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  Railroads of Madison County
Big Four Memories
Photo Album 1930 thru 1949

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.)



1930
 
Here is the map from the back cover of the February 16, 1930 Big Four, Cairo Division employee timetable. Note that the NYC cartographers have caught LAB's error from the 1928 timetable, and have correctly labeled the PRR Vandalia line and the NYC - C C C & St. L line west from Paris, Illinois. It must take a Superintendent to spot mistakes like this!
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection

1930
 

Here is a Big Four switch list (front and back) from the 1930's. In his days as a brakeman, Larry Baggerly certainly had his hands on many of these as he handled cars up and down the Cairo line.

CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection


February 1930
Here is a page from the February 1930, Cairo Division timetable, showing the doodlebug in operation between Harrisburg and Cairo. Note that the Motor Train carried the same train numbers as The Egyptian. The depression was in full swing at this point in time, so can't help but wonder if this was a cost cutting move driven by company HQ in New York. Since both sets of equipment used the same train number, they might have tried to use one crew on the whole route from Mt. Carmel to Cairo, with the crew simply stepping off of the steam equipment and onto the doodlebug equipment in HBG. If so, I'm sure that the union would have protested, and filed claims for an additional passenger basic day, since they were operating two distinctly different 'trains' on the run. Conversely, the company would probably argue that the doodlebug was the same 'train' (with the same train number) all the way from Mt. Carmel to Cairo.

I suspect that the union won this dispute, because the next timetable (1931) has the Egyptian again operating all the way through from Mt. Carmel to Cairo with the steam equipment. My best guess is that the labor board (or whatever it was called in the 1930's) ruled for the brotherhoods, thus making it too expensive for the company to use the doodlebug, if two separate crews were utilized Mt. Carmel-Cairo.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection

These days, all the young guys are studying computers and other associated "high-tech" subjects. However, in 1930 railroad telegraphy was still a well-regarded craft. Here is a letter from the Principal of the "Chillicothe Telegraphy College" in Chillicothe, Missouri. The letter is addressed to J. C. Moody, who was the Big Four Chief Dispatcher for the Cairo Division, which was headquartered in Mount Carmel, Illinois at the time. This is an early example of a college placement office! Most railroad telegraphers probably learned the trade directly from someone already on the job, but at this point in time, there must have been enough demand to justify specialty schools like this one.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection


Beech Grove July 1930
Based on the photo caption that I was able to read, these personnel photos were taken in July 1930. The second photo in the series was labeled 7-7-1930, Paint and Air Gangs. There is no dating on the NYC Lines 6450 on the turntable. - Larry Griffey Collection.


1930
Duane Yard in Terre Haute
Martin Collection


1930
Using information from timetables, the pictures must date from about 1930. In the group picture in front of the motor train, second from left with the ivy league cap is Harry Settlemoir, at age 20. If you look carefully at the second picture, you can see the old Cairo freighthouse in the background and the passenger station platforms in the foreground. By the way, the timetables all list Mr. E. M. Kelley as Cairo Division Superintendent from 1928 to 1933; railroads must not have been so quick to move superintendents in those days.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir


1931 Big Four Railroad Construction, Terre Haute
 
Railroad construction workers work on bridge 205.5. The bridge is still in a skeletal stage, its supports still braced.
Martin Collection
 
Looking west from the Wabash bridge shows a track switch that is newly completed. The construction materials can be seen on the side of the tracks.
Martin Collection


1931
 

This picture dates from 1931. This is Grays Tower at Grayville, Illinois, where the Big 4 Cairo Line Crossed the IC branch line to Evansville.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir

 

Subject: Big 4 at Cairo Fortunately, this picture is labeled on the back. It appears to be my Dad's handwriting and states "Train 24 just before leaving time, Cairo, IL 1931" Again, I am assuming that this is a Mt. Carmel crew, with Cairo as the outlying terminal. Looks like a few of the passengers got in on the picture!
CAPT Rex Settlemoir

Here is the map from the April 12, 1931 Big Four Company timetable - notice that the E I & TH line (formerly the Terre Haute Division) has been combined with the Cairo Division, and the revised arrangement is now called the "Cairo-Terre Haute Division." Looking inside the timetable, the Division office has been moved from Mount Carmel to Evansville, and there are 3 trainmasters: Cairo Division North, based at Mt. Carmel; Cairo Division South, based at Mt. Carmel, and Terre Haute Division, based at Petersburg, Indiana. Chief Dispatcher is J. C. Moody, at Evansville.

