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History of the West Chester Railroad from 1907-1945

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This file contains assorted facts from Chester County history collected by students in the HIS480 "Computer methods of historical research" class at West Chester University. Each fact consists of specific information, a reference note to its source, and a date. The "facts" are organized in chronological order.

This file has not been completely proofread, nor have the sources been verified, so use this material with caution.

Collected by Jim Jones, David Flogaus, Kelly Kulp-Bosler, Mike Wolford and Bob Gialanella (Spring 1995). Additional information collected by Daniel Cleary, John Morrison, Scott Harre, and Robert Troutman (Spring 1996); and by Nicole Bowman, Karin Flippin, Mary Kurtak, Kelly McVeigh, Wendy Smoker, and Brian Toombes (Spring 1997). Last edited by Jim Jones (August 9, 1997).

Special thanks to Don Callander of the West Chester Railroad Company for providing notes, photocopies and other materials.


1907/03/04     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (March 4, 1907), in CCHS clipping
               file: "West Chester Transportation, PA. RR 1905-
               1909."

     The PB&WRR management circulated a notice to employees
     concerning the procedure for rule changes.  This article
     seems to suggest that there was labor unrest and the
     management was trying to head it of.  It mentions that a 10%
     wage increase became effective on December 1, 1906, but it
     was not accepted by the union.  Instead, it led to
     negotiations and finally, the following salaries: 

     Yard day conductors (33 cents/day); yard night conductors
     (34 cents); yard day brakemen (28 cents); yard night
     brakemen (29 cents).  Passenger conductor wages rose from
     $4.01 to $4.42 with a further proposed increase of $4.72. 
     Passenger baggagemaster (2.42-2.66), passenger brakemen
     ($1.92-2.11-2.30).  Freight conductor (3.35-3.68-3.96),
     freight flagman (2.20-2.42-2.75), freight brakeman (2.09-
     2.30-2.64).

------------------------
1907/0302 "Narrow Escape" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS (March 2, 1907), in
          CCHS clipping file: "West Chester Transportation, PA.
          RR 1905-1909."

     Two unidentified young men were injured while trying to hop
     a moving passenger train at the Barnard Street bridge

------------------------
1907/04/11     "Take Notice, P.R.R." in DAILY LOCAL NEWS (April
               11, 1907), in CCHS clipping file: "West Chester
               Transportation, PA. RR 1905-1909."

     This is one of many articles that complains about the lack
     of toilet facilities for patrons at the PRR station.

------------------------
1907/06/04     "Engine's Big Load" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS (June 5,
               1907), in CCHS clipping file: "West Chester
               Transportation, PA. RR 1905-1909."

     Freight switching engine no.91 set a record by hauling 12
     loaded cars up the grade from Union Street to Maple Street. 
     the conductor was Frank A. Finegan, engineer W. C. Johnston,
     and fireman Arthur Hughes.

------------------------
1907/07/13     "Work on the Central Division of the P.B.&W.R.R.
               Is Pushing ahead" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS (July 13,
               1907), in CCHS clipping file: "West Chester
               Transportation, PA. RR 1905-1909."

     Two new tracks were added between Union and Nields Street by
     filling in the low land along Goose Creek.  The new tracks
     will provide room to make up freight trains.  The fill work
     was performed by the firm of Corcoran brothers.

------------------------
1907/07/17     "Will Cars Be Run By Electricity?" in DAILY LOCAL
               NEWS (July 17, 1907), from the CCHS clippings
               file: "Transportation, Pennsylvania Railroad,
               Frazer Branch" 

     The PRR-Frazer received electric signaling equipment so that
     the railroad could be operated on the "block system."  In
     West Chester, a signal was installed near the present
     watchman's box at Market Street station, and a signal box
     was installed near the Chestnut Street bridge.  There was
     also a tower installed on a boxcar at Morstein station, and
     other material was deposited at Frazer and Kirkland
     stations.

------------------------
1907/07/17     "Locomotive Disabled" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS (July
               17, 1907), from the CCHS clippings file:
               "Transportation, Pennsylvania Railroad, Frazer
               Branch" 

     A locomotive of the PRR-Frazer became disabled near
     Phoenixville and was hauled to a siding in that town by a
     second engine until engineer Bloomer could repair it.

------------------------
1907/07/27     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (July 27, 1907), in CCHS clipping
               file: "West Chester Transportation, PA. RR 1905-
               1909."

     Engine no.91, which shifted freight cars in the West Chester
     yards, was operated by engineer William Johnson and
     conductor John Sollenberger.

------------------------
1907/07/31     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (July 31, 1907), in CCHS clipping
               file: "West Chester Transportation, PA. RR 1905-
               1909."

     This article describes activity at the roundhouse near the
     east end of Lacey Street.  The house maintained seven
     passenger and one freight locomotive, all of which arrived
     throughout the evening and left the next morning.`  The
     roundhouse was supervised by W. C. Hayes and A. J. Hamilton. 
     They did not repair engines, but merely kept the fires going
     and prepared them for their morning runs.

