Posts Tagged ‘Trains’

The Machines of Today

August 11, 2012

Image from DIESELPUNKS

A SIGH OR REGRET

By JAMES J. MONTAGUE

I see a sleek gasoline engine
Careering along to a blaze;
It’s efficient, no doubt,
But no steam does it spout
As it speeds on its glorious ways.
It lacks the old bright shining boiler
And the smoke that shoots out of the stack,
And it doesn’t careen
Like the good old machine
That was here half a dozen years back.

Ah! That was the grand age of fires;
The whistle would sputter and scream,
While the folks of that day
Fled madly away
From the fountains of cinders and steam.
The galloping clang of the horses,
The beat of their feet as they sped,
And the volume of sound
That was broadcast around
Might almost awaken the dead.

The machine of today may be faster,
Their deafening sirens ring shrill,
It’s a joy to the eye
To observe them go by.
Their perilous task to fulfill,
But my pet was the raring old steamer
With its smoke and its clamor and roar,
And I’m sad in my heart
That it won’t play a part
In the life of the town any more.

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Jul 21, 1934

Step Lively

July 25, 2012

THE STREET CAR.

The car stopped comfortably filled,
Then four men got on.
At the next corner seven edged in,
And sixteen got on after that;
Afterward two boys swung on;
Soon a red-faced woman beckoned,
And she go on.
In the midst of the glad revelry
A party of serenaders trooped on.
By and by a colored gemmen,
Redolent of old-mown hay,
He got on.
Then five giggling school girls registered.
A hard-faced mother, with a squalling kid,
Mounted the platform.
Did she? She did?
Then a pompous police officer,
With girth for several.
Ripped in.
There little maids from school
Didn’t do anything but get on.
After a while a street sweeper pushed in,
Then a bricklayer
And a hod carrier.
Three tinsmiths, four stonemasons,
Also a printer,
Two Sunday school teachers,
And a prizefighter.
They got on.
But the “con” didn’t mind — he did his stunt,
And furiously bellowed: “Move up  to the front!”

— St. Paul Dispatch.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Feb 8, 1902

Image from The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula

Dazed a Conductor.

A Western woman who is on a visit to New York was boarding a street car in that city the other day. She had just placed her foot upon the step and was preparing to take another step to the upper platform when, with a furious “Step lively,” the conductor pulled the strap. The car jerked forward and the Western woman swayed back for a minutes, then just caught herself in time to prevent a bad fall upon the cobbles.

She confronted the conductor with angry eyes — eyes that had looked undismayed into those of mighty horned monsters of the prairies.

“What do you mean by starting the car before I was on?” she asked.

“Can’t wait all day for you, lady,” the conductor snarled. “Just step inside there.”

In a moment the Western woman, with a backward golf sweep of the arm, lunged for the conductor’s head. He dodged. The blow sent his hat spinning back into the track. The woman entered the car and sat down. She was flushed, but dignified. While the other women passengers were rather startled, they all knew just how she felt. Then the car stopped while the conductor went back for his hat. The Western woman rode free that time.

The Anaconda Standard (Anaconda, Montana) Jul 23, 1900

Mrs. Stelling has Eloped with a Streetcar Conductor.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Oct 4, 1894

A PUBLIC EVIL.

You very often notice, as you’re riding in the car,
There’s one distressing feature all our peace of mind to mar,
It’s the fellow right in front of us who holds his paper so,
We’re forced to read the headlines, but the villain seems to know
Just when we get an inkling of a thrilling bit of news,
For he turns the paper over and thereafter he’ll refuse
To let us finish out the line, and so, with soul distressed,
We feel like smiting him because we cannot read the rest.

There’s nothing suits him better than to tantalize our view
With some big headline till he’s sure we’ve caught a word or two,
But just before we’re quite aware of what it’s all about,
He flops the paper upside down or yanks it inside out
And every time we seek to get a fact within our grasp
He upsets all our purposes and leaves us with a gasp,
Until at last we swear it, in a law and rasping tone,
That if we had the price we’d buy a paper of our own.

— Nixon Waterman, in L.A.W. Bulletin.

Middletown Daily Argus (Middletown, New York) Mar 31, 1898

Street-Car Crushed by Train

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Oct 6, 1883

Death at a Crossing

October 25, 2011

Image from the Oakland, IL Genealogy website

DEATH AT A CROSSING.

Levi Alsbury, an Old Veteran, Instantly Killed.

An old invalid soldier, Levi Alsbury, more familiarly known as “Button,” was instantly killed at 11:35 a.m. to-day at the Priest street crossing of the Illinois Central road, just east of the tray factory. He had been up town after some nails, and was returning to a new house in the fourth ward he was building, when he sat down on a log near the factory to rest. The Terre Haute and Peoria passenger train going toward the depot came along, and just before the train reached the crossing, Alsbury arose to cross over. The old man was subject to fainting spells and may have been suddenly attacked with a feeling of weakness as he arose from the log. The cow-catcher struck him and hurled him upward against the steam chest with great force, when the lifeless body dropped into the ditch. Nearly every bone in his body was broken. The body was removed by Coroner Perl to his office, where the inquest will be held this evening at 8 o’clock.