At long last the cartographers for this timetable map have corrected the labeling for the PRR and Big Four lines running west of Paris, Illinois.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection


October 1931
 
C.C.C. & St. Louis Railroad Car
Martin Collection


mid 1930s?
Beech Grove, Indiana
CCC&StL class " H-5t " 2-8-2 Mikado #6078
Roger Hensley Collection
The 6078 was renumbered in 36 to the 1578 and retired 6/54
LEW


mid 1930s?
Big Four Station - late 30s Anderson Big Four Depot

Late 30s Postcard Photo (B&W) - Marvin Crim Collection.

This photo of the station was taken in the mid 30s. The 1929-1931 car in the forground and the similar car back by the water tower say dictate sometime after 1931. However, the Indiana Railroad High Speed car just crossing the tracks didn't happen until 1931, thus mid 30s.


1933
Not a real great picture, but according to the caption in the family photo album, this is No. 56 at Vienna, Illinois in 1933. As listed in the 1933 Company timetable (Cairo Division), No. 56 was a mixed train, leaving Cairo at 7:00 AM, Vienna at 8:48 AM and arriving Harrisburg at 11:45 AM. It was scheduled to meet its southbound counterpart (No. 57) at Carrier Mills at 11:25 AM. - CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection

Here is another view of Big 4 mixed train No. 56 at Vienna, Illinois in 1933, showing two of the crew members. Take a look at the conductor's uniform! Although he looks quite dapper, don't believe that the company would want him working No. 12 on the main line looking like that. - CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection
April 1933
Here is the last twist on the various organizational layouts of the the Big Four Cairo Division, just before it was finally incorporated into the Illinois Division in June of 1933. This map is from the very last "Cairo Dvision" employee timetable, and was issued on April 2, 1933 - note that since the 1931 setup, the E I & TH has been removed from the division, and the NYC (not Big Four) line from Danville to Chicago is now part of the Cairo Division. Cover of the timetable still reads C C C & StL -- not sure about this part of corporate history, but believe that NYC solidified its lease/ownership of the Big Four about 1931. This action probably enabled them to mix and mingle lines starting with those changes that we saw on the 1931 map and then again on this 1933 map.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection
June 1933
This is the back cover of the first C C C & St L company timetable issued after the Cairo Division was folded into the Illinois Division - date of the timetable is June 25, 1933. Note that the E I & TH is now back in the combined division, while the NYC line from Danville to Chicago is gone and has been handed over to some other division. On the division officers page, I note that H. F. Milligan is the Illinois Division Superintendent, while E. M Kelley (the former Cairo Division Superintendent at Evansville) is now the Assistant Superintendent at Mattoon. Trainmasters are located at Terre Haute, Mattoon, Ashby, and Mount Carmel. Interesting sidelight - there are Chief Dispatchers at both Mattoon and Evansville. This is common even today - when divisions are consolidated on the major railroads, it often takes a little extra time to move the dispatchers to the new location.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection

1933
 
The coal tower at Greensburg IN taken from the west around 1933
Marc Haston Collection.

 
The coal tower at Greensburg IN taken from the east around 1933
Marc Haston Collection.

September 3, 1933
 
Lafayette, Indiana CCCStL class " J-1d " 4-6-4 Hudson #6601
Roger Hensley Collection


1934
May 1934
East St. Louis
NYC 6205, L-2d, Big Four version. Elesco heater, Baker gear.
Harold K. Vollrath photo
 

Fortunately, this picture is labeled on the back. It shows a Peoria & Eastern (New York Central System) train at Peoria, Illinois Union Station on December 2, 1934.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir


December, 1934
Indianapolis
New York Central Railroad's "Commodore Vanderbilt"
Built in December 1934, it was displayed in Chicago at LaSalle Street Station on 12 and 13 January 1935.
Collection W. H. Bass Photo Company


Circa 1935
 

Indianapolis 1935 - 238k


1935
April 13, 1935
South Bend, Indiana
CCCStL class " K-3p " 4-6-2 Pacific #6479
Roger Hensley Collection  


1937

NYC Southwestern Limited the premier passenger train on the New York-St. Louis run, seen eastbound in Anderson c1936 led by Big Four J1d Hudson number 6609. Next stop, Muncie. - Francis H. Parker Collection.

