Publication: The Muncie Daily Times
Muncie, IN, United States
The Belt Railroad.
From Mr. W.W. Worthington, General Superintendent of the Ft. Wayne railroad, who was in the city on Monday, we learn that the most important part of the belt road will be graded and ready for the ties by next Saturday. That considered as the most important is the portion that connects the three roads – the Bee Line, L.E. and W. and Ft. W.C&L. roads. The completion of this portion of the belt railroad at an early day is necessary in order that proper facilities for transporting material to the several factories now in operation and those being erected, shall be more complete. At the Pulp Works it has already been found that another switch was necessary and Mr. Worthington had had it put in. They are now most advantageously situated and are going to enlarge their business far beyond what was expected when they first begun the construction of their buildings. To the brown and course white paper originally intended to be manufactured they have ordered machinery to make the finest grades of white and colored paper. The latter addition means more employes [sic] employees and more skilled workmen. The Rubber Works are also getting along finely and it will not be long until new machinery, for the manufacture of rubber clothing, will be put in – at least that is Mr. Nutt’s intention at present. The goods being made now are the courser, but at the same time are the valuable kind – such as matting, belting, etc. This firm is already fixed with a switch and while our citizens hear of the heavy machinery and the material that comes into this establishment, they have no idea of the vast amount of material that is so easily shipped in and again shipped out and put upon the eastern markets as the product of Muncie, manufactured by the heat of natural gas. Immediately on the line of the belt road the mammoth glass works of the Hemingrays is being built. Any one who has an acquaintance with this firm knows that nothing short of the largest and the best will satisfy them. Every dealer in glassware, the world over, knows this firm, at least by reputation. They have a reputation that they desire to maintain and their buildings and machinery will be of the best workmanship and when their one hundred and fifty skilled mechanics arrive in a short time from Covington, Ky., and the Covington plant is fixed in Muncie, another great industry, with MUNCIE stamped upon so many articles of every day use, will give every citizen pride in saying, this is the result of our natural gas.
Still further along the line of the belt the workmen are busy upon the buildings of C.H. Over & Co. Mr. Over has been here but a short time but the rapidly and solidity with which the works is being pushed gives the best evidence that this company will be behind none other in the quantity and quality of their work. This firm has varied manufacturing interests, and I is hoped that some of the other branches can be brought here, when the present business is once started, and the great saving by having cheap fuel – free fuel – giving better heat and producing better wares – is clearly demonstrated to Mr. Over, as it surely will be. The other interests in which he is interested will no doubt take advantage of the inducements Muncie offers.
The Ball glass works have been in active operation for some time. They are now running to their full capacity, have a ready sale for all their goods and orders far in advance. At no distant day they will increase their capacity. Mr. Ball is an active business man, and being the first to locate a glass factory here and take advantage of the natural fuel, he has a larger personal acquaintance than any of the other managers. In fact he is already regarded as one of the old citizens, so many new firms having come in since he did.
One thing, however, is a great satisfaction to every citizen in Muncie. The new factories mentioned above, the new ones that we have not mentioned, and the factories that were in operation here before the natural gas find, are all satisfied with their location, pleased wit the outlook, and have increased their facilities and business or are preparing to do so. There has been no representation made, no proposition or contract made, that has not been fully verified and carried out to the letter. The city presents all the advantages of a commercial center – all the home and social advantages that were claimed for it. As to the health of Muncie, there is no other place of like size that can show a better record, no other place in the west where there is so complete a system of natural and artificial sewerage. When we consider the finely paved streets and sidewalks, eleven churches constructed and others in course of construction, the most elegant court house in the country, school buildings unsurpassed in the State, Electric light of the Brush and Edison systems, artificial gas, a well organized fire company with all the modern appliance, including the Gamewell fire alarm – when all these things are considered not as going to be the luxuries and necessities of Muncie, but as fixed facts now in existence and in practical and satisfactory operation, it must be admitted that Muncie, to say nothing about natural gas, has advantages far in advance of some of the more pretentious cities of the east. As a railroad center there is none better. From every point of the compass, every hour of the day, trains leave carrying freight to the leading commercial centers and always at rates that are as cheap as can be had in Indianapolis, Cleveland, Cincinnati or Chicago. These are a few of the advantages that may be mentioned for Muncie as natural and acquired by the energy and enterprise of a wide awake and intelligent people. The farms and country round Muncie represent one grand garden spot; producing all the fruits, grain and produce that will be consumed by a city of fifty thousand inhabitants – the freshest and the best – fifty per cent cheaper than the same articles can be bought in the large cities. The last of the great natural advantages is the Natural Gas. Here is something that it is not in the power of man to describe. The roar of a gas well as the fluid flows from unknown reservoirs and is harnessed and made to subserve the purposes of man, is a wonder of the century. It gushes forth without coaxing and is free as air. To the manufacturer, who has heretofore been compelled to pay twenty to fifty thousand dollars a year for fuel, it is an Aladdin’s lamp insuring him fabulous fortune. To rich and poor it comes as a priceless boon and blessing. It converts waste places into gardens of delight, drives sluggishness from the arteries of trade and gives to the fortunate community that possesses it a light that is only surpassed by the splendor of the god of day. Muncie will soon point to her two hundred flamboyant hurricane burners, turning the hideous gloom of night into the brilliancy of noonday, and be able to boast of being the best lighted city on the globe, with no rival as the one spot on earth where there is perpetual day and summer the whole round year. The picture cannot be overdrawn. No word- painting is equal to the realistic colors. Even the pessimists are led, after a visit and the most searching investigation, to exclaim in the language of the ancient queen, “the half had not been told.”
|Researcher:||Roger Lucas / Bob Stahr|
|Date completed:||October 17, 2011 by: Deb Reed Fowler;|