Railroad Stories: Railroad Industry Was Important

In southern Ohio town, railroad industry was important part of the economy.

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The railroad industry was an important part of the economy of my southern Ohio hometown. Many people were employed by the train lines, including my neighbor. He made me a wonderful lamp out of part of an engine.

More than watching the trains, was the thrill of riding one. My mother, a good friend, her daughter and I made several trips to West Virginia. What a thrill it was for two preschool girls.

Another special memory for me was when Dwight D. Eisenhower was campaigning for president. His train made a stop in our area, and we were dismissed from school to go see him. How wonderful, that a train could bring a piece of history to us.

Trains became very important to me when I was in high school. My boyfriend lived more than 100 miles away, but his dad was an engineer, so he got free pass¬es to visit me. Later, my class took the train from Ohio to Washington, D.C., and New York City on our senior trip. We had a marvelous time on the train, though I'm not sure the other passengers did.

When I attended college and wanted to go home, I took the train. The trip lasted about three hours, which gave me time to study, relax or dream about my future. Later I took some short excursion train trips, just for sightseeing. One of them included a wonderful meal with fancy tablecloths, candlelight and flowers.

It's been awhile since I've climbed aboard a train, but hardly a day goes by that I don't hear a train whistle coming from the tracks a couple of miles from my home. My attachment to trains goes back to my early childhood, when I stood in the back yard and watched the trains go by every day. I love trains! Now that I'm retired, maybe I'll become a hobo and ride the rails!

Joyce A. Munn
Watts, Okla.

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.