Ohio and Mississippi Railroad
Location: South side of the B&O (CSX) tracks, near Walnut Street, across from the new extension of the Osgood Library. (Ripley County, Indiana)
Installed: 2006 Indiana Historical Bureau, Ripley County Historical Society, and Rising Sun Regional Foundation
ID# : 69.2006.1
Chartered in Indiana 1848 by the General Assembly. The people of Ripley County voted March 1849 to provide local financial support for building the railroad. Surveys of the Eastern Division (Cincinnati to Vincennes) began 1852. The town of Osgood was named to honor O & M division engineer, A. L. Osgood.
Railroad was completed from Cincinnati to East St. Louis 1857. Depot, freight house, engine house, turntable, stock pens, and sidings were built at Osgood, which was considered the center of transport and commerce for Ripley County. Company was taken over by Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 1899-1900.
Transportation, Business, Industry, and Labor, Buildings and Architecture
Chartered in Indiana 1848 by the General Assembly.(1) The people of Ripley County voted March 1849 to provide local financial support for building the railroad.(2) Surveys of the Eastern Division (Cincinnati to Vincennes) began 1852.(3) The town of Osgood was named to honor O & M division engineer, A. L. Osgood.(4)
Railroad was completed from Cincinnati to East St. Louis 1857.(5) Depot, freight house, engine house, turntable, stock pens, and sidings were built at Osgood, (6) which was considered the center of transport and commerce for Ripley County.(7) Company was taken over by Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 1899-1900.(8)
(1) "An Act to Incorporate the Ohio and Mississippi Rail Road Company" was passed February 14, 1848. Laws of Indiana, Local Laws, 1847-1848, pp. 619-28.(B00222) Acts in 1849 and 1851 amended the 1848 act. Laws of Indiana, Local Laws, 1848-1849, pp. 428-29, (B00223) and ibid., 1850-1851, p. 135.(B00227) Another 1851 act indicates that the laws of the three states involved (Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois) will be part of the railroad's charter. Laws of Indiana, Local Laws, 1850-1851, p. 370.(B00227) The Charter of the Ohio and Mississippi Rail Road Company (Cincinnati, 1851) (B00178) indicates that the general assemblies of Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois had granted the charter.
(2) Laws of Indiana, 1848-1849, p. 428, (B00223) mandated elections in March 1849 in the affected counties: Knox, Daviess, Martin, Jennings, Ripley, and Dearborn. Ed. C. Jerman, History and Directory of Ripley County (n.p., 1888), 77.(B00033) By 1852, Ripley County had subscribed for $50, 000 in stock. Reports and Statistics . . . Ohio and Mississippi Railroad (Cincinnati, 1853), 8. (B00176) Victor M. Bogle, "Railroad Building in Indiana, 1850-1855, " Indiana Magazine of History, 58 (September 1962): 222-24, (B00210) describes county and county leader's involvement in financing railroads in Indiana.(B00210) Lawrenceburg Democratic Register, May 16, 1856, (B00614) indicates that company officials had been in England "to dispose of the bonds of the road."
(3)Reports and Statistics, 1853, p. 8.(B00176) The railroad was divided into two construction sections: this Eastern Division from Cincinnati to Vincennes, and the Western Division from Vincennes to St. Louis. Ohio & Mississippi Railroad Co., Annual Reports . . ., 1857-58 and 1858-59, p. 2;(B00243) Robert F. Smith, From Ohio to the Mississippi (Cincinnati, 1965), n.p., under the title "Original Stockholders."(B00177) By 1858-1859, the Eastern Division had been divided into three "Divisions of Track" with its own "Road Master, " covering new construction and maintenance of track. Ohio & Mississippi Railroad Co., Annual Reports . . ., 1857-58 and 1858-59, pp. 72-74 (1858-1859);(B00243) Reports and Statistics (1853), 23.(B00176)
(4)Violet E. Toph, compiler, People's History of Ripley County, Indiana, 5 vols. (Fort Wayne, 1969), 4: 1786.(B00255) Ed. C. Jerman, History and Directory of Ripley County (1888), p. 77(B00033) gives platting date of March 1, 1856. "Report of the Committee Appointed by the City Council of the City of Cincinnati at the Request of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad Company, " Frank Flavius Hargrave Papers, DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind.
(5)Edward Hungerford, The Story of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad 1827-1927, 2 vols. (New York, 1928), 1: 305, 2: 111.(B00169) Richard S. Simons and Francis H. Parker, Railroads of Indiana (Bloomington, Ind., 1997), pp. 13, 135.(B00174) Smith, under the heading "Driving the Last Spike at Mitchell, " quotes an April 18, 1857 Washington [Indiana] Weekly Telegraph (B00616) article describing a journey to witness that event at Mitchell, Indiana.
(6)Atlas of Ripley County (1883), 25.(B00193) Depot was on south side of main track, opposite intersection of Walnut Street and Western Avenue. Stock pens, and engine house were at intersection of Sycamore and Franklin Streets, on north and south sides of main track. Sidings stretched from Elm Street to Sycamore Street. Atlas . . . (1883).(B00193) It is not clear how long the turntable remained, but it does not appear on the Sanborn Insurance maps of 1911. According to a local publication prepared for Osgood's Centennial celebration, "In the very early days of the railroad, there was a turn-table located where the Standard Oil Company bulk plant is now, where the trains could turn around and return." The 1956 Centennial of Osgood, pp. 39-40. According to a 1987 newspaper article, Anna Young, who had lived near the depot, "had fond memories of riding the train to the turn-table." "Osgood in Review: Jacob Young, " Versailles Republican, July 16, 1987, B2.
(7)Toph, People's History, 1: 199, 4: 150.(B00255)
(8)Hungerford, Story of the Baltimore and Ohio, 2: 227;(B00169) Simon and Parker, Railroads of Indiana, 134.(B00174)