Railroads of Madison County
01 Interurban Lines

Interurbans of Northern Madison County
Compiled by David L. Dwiggins

Interurban Information

Jane Young and Leroy Young to Lafayette Muncie and Bloomington Railroad Company. Dated June 22, 1871 for the consideration of $1.00. Re-recorded August 23,1881due to the courthouse fire in 1880. The right of way being a strip of land 100 feet in width upon such route and line as said Company has located or may locate and construct a railroad line over the southwest quarter of section 15. Acknowledged June 22, 1871, before James M. Dehority, N.P. Madison County, Indiana.

Pat T. O'Brien of Elwood had his $50 overcoat stolen when a thief entered the rear of his home. Elwood Marshal Parsons was notified of the crime and he and Mr. O'Brien began pursuit to catch the thief riding in a wagon pulled by a single horse. The thief had been seen at the LE&W railroad yard and had caught an eastbound passenger train. O'Brien and Parsons pulled into Dundee and questioned residents there finding that the thief had already been there trying to dispose of the coat. Realizing they were hot on the trail of the criminal, they continued eastward to Orestes. The two checked around the busy little town and finally spied the coat while glancing into a saloon. Outside the saloon O'Brien huddled with Parsons and told him of the discovery. The two quickly marched inside and found the thief trying to sell the coat for most any sum. Marshal Parsons arrested Frank LeRoy and transported him to the Elwood city pokey. LeRoy stuck to his story stating he had purchased the jacket for three dollars from a man at the LE&W railroad yard in Elwood and immediately entered a plea of not guilty. Mrs. Dr. D. Sigler was called in to make a statement at the city jail and identified LeRoy as the man she had seen enter the back door at Mr. O'Briens and carry the coat away. Bond was set at $300 and when LeRoy did not give bail, he was instructed he would be remaining in jail until his trial in the Madison County Court. It is estimated that LeRoy will be found guilty and would be sentenced to two years at the Michigan City Prison.

An explosion rocked the Elwood Interurban Power Plant and knocked the street cars out

Dick Jeffries and his silent partner, Charles L. Henry, have secured a franchise to put in six miles of electric street railway at Alexandria. The line will be built at once.

The Big Four Depot at Anderson was completely destroyed by fire last evening. Losses are estimated to be $15,000 to $25,000.

Charles Henry, congressman elect, made a statement today that Elwood could possibly be joined to the mainline of an interurban line at Alexandria one day soon thus making travel to Marion and Indianapolis possible.

The bond furnished by the LE&W Railroad by agent E. Hanna for $500 for defending in suit against the town of Orestes against the opening of Ontario St. and the damages of the railroad crossing.

Big Four and LE&W collide at Alexandria.

A petition was presented to the Board to construct a sidewalk on Ontario St. from the LE&W Railroad north to Broadway. The petition was rejected a placed on file.

A motion was made that construction begin on a sidewalk on Ontario St. from the LE&W Railroad to Broadway. The motion was carried. E.J. Lewis was instructed to audit the town books.

A special session of the Orestes Town Board was called for the discussion of an ordinance granting the Indiana Traction Company a franchise to build, operate, and maintain an electric street railway in and through the town of Orestes. Board members, Batten, Miller, and Riddle were present at the meeting. After considerable discussion and the submitting and acceptance of amendments, the ordinance was adopted on the third reading. The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 p.m. Thomas A. Downs, Town Clerk.

The Board of Trustees of the town of Orestes was called to session by President Miller. Present was James Batten, James Riddle, and Clerk, Thomas A. Downs. On motion of Mr. Riddle, Ordinance No.21, "An Ordinance Authorizing the Construction, Maintenance, and Operation of An Electric Street Railway

Ordinance No. 21
Be it ordained by the Board of Trustees of the Town of Orestes, in the county of Madison, and the state of Indiana, that consent, permission and authority is hereby given and granted to the Union Traction Company, a corporation organized under the laws of Indiana, its successors and assigns, which shall herein after be called the Grantee, the right to erect, construct, maintain and operate a single or double track, standard gauge street railway with the necessary side-tracks, switches, turnouts, and turntables, and to erect, construct, and maintain and use all the mechanical and electrical appliances necessary and suitable for the sum including the use of electricity as a motion power storage or overhead trolley system, in, upon, along and over any and all of the streets of the town of Orestes, in the county of Madison and the state of Indiana and or on any part thereof which are now laid out within the present limits of said town and all additions and extensions hereafter made on which may hereafter may become a part of said town, all of which is subject to the provisions and restrictions herein after in this ordinance set out and provided.