Mr. Alsbury was 48 years of age, and resided at 900 West Macon street. He leaves a wife and two children. Brice Alsbury, a son of his wife by a former marriage, was murdered at Kinney, Ill., a few years ago. Mr. A. served through the war as a member of Co. H, 63d Ill. Regiment and received a pension of $30 a month. His back pay received not long since was $1900.

It was T.H. & P. train 1, engine 4, that struck the man; Buchanan, conductor; George Winn, engineer; Jerry Ryan, fireman.

Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) May 14, 1887

KILLED BY THE CARS.

Levi Alsbury Struck Down By a T-H.& P. Train.

From Sunday’s Daily.

Levi Alsbury, a union ex-soldier, was killed at the Priest street crossing of the Illinois Central railroad a few minutes before 12 o’clock noon yesterday, by a Terre Haute & Peoria passenger train. He was struck by the pilot of the engine and his body was hurled a distance of nearly twenty feet. Alsbury had been up town to get a bundle of nails and was on his way to work on a dwelling which he was erecting in the Fourth ward, when he met his death. An inquest was held last night by Coroner Perl at his undertaking establishment on South Main street. The witnesses were John Sheeney, a bricklayer, George Winn, engineer, and Eugene Ryan, fireman on the engine of the train, and Mrs. S.J. Alsbury, wife of the deceased. Sheeney testified that Alsbury walked toward the crossing without looking down the track and was seemingly unmindful that the train was coming, although the engineer was sounding the whistle and the fireman was ringing the engine bell. The engineer testified that he sounded the station whistle at the usual place and subsequently sounded the whistle again to attract Alsbury’s attention. The fireman testified to the same fact. Alsbury did not discover his danger until he was on the track. Then he made a leap to get out of the way but was too late. He was struck by the top of the right side of the pilot and instantly killed. His neck, both arms and both legs, and his ribs were broken. The train at the time of the accident was running, according to the testimony of the engineer, fireman and Sheeney, not faster than six miles an hour.

The deceased was aged 48 years, and resides at 900 West Macon street. He leaves surviving him a wife and two children. He was the father of Brice Alsbury who was murdered at Kenney two years ago. Mr. Alsbury served in the union army during the late war as a member of Co. H, 63d Ill. Inf. He was wounded and lost a portion of the bones of his left arm. For this disability he was allowed a pension of $30 per month, and received back pay amounting to $1900.

Saturday Herald (Decatur, Illinois) May 21, 1887

EDWIN PHILBROOK, pension attorney, has received notice of a pension of $12 per month for Sarah J. Alsbury, Decatur, Ill., widow of Levi Alsbury, Company H, 63d Illinois Infantry.

Decatur Daily Republican ( Jan 15, 1890

Brice Alsbury’s Murder:

From Tuesday’s Daily.

Held for Trial.

Henry Teal, of Waynesville, was arrested on Friday for the murder of Brice Alsbury, upon a warrant sworn out by State’s Attorney Booth, of DeWitt county. He was taken to Clinton, and was given a preliminary hearing before Judge McHenry. The judge was of the opinion that Teal’s provocation for shooting Alsbury had a tendency to somewhat mitigate the enormity of the crime, and, on the plea of manslaughter, admitted him to bail in the sum of ten thousand dollars, for his appearance at the next term of the circuit court. Teal was released upon his furnishing the required bond. Wiley Marvel, John Teal and George B. Graham are his securities.

Saturday Herald (Decatur, Illinois) Mar 15, 1884

Murder Trial.

Henry Teal is on trial at Clinton before Judge Herdman for the murder of Brice Alsbury, at Waynesville, a year ago. Alsbury is well known about Mt. Zion, in this county, where his relatives reside. Attorneys Booth and Warner represent the People, and Dan Voorhees, of Indiana, and Lawyer Graham the defendant. A jury was secured last evening.

Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Dec 11, 1884

SATURDAY last, at the second trial at Clinton, Henry Teal was found guilty and sentenced to one year at Joliet, for the murder of Brice Alsbury. Teal has applied for another new trial.

Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Sep 7, 1885


LATE NEWS.

Henry Teal, for the murder of Brice Alsbury at Waynesville, Ill., more than a year ago, has been sentenced to one year’s imprisonment in the penitentiary of Illinois.

Oshkosh Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Sep 8, 1885

HENRY TEAL, who was found guilty of the murder of Brice Alsbury, was granted a new trial at Clinton, Thursday, by Judge Epler, on the grounds that two of the jurymen had previously expressed themselves as to Teal’s guilt.

Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Sep 12, 1885


Teal Discharged.