     A locomotive consumed 3000 gallons of water on its 27-mile
     run to Philadelphia.  It also carried 12 tons of coal, which
     was enough to complete two round trips between West Chester
     and Philadelphia.

     A locomotive sitting on the turntable presented a weight of
     48-50 tons, yet the table was so well balanced that a single
     worker could turn the engine  by hand.

------------------------
1907/08/22     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (August 22, 1907), in CCHS
               clippings file "West Goshen Township,
               Transportation, Green Hill Station."

     The mistress of the Green Hill station, Mrs. Florence
     Wilkins, discovered that a thief had entered the first floor
     of the station and stolen $60 worth on money, stamps, cigars
     and other materials belonging to the Union News Company. 
     Mrs. Wilkins' assistant was H. C. Kelso.  Wilkins, Kelso,
     and Kelso's mother were asleep upstairs during the burglary. 
     The trackwalker, Arthur Leary, passed the station at one
     o'clock (am?) but noticed nothing.

------------------------
1907/10/15     "Erecting Signal Tower" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS
               (October 15, 1907), in CCHS clipping file: "West
               Chester Transportation, PA. RR 1905-1909."

     A new signal tower was erected just south of the Market
     Street station to control the new block signal system.

------------------------
1907/10/22     "Watchbox on Foundations" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS
               (October 22, 1907), in CCHS clipping file: "West
               Chester Transportation, PA. RR 1905-1909."

     The watchbox used by William McConaghy at the Union Street
     crossing was placed on a new foundation.

------------------------
1907/11/27     "New Improvements" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS (November
               27, 1907), in CCHS clipping file: "West Chester
               Transportation, PA. RR 1905-1909."

     Workmen at the Market Street station dug a 16-foot water
     well to serve the new toilets, which were due to be
     reopened.

------------------------
1907/12/07     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (December 7, 1907), in CCHS
               clipping file: "West Chester Transportation, PA.
               RR 1905-1909."

     The PRR ignored a letter from the West Chester borough
     council asking them to close the Adams Street grade
     crossing.

------------------------
1908/02/12     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (February 13, 1908), in CCHS
               clipping file: "West Chester Transportation, PA.
               RR 1905-1909."

     The new block signaling system went into use on the PB&WRR. 
     Thomas Devon runs the new signal tower by day and Clark Pyle
     works the night shift.  Clarence Pyle replaced Devon as the
     daytime operator at the station.

     "The new system is not welcomed by the shifting crew, as it
     takes them about twice as long to do their work on account
     of having to get a pass card nearly every time that they
     move their engine."

------------------------
1908/03/02     "Operating New Towers" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS (March
               3, 1908), from the CCHS clippings file:
               "Transportation, Pennsylvania Railroad, Frazer
               Branch" 

     The new tower at the Market Street station in West Chester
     on the PRR-Frazer opened for operations.  It had telegraph
     operators, but the signals were not yet in working order, so
     trains still moved after the old fashion, responding to
     human signals, although they came from the tower instead of
     the station.  Similar conditions existed at new towers at
     Kirkland and Frazer.

     The operators of the West Chester tower, Frank H. Pollock
     and F. C. Sturn, were placed there temporarily until the new
     jobs could be advertised.  Pollock and Sturn were normally
     assigned to the West Chester station; Pollock on the 5am-2pm
     shift, and Sturn on the 2-11pm shift.

------------------------
1908/08/24     "No More Engines in Upper Yard" in DAILY LOCAL
               NEWS (August 24, 1908), from the CCHS clippings
               file: "Transportation, Pennsylvania Railroad,
               Frazer Branch" 

     The PRR stopped storing its spare locomotives and railcars
     in the yard on the north side of town, and kept everything
     in the lower yard (below Market Street).  This satisfied
     residents of Chestnut and North Matlack Street, who
     complained about the noise.

------------------------
1908/08/26     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (August 26, 1908), in CCHS
               clipping file: "West Chester Transportation, PA.
               RR 1905-1909."

     Following a petition circulated by Charles H. Pennypacker
     among the residents of the north side of West Chester, the
     PRR agreed to stop firing up engines at the turntable
     located near Chestnut and Matlack Streets, and to do away
     with the turntable altogether.

------------------------
1908/11/10     "Returns to News Stand" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS
               (November 10, 1908), in CCHS clipping file: "West
               Chester Transportation, PA. RR 1905-1909."

     Davis E. Townsend resumed his duties at the Union News stand
     in the PRR station.  He worked there for eight years [1882-
     1890] but has been absent for 18 years.  He returned because
     the former news agent, George Wonderly, "blew out his brains
     last week."

------------------------
1908/12/11     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (December 11, 1908), from the
               CCHS clippings file: "Transportation, Pennsylvania
               Railroad, Frazer Branch" 

     A track crew directed by Foreman George Dougherty was
     involved with relaying the tracks along Evans Street,
     despite the frost.  The turntable at the North Matlack
     Street yard was torn out and the hole filled with rubble,
     since locomotives were turned at the roundhouse in the lower
     yard.  The water tower was retained to service trains on the
     PRR-Frazer.

