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Roger Hensley

  Railroads of Madison County
Rex Alexander

Date sent: Mon, 23 Oct 2000
From: The Alexanders
Subject: railroad stations of Madison county

Dear Roger

Ran across your page on Railroads of Madison County, just wanted to say I was impressed with what you have done so far. The picture that is posted under the stations page, for Frankton, is the actual building or at least what is left of it. I was born and raised in that area and have been in that building many times in the past. It has been used in so many different ways lord only knows what it is today. There should be some documentation on it in Frankton, I would say that the local high school would have all the information about that station. I remember seeing pictures of it and articles about it's history when I went to school there way back in 1978. Something else I was going to ask you is do you know anything about the station that use to be in Florida Indiana, Florida Station. The reason I ask is that it use to be called Clark Station when it was first constructed back in the 1856, after my Great Great Grandfather Thomas G. Clark. There is also a possibility that he was a Conductor on the line but have had no luck in proving that one way or another. Would love to find out more information on this station and Tom Clark. Here are two different excerpts on Florida station and the railroad in that area, I am sure that you will find them interesting if not entertaining.

Rex Alexander
Indianapolis, Indiana

From: Historical Sketches & Reminiscences of Madison County Indiana / Forkner 1897 / page 815.

FLORIDA: This village is situated six miles north-west of Anderson on the P.C.C. & St. L. Railway and within a few rods of the center of the county. It was originally called "Clark's Station," in honor of Hon. Thomas G. Clark, on whose land it was located in 1856. The first merchant in the village was Henry Hendrick. He was succeeded by Enos Mustard who was also the second postmaster of the place, George Craighead being the first person to hold that office. The first physician was Thomas B. Forkner. Other physicians who have practiced here are Dr. J. S. Guisinger and Dr. I. N. VanMatre, the latter being the only physician in that vicinity at the present time. Drs. John W. and William A. Hunt were residents of the township for many years and had an extensive practice, not only in Lafayette, but adjoining townships. The only Methodist church in the township is located here. A large amount of the tiling was manufactured here during the '70s and '80s, by Rains & Guisinger, but the demand for the product of the factory declined with the thorough ditching and draining of the wet lands of the township during that period and the property was converted into a factory for the manufacture of brick. It is now owned by the Thomas brothers.

From: : Historical Sketches & Reminiscences of Madison County Indiana / Forkner 1897 / page 79.

Among the early engineers on the road was a man named Skinner. He for many years ran the "Old Chicago." She was a monster for that day, built for a passenger run. Extra large drive wheels, with the gearing or side rods inside of the drivers. Skinner was an awful man to swear. He made the air blue when anything went wrong. A man by the name of Grimes was also an early engineer. Tom Clark was the first conductor on the road. He was a whole team by himself. He knew everybody on the road, and everybody knew him. He swore, chewed tobacco, smoked and drank good liquor, and had a good time generally. He retired many years ago, and lived on a farm near Richmond, where, it is said, he died some years ago. There was only one train each way a day from Anderson to Richmond. It was a mixed train of freight and passenger cars. Tom Clark was the only conductor, and ran the Whole business. Afterward separate trains were made up exclusively of passenger coaches, and more conductors were needed.

Rex Alexander

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