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Pittsburgh & Western RR

excerpt from Chapter 6--Internal Improvements: History of Butler County, Pennsylvania. With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Waterman, Watkins, & Co., Chicago, 1883.

The Pittsburgh & Western Railroad was originally organized September 7, 1877, under the name of the Pittsburgh, New Castle & Lake Erie Railroad. The early projectors of this road were Austin Pierce, of Harmony, and Gen. James S. Negley, of Pittsburgh. The road was opened between Etna and Zelienople in December, 1878. During the summer of 1879, the company became financially embarrassed owing to the general want of confidence in railroad enterprises, and their inability to market their bonds and meet their obligations. The road was sold at Sheriff's sale August 27, 1879, and purchased by Maj. A. M. Brown, who organized the Pittsburgh & Western Railroad Company, of which Mr. James Callery, was President. Under the new management, and with his energy and good financiering the road was completed through Allegheny City, and from Zelienople to Wurtemberg in the summer of 1880.

In June, 1881, the Parker & Karns City, Karns City & Butler, Red Bank & Youngstown and the Pittsburgh East and West Railroads were consolidated with the Pittsburgh & Western. Mr. James Callery is President of this company; Mr. Solon Humphreys, Vice President; Mr. A. J. Thomas, Treasurer; Mr. E. K. Hyndman, General Manager, and Mr. W. C. Mobley, General Agent. The extension of the road has been commenced from Wurtemberg to Youngstown; from Hiawatha to Butler, and from Parker to Foxburg, and these additions, as well as the change of gauge between Allegheny and Youngstown, are now about completed.

excerpt from Chapter 14 - Internal Improvements: History of Butler County Pennsylvania, R. C. Brown Co., Publishers, 1895

In September, 1872, Alfred Pearce, Adam Endres and Dr. Amos Lusk were appointed commissioners in Butler for the Allegheny and Harmony railroad, which, in time, took the title--Pittsburg, New Castle & Lake Erie Railroad Company. It was incorporated under this name, September 7, 1877, and Austin Pearce, General (James S.) Negley and others pushed forward the enterprise. The new road was completed as a narrow gauge to Zelienople in November, 1878, and formally opened January 1, 1879. By April 1, 1880, track was laid to a point within one mile of Hazen's mill, and before the close of the year to beyond Wurtemberg.

Meantime the troubles, incidental to a new road, fell upon this, and, on August 27, 1879, the sheriff laid his hands upon this promising property. Prior to this affair, the service rose above its primitive form. Good coaches and agreeable conductors and brakemen were making the road popular, and, in the language of regular travelers, "putting on style." No longer did the travelers ask for "Breakneck," "Big Mill," "The Glades," "Pine Creek," and such pioneer villages, for the train brakeman called out "Elfin Wild," "Hiawatha," "Wildwood," "Hathorne," "Cressdale," "Gibsonia," "Evans City," "Eidenau," with the vim of one familiar with such names for years. In July, 1879, the disagreement between the directors and chief-engineer, Joseph Ramsey, Jr., culminated in the trouble at Harmony and Eidenau, when conductor Myers was discharged, and J. C. Lewis, the brakeman, appointed to fill his place. The superintendent, local agent and other employes were put off the train, and General Negley took charge.

The road was sold in 1874 to Major A. M. Brown, as the representative of John Dean. Subsequently Major Brown, James Callery and John M. Chalfant claimed they were the owners of the property. In January, 1881, the Pittsburg and Western Railroad Company, which, according to the Butler county newspapers, bought the road with the money of the original stockholders, was threatened with dissolution. The Baltimore and Ohio and the Pennsylvania Central Companies were eagerly awaiting an opportune moment to secure possession of the property. In the fall of 1881 it was a link in the Wabash chain, extending from Wurtemberg to Allegheny. In April, 1882, the old stockholders were offered, by Major Brown and his friend, $10,000, or fourteen per cent of the actual moneys invested by them. The offer was refused. The road is now operated by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, though nominally under the control of the Pittsburg and Western Railway Company, whose president, Thomas M. King, was at the time of his election, in July, 1893, second vice-president of the former company. His election completed the amalgamation of the two roads, giving the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company complete control.

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Last modified: 01-Oct-2001