------------------------
1908/12/28     "Dignitaries Travel" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS (December
               28, 1908), in CCHS clipping file: "West Chester
               Transportation, PA. RR 1905-1909."

     This article described a number of "Dignitaries" who visited
     West Chester, including a famous opera singer, a physician,
     etc.  No names were given.  However, it does mention that
     conductor Jacob J. Polk ran the train.

------------------------
1909/03/08     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (March 8, 1909),in CCHS clipping
               file: "West Chester Transportation, PA. RR 1905-
               1909."

     This article has several tidbits including the addresses of
     three railroad employees.  D. B. Colehour recently moved
     from North Adams Street to 406 Dean Street.  Clark Pyle and
     Charles W. Pyle both live on Dean Street too.

------------------------
1909/04/16     COATESVILLE RECORD (April 16, 1909), in CCHS
               clipping file: "West Chester Transportation, PA.
               RR 1905-1909."

     The PRR planned to station a watchman at its railroad yard
     at Chestnut & Matlack Streets to prevent trespassers from
     crossing the tracks.  It was a favorite shortcut for workmen
     heading to the Sharpless plant [separator works].

------------------------
1909/06/02     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (June 2, 1909), from the CCHS
               clippings file: "West Chester Transportation,
               PB&WRR (Central division).

     The PB&WRR was extra busy because of a strike by workers on
     the trolley car line that diverted many passengers to the
     railroad.  Conductor B. S. O. Wise reported that he
     collected 700 tickets on his seven car train.

------------------------
1909/06/17     "Drink From the Spigot" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS (June
               17, 1909), in CCHS clipping file: "West Chester
               Transportation, PA. RR 1905-1909." 

     Passengers in the Market Street station obtain drinking
     water from the spigot in the corridor between the waiting
     room and the platform.  Others borrow a tumbler from Lin
     Bassett, the news agent, for that purpose.

------------------------
1909/06/29     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (June 29, 1909), from the CCHS
               clippings file: "West Chester Transportation,
               PB&WRR (Central division)."

     The PB&WRR, responding to citizen complaints about the
     dangerous grade crossing at South Adams Street, agreed to
     reaarange the streets in that area to eliminate the grade
     crossing.  The South Adams Street crossing was to be closed, 
     and a new street on the north side of the tracks between
     Adams and Worthington, called Elmer Street, was to be
     constructed.  They also planned to extend Worthington and
     Penn Streets south to Nields Street.  All of the new streets
     were to be macadamized by the railroad at no expense to the
     borough of WC.

------------------------
1909/07/15     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (July 16, 1909), from the CCHS
               clippings file: "West Chester Transportation,
               PB&WRR (Central division)."

     A train operated by engineer John Hannum collided with cars
     standing on the west track of the Market Street station,
     injuring some passengers and caused considerable damage. 
     Among the injured were Edith Broomall (daughter of Harry),
     J. B. Thompson, and Harvey Fitzsimmons.

------------------------
1909/11/11     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (November 11, 1909), in CCHS
               clipping file: "West Chester Transportation, PA.
               RR 1905-1909."

     Al Hamilton was a veteran of 25 years on the railroad in
     West Chester.  He served in the Civil War and in the regular
     army after that before coming to the railroad.

------------------------
1909/11/12     DAILY LOCAL NEWS November 12, 1909), from the CCHS
               clippings file: "West Chester Transportation,
               PB&WRR (Central division).

     Business is heavy on the PB&WRR.  Recently, a single train
     pulled 62 freight cars to various locations along the line. 
     This train was so long that it interfered with passenger
     trains at places where there was only a single track.

------------------------
1909/11/22     "New Fern hill Bridge" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS
               (November 22, 1909), from the CCHS clippings file:
               "Transportation, Pennsylvania Railroad, Frazer
               Branch" 

     The new Fern Hill bridge over the PRR-Frazer, soon to be
     completed, is longer and wider than the original bridge.  If
     necessary, there is room to lay a second line of track
     underneath it.

------------------------
1909/11/26     "Want Bridge Finished" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS
               (November 26, 1909), from the CCHS clippings file:
               "Transportation, Pennsylvania Railroad, Frazer
               Branch" 

     Many people asked that the railroad complete the new Fern
     Hill bridge before winter sets in.  Otherwise, wagon teams
     hauling coal to West Chester have to detour past the
     resevoir and Achell's farm to reach the coal siding.  The
     work to construct a modern concrete bridge has been underway
     for several months.

------------------------
1909/12/08     "Shortcut for Commuters" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS
               (December 8, 1909), from the CCHS clippings file:
               "West Chester Transportation, PB&WRR (Central
               division).

     Commuters who wish to avoid walking several blocks around to
     the Market Street station climb up the embankment on the
     south side of Barnard Street and walk across the railroad
     trestle to reach the station.  The article noted that such
     behavior resulted in arrest on the PRR-Main Line.

------------------------
1912/11/30     "Clock for Trackwalker" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS
               (November 30, 1912), from the CCHS clippings file:
               "Transportation, Pennsylvania Railroad, Frazer
               Branch" 

     A few months ago, the railroad installed watchman clocks
     along the tracks of the PRR-Frazer so that the track walkers
     could record their progress as they inspected the tracks.

