Source: "Mansfield, It's More Than A Mill" 1983, Copyright. Page 20.
I DO NOT know how accurate this info is, but quoted as printed.
Mansfield - Carbon Railroad
There was a period of one year in 1890, to be exact when 12 miles of railroad between Mansfield and Carbon, Indiana, belonged to four enterprising men who formed its crew, its board of directors, its business agents and its superintendency.
The four are Fred Wimer, owner of a single factory along the 12 mile stretch, A.O. Benson, W.N. Benson, and E.P. Reynolds - the contractor who built this stretch of railroad.
The history of this railroad starts before 1890 when a project was set forth by the MONON railroad to build a connection between Bainbridge and Terre Haute. This was to be built in 12 mile sections by various contactors.
When the E. P. Reynolds Company of Rock Island, Illinois started construction on the Mansfield - Carbon stretch trouble began. The MONON experienced financial trouble and decided to drop the Mansfield-Carbon stretch which was nearly completed.
E. P. Reynolds was left with 12 miles of track on his hands and nobody claimed to own it, so with the enterprise of a giant, he took the road on himself. For a year he and the three others ran it and made money.
Their locomotive was an old steam traction engine. It was christened "Nancy Hanks" after the then famous race horse. The freight cars were three old stone trucks, then called "Larry Cars". These were attached to the front of the engine, since the engine could only push the cars and make any headway. The weeds grew up so fast between each daily trip that the engine could not possibly go first on the tracks and pull the cars.
The train made a trip from Mansfield to Carbon every day, sometimes making an extra trip if someone had some merchandise or stone to haul. They charged $5.00 a load for hauling the stone. And the old rattling train made from 12 to 15 miles an hour on its precarious trips.
The crew of this train used to run in all weather. At one time a washout of a bridge on the Big Raccoon Creek, across which the tracks passed, made it seem exceedingly dangerous to attempt to cross naturally. Only the tracks crossed the stream, with the regular supports horizontal beneath; for the entire piling which had been built to hold up the road had been swept away by the surging waters ! The crew tried it and got across without a mishap, and continued to cross day after day, carrying loads of stone.
This staunch old locomotive was the mainstay of travel and freight hauling for the farmers, business men and pleasure seekers between Mansfield and Carbon, Indiana in 1890.
(Banta Note: There is two photos, one shows the locomotive; a 0-4-0 flat car with a boiler on it.
Looks like the first Locos built in the 1820s-30s)
I am always on the search for info related to any post. !!!!!!!!