RailsandTrails.com - Texts - 1916 Pennsylvania Railroad Guide

Columbus to Indianapolis Via Bradford

THROUGH trains of the Pennsylvania System from the East to Indianapolis and St. Louis, running via Bradford, traverse the same route between Columbus and Bradford as has been described in the preceding pages. Thence the route turns westward into Darke County, which was the scene of General Anthony Wayne's campaign against the Indians in 1793 and 1794.

Greenville, a thriving city of 7,000 population, lies near the point where Wayne established Fort Greenville as a base for the force of 3,000 men whom he had brought from Fort Washington at Cincinnati. After defeating the Wyandottes at the battle of Fallen Timbers, on the Maumee River, he returned to Fort Greenville, where, on August 3, 1795, he signed a treaty with the Indians, whereby they relinquished much territory in Ohio in exchange for $20,000 and an annuity of $9,000.

New Paris, near which Fort Hamilton was erected, in 1791, as one of the chain of defenses against maurauding Indians, is the junction with the main line extending from Columbus to Indianapolis through Xenia and Dayton. About a mile west of New Paris the railroad crosses the line between Ohio and Indiana.

Richmond, which lies on the east fork of the White Water River, is an active city of 28,000 inhabitants, with large and varied manufactures. It was settled by a group of the Society of Friends, who emigrated thither from North Carolina in the year 1816. It is also the seat of the Eastern Indiana Insane Asylum. The route to Indianapolis here crosses the main line between Cincinnati and Chicago, and the city is the southern terminus of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railway.

Westward to Indianapolis, the Pennsylvania System follows almost a straight line across the rolling prairie land-magnificent farm land, well watered by the White and White Water rivers. The three main forks of the latter river, the most important in southern Indiana, are crossed between Centerville and

Cambridge City, whence a branch line extends through a grazing section and Shelbyville, an old town with 10,500 population, to Columbus, on the Louisville Division.

Knightstown marks the crossing of the Blue River, the chief tributary of the White River.

Greenfield, the largest town on the line between Richmond and Indianapolis, in addition to the industry of its 5,000 citizens, is noted as the birthplace of the Hoosier poet, James Whitcomb Riley.

Indianapolis, selected as the capital city of the State of Indiana in 1820, has developed into one of the larger cities of the country, noted for the number and the excellence of its manufactured products, the progressiveness of its 290,000 inhabitants, and the beauty of the city, both in its business and residential sections.

The Indiana Soldiers and Sailors' Monument, which may be seen from trains entering the Union Station, is the finest work of art of its kind in the world. It stands in the center of a circle right in the heart of the city and towers 288 feet in the air. It was designed by Bruno Schmitz and cost over $500,000.

The Indiana State House, erected at a cost of about $2,000,000, which occupies two entire city blacks, is a most notable structure. The new Federal Building, costing nearly two and one-half millions, and other State and municipal buildings beautify the city. There are nearly 1,200 acres of parks in and about the city, and the famous Speedway, on which are held the greatest automobile contests in the country, is known everywhere.

From Indianapolis the Louisville Division extends southward to Louisville and northward to Logansport, and the Vincennes Division, southwest to

Vincennes, one of the original outposts of civilization in the west, and the scene of George Rogers Clark's victory over the British garrison at Fort Sackville in 1'779. Vincennes was first occupied by the French in 1702, but was captured by the British in 1763. To-day it is an important manufacturing city of 16,700 population.