Author Topic: New Castle Station - Chester Mercer, Telegrapher  (Read 5620 times)

Mercer

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New Castle Station - Chester Mercer, Telegrapher
« on: February 03, 2009, 08:21:36 PM »
Anyone out there know anything about the New Castle Station? My grandfather, Chester (Chet) Mercer was the telegrapher there for 37 years and I remember visiting him often. I believe he worked for the New York Central, but don't have proof. The Nickle Plate, Pennsy, and CCC and St. L also went through there. I am also interested in what my grandmother called "The Doodlebug" which might have been an interurban. I rode on it in the early 1940s.

Mercer

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New Castle Station - Chet Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 08:23:11 PM »
Anyone out there know anything about the New Castle Station? My grandfather, Chester (Chet) Mercer was the telegrapher there for 37 years and I remember visiting him often. I believe he worked for the New York Central, but don't have proof. The Nickle Plate, Pennsy, and CCC and St. L also went through there. I am also interested in what my grandmother called "The Doodlebug" which might have been an interurban. I rode on it in the early 1940s.

CIOR

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Re: New Castle Station - Chet Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2009, 10:43:02 AM »
I believe a couple gentlemen talked about your grandfather just this past Saturday at the hobby shop in Muncie.  I could be mistaken, as I was dealing with other things when they started talking about him and I missed his name.
Apparently from the end of the conversation (when I got to set back down) he had a nice article written about him in the New Castle paper when he retired.  Was he in his 70's when he retired?

I could be wrong though, but I believe Mont said he was the NYC side guy.

indrr

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Re: New Castle Station - Chet Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2009, 11:09:30 AM »
Doodlebugs were not the same as the interurban.  They were gas-powered railcars that railroads operated when running a full train became unprofitable.  They were basically self-propelled passenger cars, and offered a minimal level of passenger service (comparable to a bus).  The NYC and PRR both ran them in Indiana; not sure about the NKP. 

This was probably what you rode.  The electric interurban into New Castle ended service in 1940 (or was it 1939?).

However, I think many people used the term "doodlebug" interchangeably, so your grandmother may have been remembering either one.
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Warren_Thompson

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Re: New Castle Station - Chester Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2009, 11:47:59 AM »
I am also interested in what my grandmother called "The Doodlebug" which might have been an interurban. I rode on it in the early 1940s.

The name "Doodlebug" was often used in reference to a gas-electric. By the "early 1940s" the Indiana interurbans had passed from the scene (the Indiana Railroad gave up the ghost in January 1941).













Mercer

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Re: New Castle Station - Chester Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2009, 02:19:32 PM »
To those who answered about the "doodlebug", thanks! I must have been pretty young, maybe four or so when we rode it. Once my grandfather took me up into the cab of a big locomotive that stopped in front of the station. The fireman opened the big doors to the firebox and grabbed me by the collar and the seat of the pants and swung me like he was going to throw me in. Pretty scary for a little kid, but I will never forget the flames, the smell of the cab, and what the doors looked like.

Gene

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Re: New Castle Station - Chester Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2009, 12:10:36 AM »
 Can you give me the date of his birth or death. I will be going up to the Historical Society Saturday. If you can get me close, I may be able to find somethig about him.
 I can also go to the NC library to check out the micro fiche records of the Courier-Times.
Gene


Jerry Mercer

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Re: New Castle Station - Chester Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2009, 01:23:44 AM »
Chester "Chet" Mercer died on March 30th, 1955. Chet was a telegrapher in New Castle, Indiana. He was survived by his wife, Annette Gilbert Mercer, and his two sons, Mark Lamont Mercer and Frederick Wayne Mercer. Chester was the son of James Madison Mercer, a civil war veteran. James Madison was married to Elizabeth Hanby and they had six children and lived on a farm near New Lisbon, Indiana. James Madison was the sone of Joshua mercer and Catherine Swafford. Joshua moved from Winchester, Virginia to Indiana in 1826.

Terry

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Re: New Castle Station - Chester Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2009, 07:09:33 PM »
Hi,
Do you remember your Grandfather talking about a man named William Cooper who also was a Telegraph Opr at the New Castle Train station during the time frame of 1913-1940?  He had lost an arm somehow, but worked for the Big 4, and later the NYC Depot.  I'm doing some research and trying to find info on this William.

Mercer

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Re: New Castle Station - Chester Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2009, 10:01:23 PM »
Hi, Terry... I'm sorry, I don't remember Mr. Cooper. I do remember going up in one of the big NYC cabs and having the fireman threaten to throw me into the firebox! I was probably only three or four. How I loved the sounds of those old steam engines, especially on a cold winter night when you could hear them wailing off in the distance.
Jerry

dadamercer

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Re: New Castle Station - Chet Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2010, 10:52:36 AM »
I believe a couple gentlemen talked about your grandfather just this past Saturday at the hobby shop in Muncie.  I could be mistaken, as I was dealing with other things when they started talking about him and I missed his name.
Apparently from the end of the conversation (when I got to set back down) he had a nice article written about him in the New Castle paper when he retired.  Was he in his 70's when he retired?