Cover and two pages from the 1937 NYC Southwestern Limited brochure/timetable.

1940
Little Falls Wreck Revisited (not Big Four)
This was a postcard sold by the Little Falls, NY Historical Society, of the 1940 Lake Shore Limited wreck. 31 people died.

"The official cause of the wreck was reported as "excessive speed entering the curve," which was slow ordered to 45 mph. The Lake Shore Limited entered the curve at 61 mph. Comments by Road Foreman of Engines Bayreuther, who was riding in the cab and survived, indicated that the throttle was closed suddenly in the midst of the curve. That probably caused the slack to run in and shove the back of the engine off the tracks where it hit a block wall, and as you can see from the photo, chaos ensued with the trailing passenger cars. There was much conjecture about who closed the throttle, Bayreuther or Jesse Earl, the engineer who died a few hours after the crash, trapped in the cab."
1. ) 2.) 3.)

"If the photo of the locomotive bothers you, these are worse and I have refrained from publishing them for a long time. They were sent to me by a Walter Schoenborn in the '90's. He said his father was supposed to be the engineer on this train, but he marked off the board and was replaced by Jesse Earl.
1.) This one, was related to me as a kid that the rail shown impaled some passenger inside the car. I didn't need to know that.
2.) Look at how this car was ripped apart.
3.) Same car, close up."
Jim Fitzgerald Collection (TrainBoard Staff Member}


May 19, 1940
 
NYC 2252, an H-10a, is photographed at Evansville Indiana.
Ed May Photo.

1940
 
A New york Central Mohawk crosses the Flat Rock River in Southern Indiana in 1940
Picture courtesy of 'Wally' Wallace


1940
October 27, 1940
Lafayette, Indiana CCCStL class " J-1d " 4-6-4 Hudson #5377
Roger Hensley Collection
 


1941
Here is NYC (Illinois Division) dispatcher H. C. Settlemoir practicing the now "lost art" of railroad telegraphy with a home-made rig on the kitchen table, in 1941. That is my older brother, helping his dad practice the railroad morse code at home. I can see the telegraph key and sounder, but the customary Prince Albert can seems to be missing from the sounder box. It probably took a lot of practice for operators and dispatchers to become proficient at the telegraph key -- sure is different from today's communications by e-mail and cell phone. As a side note, I still have HCS's own personal "bug", if anyone remembers what that is!!
- CAPT Rex Settlemoir

Still trying to sift through and find some mention of Mr. Moore from Gays, Illinois. So far, the best that I can do is this old seniority list from 1941, which shows a Mr. H. W. Moore at Grayville, Illinois. Page 2 of the seniority list (which I did not scan here) shows C. G. Sullivan at Gays. Will keep trying. (By the way, that is my Grandfather, W. C. Settlemoir, on page 1, with a seniority date of 9-20-06; Blair Settlemoir, my great uncle, appears on page 4 with a seniority date of 1-7-19; and my Father, H. C. Settlemoir, with a seniority date of 12-24-27 appears on page 5 of the list). - CAPT Rex Settlemoir

Fall 1941
Empire State Express 4-6-4 Hudson 5429 ready for a run
Ed Nowak photo - Roger Hensley Collection
[Ok, it isn't Big Four, but isn't she a beauty?]

