By authority of his office as constructing engineer, George E. Hoffman made the contracts for the first Erie locomotives and cars. He first got the estimate of Rogers, Ketchum & Grosvenor, of Paterson, N. J., for the building of three eight-wheel locomotives, four of them driving-wheels. That firm bid $9,000 for each locomotive, and would take none of the Company's stock to apply on the payment. Hoffman then went to Philadelphia and consulted the locomotive builders of that city. William Norris was willing to make the machines for $8,000 apiece, and to take $3,000 of the price of each engine in Erie stock—Erie stock then being quoted at a little better than nothing. Then the Paterson builders said they would furnish the engines for $8,000, but the pay must be all in cash. Hoffman gave Norris the contract. This was May 12, 1840. The locomotives were delivered to the Company at Piermont the following December. They were shipped by way of the Raritan Canal and Hudson River. One was called the "Eleazar Lord," one the " Piermont," and one the "Rockland," and were numbered 1, 2, and 3 respectively. The contractors had been greatly delayed in putting down the superstructure for want of facilities for transporting the timber and rails from Piermont forward, and the engines were put at that work. No. 1 weighed 32,000 pounds, 22,000 pounds on the drivers; tender, 36,500; outside connection; 13-inch cylinder, 20-inch stroke. The No. 2 was four tons heavier than No. 1, but was similar otherwise. No. 3 was a 16-ton engine, and like Nos. 1 and 2 in other respects. In the spring of 1841 two more Norris engines came on the road, the "Orange" and the "Ramapo." There is no record of their cost, and as to the "Orange," or No. 4, there seems to be no official record at all. The "Orange" became famous in many ways on the eastern end of the railroad, from the opening in 1841 to 1846, and later on western sections of the road. Her first engineer was Joe Meginnes, and her career has no parallel among the pioneer locomotives of the Erie or any other railroad. Here are some historic incidents in that career.

AS A NEWSPAPER SPECIAL.—In 1842 the regular mail route between New York and Albany was a stage-coach line through the counties of the east side of the Hudson. This was long before the day of the telegraph, and the newspapers of that time had to depend on the mails or special couriers in obtaining the news. Presidents' and governors' messages were then considered the most important items of news that a newspaper could give its readers, and in 1842 the New York Sun resolved to place before its readers the message of Governor Seward for that year in advance of any of its rival journals. The New York Herald resolved that the Sun should do no such thing, although the Sun had arranged with the New York and Erie Railroad Company to aid it in the undertaking. There was a stage line between Goshen and Albany, and it had hopes of becoming the popular one to and from the capital, in connection with the Erie. The Sun arranged to have a copy of the Governor's message delivered to it by means of the railroad and the Goshen-Albany route. The Herald believed a copy could be delivered in New York sooner by a courier over the regular stage line east of the Hudson, and arranged to have one delivered over that route. The Railroad Company was intensely interested in the result of this race, for if it proved that the distance between New York and Albany could be made quicker by way of the railroad and the Goshen and Albany stage route, the fact would go far toward making that route the popular one, it was believed, largely to the benefit of the railroad. Hence the management made every arrangement to facilitate the delivery of the Governor's message.

Joe Meginnes, with his locomotive "Orange," was chosen to make the flying trip between Goshen and Piermont with the message when it should be delivered to him. The proprietor of the Albany and Goshen stage line had provided reliable post-riders for this occasion, and the best of horses at ten-mile relays, to carry them to Goshen with all speed. The Hudson River line had made similar arrangements for its route. When Governor Seward's message was delivered to the Legislature at its meeting in January, 1842, a copy of it was delivered to each of the post-riders, and away they sped. Joe Meginnes had his engine all ready to start from Goshen on the word. The "Orange" stood at the old Goshen depot, puffing and snorting, as if with impatience. No post-rider came. By and by there was danger of the engine's steam getting low, and Joe ran her up and down the track, while his fireman (Daniel Sutherland, of Owego, says he was the fireman) stoked her and kept her boiler full of water. An hour passed, then the sound of the horse's hoofs was heard on the hill, and a minute later the panting horse came dashing up to the station. The message was handed over to the custody of the engineer, and he pulled out immediately for Piermont. "He pulled out so suddenly," says David D. Osmun, of Chester, N. Y., who was present on the occasion, "that the locomotive actually rose from the rails, like a rearing horse, and then came down upon them again with a 'chug.'" Joe Meginnes always declared that he would have arrived at Piermont at least a quarter of an hour sooner than he did if Master Mechanic Brandt had not been on the engine with him. Brandt was afraid to ride as fast as Joe was inclined to run, and the engineer had to obey his superior officer.

