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Nestling among the hills of the Scioto valley, in the south-central portion of the state of Ohio, lies the little town of Wadsworth. Venerable in its age, proud of its history, the first capital of its state and the home of men famous in their time, it lives in the past rather than in the present, and life there moves in a quiet and dignified manner, conducive to peace but not to progress. Its streets, shaded by the elms planted by the pioneers, show traces of those early days; one of the old inns, with its swinging sign still stands; no roar of traffic disturbs its Sabbath stillness. Just to the east of it rises Mount Logan, named for the Indian chieftain known to every train-service, and there is a legend that, standing on the summit of that hill, the day before his death, he cast a spell over the surrounding country, in order that the peace of his grave might never be disturbed. However that may be, certain it is that a dreamy influence pervades the atmosphere and gives to the town an air of leisure and calm deliberateness which nothing can dispel. It had been founded more than a century before, when the country for a hundred miles around was an unbroken forest, by a little band of pioneers who, acquiring title to unnumbered acres by virtue of their service in the Revolution, pushed their way over the mountains from Virginia.

Some of them brought their slaves with them, only to free them when they reached their new home. Other families from Virginia joined the little settlement and lent their hands to the battle with the wilderness. That southern flavour had never been lost, nor the southern deliberateness and dislike of innovation, nor the southern preference for agriculture rather than for manufacture. By mere chance of geographical position, Wadsworth lies half way between Parkersburg, a hundred miles away to the east, and Cincinnati, a hundred miles away to the south-west; so, when the great P. & O. railway, looking for new fields to conquer, purchased the local line which connected those two cities, and which was fast degenerating into a "streak of rust," it saw that Wadsworth must be the centre of the new division, since it was the most economical place from which to handle the business of the division and at which to maintain the division shops. All this, however, it carefully concealed from public view, but, expressing a supreme indifference as to whether the shops were placed at Wadsworth or somewhere else, offered to bring them there for a bonus of a hundred thousand dollars. After long delay and hesitation, the town was bonded for that amount, and the shops were formally established at the spot where they must, of necessity, have been placed. Here also were the division offices, from which the business of the division was handled. They were upon the second floor of the dingy depot building which has been described more particularly in "The Young Train Dispatcher," and need not be dwelt upon here, except to observe that the passing years had added to its dinginess and disreputable appearance. From these offices there descended, one bright October evening, lunch-basket in hand, a young man, who, springing lightly across the branching tracks of the yards, reached the street beyond and turned eastward along it. It was noticeable that he seemed to know everyone employed around the yards and that they seemed to know him, and greeted him with a cordiality evidently genuine.

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  • Publication Date: November 9, 2019
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Disabled
  • Print Length: 245 Pages
  • File Size: 1,919 KB

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