Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lehigh Valley R. R. Purchases Elmira, Cortland & Northern R. R.

Lehigh Valley's Black Diamond Express at Easton, Pennsylvania in 1896.
Cortland Evening Standard,
Wednesday, February 26, 1896.



No Immediate Changes Contemplated—Well Pleased with All They See.

   The Lehigh Valley R. R. officials returned last night from their inspection of the east end of the E. C. & N. R. R., or of the Elmira and Cortland branch of the Auburn division of the Lehigh Valley R. R., as it must now be called. At an early hour this morning they started on a tour of inspection of the local properly. Representatives of different branches of the industry of the road visited different portions of the property here.
   General Superintendent Wilbur and Superintendent Titus and Roadmaster Swart of this division with some others looked over pretty much the whole property. Electricians Lattig and Daniel confined their observations to Dispatcher Clark's office. Mr. Cole of the car accountant's office inspected Car Accountant Morse's way of doing business. Storekeeper Coleman spent some time with Storekeeper James Walsh at the store. Others were busy in various ways

   A STANDARD reporter spoke with Superintendent Titus in regard to the inspection and that gentleman said that the party were very much pleased with what they saw along the whole line of the road. It seemed rather strange to him to be looking over this road with the thought that he was to have it in charge. He felt very familiar with every foot of the old Southern Central road which now forms the main part of the Auburn division. His connection with that began more than twenty-nine years ago when he was appointed its superintendent, about six months before the road was completed. He remembered well when this road was built. He was well acquainted with Mr. Fred L. Pomeroy of Cortland, now of New York, its first superintendent, who has since come to prominence in important positions on various large roads.

   His relations with Superintendent Albert Allen had always been very pleasant and it was with something of embarrassment that he came here to succeed him. Everything that he saw about the road, the road bed, the condition of the rolling stock, the property at the different stations, all reflected largely to Mr. Allen's credit as manager.

   He hopes to come to Cortland soon to get acquainted with people here. It would be impossible for him to live here or to be here a very large' portion of the time and he should doubtless be compelled to have someone here to represent him in the management of this division.

   The question which interests so many Cortland people, as to a change in the location of the car shops, was asked and Mr. Titus replied that he was unable to answer that and he thought no one of the party could speak upon that now. The manager of the main car shops would probably soon come up here to look over these shops and then some decision could be reached. In the meantime everything would go on as before.

   The question of the possible extension of the road to the St, Lawrence river and to Syracuse was asked, Mr. Titus laughed as he replied that he really thought the newspapers knew more about that than anybody connected with the road. He had noticed that the Syracuse papers almost had the building of an extension under way and arrangements all made, but he thought that no officer of the road had yet gone so far.

   Mr. Titus said that for the present most things would probably remain about as they are. They did not contemplate any material change in the near future. He was gratified at the loyalty Cortland people manifested toward the E. C. & N. road for he was sure that that loyalty would be transferred to the Lehigh, and he was confident that the coming of this large railroad system, opening, as it would, another trunk line to Cortland would not be at all to the disadvantage of Cortland.

   The special train left for the west at about 10 o'clock to complete the inspection. It is fortunate for Cortland and this whole line that in the change of superintendent of this division so excellent a man as Mr. Titus is put in charge. He is personally known to a number of Cortland people and these all unite in the sentiment of others along the line of the Auburn division in approbation of the high character of Mr. Titus as a man, and of his ability, efficiency, courtesy and kindliness as a manager.

   Mr. Allen will close his connection with the road at the end of this month, on Saturday of this week. A report was in circulation that he was to take a position as superintendent of the Long Island road, but Mr. Allen denied this. He says he has not yet decided what he will do. He will carry from Cortland when he leaves the kindliest feeling of all with whom he has come in contact, employees or others.

   Among the employees of the E. C. & N. road who have been with it during the longest time may be mentioned Conductor P. F. MacMartin of Elmira who has been a conductor on the line for twenty-five years. Everyone who travels on this road is familiar with his white hair and beard and kindly face. Patrick Clancy has been the efficient roadmaster for nearly twenty years and before that was a section foreman from the building of the road. E. D. Phillips, station agent at Cortland, has looked out through the ticket window here for eighteen years, and for patrons to buy a ticket at this station from anyone else would seem strange enough, for rain or shine, year in and year out he has always been on duty.

   J. R. Birdlebough is one of the oldest heads of departments in point of service. For thirteen years he has been superintendent of bridges and buildings, and for several years before his elevation to the head of that department he was a member of the force. Every bridge, culvert and building on the road is constantly photographed before his watchful eye. There are others who have been on the road for long periods, and it is to be hoped that with the new change of arrangement, changes in the departments may not come.


Fine Paid by Adolph Skinner For Leaving his Horses Out.

   Last evening as Attorney E. E. Mellon was walking down Main St. at about 10:30 o'clock someone made complaint to him that there was a team hitched on Port Watson St. which needed the attention of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Mr. Mellon, who is attorney for the society, investigated and found that the team bad been standing near the foundry for several hours and he ordered it taken to Baker's hitching barn. This morning a warrant was sworn out before Police Justice Bull charging Adolph Skinner with cruelty to animals. Skinner was arrested and when brought before the court pleaded not guilty and paid a fine of five dollars.

Cortland Evening Standard, Thursday, February 20, 1896.
Locomotive Boiler Explodes.

   UTICA, N. Y., Feb. 20.—The boiler of a locomotive attached to the New York and Philadelphia express on the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western exploded when about four miles south of Richfield junction, throwing the locomotive from the track and killing Engineer John Keach and Fireman John Lewis. Neither the train nor any of the passengers were injured. Mr. Keach was a resident of Binghamton and Lewis lived near Greene. No cause can be assigned for the accident.

Lehigh's New Flyer.

   BUFFALO, Feb. 28, 1896. — The Lehigh Valley railroad ran an experimental train from New York to Buffalo to fix a schedule for their new fast flyer between the two cities. The run was made in 10 hours, which is two hours ahead of their regular time. The fastest time of the trip was made between Batavia and Depew, when 70 miles an hour was reached.

Editor's note:

   The Elmira, Cortland & Northern R. R. was bought in 1884 by Austin Corbin for $50,000. The line had branches from Elmira to Cortland and Syracuse. It had extensions to Canastota, Sylvan Beach and Camden. In February 1896 the Lehigh Valley R. R. took control of the E. C. & N. but actual conveyance of property titles, franchises and associated rights were not concluded until 1905. More details of the purchase can be found in the February 1896 pages of the Elmira Advertiser and the Cortland Evening Standard and other sources. Reference for Lehigh Valley Railroad:

Rusty Draper--Freight Train--You Tube



  1. Contrarian -- Readers would be very interested in a blog posting that details the history of the Wilson sporting goods factory n Cortland, especially what products were made there. Thanks.

    1. Wilson Sporting Goods, Cortland.
      ”Cortland Line Company, East Court Street - The Cortland Line Company also had its start in one of the old Cortland Wagon Company buildings. In 1915 the company
      manufactured fishing line; during WWI, it made medical sutures; and in WWII it produced parachute and bomb fragmentation cords. During the 1930s, the company extended into tennis racquet production, which was later sold to Wilsonʼs Sporting Goods. The Cortland Line Company still produces premier fishing line and is located in a newer facility on Kellogg Road in the City.”
      Copy and paste to web browser the following links: