N&W in 1904 -- Detroit Southern

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed Nov 28 16:28:45 EST 2007

Yes, Sam, the Detroit Southern was formed from the Detroit & Lima and the
Ohio Southern and after this receivership, the line became the Detroit
Toledo & Ironton.

Note that Samuel Hunt was the general manager of the Ohio & Northwestern/
Cincinnati, Portsmouth & Virginia when the N&W purchased the line in 1901.
SO, he had a track record with the N&W.

The DT&I route for coal to the Great Lakes was always questionable as Summit
Hill was a real challenge for railroading up to the point that the DT&I
ceased to run trains over it. Virtually every train over the summit needed
to be doubled. The DT&I did move a lot of N&W coal over it from the
interchange at Glen Jean. ( Summit Hill is directly west of Waverly, Ohio
and Glen Jean.)

Gary Rolih


From: nw-mailing-list-bounces at nwhs.org
[mailto:nw-mailing-list-bounces at nwhs.org] On Behalf Of NW Mailing List
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2007 10:04 AM
To: NW Mailing List
Subject: Re: N&W in 1904 -- Detroit Southern

I'm curious about this railroad. Where did it run and what became of it?
Was it bought and absorbed by another road? Or did it come out of
bankruptcy and survive under another name?

I'm sure the rumored sale to N&W didn't go through because N&W didn't get
its lake outlet until it bought the Sandusky Line from Pennsy. And C&O got
its lake access by buying the Hocking Valley, although for years it had that
big gap between the Ohio River and Columbus.

Might it have formed the start of Henry Ford's DT&I? But I think he built
that entire road from scratch.


Sam Putney

----- Original Message -----

From: NW <mailto:nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org> Mailing List

To: N <mailto:nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org> &W Mailing 1List

Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 10:11 PM

Subject: N&W in 1904 -- Detroit Southern



Favorable Opportunity to Secure Direct Outlet to the Lakes


As a result of the financial troubles which have thrown the Detroit
Southern into the hands of receivers appointed by the courts, there is now a
strong probability that the Norfolk and Western will acquire the road and
use it as the basis of a line by which it may secure a direct route to the

The Norfolk and Western, as is well known in railway circles has for
some time wanted a direct line to the lakes and leading railroad men now
believe that the present difficulty of the Detroit Southern will furnish
just the opportunity the management of the former road is seeking.

Secret and [blurred] action was taken Wednesday in the United States
court at Ironton, Ohio, regarding the Detroit Southern railroad.

Upon the petition of bondholders and after a hearing in chambers Judge
Thompson decided to throw the company into a receivership.

Samuel Hunt, president of the road, was selected by the court as
receiver, Judge Doyle, of Toledo, appeared, as counsel for the railroad
company, while Judge Judson Harmon was the legal representative of the
trustees for the bondholders. The financial condition of the company was
set forth as agreed upon by counsel, and Judge Thompson promptly granted the
application for a receiver so far as concerns the railroad property in Ohio,
naming Mr. Hunt, who was acceptable to both sides, to take charge of

The proceedings were surrounded with secrecy, as it was necessary to
take similar action to cover the company's property in Michigan. This will
be done at Detroit, when a like application will be made in the federal
court of that district. No doubt it will be granted. Mr. Hunt will also
be appointed receiver by the district Judge at Detroit.

There have been rumors for some time regarding the financial condition
of the Detroit Southern. It was the understanding that the company was
barely keeping its head above the water. The startling action of Wednesday
was precipitated by the inability of the company to pay the interest on its
bonded indebtedness, which fell due on June 1. Efforts were made to arrange
with the bondholders for concessions, and the withholding of extreme
measures on the default, so that the road could continue in operation under
the present management, and possibly straighten out its financial tangle in
time. Some of the bondholders were willing to accede to the request and
hold action in abeyance, but others declined to agree to any concessions
whatever. Most of the bonds are held in New York and under a trust.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

July 10, 1904

[This is further proof that a newspaper reporter's speculation should not be
taken as the historical outcome.]

Gordon Hamilton


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