Brice Alsbury, whose parents reside at Mt. Zion, this county, was injured at Waynesville, in DeWitt county, some years ago, and died. Henry M. Teal was indicted for the murder, and found guilty by a jury. He was granted a new trial and a change of venue to Havana. Yesterday State’s attorney Booth, of Clinton, entered a nolle in the case and Teal was discharged. Important witnesses have disappeared.

Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Aug 7, 1886

Before the murder of Brice Alsbury:

YESTERDAY Brice Alsbury was arrested in Decatur on a state warrant charging him with having made an assault upon one James Houchens, at Waynesville, Ill., with intent to kill. The assault is alleged to have been made on October 17, since which time Alsbury has been skirmishing around for the benefit of his health. The prisoner was lodged in the county jail and the DeWitt county sheriff notified of the arrest.

Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Dec 28, 1882

Through the Tunnel

September 28, 2011

THROUGH THE TUNNEL.

Riding up from Bangor,
On the “Eastern” train,
From a six weeks’ shooting
In the woods of Maine;
Quite of extensive whiskers,
Beard, mustache as well,
Sat a “student fellow.”
Tall, and fine, and swell.

Empty seat behind him,
No one at his side;
To a pleasant station
Now the train doth glide.
Enter aged couple,
Take the hinder seat;
Enter gentle maiden,
Beautiful PETITE.

Blushingly she falters,
“Is this seat engaged?”
(See the aged couple
Properly enraged,)
Student, quite ecstatic,
Sees her ticket “through,”
Thinks of the long tunnel —
Knows what he will do.

So they sit and chatter,
While the embers fly,
Till that “student fellow”
Gets one in his eye;
And the gentle maiden
Quickly turns about —
“May I, if you please, sir,
Try to get it out?”

Happy “student fellow”
Feels a gentle touch;
Hears a gentle whisper,
“Does it hurt you much?”
Fizz, ding, dong! a moment
In the tunnel quite,
And its glorious darkness,
Black as Egypt’s night.

Out into the daylight
Darts the “Eastern” train;
Student’s beaver ruffled
Just the merest grain;
Maiden’s hair is tumbled
And then and there appeared,
Cunning LITTLE EAR-RING
Caught in student’s beard.

The Athens Messenger (Athens, Ohio) Mar 13, 1879

The Man in the Cab

September 22, 2011

THE MAN IN THE CAB.

Safe and snug in the sleeping car
Are father and mother and dreaming child.
The night outside shows never a star,
For the storm is thick and the wind is wild.
The frenzied train in its all-night race
Holds many a soul in its fragile walls,
While up in his cab, with a smoke-stained face,
Is the man in the greasy overalls.

Through the firebox door the heat glows white,
The steam is hissing at all the cocks;
The pistons dance and the drive-wheels smite
The trembling rails till the whole earth rocks.
But never a searching eye could trace —
Though the night is black and the speed appalls —
A line of fear in the smoke-stained face
Of the man in the greasy overalls.

No halting, wavering coward he,
As he lashes his engine around the curve,
But a peace-encompassed Grant or Lee,
With a heart of oak and an iron nerve.
And so I ask that you make a place
In the Temple of Heroes’ sacred halls
Where I may hang the smoke-stained face
Of the man in the greasy overalls.

— Nixon Watterman, in L.A.W. Bulletin.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Oct 25, 1897

Rhyming Decapitations

December 5, 2010

No.230. — Rhyming Decapitations.

In front we see a railroad _____,
Near by a farmer, team and _____.

A quarter of an hour _____
The train was due, yet on they _____.

The train, though late, yet still was _____;
Its sound soon fell upon his _____.

His eye beheld a smoky _____;
He heard the whistle sounding _____.

His horses stopped, o’ercome with _____,
And moved to neither left nor _____.

The engineer shut off the _____
And saved collision with the _____.

The farmer had a fearful ____,
And he henceforth will use more _____.

The Evening News (Lincoln, Nebraska) Sep 2, 1893

Night Train HooDoo

October 26, 2010

RUN OVER A SCARECROW.

Engineer of a Fast Train Receives a Fright Which He Can’t Forget.

“The nervous strain on the engineer of a fast train is something enormous,” said one of them the other day, reports the Detroit Free Press. “Not only the lives of the passengers are at stake, but there is the constant fear of running over someone on the track. An accident, no matter how innocent the engineer, is always a kind of hoodoo. What was my first accident? I shall never forget it. If it had been traced on my mind with a streak of lightning it couldn’t have made a more lasting impression.

“It happened one bright moonlight night in November. We were spinning over the rail full speed across the country whee there were few people passing at that time of night, when I looked out and saw the figure of a man lying across the track not ten feet in front of the engine. I stopped quick as possible, but too late, of course. We had run over him, and the lifeless was under the wheels. We got out to look for him, and found his hat, a piece of his coat sleeve and one of his shoes, but the rest seemed to be further back under the train. I backed up the engine and got out to look again. There lay the body. I nearly fainted when I saw its distorted form. I felt like a murderer. Did I known the man? No, not personally. He was a scarecrow from a neighboring corn field.”

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Apr 6, 1898