online. Although little is known about the originator of this collection, it is believed Mr. Ziess lived in New York State. The collection was “rescued” by a group of railroad collectors in 1990. The collection contains photographs of interurban railroads, primarily of the Indiana Railroad which acquired the Indiana Union Traction Company and the interurban operations of the Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern line, as well as leasing the interurban operations of the ISC and Interstate (later Public Service of Indiana). Some of the images in the collection were unidentified and an attempt was made to correct this with the help of two volunteers. The collection contains over 4,000 copy photographs of interurban cars and lines. The collector gathered the photographs from many different sources and often the photographer’s names are stamped on the verso. The photographs were stored in 12 small file drawers and during processing the photographs were re-housed in archival boxes with the original order maintained. The manuscript material consists of index cars explaining the file philosophy of the collection, drawer index cars with the subjects and their arrangement, an inventory list supplied by the donors, and an alphabetical cross reference file. Categories established by the collector, Mr. Zeiss, were used to create the series separating the collection, these consist of: Manuscript materials, Indiana Railroad passenger cars, Indiana Railroad freight cars, Indiana Railroad city cars, Indiana Railroad accidents, Right of Way/Facilities, Miscellaneous cars, Outside Indiana, and Unidentified Right of Way and Miscellaneous.