------------------------
1914 Schedule for the Philadelphia to West Chester Line,
     Pennsylvania Railroad (January 8, 1914)

     During WWI, railroad schedules were reduced.  This is only
     the front page, so it lists no trains, but names the
     directors of the railroad.  George W. Boyd was the General
     Passenger Agent, W. Heyward Myers was the General Manager
     and J. R. Wood was the Passenger Traffic Manager on the
     Phila-West Chester line.

------------------------
1916/07/22     "Monaghan" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS, from the CCHS
               clipping file.

     Cornelia W. T. Monaghan died at age 63 at Chester County
     Hospital.   She was the widow of R. Jones Monaghan (married
     November 13, 1879; died in 1897) and the daughter of Joseph
     P. and Jane T. Ellicott Wilson.  Her father was a leading
     member of the Chester County Bar Association, Burgess of
     West Chester 1855-1857, and President of the Philadelphia &
     Baltimore Central Railroad.   She had two children who died
     as infants and two who survived: Frances E., a patient at CC
     Hospital with "badly sprained ankle," and Walter E.,
     employed in Philadelphia.  The family were members of the
     First Presbyterian Church of West Chester.

------------------------
1917/01/20     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (January 20, 1917), in CCHS
               clippings file, "West Chester Transportation; PA.
               RR 1915-1919."

     A railroad worker "in the neighborhood of Moylan" had
     acquired 300-400 records and sold them cheaply to his
     colleagues.  This article names many of them and describes
     their musical ability, if any.  It includes other tidbits
     about working conditions.

     Baggagemaster Roy Lyons, brakeman William Keeley, brakeman
     Andrew Haggerty, and night operator Charles Mann all owned
     record players.

     Engineer William Buxton was a leader of the West Chester
     Band and a well-known musician.  Other railroad workers
     played Jew's harp, violin and piano.

     Conductor R. S. O. Wise was not a musician, but he liked
     music.  He was 66 years old, but in excellent health,
     according to the physical taken by the insurance company on
     June 2, 1916, following his recovery from a fall that broke
     both of his wrists and gashed his head.  He wore casts for
     four weeks and was off-duty for ten weeks following the
     accident.

     Councilman Edmund H. Brown was a retired railroad engineer
     and the son of a violin player.  He worked as an engineer a
     quarter century earlier, and had been retired for some years
     by 1917.

     Firemen and engineers were not able to sing or whistle while
     they worked, because the coal dust dried their mouths too
     much.  In the summer, there was relief when they wet down
     the coal to suppress the dust, but that was impossible in
     the winter because the coal would stick together and freeze. 
     To combat the dust, the men wore mufflers about their necks,
     buttoned their wristbands tight, and used twine to tie their
     pants legs shut.

     Edward M. Sooy, baggagemaster was a whistler, but he had
     recently broken his arm.  It had to be rebroken and reset,
     and he wore a cast for two months already.

     Conductors earned $145-150 per month and engineers earned
     $4.67 a day, and as much as $5.00 a day for "through runs."

     In the winter, engineers and other workmen wore gloves that
     had leather palms and canvas backs.  Each pair cost 35
     cents, and they became soiled quickly, within two days,
     requiring replacement or laundering.

     William A. McMichael still visits the West Chester depot
     once a month.  He worked there 25 years ago with Howell A.
     Gillingham and Frank P. Patton as his assistants.  Mr.
     Gillingham, also retired, has lived in Kentucky for several
     years.

------------------------
1917/01/20     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (January 20, 1917), in CCHS
               clippings file, "West Chester Transportation; PA.
               RR 1915-1919."

     There was a special train that carried workers from West
     Chester to Eddystone each morning.  It started out with 160-
     185 men in West Chester and picked up more along the way.

------------------------
1917/01/23     "More Changes at Old Depot" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS,
               in CCHS clippings file, "West Chester
               Transportation; PA. RR 1915-1919."

     An extension to the train station at Market Street was
     underway in 1917.  This article describes the changes in the
     station during the period 1867-1917.

     After through-trains began to operate in West Chester, the
     passenger shed was moved to the through tracks on the east
     side and freight was unloaded on the West side of the
     station, where the Adams Express company had its offices and
     warehouse in 1917.

------------------------
1917/01/25     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (January 26, 1917), in CCHS
               clippings file, "West Chester Transportation; PA.
               RR 1915-1919."

     The trolley from Philadelphia operated a freight service
     that was heavily used.  It carried a variety of foodstuffs,
     agricultural chemicals, and other goods to West Chester from
     Philadelphia, and used a terminal on East Gay Streets.  The
     passenger terminal was at Gay and High Streets.  The West
     Chester Wheel Works shipped its wheels by trolley.

------------------------
1917/01/29     "Changes" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in CCHS clippings
               file, "West Chester Transportation; PA. RR 1915-
               1919."

