I have a problem purely of my own making. At times I can get a bit bored so I like to give myself "projects". I have a lot of these, and often they go unfinished. Such was the case when I decided to complete a survey of all of the Pennsylvania Railroad structures across Indiana. This would have been from the 1856 line that largely parallels U.S. 30 today. I worked with a budding historian, began in the middle of the route (Plymouth) and worked our way east to the state line. We came up a few miles short before it was time to turn around and head home.
The survey yielded some great architectural finds. We documented nearly 40 railroad-related structures on this line. However, my biggest interest was in the stone bridge work that dominated the Pennsy line during their reconstruction of the route in about 1900. The massive rusticated stone abutments and arches have always held a certain charm and engineering interest for me. So, I was all in.
|The legacy bridge between Atwood and Etna Green|
|Creating a stone bridge for a railroad, 1890|
I couldn't have imagined how hard it was to find a photo of bridge-building by railroads!
|A Baltimore & Ohio Railroad-building crew from c. 1920.|
I found that he was Truman S. Turney, born near Accident, Maryland in 1877 to a farming family. He appeared in the 1880 census with his family and then reappeared in the 1900 census in Antelope, Nebraska as a laborer for the railroad. He was single and probably lived in a boarding house or hotel as the crew was passing through. Mr. Turney disappeared from the 1910 census, though I think it is likely he was on a crew passing through and was missed by census takers. He was also married about that time and made it all the way to Greybull, Wyoming where he lived out the rest of his life. He enlisted for the draft in 1918, though I'm not certain he was called to active service. He worked for the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad which went through Greybull in 1905. He became an engineer for the railroad and retired from it in 1945. He died in 1947. His obituary stated that he "went west at the age of 19 and began railroad work in 1911". My guess is that was when he was employed by the railroad versus a contractor building bridges for the Pennsy.
|Greybull, Wyoming in 1909|