Stark County Illinois Railroad News Items from the Past

The Building of the Dixon, Peoria and Hannibal Railroad

Taken From the Stark County News
August 5, 1869

The Essex Township bonds of the D. P. & H. (Dixon, Peoria and Hannibal) Railroad have been signed and delivered over to the company - also the corporation bonds of the town of Wyoming, which completes the issuing of bonds all along the line of this railfoard, amounting to $313,000.  The road is now permanently located from Buda to Elmwood.  The contracts for building the road are such that the grading mush be entirely completed by December 1st, 1869.  The ties and iron for the road are all purchased and will be laid down as fast as the road is completed from either end.  Contracts for grading will be let next week.

That portion of the D.P. & H. Railroad which traverses the counties of Bureau, Stark and Peoria is nicknamed in this section as the "Castle-Flax" Road (referring to one of the greatest promoters of the railroad, Dr. Alfred Castle of Wyoming, who riased flax in his farm).  This may be looked on really as a branch or cut off of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, and is an enterprise of greater magnitude than the notice it has received from the Press will give it credit for, and of more importance to this section of the country than is generally considered by those who are not posted and who have not investigated the matter far enough to acquaint themselves with the facts.

Many look upon it as a railroad of only 45 miles in length, with its termini the comparatively insignificant interior towns of Buda in Bureau County and Elmwood in Peoria County, but its important connections owned in part or wholly by the C. B. & Q. Company, one among the richest and most expensive railroad corporations in the west, locate its termini, so far as our own State, is concerned at Chicago on the one hand, and the Mississippi River at Hannibal, gaps to fill up - the Flax road being one of them; but the wealth and energy of that rich and powerful company are an assurance that they will at an early day be completed.

Taken From the Stark County News
September 3, 1869

The work of the D. P. & H. R. R. was begun last week at Elmwood by a force of about 30 hands.  This force is to be increased to 200 this week.  A Steam shovel is to be employed, which shows that the work is to be rapidly executed.  Men are at work also at the northern terminus of the road, and hands will be stationed all along the different sections.

September 24, 1869

WANTED:  50 laborers to work on the  D. P. & H. R. R.  Wages - $1.75 per day.  Good board to be had on the line.  Inquire on the work, one mile north of Wyoming

October 14, 1869

The railroad between Elmwood and Buda is being graded through E. B. Norris' farm in Stark County this month.  He is expected to feed the gang, some 60 men, while they are in that vicinity.

November 11, 1869

The branch railroad between Buda and Elmwood is being graded rapidly.  One mile of track has already been laid south of Buda.  It is expected that by midwinter the cars will be running over the entire distance.

November 12, 1869

Bradford Correspondence:  Our railroad is nearly completed between here and Buda, workmen are busily engaged in laying the tracks, and within twenty days the steam locomotive will be thundering along our prairies, with its shrill, screaming whistel proclaiming the birth of a new era in the little county of Stark.

November 26, 1869

On Tuesday evening of this week, the track layers of the D. P. & H. R. R. reached the north line of our county.  This point is about 6 and one half miles south of Buda, and four miles north of Bradford.  A force of about 80 men are engaged in track laying, finishing from one-half to three-quarters of a mile daily; the bridge builders keeping just ahead of them.  The construction has been somewhat delayed by the snow storm, but as the ground is not frozen the extra labor consists in merely shoveling the snow from the road bed.  There is but one stream of much size (Silver Creek) to be bridged, on the line between Bradford and the county line on the north.

Should the weater remain even as favorable as at present, the trains will doubtless be running through Bradford by next week.  The next station south of Bradford is Castleton, distance six and one half miles; from there to Wyoming it is about the same distance.  With the present force at work on the road, the trains will probably reach Wyoming in time to afford the citizens of that ambitious burg an opportunity for a special festival on Christmas.

The C.B. & C. Co. are certainly deserving of praise for the fair dealing in securing the right of way - paying the market price for the land they took - and the speedy and business-like manner in which they have pushed forward the work.  To say that it is a rich and powerful company and able to do it, is to say that the company had conducted its business heretofore on sound principles; they believe in paying well for the work they require done, and require a full equivalent in return for their services.

April 8, 1870

Since the frost has got out of the ground, the D. P.  H. Railroad has had a time of it, as well as everything else that has locomotion.  The ties have, in some places, sunk so deep in the mud as to cause the iron horse, on account of the uneven surface, to get frequently off the track, and the trains, therefore of late, do not run exactly according to the time table.  The reign of mud will, however, soon be over;  the gravel trains are kept going, and the fact that "Old Flax" is still alive is an assurance that affairs on the road will soon be all right.

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