History and images have been compiled from various sources including, among others, the 1987 National Register of Historic Places, Stack & Beasley's 1902 Sketches of Monroe and Union County, Union County Public Library (Patricia Poland, Genealogy & Local History Librarian), the Heritage Room Photo Collection, North Carolina Map Collection, Rootsweb - An Ancestry.com Community and Ancestry.com family histories.

The Train

Early 1800s - Heritage Rm. Collection
"For Monroe, like many small and medium-sized towns across the state, the arrival of the railroad was essential for the town's growth and progress. The December 1874 completion of the Carolina Central Railway between Wilmington and Charlotte brought important changes in the town's commercial standing. Monroe became a market town where agricultural products from Union and the surrounding rural counties of North and South Carolina could be exchanged for manufactured goods brought in on the railroad. It was a hub between the state's greatest seaport and its fastest growing metropolis. Construction of the Georgia, Carolina and Northern Railroad in 1887-1892 between Atlanta and Monroe further strengthened the city's status as a railroad center. These railways were merged into the Seaboard Air Line Railway in 1901 and, since the railroad did not go through Charlotte, Monroe became an important link in the Seaboard's north-south route...Monroe's status as a hub in the seaboard Air Line meant that it became home to a large transient population of railroad men." - National Register

The S.A.L. Routes and Destinations
(Included in Stack & Beasley 1902)

"The Seaborad Air Line passes through one of the most fertile sections of the fair Southland, from Virginia through the two Carolinas and Georgia to Florida, the land of perpetual Spring, the Eldorado of the health and pleasure seekers. Along its borders are all kinds of climate, where grow the grains and fruits of the northern section, the golden tobacco, the waving field of wheat and oats, the fleecy cotton, the luscious peach, the juicy apple, the seductive grape, and the toothsome 'watermillyon,' and further South the tropical fruits--the banana, pineapple, guava, and cocoanut.

"The section immediately around and adjacent to Monroe is very healthful, free from malaria and moderately fertile. The land produces wheat, oats, corn, peas and grasses in abundance. When cultivated, cotton also yield gratifying harvests to those who use freely of commercial fertilizers or stable manure. And the grade of the cotton is the finest of short staple cotton in the world--a great deal of it grading fair and middling fair. (Cotton men will understand what this is.)

"Fruits succeed well, especially apples, strawberries and grapes. It is a good section for raising stock, as clover and nutritious grasses grow luxuriantly when proper attention is paid to them. It is a good section for the erection of wood-working plants, for we have an abundance of the finest kind of hickory, oak and pine timber right at our door; also a good deal of poplar and some walnut. Lands are cheap, and good farms near enough the city to be convenient for market can be bought at from $6 to $20 per acre, the price ranging according to locality, amount of timber, improvements, etc.

"The citizens of this section welcome all new comers who wish to settle in our midst for the purpose of making a living and helping to build up and beautify this garden spot of the Piedmont section. The city of Monroe is the healthiest place in the State and has the best water in the South, and offers inducements for capitalists who wish to erect industrial plants of any kind, and her citizens will not hesitate to put their capital into business with other parties from other sections, North, East or West, who wish to locate in her borders. Any further or specific information desired about the soil, climate, timbers, waterpowers, minerals, lands, etc., will be cheerfully furnished by..."J.W. TOWNSEND, Local Industrial Agent, S.A.L.
S.W. PARHAM, Station Agt. S.A.L.
Monroe, N.C.

Railroad Yard - Stack & Beasley 1902

"On February 1, 1906, the Charlotte Observer reported that the Seaboard Air Line Railroad planned to build 'Two handsome depots for Monroe, a freight and a passenger.' The Depot has a distinctive design that clearly identifies it as a railroad terminal. It was constructed using pressed brick and has special features such as terra cotta panels, ornate chimneys and Queen Anne style window sashes. These special features and the need for two terminals, demonstrates the growing significance of Monroe as a railroad center in the region." -  City of Monroe: The Depot, 100 Smith Street

Many Seaboard Air Line Railway employees built, owned or rented homes. (This list was compiled from the National Register Monroe Residential District. It took some time to peruse and transcribe, but may be informative to many descendants.)

304 Charles St. ca 1910 - Occupied by A. Frank Thompson, engineer
404 S. Church ca 1919 - Samuel S. Howie, engineer
607 S. Church ca 1895 - (Jerome-Green) S.H. Green, conductor, 1907-20
110 S. College ca 1898 - Gaston Meares, engineer
504 S. Crawford ca 1910 - J.W. Hinson, conductor
410 E. Franklin ca 1910 - H.E. Neal, conductor
405 W. Franklin ca 1914 - J.B. Simpson, yard master
205 S. Hayne ca 1906 - Charles M. Shannon, engineer
505 S. Hayne ca 1900 - Dr. John M. Blair, surgeon for S.A.L. Railway
317 E. Houston ca 1900 - G.S. Brunson, employee
314 E. Houston ca 1922 - W.J. Barnes, conductor
408 E. Houston ca 1909 - A.L. Monroe, employee
410 E. Houston ca 1910 - W.Z. Faulkner, employee
108 W. Houston ca 1905 - In 1918 Mary Dearing sold to J.D. Bundy, bagmaster
504 W. Jefferson ca 1910 - In 1928 home to J.A. Privett, clerk
505 W. Jefferson ca 1882 - J.W. Townsend, local industrial agent
601 W. Jefferson ca 1910 - F.T. Lander, conductor
502 Lancaster Ave. ca 1925 - H.F. Taylor, yard conductor
201 Lancaster Ave. ca 1870 - R.V. Houston sold to Thomas B. Sale, employee
305 S. Main ca 1905 - Wm. E. Cason, employee
106 Maurice ca 1912 - W.C. Helms, conductor
200 Maurice ca 1910 - J.A. Gossett, conductor and flagman
204 Maurice ca 1920 -
Engineer E.W. Howie occupied in 1928
306 Maurice ca 1909 - J.F. Wood, engineer, purchased from N.M.S. Matthews
509 Tallyrand ca 1915 - (Copple House)
employee S.H. Adams rented in 1928
408 E. Tallyrand ca 1910 - Occupied 1920s by employees
410 E. Tallyrand ca 1910 - 1928 resident was machinist with railroad
412 E. Tallyrand ca 1910 - Occupied 1922 by employee
504 E. Tallyrand ca 1910 - T.C. Horton, engineer
512 E. Tallyrand ca 1920 - Walter F. Lemmond, employee
201 S. Washington ca 1880-(Stewart-Simpson-Douglas), J.A. Douglas, fgt. agent
204 S. Washington ca 1898 - W.A. Lane, conductor
301 S. Washington ca 1876 - (Love-Bourne) Isaac Bourne (1890), employee
302 S. Washington ca 1920 - 1922, claim agt. V.H. Wood, 1928, J.E. Sutherland, employee
504 S. Washington ca 1881- (Bruner-Coble House) 1905 to J.B. Coble, engineer
328 E. Windsor ca 1900 - (Redfearn-Dulin House), S.W. Dulin, engineer
330 E. Windsor ca 1919 - (Ashcraft-Bankhead House) J.W. Bankhead, employee
332 E. Windsor ca 1902 - (Crowell-Austin)
foreman M.C. Austin purchased 1919
404 W. Windsor ca 1914 - Henry Laney, conductor
411 W. Windsor ca 1927 - M.D. Hunnicutt, conductor

1 comment:

  1. John G. Baskerville, my great grandfather, brought the first train to Monroe aboard Engine #20.