Syracuse Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 28, 1915, Syracuse, New York UJ-- I SI SI -11 ifi THE OPENING OF THE FIRST RAILROAD THE decade between 1830 and' 1840 was one of great importance in Onondaga county. It embraced an era of six or seven years of almost unexampled a brief succeeding period of finan- cial disaster and the building of the first railroads to cross the and an increase of population of nearly v The first movement toward the construction of a railroad to enter or cross Onondagj county from which actual results was the passage of an act of the Legislature on May 1st. incorporat- ing the Auburn nnd Syracuse Railroad company. The incorpcrators were Daniel Ulysses S. Bradley John Halscv Stephen i'an David John Grove Hczckiah Rarll and William jr. Five of these were Onondaga county men. The capital stock was made and tlic'tict required that the road should be in operation within fire vcars after. The company formally organ-iced in and among the directors were Raynor and 1'k'iis Smith of Syracuse. H'ork H'c.s begun in- 1835 anil on January Sth. the road -teas opened between Auburn and Geddes.. The track was made with wooden rails and Slicrivood's stage horses from Skaneatelcs were put in to draw the coaches. One man made a bet that he could start off with his team of horses at tlte same time as the train and would reach the point of destination long before the train but no one took him up on it. This method of trawl prevailed until June n'hfn the first steam locomotiyc was put on the road. The bridge ac-ross ihc old mill pond was finished in ''if iiay-inentinned an excursion the first -propelled by steam Onondaga was run ov.cr the line. The engine that drew the train was appropriately named This railroad of a crude and primitive affair in cowpuri-son with the lines that were soon to succeed it. The first important improvement made wax the substitution of flat iron rails for the iuood.cn ones. Thcv were held down to the string pieces by spikes driven directly through which of leu became worked and. the ends of the rails bending would sometimes nnmrx of ivork havoc by striKtng the uner In men elected to the- Legislature because it was that they would faror railroad ejcttnsian. Among these from Onondaga county were John Wilkiitson of David of Sanford C. Parker of M'arccllits and Daniel Dennison of Manlius. The Legislature of 1836 was besieged with petitions for railroads from all parts of 'the State. Among ihem was one for a road between Utica. and which was granted on. May.. nth. of that year. The company was compelled to pov the Seneca Road company for any damage's. sustained by the turnpike iii'cpitsiructing the and to pav a certain toll to the canal on all freight carried by the except passengers' during the canal season. The original charter of the Schenectady and Utica road prohibited it from carrying any frciglit but this -prohibition was removed by the Legislature of 1844. Prior to date freight wns carried from Schenectady to Utica in winter on sleighs and thence on westward by rail. On May the Syracuse. Cortland and Railroad company was incorporated. one oj the ttir of vcnrs before Wtrc realised. Another was the Jordan and Skanealclcs incorporated May 1837. All the com- missioners were prominent citisens of the western part of this county.