     William G. Morgan, baggagemaster at West Chester Market
     Street station, was transferred to Swarthmore as the
     assistant passenger agent, replacing Richard Wellers.  Mr.
     Morgan was on temporary night duty in West Chester,
     replacing Charles Mann during his illness.

------------------------
1917/03/02     "Want Bath in Station" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in
               CCHS clippings file, "West Chester Transportation;
               PA. RR 1915-1919."

     Railroad workers asked management to provide them with a hot
     water heater and shower bath in the West Chester station.

------------------------
1917/03/20     DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in CCHS clippings file, "West
               Chester Transportation; PA. RR 1915-1919."

     Freight conductor Thomas Hall worked on the West Chester-
     Frazer line for 25 years.  

     Freight demand was way up, especially for coal, despite the
     threat of industrial strikes.  Industrial consumption of pea
     coal was so strong that consumers were forced to rely on
     chestnut coal for home heating.  The price of coal was some
     $5/ton higher than it was last year.

------------------------
1917/03/20     DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in CCHS clippings file, "West
               Chester Transportation; PA. RR 1915-1919."

     A large derrick was at work on the tracks over the Barnard
     Street overpass in an attempt to add an additional track
     between the upper and lower rail yards.  

     Work was needed on the Union Street crossing, which was very
     dangerous.  However, there was neither room to go under or
     over the railroad tracks.

     This was an ongoing topic of contention between the railroad
     and the borough. Three grade crossings had already been
     eliminated [JJ: Magnolia, Lacey, Adams] and two bridges
     constructed [JJ: Miner, Chestnut].

------------------------
1917/04/03     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (April 3, 1917), from the CCHS
               clippings file: "West Chester Transportation,
               PB&WRR (Central division).

     Workmen on the PB&WRR will move four tracks fifteen feet to
     the east so that trains placed on sidings at the Market
     Street station will no longer block the entire railyard.  At
     present, the siding can accomodate only five cars.  To make
     the new arrangement work, the Barnard Street bridge was also
     widened to accomodate a second track.  Nearly a hundred men
     were employed on the job.

------------------------
1917/04/05     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (April 5, 1917), from the CCHS
               clippings file: "West Chester Transportation,
               PB&WRR (Central division).

     "A force of carpenters" extended the shed and platform at
     the Market Street station almost to Barnard Street in order
     to handle trains of six cars plus a locomotive at the
     platform.

------------------------
1917/04/13     "Station is Abandoned" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS (April
               13, 1917), in CCHS clippings file, "West Chester
               Transportation; PA. RR 1915-1919."

     The stop at Maple Avenue, which served the convent and
     people from the north edge of town, was abandoned in favor
     of a stop at the Biddle Street grade crossing.

------------------------
1917/06/02     DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in CCHS clippings file, "West
               Chester Transportation; PA. RR 1915-1919."

     PRR officials announced last Memorial Day, that the record
     for freight shipped to West Chester was broken.  This was
     the climax to a year of increasing freight activity. 
     Traffic was so busy and the yard so congested that the
     siding to "the old round house at Nields Street" had to be
     used to shift cars.

------------------------
1917/06/14     Leah Schechter, editor, I JUST WANTED TO MAKE A
               CONTRIBUTION: THE LIFE OF WALTER T. KERWIN (West
               Chester: Henderson High School AP History, 1992). 
               CCHS#E745.K39

p2   Walter Kerwin (Jr) was born on June 14, 1917 and grew up at
     124 E. Linden Street.  Walter's father was Walter T. Kerwin
     (Sr), a railroad worker for the PRR.  He was known as "Big
     Dutch" and Walter was known simply as "Dutch."

------------------------
1917/08/23     DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in CCHS clippings file, "West
               Chester Transportation; PA. RR 1915-1919."

     The PRR announced that there would be no more excursion
     trains to Atlantic City this year.  The company normally
     operated three or four each summer, and had already run one
     early in the season, but "all people realized that new
     conditions prevail this year and emergencies must be met."

     There were a large amount of mushrooms shipped from West
     Chester, even in the summer.

     The express agent was Charles W. Pyle and the baggagemaster
     was J. W. Walker.  Thomas Winsey was an engineer.

------------------------
1917/08/27     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (August 27, 1917), from the CCHS
               clippings file: "West Chester Transportation,
               PB&WRR (Central division).

     The work of improving the Barnard Street railroad bridge was
     nearing completion.

------------------------
1917/09/07     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (September 7, 1917), from the
               CCHS clippings file: "West Chester Transportation,
               PB&WRR (Central division).

     The PB&WRR made improvements to its line at Union Street by
     constructing a culvert to carry Goose Creek under the tracks
     and onto a lot recently purchased by the borough of WC.

------------------------
1918/01/01     James J. D. Lynch Jr., "The West Chester Branch"
               in THE HIGH LINE, vol. 8, no. 2 & 3 (Winter-Spring
               1988), 5.

     On January 1, 1918, the PB&W became part of the PRR under a
     999-year lease dated December 31, 1917.

------------------------
1920s     James J. D. Lynch Jr., "The West Chester Branch" in THE
          HIGH LINE, vol. 8, no. 2 & 3 (Winter-Spring 1988), 25.

