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  Railroads of Madison County
Big Four Memories
Photo Album fromn 1910 to 1929

Note: More Big Four photos are available on the
Michigan Division North, Michigan Division South and South Anderson pages
With stories and details of the Michigan Division and Cleveland in the Memory Pages

Most of these photos were sent to me and credit is given when known.
(Click on the small graphic to see the larger one.)

1910 Postcard
CCC&StL 4-6-2 6428 Pacific - New York Central Lines
Postmarked in Indianapolis, Indiana
Note the passenger cars to the left at the front of the engine

Big Four engine 724 stopped on tracks at Indianapolis.
Collection of W. H. Bass Photo Company

October 1910
Original minutes of EM&N RR (Evansville, Mt. Carmel and Northern Ry) purchased by the CCC&STL in 1910. Construction was authorized by the Directors on 12 Oct 1906, and then acquired by Big Four in this document. Only trackage still existing is a portion from Mt. Carmel to a new power plant just across the Wabash River in Indiana. Larry Baggerly
Lawrence Baggerly Collection.  


Anderson Big Four Depot
This was the pride and joy of the CCC&StL (New York Central) in Anderson. It survives today on Dillon Street and has been renovated and restoration by the Anderson Young Ballet Theater who is the current occupant of the building.
[See additional Historical Information and Architectual Sketches provided by the AYBT.]

1910 Postcard - Big Four Depot (Color) - Roger Hensley Collection

Circa 1907-1912
Mr. Hensley,
My Grandfathers name was William B Anderson. The first photo is my grandfather in the tower at Clark's Hill about 1907 to 1909. The second photo is supposed to be Donovan IL or Mt Carmel IL about 1910 to 1912. My grandmother left a note saying that it was at the crossing of the Cloverleaf Railroad.
[I'm told that it doesn't look like Mt. Carmel (although it could have been). Donovan was very far North almost to Kankakee, but much closer to Clark's Hill.The photo has the photographer's name and location on it. It looks to have been taken by a Mundell Photos from Frankfort IN.In 1895, the Clover Leaf was the Toledo, St. Louis & Kansas City. It became part of the Nickle Plate. It crossed the Big Four at Clark's Hill and again at Charleston near Mattoon - rph]

William B. Anderson003 received this certificate from New York Central when he retired in 1955.
If anyone can identify the location of the second picture, I would appreciate it.

Keith Anderson

Circa 1912
A 1912 Map showing South Anderson Yard and some of the other tracks in Anderson. Look carefully at the map and you'll see Fall Creek Road and not Marine Drive. No Madison Avenue either.

1913 Flood
Flood Damaged Railroad Tracks, Rushville, Indiana, 1913. Twisted railroad tracks resulting from a flood. Flood waters are visible on both sides of the damaged area.
Collection of C. H. Wolf

1913 Flood
Hello Roger. I have been scanning some old family photos lately, and have a few that might interest you. I have attached one for you to look at. I did a Google search and found your website. Let me know what you think. - Neil Kingsley

Here are another 6. If you know anything about them, please tell me, or post it on your website and I will read it. The other pictures are not labeled or marked, so I am not certain that they are the Big 4 RR, but suspect that they are. A relative by marriage, named Aquila Rose, worked for the railroad, and I am guessing it was the Big 4. He lived in Mt. Carmel, Illinois, which is near St. Francisville, where the first picture I sent was taken.

Neil Kingsley Collection

The Big Four Bridge over the White river after the 1913 flood.

A temporary bridge over the Whitewater River in 1913.
The bridge is on the Cincinnati to Indianapolis mainline just west of Valley Junction, OH.

