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THE I.C. STATION HOUSE at AMBOY
From the Amboy Journal January 10, 1877
Submitted by Terry Gregory

It is the Best Building on the Line of that Road Outside of Chicago
Full Description of its Size, Character, Adaptation and Necessity

The commodius, massive, and well built structure which the Illinois Central Railroad has erected in this city during the past season, demands a more extensive description than the brief items which have now and then appeared in the JOURNAL, giving the progress of the work. Amboy was at first selectied for the location of the company's shops, and the Divisions Superintenden's office, with all the offices and attachments thereto, when the road was first built in 1854 - 5. The Central was one of the great pioneer roads of the west, and its magnitude and importance in that day may be learned from the extensive land grant which was made to the company by the State of Illinois. But railroad developments have made and unmade towns and cities, east and west, with the touch of magic - or a despoiling hand. "Lo here!" "Lo there!" has been uttered by the laws of trade, or the necessities of railroad corporations - and massive walls have grown or crumbled, busy thoroughfares brought into being, or turned out for dog fennel. Sister towns on the Central might be named if necessary as mementoes of railroad thrift, or decaying neglect.

To these changing conditions Amboy people have been no idle observers. The removal of the rolling mill in 1872 and the burning of the Passenger House in 1875, raised the serious question - may not our evil time have come at last? Hope spoke of a better future, but doubts and misgivings as to the possibility of a removal of the Company's shops and the Division headquarters, was never quieted until now. Our citizens now look upon the massive and finely ornamented walls, the capacious and well arranged rooms that have been provided for the public, and the full suite of business offices respectfully adapted to the Division Superintendent, and the various assistants, as a pledge that the Company have no reason for abandoning or removing tyheir extensive and valuable improvements to this city.

The frame building in which the various offices of this division have been located since the building of the road in 1855 is 20 x 60 feet,20x40 of which was built in 1863, of two low stories in hight, and contains only six rooms. It has been considered inadequate to the greatly increased business of the several offices, or for the security of the books and papers necessarily accumulated in twenty years of business. The house will be removed in the spring, and the grounds about the new building, where the Passenger House stood, and the old building now is, will then be graded and properly set with trees.

We give below a diagram showing (I didn't get the picture) the location, size, and occupation of the several rooms in the new Station House:

The building is built of Freeport and LaSalle brick, handsomely and heavily trimmed wuth Joliet cut-stone water table, window and door sills, plinth blocks, belting and corbel courses of brick and stone, and buttressed, and has a heavy metal roof and a large sky-light window hid by heavy fire walls and coping.

Part of the structure occupies about half of the old enclosed yard which was north of the frame building, another part occupies part ofthe grounds where stood the old Passenger House. The premises above, to the ice house, are to be set in shade trees and fenced for a park. The new building is is over thirty-five feet in hight, with 12.3, and and 11.9 stories, and a seven foot attic; it is 31.11 wide and 88 long. Every part of the work and material from foundation to chimney caps is of the best, and an air of solidity and strength is one of the marked features in the style of Architecture. The floors are of hard maple; the joiner work is well grained and varnished; the walls and ceilings are pure white.

The entire cost of the Station House is about $15,000, James Nocquet of Chicago is the architect; Francis Egan had charge of the brick and stone work; A. J. Tompkins superintended the other labor. It was roofed by A. Kinsely & Co. of Chicago, and painted by Zanders & Prehm of that city, and grained by D. Adamsom of Freeport. It is but justice to these mechanics to say that all the work is first class.

The importance of the railroad interest to the city of Amboy may be judged from the following roster of labor paid for here every month, even in these "dull times."

TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT
John O. Jacobs………….………Supt. North Division
J. Poland…………….…………..Train Master - North
Jas. Rosebrugh…………...…….Train Master - South
W. Spalard………….…...…Cashier and Book-keeper
M. Egan…………….……..………………...Fuel Agent
Jas. T. Talt……………………..……..Supt's Secretary
Wm. F. Jacobs………………………………..…..Clerk
J. Oilenemark, Porter……….F. Dykeman, Messenger
C. S. Miller, C. K. Dixon…………..Train Dispatchers
K. Coflin……….…………………Telegraph Operator

Division extends from Dubuque to Centralia, a distance of 346 miles, employs 325 to 400 men. Total amount of pay rolls about $11,000. The five first names have been in the Company's employ twenty years each.

MACHINERY DEPARTMENT
J. B. Adams, master mechanic
H. H. Moulton, bookkeeper
K. Hall, time keeper
L. G. Rice, store keeper
A. A. Slanter, asst. store keeper

MACHINISTS AND HELPERS
B. Howard, gen'l foreman
Jas. Outhbertson
J. S. Olson
A. Brown
M. Canavan
W. Holden
C. Weise
R. Thorn
D. Shafer
Joe Egan
J. Donohoe
Jas Talt
Jno Bitzer
W. T. Gale
Geo Stimpson
W. Thresher
A. Osney Jno Troy
C. Green
D. Maloy
W. O. Newton
S. Adams
J. R. Talt
E. Courtney
W. Kaley
M. F. Egan
C. Morgan
W. Smith
M. Morris
C. Benchbach
A. Fuary
J. Gregory
Thos. Bristol
G. Mans
D. Gosden
R. Foeler
W. Newton
J. Shields
John Crowley
E. Robbins
O.W. Talt.

BLACKSMITHS AND HELPERS
J. Drummond, gen'l foreman, etc

BOILER MAKERS AND HELPERS
Dennis Powell, foreman
P. Corcoran, C. Oakman, W. Talt, P. Boland, etc.

CAR DEPARTMENT
R. Richards, foreman
Mechanics, Geo McPatrick, Lucins Clark, etc.

PAINTERS, CARPENTERS AND COPPERSMITHS
F. Hudson, foreman
J. Gunning, H Masterman, T. Crowley, M. McNertney, Carpenters, E. S. Reynolds, (foreman); J. S, Baker, J. L. Holmes, W.T. French; Coppersmith, J. R. Hayden (foreman); Tinsmiths, W. North, Thos. Gregory

ROUND HOUSE AND MISCELLANEOUS
Chas. Talt, day foreman
Geo Edams, night foreman, Joe Johnson, etc.

ENGINEERS - FIREMEN - ROAD DEPARTMENT - CARPENTERS - WATER WORKS - TRACK - PASSENGER CONDUCTORS - FREIGHT CONDUCTORS - DUBUQUE AND WAPELLA - BAGGAGE MEN - PASSENGER BRAKEMEN - FREIGHT BRAKEMEN - AMBOY STATION

The reason for putting this article on line is because of the mention of all the men that worked there. There might be parts of this article missing. I'll try and find the original someday soon. (cw)

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