     In "later years, a stop at Nields Street, West Chester . . .
     was made on a limited basis."

------------------------
1922/03/08     "Old Gates Thawed Out" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in
               CCHS clippings file, "West Chester Transportation;
               PA. RR 1920-1924."

     The old crossing gates on Market Street were operative again
     after they thawed out, but they were generally
     unsatisfactory.  They were out of service for several weeks
     as a result of being frozen into a single position.  The PRR
     promised to replace them as soon as the weather improved.

------------------------
1922/03/30     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (March 30, 1922)

     Dennis McDevitt was preparing to move from 559 South
     Franklin Street to a house on Marshall Street owned by
     William Chalfant Jr.  McDevitt worked as the gatekeeper at
     the Pennsylvania Railroad crossing on Market Street.

------------------------
1922/04/17     "Preparing for Bridge Work" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS,
               in CCHS clippings file, "West Chester
               Transportation; PA. RR 1920-1924."

     Workmen delivered steel beams to be used in raising,
     widening and strengthening the Gay Street bridge over the
     West Chester-Frazer tracks of the PRR.

------------------------
1923/02/27     "Ticket Agent Change" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in CCHS
               clippings file, "West Chester Transportation; PA.
               RR 1920-1924."

     M. W. Kershaw of West Chester was reassigned to the West
     Chester Market Street station for the 2pm-late shift.  He
     had worked in West Chester before, and he returned to
     replace Harvey Reynolds, who was transferred to Wilmington.

------------------------
1923/03/09     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (September 9, 1923), from the
               CCHS clippings file: "Transportation, Pennsylvania
               Railroad, Frazer Branch" 

     The new "Green Hill Flyer" came to West Chester for the
     first time and was admired by many railcar was housed at
     Green Hill Station under the authority of Herbert Pritchard,
     the track foreman and the Flyer's chauffeur.  (Pritchard
     lived at Green Hill Station.) The car is painted bright red
     so that other trains will see it and yield right of way. 
     The car is capable of speeds up to fifty miles per hour, and
     can carry spares and workmen, so it will make it possible to
     respond to reports of track damage much faster.  Heretofore,
     the track men have used a self-propelled handcar to reach
     track breakages, but they arrived "fagged from exertions in
     pumping the handles."  [JJ: The article does not mention
     this, but I suspect that the Flyer was powered by a gasoline
     engine.].

------------------------
1923/03/24     DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in CCHS clippings file, "West
               Chester Transportation; PA. RR 1920-1924."

     The chief of West Chester police, after consulting with
     taxicab drivers who used the railroad station, issued new
     rules that required the cabs to back into the curb at an
     angle, instead of parking parallel to the curb.  This would
     make it easier for the cabs to pull away without interfering
     with each other.

------------------------
1923/03/26     "Booth is for Smiths" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in CCHS
               clippings file, "West Chester Transportation; PA.
               RR 1920-1924."

     The T. E. Smith & Son firm got the contract from the PRR to
     operate a "checking station for travelers" and had a booth
     constructed for that purpose at the southern end of the
     station.

------------------------
1923/03/30     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (March 31, 1923), from the CCHS
               clippings file: "Transportation, Pennsylvania
               Railroad, Frazer Branch" 

     Freight traffic has been heavy of late, but today it was so
     heavy, despite the holiday, that engineer Captain Hall and
     his crew had to make two trips on the PRR-Frazer to collect
     all of the boxcars on sidings between Paoli and Frazer large
     proportion were bound for West Chester, but many were
     destined to continue on through West Chester along the
     Octoraro Branch to points between West Chester and Media.

------------------------
1923/07/18     "Work is Suspended" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in CCHS
               clippings file, "West Chester Transportation; PA.
               RR 1920-1924."

     The Market Street station of the PRR in West Chester
     underwent extensive repairs during the spring and summer of
     1923.

------------------------
1923/10/18     DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in CCHS clippings file, "West
               Chester Transportation; PA. RR 1920-1924."

     Following an accident where a bicyclist was crushed by a
     train, the PRR announced its intention to close a walking
     path located between two tracks near the Sharpless Separator
     Works.  The path was a popular thoroughfare for workers at
     Sharpless, Schramms and the nurseries, as well as for
     strollers in the evening and bicycle riders.

------------------------
1923/11/06     DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in CCHS clippings file, "West
               Chester Transportation; PA. RR 1920-1924."

     West Chester is served by "several motor bus lines which
     give service on five different routes, reaching many
     villages and boroughs at near and some distant points
     connecting with other bus lines in this and adjacent
     counties."

     "It is not expected that these motor bus lines will
     eliminate the trolley and steam roads, but will serve to
     give transportation to many points without the long and
     expensive detours on railways."  In particular, buses
     improved West Chester's connections to the north and
     northwest.

     Twenty years ago, the American Highway Educational Bureau
     predicted that a network of roads would be constructed on
     which freight and passenger service would operate.  In
     particular, this would allow the members of farm families`
     to visit towns without taking any of their horses out of the
     fields to make the journey.