Circa prior 1915
Here is a photo that was sent to me by Linda Blackman from Harrisburg. She now owns the Stonefort depot and has some family photos dating back almost 100 years. Don't have dates on this picture, but as a result of her correspondence with the National Archives, we now know that it is prior to 1915. This is the same basic structure that exists today (we counted and compared the batten boards and window arrangement on the south facade of the building), but it was enlarged and expanded by the Big 4 in 1915, to include a bay window facing the tracks and a much larger freight house on the North end of the depot. - CAPT Rex Settlemoir
Linda Blackman Collection.
I think that this is the best photo, considering its elevated perspective, looking Southward toward Cairo, with a short freight train standing on the main line. This photo has to be prior to the 1915 date when the Big Four enlarged and expanded the depot with a bay window and larger freight house on the North end of the building. Note Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn standing on the platform, which now appears to be paved, as compared to the wooden platform on one of the earlier photos. - CAPT Rex Settlemoir.
Linda Blackman Collection.

Circa 1915
An unknown Shops, but I couldn't refuse to put it up.

Feb. 26,1915
Train wreck of The Big Four at Templeton, Indiana on February 26,1915.

Circa 1915
Believe it or not, at one time we did not have e-mail and important messages were sent by telegram. Attached is a Big Four telegraph form -- it must date from the period 1910-1919, because "191__" is pre-printed on the form for the date. Telegraphy was quite a skill at that time, and one that was a specialty craft for a large group of railroaders.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection

I obtained this photo of the Vienna, Illinois Big 4 depot from the National Archives.
They also provided me with a complete set of plans and construction drawings. Photo is dated 1915 -- four years before my Grandfather bid in the agency job there, where he would remain until he died in 1946. Note the wagon and team of horses to the right!
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection

Circa 1916
Cynthiana, Indiana - Big 4 - In the background is the Big 4 depot at Cynthiana, Indiana (located on the branch line between Mt. Carmel, Illinois and Evansville, Indiana). The family on the left is my Grandfather (Chester Settlemoir) and Grandmother (Ida); the young boy is my father (H. C. Settlemoir) and the small child is his sister (Dorothy).

Based on the ages of the children, this photo should date from about 1916. At the time, my Grandfather was a Big 4 agent/operator (probably at Cythiana). Later (in 1919), he would bid the agent/operator job at Vienna, Illinois where he worked until his death in 1946. My Father (H. C. Settlemoir) started his railroad career a few years after this photo, in 1927.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir collection.

Circa 1915 to 1918
Larry Baggerly: These two pages are from the E&I RR (Evansville & Indianapolis) in Terre Haute Indiana. Track #35 is the connection to the T.H.I. & E Traction Co. according to page 2. Interesting track layout from the CCC&STL HQ in Cincinnati. There is no date on the pages, but C.T.H & S.E. Connection shows at #4.

Page #2 of the set lists the tracks and connections. This must be before the sale of the E.& I. in the '20s to the Big Four. Existing trackage along the Wabash River just North of Interstate 70 is the Tie Treatment Plant, which may be the Water Street area of this detail.
Lawrence Baggerly Collection.

Circa World War I
World War I
This photo was taken during World War I at the Big Four Depot, 14th and Dillon Streets. This group of women were Red Cross workers who would meet the 'Troop Trains" and distribute baked goods and apples.

This, too, is WW I. It was taken from around the station on the street side. Although I don't know what the occasion was, it is a great picture.

Big Four Class Ij 6949 at Cincinnati, OH on May 1919. Built by Alco in 1907, it was retired in November 1930.
Jay Williams Collection.

Circa 1920
Caption on this old post card shows "Big Four Depot, Crawfordsville, Indiana". Once again, no date, but looks to be prior to 1920, based on motive power of train pulling into station. Suspect that this depot is long gone, even though the line itself is still in use between Crawfordsville and Indianapolis -- don't know whether the depot sat to the north or south of main line, so can't tell if the train is EB or WB. - CAPT Rex Settlemoir collection

After working on it a little bit, here is the Hutsonville, Illinois Big Four depot again -- this time it is in better focus. Once again, do not have a date, but look at the vehicle behind the station -- must be about 1920, or so.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir collection

