Letter: Interurban system brings back fond memories




To the editor:

I read the article on the interurban system in the Daily Journal (Sept. 26).

I lived on North Main Street in Franklin on the east side of the street just two houses north of the intersection with Banta from 1933 to 1961. I was a young boy seeing the interurban cars go back and forth each day, and what a treat that was in my childhood. I was 8 years of age when this transit was finally closed.

I can remember riding with my mom to Indianapolis and back on this transit system, and what fun it was for me as a young youth. What was neat was when it was ready to return in the opposite direction, for there were controls identical in both ends of the car, so all the driver had to do was to walk to the opposite end to return the opposite way. The interurban driver would pick us up in front of the house. My mom would just raise her hand in advance, and the interurban would stop.

One time my mom saw a little girl playing on the tracks in the middle of the street, and an interurban car was on its way in her direction. My mom rushed off our porch, picked her up and took her off the tracks. She rescued the little girl whose name was Jane White. Her dad had been a member of the Franklin Wonder Five.

Charlton “Butter” Williams was the man in charge at the local interurban station. He at one time was a member of the Franklin Wonder Five too.

What a great period in my life.

When the tracks were removed, many of the bricks were salvaged by a man named Smith Jones who owned the three houses south of my home. He had built a large garage for his residents in the back of his house lots he owned with about eight stalls, putting at least three vehicles in each stall if necessary.

So for several months or a year the bricks were piled close to that garage and then later laid for the floor of that large garage. Each brick was much larger that than the normal brick of today.

I always wondered what happened to those bricks after Mr. Jones died, and the new owner tore down the house next to mine and the garage, and built the apartment that stands there today.

William C. Legan

New Albany

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