Railroad in Webster County

Webster Echo
December 8, 1899

Horse Power vs. Steam Power

When goods were hauled from Gauley Bridge and Weston, the voters of Fork Lick district paid annually on an average about $25 each for hauling merchandise, the price then being $2 per hundred pounds. The writer had one load of goods hauled that cost $100; this was hauled from Gauley Bridge. Another from Weston cost $86, and another from the same place cost $70. On this load the freight from New York was $22. Now the average amount paid by each voter of the district for hauling is about $7.70. Will we vote against the railroad and continue to pay this, or will we vote for it and have steam power instead of horse power, and have it 10 to 1 cheaper!

Will we as a people and as residents and voters of Fork Lick district, vote a subscription, or stock, of $10,000 to get a railroad to come to our county seat? Before we vote let us figure a little and see if it will be to our advantage, or otherwise. If we vote it, it will be hard on non-residents who own lands in our district, as they will have to pay about two thirds of the whole amount of rail road tax. The interest on $10,000 will be $600 annually, and add to this amount, to go into sinking fun annually to pay off bonds at expiration of thirty years, about $340, making a total to be paid each year by residents and non-residents of $940. Non-residents will pay about two thirds of this amount, which is $626.66, leaving residents to pay $313.33 annually, which is on an average about 60 to 70 cents for each voter in the district. Which will we do, continue to pay $7.70 each annually for hauling by horse power, or vote the railroad subscription and tax ourselves with about 70 cents each, have a railroad, steam power and five hundred other things to our advantage as a people?

L. W. Curry.