November 3, 1941
Indianapolis IN
K5b - 4-6-2 Pacific 4917 on the "James Whitcomb Riley"
Gary Overfield Collection


1942, Terre Haute
Worker Train Arriving at Union Station in Terre Haute, 1942
Workers are shown getting off the train, walking toward the parking lot or train station. They are all men, most of whom are wearing work clothes and carrying lunch pails. The train depot is in the background. Freight carts are parked near the tracks.
Martin Collection

April 1942
This is from 'Order No. S-1854' of Class , 482 S 399 built for the New York Central, and delivered April 1942, by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO). These builders photo's were issued by the Manufacturer, and make quite a unique artifact, since the RR normally just included the Data with no picture in the Loco Book.


....the reverse of the photo.
- Larry Baggerly collection

From Mike Kmetz, a TrainBoard Member
"Very nice - the last class L-3c built. It has the Worthington feedwater heater. I think the L-3 classes are the most handsome of the Mohawks. Especially nice without the smoke deflectors that were later added. These were built strictly for freight service."

September 1942
These two photos were taken on September 12, 1942 at the Elnora, Indiana depot, located on the E I & TH line of the NYC. The man standing by the phone booth was dispatcher H.C. Settlemoir. At this point in time, the line was dispatched from an office in the Terre Haute, Indiana depot and not from the division office at Mattoon, Illinois. Suspect that this wayward dispatcher (my father) was making a visit down the line from Terre Haute on this particular day.

CAPT Rex Settlemoir


July 1942
(This was originally yellow but I found that black and white shows the detail better) Here is a page from a New York Central/Big 4 dispatcher's train order book. The page is dated July 15, 1942 and is for the Cairo line of the Illinois Division. Looks like several train movements are represented here -- both Northbound and Southbound -- appears that three orders were issued as "19" orders and one was issued as a "31" order. We will probably need the assistance of an old time train dispatcher like Tom Abbinett to fully decipher this page! If memory serves, the "31" order is a restrictive order -- in this case it holds all northbound traffic at Midland while Extra 2181 South has "rights over all trains" on the single track between Rose and the wye at Midland; at this time double track was still in place between WR & Rose -- current of traffic rules probably applied between those points, so train orders were only needed on the single track segment.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection


1943
click for 1943 Time Table  

 

1943 Passenger Time Table
Click on Flag on the left for the 1943 Time Table pages.


March 1943
San Bernardino, California
A general view in the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe locomotive shops.
Medium-format nitrate negative by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration.
(The only good shops photo that I have been able to find.)


Summer 1943
Westbound mail and express train passes through Ann Arbor, MI during the summer of 1948.
Stanley E. Yoder Photo


October 1943
 

Here is page 1 of a Big 4, Illinois Division, South District seniority list from October 1, 1943 -- note that the most senior conductor on this list has a brakeman seniority date of 7-29-1905 - more than one hundred years ago. Lots of rail miles covered by these Big 4 railroaders over the years!

CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection


1944
1944 Employee Time Table Pages CX to North Vernon (Elkhart to Louisville)


1944
From: "Settlemoir" In 1943, the single track NYC/Big 4 Cairo Line handled a massive movement of crude oil from Norris City, Illinois to various refineries, while the "Big Inch" pipeline was being completed for the war effort. This operation is well chronicled in the book "Railroads at War", by S. Kip Farrington. The congratulatory message to Cairo Line employees is from Mr. H.F. Milligan, NYC's Illinois Division Superintendent at Mattoon.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection

Here is another old telegraph message, copied on one of the infamous NYC half-sheets--note the date (1944), at the height of World War II. The message is from my Grandfather (Chester Settlemoir-NYC agent at Vienna Illinois) and sent to my Father (H.C. Settlemoir-working as a telegrapher at Cairo).

Once you get beyond the personal parts of the message, there is some interesting commentary about telegraphers bidding jobs at the Vienna depot, and their relative ability "on the wire." Vienna is a small town, located near the end of the single track Cairo branch--the message implies that there are three shifts at the depot, working seven days a week. I know that WWII is raging and has greatly increased traffic levels, but I still do not comprehend a round the clock need for operators at Vienna. I do not have a 1944 company timetable, but I do have one from 1943, and it shows Vienna as an open station from 7 AM to 4 PM (except Sunday). Maybe traffic levels demanded three shifts of telegraphers as oil movements from Norris City picked up in 1944?
CAPT Rex Settlemoir Collection


June 1944
Class j-3a 5454 leaves Elkhart IN with the eastbound 20th Century Limited on June 18, 1944.
Harry Zillmer Photo, John Strombeck collection.