A steamboat was waiting at Piermont, all ready to complete the trip, and it was quickly steaming down the river. The wide awake Sun editor had put aboard this boat a force of printers, with type and tools, who were set at work immediately putting the message in type. By the time the steamboat reached New York the message was ready to go to press as soon as the type could be carried to the Sun office and placed in the forms. The result of all this haste and enterprise was that when the rider reached New York, bearing the Herald's copy of the message, the Sun had been an hour on the street with its reproduction of the document. A great deal of money was won and lost on the result of this great race. But the result of the race did not have the effect of making the Albany and Goshen connections of the Erie the popular route between New York and Albany, and the stage line was soon abandoned.

Wilmot M. Vail, of Port Jervis, who, as a boy, was present on the occasion, says that the engine that carried the message from Goshen was the "Ramapo," and that the "Orange" followed as a tender, the "Ramapo" being run by Engineer Newell. At Sloatsburg the "Ramapo" burned out a flue and was unable to proceed further. She was put on the Y at that place, and the message was transferred to the "Orange," and Joe Meginnes took it on to Piermont.

TRAVELLING WEST AHEAD OF THE RAILROAD.—Joe Meginnes ran the "Orange" until 1846, when the new locomotive "Sussex," or No. 6, was given him. Joshua P. Martin came from the Lancaster and Columbia Railroad in that year and took charge of the "Orange." He ran her between Piermont and Otisville; and when the railroad was opened to Port Jervis, ran to and from that place until the summer of 1848, when the "Orange" was ordered to Binghamton to help in the construction of the railroad east from that place. Martin was ordered to Binghamton also, to take charge of her there. He went by stage with his family and his fireman, John Meginnes, Joe's brother. The "Orange" was forwarded by Hudson River from Piermont to Albany, thence by Erie Canal to the junction with the Chenango Canal, and down that canal to Binghamton. The engine was five weeks on the way. After the railroad was finished between Binghamton and Port Jervis, Martin and the "Orange" helped build it on to Hornellsville, which place that pioneer locomotive was the first to enter. The "Orange" was sold to the Attica and Hornellsville Railroad Company in 1851, and it was the only engine belonging to that company for more than a year, doing all the work of construction between Hornellsville and Portage.

Joshua P. Martin, who had charge of the "Orange" during the construction period on the Susquehanna Division, had his choice of divisions of the railroad to run on when the road was opened to Dunkirk. He chose the Delaware Division, and made his famous record with" Old 71." ("Administration of Benjamin Loder," pages 98-101.) He was appointed master mechanic of the Buffalo, Corning and New York Railroad (now Rochester Division of the Erie) and later returned to the Erie as master mechanic and engine despatcher between Dunkirk and Susquehanna. When he was running on the Delaware Division, nearly fifty years ago, Josh Martin was held up by the moon. The Delaware Division is very crooked. One night, as Josh was booming along, the moon was shining nearly at his back. A few minutes later he saw what he thought was the headlight of a locomotive on the track directly ahead of him. He shrieked for brakes and reversed his engine. The train came to a stop. Then he discovered that he had turned a sharp curve in the road and come face to face with the moon. Martin died at Jersey City, February 24, 1883. His son, William K., is an Erie engineer at Hornellsville.

In its issue of December 3, 1851, the Hornellsville Tribune announced that "the locomotive 'Orange' has been placed on the Hornellsville and Attica Railroad, preparatory to the opening of the road from this place to Portageville, and has been put in fine running condition by her engineer, W. J. Hackett."

