Friday, June 04, 2010

George Steinbach Interview 1975 (continued)

(continued from May 28)

George Steinbach - interviewed by Norma Pim on April 18, 1975
(Note:  This tape seems to be out of order and some of it is cut off)

In 1912 Ron Boyles, a road contractor put in the first lake out east of town.  When he got through with that he went to work right away for the Rock Island to get the Rock Island through here.  He was here about three years putting the Rock Island line in to the slaughterhouse.  They were three months on that hill.  It was a half-mile long and 42 feet deep; horses and mules did all the work.  They worked day and night on that cut.

There was no pavement until the fall of 1903.  In the spring of 1904, they paved around the square and north down to the Catholic Church and paved west to the main track of the railroad.  The following year they went on around and up to the station where you make that loop and back.  After that, pavement was in.  Steve and Jim Hickman had a Buick.  On Sunday afternoons, they would be up to Ed Jones' and they would put five people in that Buick and drive around the square, all the way up to the depot and come on back and unload them at the Drug Store for 10 cents a trip.  They would do that every Sunday.

Mr. Savage and Mr. Perry were operationg the Old Hotel.  There were a lot of people that went up there for their Sunday meals.  Yes sir, I'll tell you, they were putting out the merchandise.  At that time and in those days, believe it or not, we had 22 passenger trains in Chariton a day.  Every one of them stopped in town.

There were two trips going from Chariton north up to Milo & Indianola and back, two different trains, passengers and freight.  The same for trains going south, two trains would go south to St. Joe and they would come back along with lots of freight.  An hour didn't go by without a passenger train going one way or the other.  At little towns like Russell, Melrose, Lucas and Woodburn, trains would stop and the people could get on a train in the morning, come to Chariton to trade and that evening there would be a train going right back to their home.

A lot of people traveled this way.  You would be surprised how much that railroad meant to us.

Sunday afternoon everyone would dress up and go to see the trains.

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