     As of the date of this article, there were 150 state highway
     passenger lines operating on hard-surfaced roads in
     Pennsylvania.

------------------------
1923/11/17     DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in CCHS clippings file, "West
               Chester Transportation; PA. RR 1920-1924."

     Workman using air compressors prepared to fit a new,
     improved "frog" into the tracks just north of Market Street,
     replacing an older one that had been damaged and repaired. 
     the new frog was of a different design and weighed over two
     tons.  The workers planned to cut the rails and insert the
     new frog between trains without interrupting operations.

------------------------
1923/11/17     "Town Topics" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in CCHS
               clippings file, "West Chester Transportation; PA.
               RR 1920-1924."

     Horses were still used until a few years ago, but nowadays
     (1923) all freight was delivered by motor truck.  Motor
     trucks and trolleys had made a serious dent in the
     railroad's freight service from Philadelphia.

------------------------
1923/11/22     DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in CCHS clippings file, "West
               Chester Transportation; PA. RR 1920-1924."

     Workers who were employed removing the brick wall between
     the train sheds at the West Chester Market Street station
     were laid off suddenly.  There were lay-offs all over the
     PRR system, including section gangs on the Main Line and
     Maryland division, and mechanics at Downingtown.

------------------------
1923/12/17     "Completing the Shed work" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS, in
               CCHS clippings file, "West Chester Transportation;
               PA. RR 1920-1924."

     Workers finally completed remodeling the railroad shed at
     the West Chester Market Street station.

------------------------
1926 Charles William Heathcote, HISTORY OF CHESTER COUNTY
     PENNSYLVANIA (West Chester, PA: Horace F. Temple, 1926), 31.

     West Chester is served by two branches of the Pennsylvania
     Railroad and several bus and trolley lines.  Its beautiful
     homes and shaded streets make West Chester "a delightful
     town."

------------------------
1928 James J. D. Lynch Jr., "The West Chester Branch" in THE HIGH
     LINE, vol. 8, no. 2 & 3 (Winter-Spring 1988), 5.

     (partial) list of stations on the Wawa Branch, and milages
     in 1928 and 1954.  
Station                        1928      1954
Phiadelphia Broad Street/0/n/a
Phiadelphia Suburban Street/n/a/0
[stations ommitted by JJ]
Media                          14.0      14.0
Elwyn/15.1/15.0
Williamson School/15.9/15.8
Glen Riddle/16.7/16.6
Lenni                          17.4      17.3
Wawa/18.1/18.0
Glen Mills/20.3/20.2
Locksley/21.6/21.5
Cheyney                        22.2      22.2
Westtown/23.9/23.9
Oakbourne/25.5/25.4
West Chester/27.5/27.4.

------------------------
1928/12/02     James J. D. Lynch Jr., "The West Chester Branch"
               in THE HIGH LINE, vol. 8, no. 2 & 3 (Winter-Spring
               1988), 29.

     The WC&PRR line was electrified as far as West Chester by
     December 2, 1928.

------------------------
1930s     Leah Schechter, editor, I JUST WANTED TO MAKE A
          CONTRIBUTION: THE LIFE OF WALTER T. KERWIN (West
          Chester: Henderson High School AP History, 1992), 2. 
          CCHS#E745.K39

     Walter T. Kerwin (Sr) worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad,
     and after the depression, became the tax collector for West
     Chester.

------------------------
1932/09/24     "Making Final Run on Frazer Branch Here This
               Evening" in DAILY LOCAL NEWS (September 24, 1932),
               from the CCHS clippings file: "Transportation,
               Pennsylvania Railroad, Frazer Branch" 

     Conductor Frank Moore made his last run on the PRR-Frazer
     today, after over 17 years of service on this branch.  He
     joined the PRR in 1893 as a baggqageman and was promoted to
     freight brakeman in 1895.  In 1905, he became a regular
     conductor on the Philadelphia to Harrisburg run.  In 1915,
     he was transfered to the PRR-Frazer.  

     In 1932, Moore, aged 63, still has seven more years to go
     before he can retire.  Moore was reassigned to the night
     express between Philadlephia and Pittsburgh, No. 35
     westbound and No. 36 eastbound.

     Moore made a brief statement: "I've looked on this old run,
     not only as a job-holder, but as I do say, `home.'  I've
     known these passengers of mine--three generations of them. 
     Why, when one of `my boys' and `girls,' as I call them,
     failed to show up in the morning, I became anxious until I
     got in again to see if they were all right.  However, if
     doing away with this line is intended for the good of the
     service, I suppose I'll look at it from that angle too, but
     I'm certainly going to miss those familiar faces every night
     and morning.  One thing that was intensely gratifying to me,
     is the fact that I was still active on this branch when it
     celebrated its 100th anniversary in the service of the
     people here.  

     West Chester stationmaster J. Walter Keech described Moore
     as having " one of the cleanest and best records in the
     service."  According to the article, Moore was acquainted
     with General W. W. Atterbury, the president of the PRR
     system.

