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A barrel of cider was opened, and everybody drank to the future of the town and its people, as also to the railroad. Cigars were handed out, being the gift of the business men of town.
reprinted from...
The Hazard Herald, June 12, 1912


Hurrah! The Steam Cars Arrive In Hazard

Large Crowd Greets Engine No. 324 As She Crossed Trestle In Town Across river. 



June 12, 1912Monday, June 17th, should go down in the history of Hazard as a red-letter day.

On Saturday night of the 15th the track-laying crew of the L & N Railway Company had placed the steel rails to the lower end of town, and early Monday morning the work of laying track inside of the town limits commenced. At noon, the crew were on the opposite side of the river from the court house, and shortly after almost everybody – men, women and children – were seen wending their way to the upper side of Messer branch, their object being to welcome the steam horse, the first one to enter Hazard. The Hazard band was out in full force, and helped wonderfully in keeping up the enthusiasm of the crowd.

When the track had been laid across the trestle at Messer branch, a number of the young ladies mounted the engine and track-laying car and, in a short time, had both decorated with flowers, bunting and flags. While this work was going in, "Uncles" John Baker and Lige Cornett stood before the crowd and jointly spoke of it being a long time of waiting to see the train come in, and now that it had entered the old town they both felt like saying: Thank God, ‘tis here at last! Just at this time the band played, as a fitting climax, "Glory, Glory Hallelujah." County Attorney W. Napier was called on, and made a short, telling talk, in which he expressed his delight in seeing the train, and then spoke glowingly of the bright future of Hazard, after over 100 years of waiting, and added: If the people wished to continue in growth and be a happy and prosperous people, it should be their aim and purpose to do all they could in giving aid to everything good – frowning on everything that was otherwise; and in so doing they might expect that Divine assistance promised to those who put their trust in Almighty God.

It was intended to have other speeches, but the crowd were too busily engaged in looking at the work of the crew as they put down the rail at the rate of on a minute. Every time one of these were placed in position, the engine moved up some sixteen feet, and thus it continued until late in the afternoon, by which time there had been laid one and one-half miles as the day’s work. As the train started back for the next day’s supplies, to start the work going further on, there was a general waving of hands and cheers from both the crew and the town folks.

The band boys, mounted upon a pile of cross-ties on a flat-car, were made as an escort to the gay assembly of young ladies, and others, as the train moved slowly on its way to upper tunnel. After reaching this point, we were given a ride back to lower tunnel, returning to town immediately afterwards. The "band wagon" was a conspicuous spot.

The BandThe number of the engine to first come to town was 324 – J. A. Donnovan, engineer, of Lexington, and J. C. Allpin, brakeman, of Jackson, with Capt. Norris, conductor, in charge. Supervisor Geo. Adams and his assistant, J. C. Nicholson, with a corps of seven foreman and 160 men, were required in the work of the day. Mr. Adams said that Monday’s work was a record-breaker, and thought it would not be a bad idea to have a lot of pretty girls looking on, as the men seemed to work more than they usually did, and he couldn’t account for it other than the crowd looking on.

A barrel of cider was opened, and everybody drank to the future of the town and its people, as also to the railroad. Cigars were handed out, being the gift of the business men of town. Both of these little things, in a way, will have a good effect on the railroad men, as in no other place along the line has there been any demonstration or welcome extended like that at Hazard.


August 22, 1912



Wires Reached Here Last Saturday and Were Put Into Operation On Wednesday.


A railroad development of important consequences here was the bringing of the telegraph and telephone wires into Hazard on last Saturday, whence the lines were adjusted and put into operation on Wednesday. This will permit the operation of trains between Hazard and Jackson from the train dispatcher’s office, and is a long step toward getting the railroad in shape for practical and proper operation. The preliminary ballasting and straightening of the track is going ahead with all the speed that the present rainy season, and other adverse conditions, will permit. The situation is being gradually but surely worked up to the point where it will be possible to establish regular schedules into Hazard, and that day will be joyously welcomed by our people in this section.

The track laying is already well advanced into Letcher county, and Division Engineer G. H. Justice is having that phase of the work pushed with all possible speed. The rains and other obstacles have hindered the forward march of the steel to some extent, but the iron horse should be wending his way into Whitesburg within a few weeks from now.

Encouraging word has been received from Congressman Langley in connection with the extension of railway mail service into Hazard, and he is having the Post Office Department push their arrangements and readjustments as rapidly as possible, to end of having their side of the matter ready by the time the railroad company reaches the point of being able to take up the mail service properly.