Circa 1945
This scene shows a cut of oil tankers at Lawrenceville. I know that there was a sizable refinery there, but suspect that these tankers were part of the "Big Inch" World War II oil movement from Norris City on the Big 4. Don't have the exact location in Lawrenceville for this photo -- could have been on the interchange with the B & O, however. The story about the Big Inch that was in Farrington's "Railroads at War" book indicates that a substantial amount of the Norris City tank cars were interchanged there. There probably were dispatched more than a few "unit trains" of oil in the 1940's. - CAPT Rex Settlemoir collection

It has to be the "LONG SIDING" beside the CAIRO LINE M.T. south of the B&O Xing. Only place that would be available for this perspective. I worked the "REFINERY JOB" at L'VILLE in 1950s--It was a crude oil facility now demolished, as are the MARATHON refinery at ROBINSON, ILL---and the oil loading 'racks/stge' at NORRIS CITY.......LAB


1945

Sporting the original 75" Driving Wheels, here is Niagara 6000 in the Original Builders Plate photo circa Mar 1945. As designated on the picture, " CLASS, 484 S 471". It received 79' drivers in July 1945. - Larry Baggerly collection

Here is an Illinois Division Seniority List of Dispatchers, dated February 1st, 1945. My Father, H.C. Settlemoir has a company seniority date of 12-24-27 and a dispatcher seniority date of 7-18-43, my great uncle, N.B. (Blair) Settlemoir has a company seniority date of 1-7-19 and a dispatcher seniority date of 4-18-44. No mention yet of T. Abinett, who as a youngster at this point with a company seniority date of 5-27-44, is probably still on the operators' extra board!!
CAPT Rex Settlemoir


August 30, 1945, Terre Haute
Coal Laboratory Track and Buildings
Industrial facilities
Martin Collection


1946
Train at Cassadaga Station - 1946.
Jim Peters Collection.
 

NYC 0-6-0 at Connersville


Circa1946
An Eastbound passenger train is arriving and pulling into the station track at Anderson IN.

Bret Hodge Photos.


Circa 1946
R W Settlemoir sez...
This is the NYC/Big 4 depot at Cairo, Illinois. It was at the "end of the line" on the line from Chicago to Cairo, via Danville, Paris, & Mt. Carmel. The best known train on this line was "The Egyptian" which was discontinued south of Harrisburg, Illinois in 1941 and discontinued completely in 1957. The building still stood (abandoned) into the 1960's - not sure when it was torn down.


1947
May 20, 1947
Lafayette, Indiana
NYC class " J-1d " 4-6-4 Hudson #5378
Roger Hensley Collection
 

NYC eastbound at Lafayette Junction
Larry Baggerly Collection

June 25, 1947
The Big Four Wreck at Shiloh Ohio
For Tom Root Photos and Wreck Description, Click Here

For descriptions and photos of wrecks on the Michigan Division, see Wrecks 1 and Wrecks 2


Don Relyea sez:
I hope these may be of interest. The wreck occured on July 18, 1947 at Fonda, NY. My grandfather was the engineer operating engine number 2775, an L2a Mohawk I believe. He was the only one injured. It tied up all four tracks of the mainline for quite some time. He said the tower man switched his train into the backend of a work train sitting on a siding. He also said they never saw the tower man again after the wreck.

I want to thank Roger for posting these photos for me. They have been in the family since the time of the wreck and I thought others might like to view them. I don't know who took them but they are very high quality 8 x 10 and i believe they were taken by a company photographer. My grandfather used to keep a framed one hanging in the house, I guess as a reminder of how lucky he was.

..and now more information, a newspaper article:

East Syracuse Engineer Injured in NYC Collision
Westbound trains were running Into Syracuse about 45 minutes late Last night as a result of derailment of two freight trains at Fonda that blocked the New York Central railroad four-track main Line.
Douglas Sheldon, 53, of 219 W. Irving St., East Syracuse, engineer of an eastbound train involved in the collision, was treated for a hand injury at St. Mary's, Amsterdam. According to the Associated Press.
Emergency crews worked at top speed to clear the wreckage from the main line and traffic was rerouted after the eastbound coal train struck a motor-powered track car, caromed into a work train on a siding and then sideswiped a passing westbound freight.
Twenty-four cars were either derailed or telescoped.
Railroad officials said they expected the tracks to be opened to passenger trains by nightfall and to freight by midnight"

...and then Don sez:
My grandfather was a very important person in my life. He and my grandmother raised me from about the age of 5 and I was around railroading basically my whole life.

...and now the photo:
As you can see by the photo, he continued work on the railroad well into the diesel age as a passenger engineer. The injury he sustained was a crushed right hand but was able to recover almost 100% use of it. He finally retired in 1964 at the age of 70. Shortly after that he went to work as a desk clerk at the RRYMCA in E. Syracuse so he could keep up with what was going on. Like many his age, he just couldn't stop doing something.
Don Relyea collection


August 1947
NYC F3A 1617 leads a refrigerator car train at Churchhille NY
Ed Nowak photo - Roger Hensley Collection


circa 1948

The GM Train of Tomorrow visits Anderson. It was parked on John Street not far from the Container Corporation.
MCHS Collection.


1948
Great "airborne" shot of the station area around the NYC/Big 4 line at Vienna, Illinois, taken in about 1948. Agent H.C. Settlemoir climbed the railroad's water tower to take this picture. View looks South, toward Cairo.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir

The back of this picture is labeled: "Ross Morgan, Conductor, Cairo Division #463, 1948." No location is shown, but the train was discontinued South of Harrisburg in 1941, so my best guess is that it was between Mt. Carmel and Harrisburg, because it operated at night North of Mt. Carmel.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir
Tom Gerbracht said...
I have seen this one before..it was taken at Bellefontaine, OH, probably prior to November, 1948. (In another view, this engine is not yet equipped with a dual seal beam headlight, and I think that the records show that most or all had the headlight conversion in November, 1948.) - Larry Baggerly collection


Baggerly's 'West of Berea' Collection"
With no dates, here is (all in Ohio) 1) Bellefontaine (Courtesy of the Sloan Library Historical Collection, Zanesville, OH) -

Continued on the new Bellefontaine page.
Click Here


Linndale Ohio CCC&StL Facilities
Two photos of Linndale. The first is of the coal dock and the second is captioned "Linndale Terminal and Yard looking West from Park Street". - Lawrence Baggerly Collection.


1949
I cannot identify the man in the photo, but the Calendar in the background appears to be for November, 1949. Picture shows the conductor inside his caboose on the local working at Vienna, Illinois. Notice the conductor's desk in the caboose: brake valve, pressure gage, lamp, and associated RR paperwork are all visible. All in all, a great picture of a railroader and his place of business.
CAPT Rex Settlemoir

Lawrence Baggerly added: - Thisun's a classic! Note the framed instructions alongside the calendar....always seemed a mite redundant to make such a 'production' of HOW TO APPLY THE CONDUCTOR'S VALVE...when about the only time it was used was to apply the train brakes to preclude getting left behind while the crew was switching from the 'head-end'. The CONDUCTOR pictured gotta be a "SOUTH-END MAN"....as I woulda recognized any from my end of the CAIRO LINE. - LAB


1949
J-1d 5300 leads a westbound Mail train at Terre Haute
Collection of Elliot Kahn


Circa 1949-50
The Egyption NYC 4509 leads the "EGYPTIAN", the last passenger train on the CAIRO LINE of CCC&STL/ILL Division (Train #463) SouthBound at Carmi ILL to Danville passing milepost 158 as 2721 sits in the connection. From the collection of WILLIAM MILLSEY/ROBINSON ILL - submitted by Lawrence Baggerly

Lawrence added, "I made many DH (deadhead) trips MT.CARMEL-LYONS to cover the LYONS/MIDLAND switch run in 1950/51 and then used a Military Voucher to take it to GREAT LAKES NAVAL STATION enroute to USMC in CALIF. - LAB



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