Completion of the Ohio River Railroad at St. Marys

Newspaper Articles

Parkersburg Daily State Journal
November 30, 1883

At a meeting of the Council of the town of St. Marys, held on the 10th day of April, 1882, the following ordinance was passed by the Council: Be it ordained and ordered by the Council of the town of St. Marys, that permission and authority is hereby given and granted to the Ohio River Railroad Company, to pass through and along one of the public streets, with a single track, bus so as not to obstruct the passage of any main thoroughfare by any switches or sidings, but with privilege of connecting its main track or tracks with any depot or station it may locate, by convenient track or tracks or sidings. St. Marys Observer

St. Marys Oracle
October 26, 1882


Some people are doomed to disappointment. Fortunately, or unfortunately, we belong to that number. Rumor has it, that the location of our river railroad through town, will be changed. Now, this is decidedly cruel. It would be remembered that the present location goes directly through our house; and we have already engaged a boy to open and shut the doors for passing trains. In addition to this, we have gone to the trouble and expense of employing some half dozen cheap specimens of humanity to fill themselves full of whisky three or four times a week, and keep up a racket at intervals nearly all night near our residence, in order to ascertain us to the noise of night trains. Now, just as we are getting so we can sleep under any sort of a racket, we are informed that the road will be changed, and will have to spend the next six months in using ourselves to sleeping in quietness. To accomplish this we will be under the painful necessity of killing those galoots who are just beginning to enjoy their night revels. This will be sad, but their blood will be on the company. We always heard corporations had no soul, and now we are convinced of the fact.

St. Marys Oracle
January 4, 1883

We have heretofore called the attention of the people along the Ohio valley, and especially of Pleasants county, to the fact that if they expected to realize anything of value from the construction of the road, that a proper encouragement of the enterprise was necessary. By that we do not mean that people living along the line should absolutely give anything, or make donations as they would to a charitable institution, but give it that friendly encouragement that you would to a friend engaged in a laudable enterprise, upon whose success your own, in a measure, depended. Pleasants county, we think, has done remarkably well so far. Its people have subscribed liberally towards the stock of the road, whose line runs about eighteen miles through its territory. The right of way was granted for a small consideration, considering the nature of the valuable lands through which the road is constructed, and now it behooves the enterprising citizens who have been thus far so liberal in forwarding the scheme, to avail themselves of the opportunity to make the most of it, invite capital, labor, and encourage industry of all kinds, and get out of the rut of stagnant do-nothingness with which we are charged by some.

We notice an article in the Cleveland Herald, copied by the Wetzel Democrat which says that the towns along the Ohio river through which the railroad passes will fall into decay, and says that they are good towns to get away from. Now, we do not predict any such future for our river towns, but feel satisfied that the railroad will benefit us all. But, while speaking of this matter, we consider it a duty we owe to ourselves to say a word for our own pleasant little town. The citizens of this place have been more generous and tolerant towards the railroad than could have been expected. Not only has money been subscribed and encouragement given in every way by them, but the best street of the place has been surrendered to the railroad for its main track, and we think that we ask only what is fair when we would ask the railroad company to put the street in as good condition for travel as when they found it. And besides, for the sacrifice made, we should and do expect to receive some of the benefits of the railroad traffic. But our success in this line depends largely upon what our own citizens are willing to do for themselves. We have every advantage of location, our town being built above high water, with beautiful and picturesque surroundings, an abundance of pure water, and noted for its healthfulness. There is no good reason why we should not take a long stride forward and keep pace with the column in the march of progress.

St. Marys Oracle
November 22, 1883

Track-laying will be completed to this place in a few days. Whether St. Marys will be benefited by the completion of this road or not will depend entirely on the citizens themselves. Railroads, like education, only afford opportunities. As a person who receives a liberal education, and if he does not make use of it, it goes for nought; so a community may have a railroad passing through it, and, if the citizens do not exert themselves, they will reap but little benefit from it. "The Lord feeds the birds, but they must fly for it;" so man must work for what he gets. It will not do to sit idly by and think that the railroad will bring wealth to our door. We must be up and doing.

St. Marys Oracle
November 29, 1883

The track-laying was completed through St. Marys Tuesday. The second span of the bridge at the mouth of the creek is completed, and will be ready for the train to pass over by the last of the week.

St. Marys Oracle
December 20, 1883

Vice President Thompson and Major McGrath, of the Ohio River Railroad, were in town Monday looking after the interests of the road. They found our citizens in not a very good humor, about the railroad fill in the street at the lower end of town. The citizens had been led to beleive [sic] that there would only be a slight fill in the street any place, and that the track would be level with the surface of the street so as not to interfere with teaming. Railroad officials have frequently assured them that such would be the case; and now this fill of nearly four feet in the main street of our town, is quite a disappointment. Mr. Thompson and the Major assures our business men again that the street will be leveled up and put in such a shape as not to interfere with the travel. They guarantee on their honor to make it satisfactory to the business men whose property is located in the vicinity of this fill. We sincerely hope that such will be the the [sic] case. As it is at present, the value of property for business purposes in this portion of the town will be materially affected. Since the town gave the right of way to the company along the main, and, in fact the only good street in town, it does not look fair to interfere with business interests by blockading the streets. In our intercourse with the rail road officials we have found them true to their word with us, and we feel sure that matters will be satisfactorily adjusted, and that the streets will be put in as good condition as possible under the circumstances. We must, however, put up with temporary inconveniences. The work required to construct the road through town and put the streets again in proper shape, of course requires time. It is noticeable that no work was done on our streets until the road was ready for the track. "We shall see what we shall see."