I could be wrong though, but I believe Mont said he was the NYC side guy.

Hello,

I am sorry for my very tardy response to your reply.  I do appreciate you taking time to do so.  My wife and I have moved recently and I've been overloaded with things, so don't have much time to get back to my interest in RR's/Indiana and my grandfather.  I was pretty young when he worked as a telegrapher in New Castle, so I'm not sure which RR he worked for and my younger brother and I don't agree.  I thought he worked for NYC and my brother thinks Nickle Plate.  However, the grouping and disbanding of many rail road businesses sometimes makes this difficult to follow.  I want to track down any information about him.  Again, thanks and I'll try to keep more involved in this now that we've settled down in our little place in the mountains of So Cal.

Al Mercer   

Gene

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Re: New Castle Station - Chester Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2010, 04:11:15 PM »
 Mr Cooper was indeed a one armed telegraph operator but I think he worked for the Big 4 RR. Cooper was implicated in the disappearance of a 10 yr old girl named Catherine Winters of New Castle. Please do a search on that subject and you will be impressed the national attention that issue received.
   
   Gene


Freightrain

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Re: New Castle Station - Chester Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2010, 03:49:38 PM »
The NKP initials are NYC&STL that is NEW YORK CHICAGO ANS ST LOUIS.That might cause confusion.A friend of mine who passed away a few years ago who loved trains and saw a lot of this stuff.He said when he was a child probably 5 he wen,t fishing around lynn and saw a Doodle bug on that line .H e graduated  in 1948 so there probably were doodlebugs on the NYC.

Mercer

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Re: Doodle Bugs - New Castle Station - Chester Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2010, 10:48:16 PM »
I sure there were Doddle Bugs on NYC tracks, because my grandma took us on them in the forties. But I don't know where we went!
Jerry Mercer

CIOR

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Re: New Castle Station - Chester Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2010, 12:20:20 PM »
I posed the question about the doodlebug to someone I felt would remember them.  He said yes they did run them but he didn't know dates of service.
He rode them from Moorland to New Castle and even to Indianapolis.

He is now in his mid 80's and failing memory, but he did recall this.

LEW

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Re: New Castle Station - Chester Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2010, 03:17:59 PM »
I think the doodlebug was around until 1948-1950 on the Springfield division.
LEW

Freightrain

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Re: New Castle Station - Chet Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2010, 09:12:22 AM »
I believe a couple gentlemen talked about your grandfather just this past Saturday at the hobby shop in Muncie.  I could be mistaken, as I was dealing with other things when they started talking about him and I missed his name.
Apparently from the end of the conversation (when I got to set back down) he had a nice article written about him in the New Castle paper when he retired.  Was he in his 70's when he retired?

I could be wrong though, but I believe Mont said he was the NYC side guy.
His name was Al sherry.

LEW

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Re: New Castle Station - Chester Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2010, 08:38:20 PM »
Retired engineer Don Stewart,(South Anderson),started his career as an operator
at New Castle under Al Sherry.Don changed to Fireman in 1955?, and retired as an engineer in the 90s. LEW

Freightrain

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Re: New Castle Station - Chester Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2010, 10:35:13 AM »
Retired engineer Don Stewart,(South Anderson),started his career as an operator
at New Castle under Al Sherry.Don changed to Fireman in 1955?, and retired as an engineer in the 90s. LEW
I wonder how much operating needed done.I was born in 1965 and I saw the NYC local that came every day.1 day to springfield next day back to Indianapolis.I remeber grain extras.1 time there must have been a detour because a long freight came through.Someone told me they visited a relative in the 50.s and saw a few trains on that line.I WAS ALWAYS CURIOUS ABOUT WHAT KIND OF FREIGHT ran throgh here.I know it wasd basiclt the shortest NYC route Columbus Oh to indy.

LEW

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Re: New Castle Station - Chester Mercer, Telegrapher
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2010, 10:02:48 PM »
Until about 1953 there was 2 frt. each way plus a local 6 days a week. As I said before a passenger train each way until about 1948-50.Starting in the middle to late 1950s they started running longer frt. trains and about 1960 when the diesels came down to 1 frt. each way plus a local.Our interchange with them at Shirley was about 35 - 40 cars a day until things started slowing down. PC was all for run through service. Go to RR of Madison County and I have a story about the last train.This was the end of the east end of the P&E. That will be under ,Memories,.
LEW