Section 2
The track of the railway of said Grantee shall in all cases be laid in the center of the street, except where a double track is laid or contemplated being there after laid, when a double track is laid, it shall be so laid that the center of the street shall be the center line between the two tracks, when a double track is anticipated and one track is laid, then said Grantee may lay said track so that when the other track is laid, the center line between the two tracks will be the center line of the street.

All tracks, side-tracks, switches, turnouts and turn tables, shall be so constructed and maintained at all times as not to interfere, obstruct, or impede the free use of such streets by the general public, beyond the extent reasonably necessary for the purpose of construction and operation of said street railway. In all said cases, said Grantee so far and as soon as possible upon the completion, change or repair of any of the tracks, or any portion thereof, shall replace any such streets and make the same as good and passable for the public so as it was before such track or tracks were constructed, changed or repaired. This provision shall include all alley and street crossings intersected by such tracks.

Section 3
And whenever said Grantee shall construct any part of its line upon any street that has not been built or improved to our established grade by said town, then such track shall be built as near or practicable to the surface of the street, but when a street has been or shall be built to an established grade by said town, then the Grantee shall conform the tracks, switches, side-tracks, turnouts and turntables upon such street to the established grade. Said town shall upon reasonable notice at all times by said Grantee require the civil engineers of said town to furnish such grade upon all streets and also the center line of all streets.

Section 4
A Tee rail may be used in the construction of any tracks laid not less than 5-3/4 inches and shall not interfere with any construction of brick or paved road surface.

Section 5
The Grantee may remove any track but must return the street to its original state.

Section 6
The Grantee is hereby granted the right of way along the streets and over the bridges and railways. The cars of said railway shall be entitled to the track against all vehicles and persons, and when a car meets or overtakes a vehicle or person, they shall give way to the car, except that funeral processions and fire department of said town, going to or coming from fires, shall have precedence over the cars.

Section 7
The Grantee shall make reasonable rules and regulations governing the conduct of its business and the operation of said railroad, and for the government of passengers on the cars, and shall be lawful for the conductor or other employees of the Grantee to eject from the car any person violating any such rules or acting in a rude, insolent or disorderly manner in or about such cars or on the platforms thereof.

Section 8
The rate of fare upon any line or route shall not exceed five cents for each passenger for any continuous passage over the lines of said Grantee herein mentioned in the same direction, for any distance within the limits of said town; any person may carry on the lap any handbag or other parcel that may be carried on the lap. Children under the age of five years, carried on the lap of any person, shall be carried free. Children going to and returning from school shall be carried at half rates, one hour before and one hour after school, under such regulations as said Grantee shall provide. All trunks, bundles, boxes or other articles carried on the seat, floor platform of any car may be carried at the option of said Grantee upon such terms and conditions as he levees shall not exceed ten cents when accompanied by a passenger, and said Grantee may carry mail, express matter and freight over its lines upon such terms and conditions as it prescribes. The Board of Trustees of Orestes shall have the right by ordinance to prescribe all reasonable rules, regulations and restrictions for the government of said Grantee in the carrying of freight in separate cars and over said railway or any part thereof within town limits.

Section 9
The town of Orestes hereby expressly reserves the right to make, adopt and enforce by fine or penalty such reasonable regulations for operating and running the said railroad as public safety.

