A Pioneer Railway of the West

 by Maude Ward Lafferty

A Pioneer Railway of the West by Maude Ward Lafferty book cover
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Excerpt:  Kentucky, which was one of the leading States in the Union in those days in all progressive movements, was wide awake to the great advantages to be gained by railroad transportation. And Lexington, which seems to have been the "self-starter" of Kentucky, was aroused to the highest pitch of excitement. The various "performances" of the English railroads were published at length in the Kentucky Gazette, and the Observer and Reporter. Lexington was the very heart of the great Blue Grass region of Kentucky. The amazing richness of the soil had lured the first settlers from the safety of their transmontane homes to the hardships of Indian fighting and primitive living. Here they had built an ideal city !--[6]--adorned with beautiful Colonial homes; established the first great seat of learning west of the Alleghanies; built the first insane asylum; started the first newspaper; established the first public library, and surrounded by culture, wealth and refinement, with every want seemingly supplied and every wish apparently gratified, their business men declared there was yet one thing lacking-they needed an outlet to some great water course. The town branch was beautiful to look upon and a never-failing delight to those first inhabitants but useless for navigation. Their bountiful crops demanded transportation to the markets of the world. And now, like a miracle to solve their difficulties came this railroad proposition.


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