Posts Tagged ‘Roberts’


First Official Trip is Made

   Posted by: admin    in Interurban

The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 22, 1903

First Official Trip is Made

Car No. 20, of Fort Dodge and Interurban Line, Makes Run Over New Extension.

Was Enjoyable Excursion

Thirty-Two Fort Dodge People Were Guests of the Street Car Management – Run Was Made to Race Track, Terminal Line.

The first official trip over the Fort Dodge and Interurban street car line was made Saturday evening at 7:30. The excursion was made in one of the new cars, No. 20. Manager Healy had invited about thirty friends, including the stockholders of the company to ride as guests of honor upon the occasion of the first tour over the new line.

No. 20 is a large, easy running car, and as the road bed is in good condition the trip was a very enjoyable one. The party left at the city park and rode directly to the new park where the guests alighted and were shown about the grounds. After viewing the park, the car was run out to the driving park which is the terminal of the line, after which the party was conveyed back to the city.

The trip was made without a hitch and the management received many congratulations upon the successful and early completion of the line. Manager Healy had charge of the trip; Arthur Comstock, superintendent of the Light & Power company was the motor man, and Thomas Wilson acted s conductor on the first run.

There are now four miles of track laid which makes the ride a pleasure trip as well as convenient for those living on the line. For the present two cars will be kept running on the line. The cars will pass at the Great Western depot. The management are now arranging a schedule.

Those who went out on the first trip were:

Ed Haire
J.J. Ryan
E.G. Larson
B.J. Price
H.A. Cook
J.E. Downing
Andrew Hower
W.I. Selvy
Frank Collins
Marshall Young
Will Laufersweiler
Louis Fessler
Harry Harps
M.J. Haire
M.J. Rodney
Jack Ruge
Robert Healy
Maurice Welch
G.F. Rankin
Will Healy
John Wolfinger
John Vaughn
Ed Welch
Tom Joyce
C.B. Hepler
John Campbell
O.M. Oleson
C.A. Roberts
George Flannigan
P.J. Tierney
B.W. Slack
Earl Robinson

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Strange Sights and Sounds Be These

   Posted by: admin    in Railroad, Tara

The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 5, 1893

Strange Sights and Sounds Be These

Grim Ghosts are Haunting the Rock Island Bridge Over the North Lizzard.

There may not be any ghosts holding high carnival nights on the Rock Island bridge over the North Lizzard, but there are a number of railway employes (sic) and people in that vicinity who cannot be convinced of that fact. Conductor Joe Donald, of the Rock Island, is one of these. His brother is another. The operator at Tara has seen a few things that he cannot explain, and Section Foreman Chelgren has also had  his hair raised by strange sights and sounds. Any number of curious Tara people can also be produced as witnesses to prove that the bridge is “haunted.”

The bridge in question is a small wooden pile bridge over the North Lizzard, three-quarters of a mile north of Tara. It was on this bridge that William Roberts, a young man working with a pile driving crew, lost his life a couple of years ago, being killed by a (paragraph ends here and is continued later) flying pile. Since then the railway men have been more or less afraid of the bridge, but until recently saw nothing on which to base their suspicions.

Section Foreman Chelgren “saw” the operator’s story and went  him several better a few evenings later. He was returning after nightfall with his section men, pumping away cheerfully on a hand car and figuring on getting to their belated supper just as soon as possible. As they neared the North Lizzard bridge all the men noticed the light of a locomotive apparently moving on the bridge. they stopped the hand car with a jerk and hustled the car off the track to let the train pass. The light came no nearer and after waiting a while they put the car back on the rails and slowly pumped up to the bridge. As they approached it the light grew dimmer and dimmer and finally disappeared. There was no sight or sound of a train. A superstitious fear came over the crowd of men and they did not have the courage to cross the bridge.

They waited talking to each other in awe stricken whispers. Suddenly strange sounds floated out on the night air with startling distinctness. The listeners heard the clanking and rattling of machinery and then a dull thud like the falling hammer of a pile driver. Then again came silence. The men were badly rattled and were afraid to cross the bridge. Finally they took the hand car down the track and giving it a good start sent it rattling over the bridge, without any occupants. It crossed in safety and they followed on foot with fear and trembling.

Since then a number of skeptical Tara citizens have seen the strange sights and heard the ghostly pile driving and the town is in a ferment of excitement over the affair. Ghost hunting partied are organized every evening but no one has as yet captured his ghostship.

The station agent at Tara was the first to discover the “harnt.” One evening he had just closed up the office and was going home for the night when he glanced up the track and saw the head light of a locomotive apparently on the bridge. He immediately jumped to the conclusion that a special train was coming and that the train dispatcher at Des Moines had failed to notify him. He rushed back to his instrument and ticked off a message to Des Moines, asking about the “special” that  had stopped on the bridge near Tara. He got a reply informing him that a Roman chariot race was probably occurring in his head. The operator was mystified and walked out to the bridge to investigate. When he got to the trestle there was no light and no sign of any train. He lost no time in getting back to Tara.

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