Section 10
Grantee may set its poles and wires against the curb line on the side of the curb closest to the property line. If the Grantee does not use iron poles, the entire line shall be constructed of first class poles of cedar or spruce of uniform height and pointed in a rightly manner. Grantee will be granted free access to set and maintain the poles and lines, not to obstruct any waterways and to conform to the works and pavings where they are placed. The guy poles at turning points shall be dressed, painted, and well anchored. The guy wires shall not come within less than twelve feet of the ground and not to obstruct free passage or travel All cross suspension wires shall be suspended not less than eighteen feet above the surface of the rails, except where necessary to pass under bridges or other obstructions.

Section 11
Grantee shall equip all its lines with new and modern cars with proper appliances for operating the same so as to provide for the comfort and safety of its passengers.

Section 12
Said Grantee shall be liable and the town of Orestes harmless from all legal damages it may sustain by injury to any person or property by reason of carelessness or negligence or want of ordinary care of any of its agents, servants, or other employees in the course of their employment in the construction and operation of said street railway.

Section 13
The Grantee shall in the operation of the railway, may run the cars upon such a time schedule and in such manner as to taking on or letting off passengers as it may deem consistent with public safety and no cars shall run at a greater rate of speed than twenty miles per hour.

Section 14
Grantee must give 90 days notice in writing before any new or additional lines shall be permitted with town approval.

Section 15
1. Cars running in the same direction shall not approach each other any closer than fifty feet except in case of accident or when at terminals, nearing stations, or coupled together.

2. No car shall be permitted to stand on any street unless in actual use and waiting for passengers, except in case of accident or making repairs.

3. No car shall be stopped upon any crosswalk or in front of any intersecting street except to avoid collision, personal injury, property damage, and to let passengers on and off. Cars may however be stopped between any intersecting streets.

4. No car shall be left standing at any point for more than ten minutes except at stations, depots, or delay due to accident.

5. Conductors and employees in charge of cars shall use care and diligence to prevent injury to persons.

6. Proper care shall be experienced by those in charge of cars to prevent injury to teams, carriages, buggies and wagons.

7. In case of fire the cars shall be stopped by the Town Marshal, any policeman, or Chief of the fire department.

8. The Grantee shall provide headlights and keep them lighted on all cars after dark where operated by electricity, and shall give a signal by sounding a gong or whistle whenever overtaking or approaching any person or vehicle, crossing, driveway track, walkway or when approaching a street crossing or when starting.

Section 16
As a condition to the granting of the rights and privileges in this ordinance, said Grantee shall within thirty days from the passage, file with the Clerk of said town of Orestes, a written acceptance of said ordinance, and shall on or before the last day of December 1898, have completed and in operation in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance, one line of street railway running through Orestes. Any time lost by injunction or order of court shall be added to the time herein named for the completion and operation of the said railway.

Whereas an emergency exists for the immediate taking effect of this ordinance, the same shall be in full force from and after its passage without publication.

Thomas A. Downs
Orestes Town Clerk

The acceptance of Union Traction Company of Ordinance No. 21 was filed.

To the Board of Trustees of the Town of Orestes and the Clerk of said Town:

You are hereby notified that the Union Traction Company, a corporation organized under the laws of Indiana has accepted and hereby accepts an ordinance passed by the Board of Trustees of the Town of Orestes on the 12th day of May, 1898, numbered 21 and entitled "An ordinance authorizing the construction, maintenance, and operation of an electric street railway in the town of Orestes, Madison County, Indiana, granting unto said Union Traction Company the right to erect, construct, maintain and operate a street railway in the said Town of Orestes, and all the provisions of said ordinance and said Union Traction Company hereby accepts said ordinance and all of the provisions hereof.

In witness whereof, the said Union Traction Company by Phillip Matter, its President and Ellis C. Carpenter its secretary has hereunto set its name and affixed its seal this 14th day of May 1898.
Phillip Matter
Ellis C. Carpenter
Charles L. Henry

James Riddle was elected Chairman of the Orestes Town Board. Marshal Meyer was instructed to stop all imprisonments and street work until further notice. After the meeting Mr. Batten stated that the Union Traction Company had been granted permission to construct a track connecting to the LE&W west of Orestes as long as it didn't interfere with regular traffic.
Thomas A. Downs, Clerk

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