------------------------
1932/09/24     Walter R. Farra, letter to the editor, DAILY LOCAL
               NEWS (August 21, 1947), from the CCHS clippings
               file: "Transportation, Pennsylvania Railroad"

     Mr. Farra was the brakeman on the last three trains to-and-
     from West Chester on the PRR-Frazer.  He confirmed the
     details offered by Mrs. Alfred Johnson, widow of the
     engineer, and added that the trains were Nos. 5484-5486.

------------------------
1932/09/24     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (August 20, 1947), from the CCHS
               clippings file: "Transportation, Pennsylvania
               Railroad"

     According to Mrs. Johnson, the last passenger train on the
     PRR-Frazer ran on September 24, 1932.  It was operated by
     her late husband, engineer Alfred Johnson, who worked for
     the PRR for seventeen years.  The conductor was Frank Moore
     of West Chester and the brakeman was Walter Farra of Paoli. 
     Mrs. Johnson recalled riding with her husband on that last
     trip.  He retired at the end of the day.

------------------------
1933 
     This writer remembered riding the PRR-Frazer from West
     Chester to Philadelphia in 1931-1932.  After the line was
     closed, he/she took the Greyhound bus up Route 29 for the
     last two years of high school.

------------------------
1937/10/27     COATESVILLE RECORD (October 27, 1937), from the
               CCHS clippings file: WC Transportation, Penna. RR
               1935-1937"

     J. Walter Keech will retire next Sunday from the PRR after
     more than 46 years of service.  His replacement was Harry
     Yohn, agent at Paoli.  Keech, aged 65, began as a clerk in
     the WC station on June 1, 1891.  He received promotions to
     billing clerk, accountant, chief clerk and finally station
     agent.  From 1917-1924, he served in Oxford.  In 1924, he
     became the passenger agent in WC, and in 1931, he was
     promoted to passenger and freight agent in WC.  He was born
     in Coatesville, the son of Joseph C. Keech, who was also a
     railroader.

------------------------
1938/03/01     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (March 1, 1938), from the CCHS
               clippings file: "Transportation, Pennsylvania
               Railroad"

     PRR officials stated that they had no plans to electrify the
     PRR-Frazer from West Chester to Frazer: "an improvement
     would be of value only as a detour route, in the event of a
     track obstruction between Frazer and Philadelphia. 
     Fortunately, there are four other detour routes available .
     . ."

------------------------
1939/01/25     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (January 1, 1939), from the CCHS
               clippings file: "Transportation, Pennsylvania
               Railroad, Frazer Branch" 

     On Tuesday morning, the first passenger train in years
     traveled over the PRR-Frazer carrying about 700 Republicans
     for the inauguration in Harrisburg.  It was pulled by a
     steam engine as far as Paoli, where it picked up five more
     cars of passengers and an electric engine for the run to
     Harrisburg.  Otherwise, the Frazer branch carries only
     freight trains since the Pennsylvania Railroad electrified
     the Media branch from West Chester to Philadelphia (PRR-
     Frazer&P).

------------------------
1941/10/29     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (October 29, 1941), from the CCHS
               clippings file: "Transportation, Pennsylvania
               Railroad"

     The PRR applied to the ICC for permission to abandon three
     miles of the PRR-Phoenixville between Devault and Swedesford
     Road station near Glen Loch.  There had been no passenger
     trains on this line for years, although the PRR still
     maintains freight service between Phoenixville and Devault.

------------------------
1942/04/27     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (April 28, 1942), from the CCHS
               clippings file: "Transportation, Pennsylvania
               Railroad"

     The 100-foot pedestrian frame bridge over the PRR-Frazer was
     destroyed by fire early yesterday evening.  It was thought
     to have been caused by sparks from a passing train.

------------------------
1944/07/05     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (July 6, 1944), in CCHS clippings
               file, "West Chester Transportation; PA. RR 1940-
               1954."

     A fire partially destroyed the PRR freight station in West
     Chester.  It also damaged rolling stock, and a spectator,
     Oswald Blythe, collapsed and died from the intense heat. 
     Harry Yohn, the PRR freight agent, reported damages of
     $40,000.  The fire occurred in a freight shed along the
     tracks near Hoffman Lumber and National Foam.  The Fruit
     Growers of Chester County suffered the most damage.  In
     addition, the United Dairy company lost four "mechanical
     cows" and the Paoli Feed and Supply company lost materials
     stored in space it rented from the railroad.

------------------------
1944/09/05     DAILY LOCAL NEWS (July 6, 1944), from the CCHS
               clipping file "WC Transportation, PA.RR 1940-1954"

     Fire damaged the freight station on East Union Street and
     drew a large crowd that regarded the fire as a spectacle. 
     One spectator, Oswald Smythe of the Pennock Baker
     Apartments, died from the intense heat as three fire
     companies battled the blaze.  The loss was estimated by
     Harry Yohn at $40,000 and included the southern end of the
     station and several railcars.  Nearby businesses also
     suffered damage, and the worst was at the Fruit Growers of
     Chester County.

     A. B. McCroskey, an engineer, used his freight locomotive to
     pull cars out of danger.

------------------------

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