1899 Telegraphers on the Radford Division

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue Dec 29 20:07:47 EST 2020

The *Salem Sentinel* was a weekly four-page newspaper published between
1895-1902. It had a smattering of news and a number of columns of local
neighborhood news from hamlets around the valley. It also had a semiregular
feature of news from the Radford Division, with personal notes about people
who worked for the N&W (such as births and weddings), comments and
commentary about known folks on the railroad, and news about happenings
such a new engines, changes in positions, etc. It is one of the many
digitized papers at the Library of Virginia (https://virginiachronicle.com/

Two issues had a rundown of the telegraph operators, which is interesting
for the listing of names and the locations of telegraph offices on the
line. Enjoy.

Bruce in Blacksburg


*N. & W. Items, Radford Division*

Below will be found the names of "ham" operators on the Radford Division,
between Roanoke and Radford. Next week we will, if permitted, give the
names of those working between Radford and Bluefield:

Goodykoontz and Graybill run trains,
And Fulwider and Kerr make use of their brains;
These in Park Street office are found,
"KD” is a hot place, and they have to turn round.

Billmyer and Houchins at "DO" we find,
Two of the best operators on the line;
At West Roanoke we find Kerr and Seay,
Two staunch old members of the O. R. T.

Johnson and Beaver at Salem we find,
Who to their own interests are surely blind;
At Glenvar Tower are Gardner and Vest,
Who are good members, and have stood the test.

Wilson and Apgar at Balls hold the fort,
They are true to our cause and of the right sort;
At Elliston we see Duncan and Good,
They are both O. R. T. and the test have stood.

Showalter and Ryan at Shawsville we strike,
And no finer boys are on the pike;
Next comes Montgomery with Heslep and Dooly,
If you're O. R. T. they wont treat you coolly.

At Houchins we run across Jennings and Parrish,
If all were like them the O. R. T. would flourish;
At Christiansburg Tower are Rowzie and Bane,
Who know whats their loss and what is their gain.

Overstreet and Hornbarger at Vickers hold sway,
Hornbarger by night and Overstreet by day;
Rayburn and Witt at East Radford touch the key,
Two better boys we never did see.

Cord and Pulliam at Radford pound brass,
They are both good men of the old time class;
As our space is limited, we will tell you next time,
Who works on the New River end of the line.

*Salem Sentinel*, Volume 6, Number 5, 28 March 1899, pg. 2

Nothing of importance has come to our knowledge during the past-week.
Trains continue to run on Sunday, and keep us close. Nearly all of the
serious accidents that have occurred lately were on Sunday. After rhyming
the names of a few more “hams" we will ring off.

McLlaney, Johnson, and Lake issue orders,
They work eight hours at a stretch;
It is hard for the “hams” on the New River end,
The fast morse they send, to catch.

Cord and Cord at Schooler hold down,
At Belspring, Calhoun and Souner hear the sound,
Of the Calhoun boys at Dry Branch town,
Two big brothers in the O. R. T. found.

At Eggleston Springs, two Goldsmiths stay,
At Pembroke Luckado and Brady look gay;
At Ripplemead, Duncan and Durham serve,
Durham and Phlegar pound brass at Curve.

At Pearisburg Bob Fry works day,
At Shumate Hudson and Charlton hold sway;
At Narrows the office has been closed out,
Harbert and Kerner at Lurich makes three;
At Oakvale Boyd and Moore look around,
Brickey and Spangler at Hardy are found.

At Ingleside Wilkerson makes a noise,
At East River Price and Blake are the boys;
Price makes music, a yard at a time,
Blake makes dollies to sell for a dime.

Creswell and Metcalf at Tulip can’t sleep
They’re in the O. R. T., and in it deep;
Old man Verner at Ada makes a sign,
This is the last office on the line.

These are the names of the boys so true,
Who always stand by us when things look blue;
Nearly all in the O. R. T. are found,
And those that are not will come around.

*Salem Sentinel*, Volume 6, Number 6, 4 April 1899, pg. 2
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