Again, do not have a date on this old post card featuring the NYC/Big 4 depot and main line at Paris, Illinois. However, based on the motive power on the head end of the Eastbound in the siding, it must be prior to 1920. Also, considering the short consist, the train on the siding might even be a Cairo line train, making its station stop at Paris. Cairo line passenger trains had to make a move around the connection at Midland, so if this is indeed one of them, it would have been Northbound, since NB trains pulled over the crossing then backed around the connection before pulling into the station. Leaving town, they would have backed to Midland, then pulled forward around the connection and onto the NB Cairo line towards Chicago. For southbound Cairo line trains, the process was reversed.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir collection

Here is a photo of a railroad right of way near Veedersburg, Indiana from the early part of the 20th century. It is not completely labeled, so do not know for sure if it is the P & E or the Nickel Plate. Also, do not see too many "spotting features" that would help the old-timers to identify the exact location and/or railroad there. Not much ballast and fairly lightweight rail, so my best guess would be the P & E, since the Nickel Plate line through there was pretty much a "main line."
CAPT Rex Settlemoir collection

Here is another Big Four depot from the Illinois Division. The station at Dorchester, Illinois was located at milepost 27.1 on the line between Hillsboro and Lenox via Litchfield and East Alton -- believe that in the later days of the New York Central, this was known as the "Old Line." As with several of my earlier depot photos, suspect that this one is prior to 1920 -- look at all of those milk cans lined up on the platform!
CAPT Rex Settlemoir collection

This Big Four depot was located at MP 215 on the main line between Mattoon and East St. Louis. Photo looks to be very early in the 20th century, probably prior to 1920. Note that the double track was still in place for this section of line, also used by the Chicago & Eastern Illinois, on trackage rights. Later, the NYC removed the double track between Pana and Lenox, when CTC was installed. Believe that this segment was one of the first TCS/CTC installations on the Big Four, and was probably done in the 1940's.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir collection

Here is another classic photo, from an old post card. I never really thought of the Carmi depot as being a "union station", but since the Big 4 and L & N shared the trackage through town and passenger trains from both roads stopped there, I guess that it did qualify for that grand title. The view looks north, and is not dated, but I would guess it to be the 1920's. Interesting to me, is the presence of two separate train order signals, side by side, in front of the depot -- presumably one of them was for the Big 4 and the other was for the L & N. The building is long gone, but there is still trackage at this location -- now owned by short line operator Evansville Western. The second photo is this same location, looking southward and showing the short line trackage, in a picture that I took in October, 2007 (the train order signal in this current photo is no longer in operation).
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection.

This is a commercial post card, depicting a Big 4 passenger train in a cut at Grayville, Illinois. Grayville is located on the Cairo Line, between Mt. Carmel & Harrisburg. Although undated, it appears to be from the 1920's or earlier. Note that the rails are spiked directly to the ties, without the use of steel tie plates. Appears to be about 90 pound rail or so, prior to the days when the NYC "standardized" on 105 pound rail for its branch lines.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir

(This was originally yellow but I found that black and white shows the detail better)

This train sheet is from the 1920's -- looks like it was used in both depots and towers to "OS" trains on the Big 4, as well as a few other NYC subsidiary lines, as shown at the top of the page.

CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection

Bemis This was sent to me in an effort to identify the year and place. There is no date, nor name of the paper it appeared in. Based on a guess about the Underwood and Underwood numbering sequence, this would seem to be about 1923. Any information or educated guesses are welcome. It is a remarkable story briefly told!! The caption reads...

His Prayers Rewarded, 53 years an engineer, no accidents. Boarding the locomotive for his last run, George Bemis of Indianapolis, a railroad engineer for 53 years, has just retired from the service of the Big Four road, at the age of 70.

Bemis has never made a run without first kneeling in the cab of his engine and praying that the Lord might help him to bring his passengers safely to their journey's end and he NEVER had an accident.

January 1924
Here is another Big 4 item from the 1920's. Appears to be a "Pay Draft" card, that was probably presented by an employee when paid. This is Oscar Moody's card from the Cairo Division - note that the card is signed by Chief Dispatcher J. C. Moody (Oscar's Father). In the early 1930's, the Big 4 Cairo Division was folded into the Illinois Division, with headquarters at Mattoon. Interesting little side note on this card, Oscar's signature on the "Signature of Representative" line has been "whited out" - is it possible that people signed on the wrong line, even in the 1920's?
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection

June 1924

Here is a Big 4 employee time slip, dated June, 1924.

CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection

This is a photo of the Big 4 passenger station, at the "end of the line" in Cairo, Illinois. Pretty obvious that when the C C C & StL built this station, they expected Cairo to generate a lot of business. Of course history proved to be a much different story and today, Cairo is almost a ghost town.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection

circa 1926?
4-4-2 Atlantic 6915
The gentleman in the tie is Mr. Tyler and Alonzo Weaver is the engineer.
The photo was probably taken at Belmont Yard on the west side of Indy.
It was an Atlantic type locomotive build by Brooks in 1901 for the Big Four. It was Superheated and had Stephenson valve gear when built. In the photo, it has been converted to Baker valve gear.
George E Weaver photo.

1927 Anderson Roundhouse Drawing


Here's the New Locomotive for the Southwestern Limited - Larry Baggerly collection

November 1927
As far as track layouts and diagrams are concerned, this one is pretty simple. However, I think that its significance is in its author and date -- according to seniority lists from that time frame, Oscar Moody hired out on the Big 4/NYC in November of 1927, which is the date of this diagram. As a newly hired telegrapher/operator, he must have felt it necessary make this drawing so that he did not make a mistake at the interlocking plant during his first days on the job. Sounds like a fairly conscientious new hire. "Dock" was located at milepost 70.5 on the Cairo line (between Marshall and Robinson). The November, 1967 NYC company timetable still shows a 60 car northboud siding and a 70 car southbound siding in service (just prior to the Penn Central merger).
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection

This 1928 Saturday evening Post ad reads:

A new fleet of thoroughbreds to haul the new York Central limiteds

This winter a new fleet of thoroughbreds of the rails - the giant "Hudson" type locomotives - is being placed in service...

Click on the ad at left for the large graphic.

1928 Cairo Division Map
Here is the Big Four Cairo Division map, as shown on the back of the October 1928 company timetable. There was a hand scribed note on the cover of the timetable, indicating that this particular copy was intended for the operators at Bemis tower.

CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection

On several previous occasions, I have made reference to the Cairo Division of the Big Four. For most of us, our memory only goes back far enough to remember the Cairo line as a branch of the NYC Illinois Division. Here is the cover of the October 1928 edition of the company timetable -- when the line was still operated as its own division, with headquarters at Mount Carmel, Illinois.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection

A couple of good, historical tidbits here from 1929. On the top is H. C. Settlemoir's Big 4, Cairo Division passenger pass, and on the bottom is his membership card for the Order of Railroad Telegraphers (union card). As time permits, and I go through old boxes in the basement, I continue to discover items like these.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection

Here are a couple of old photos that are dated October, 1929 and were taken at the Big 4 depot in Crossville, Illinois. The train is northbound No. 14, this train was the "Chicago Mail", leaving Cairo at 7:45 AM and stopping at Crossville at 11:32 AM, enroute to LaSalle Street Station in Chicago. This train and its southbound counterpart (No. 9, the "Cairo Mail") were the day trains on this route -- the overnight train, of course, was "The Egyptian" which survived until May, 1957. Again, referring to my old Cairo Division timetables, this pair of trains (Nos. 9 & 14) were cut back to a Chicago - Harrisburg operation in 1930, and were cut off completely in 1931.

Second photo shows H. C. Settlemoir on the left, while the name of the railroader on the right is illegible in our old photo album. HCS hired out in December, 1927 and was probably working the extra board in Crossville at this point. As the depression got worse, he was furloughed in about 1931 and later recalled to work as the nation's economy and railroad business improved.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir collection.

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