The "Orange" drew the first train of passenger cars on that railroad, January 22, 1852. June 5, 1852, she was taken apart and ferried across the Genesee River at Portage, the bridge across the great chasm being unfinished, and was set up on the track on the opposite side of the river, June 7th, the track having been laid part of the way to Warsaw. Thus the "Orange" was the first locomotive to sound a whistle in that part of the Genesee Valley, and she hauled the iron to complete the track from Warsaw to Attica. More than ten years later, although in 1853 she was described as "worn out," she became the pioneer locomotive on the Buffalo, Bradford and Pittsburg Railroad, now the Bradford Division of the Erie. Since that time the historic old engine seems to have been lost track of, the impression among old railroad men being that she was taken to Susquehanna to be broken up and sent to the scrap heap.

The first Erie engineers and freight conductors had a life of much hardship in cold or stormy weather. There were no such things as cabooses, and the locomotives had no cabs. The conductors had to ride on the locomotives. There was no protection from snow, or ice, or wind, or rain. It was not uncommon to see the engineer covered with ice like a coat of mail. "Joe" Meginnes, who, according to his daughter, Mrs. Mary B. Freeman, of New London, Conn., was one of five engineers who were the first to run on the Erie, was the first engineer to have a cabbed Erie engine. Joe Meginnes, whose full name was Joseph Widrow Meginnes, came to be known in after years as the "Dandy Engineer." He had more the appearance of a man of letters than that of a locomotive engineer. He was dainty in his dress, even on his engine, and never appeared anywhere with oil or the grime of his engine on his hands or face. He was a most competent man, and his instincts were so fine that when, on a trip over the New Jersey Railroad, he saw for the first time a locomotive with a cab, he became so dissatisfied with his engine that he made a demand on the Company for a cab to it. Time passing, and no cab having been provided for Joe's engine, he called on General Superintendent H. C. Seymour and informed him that unless the cab was furnished forthwith he would leave the road. The locomotive was fitted with a cab without delay, and that was the beginning of cabbed engines on the New York and Erie Railroad. This was in 1848. Engineer Meginnes always had his choice of locomotives from new ones that came on the road. He quit the locomotive service in 1857 to take charge of the railroad dining saloons at Port Jervis and Narrowsburg. He died at Port Jervis in 1859, aged 42. He came to the Erie from the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. In 1846 the Company added locomotives No. 6 and No. 7 to the road. They were named the "Sussex" and the "Sullivan." It was the idea of the Company to name its locomotives after the counties through which the railroad ran and those contiguous to it. Engines 6 and 7 were 20-ton machines, Rogers make, with 5-foot drivers, and they were called the "giant engines" by the amazed people along the line. Next year, however, the Company put on two Baldwin locomotives, Nos. 8 and 9, and called the "New York" and the "Monroe," which were a greater curiosity. They had six 3-foot 9-inch drivers, and tall, straight smokestacks. After that, as the railroad progressed westward, new locomotives became frequent on the road, and of patterns that would excite much wonder in the railroad engineer of this generation. They were named for the counties until the list of counties was exhausted, when the names of towns and railroad officials were bestowed. But the locomotives early came to be known by their numbers only, and every division of the road had its favorite engine and engineers, whose memory and the memory of whose exploits will be forever green—John Brandt, Jr., Joe Meginnes, James McAlpin, Isaac Lewis, Joshua P. Martin, Onderdonk Merritt, Ben Hafner, W. C. Arnold, Garry Iseman, James McCann, William Schrier, James Davis, Charles Rooney, Henry Hawks, Henry Green, Sam Walker, William Thomas, Sam Wood, D.E. Carey, John Donohue, Horatio G. Brooks, W. D. Hall, Reub Hamlet, Sam Veasey, Captain York, Luther Pitcher, James Salmon, "Old Tripp," Ed Kent, A. N. Judd, Dan Kenyon, Mel Rose, Tom Tenant, William Ingram, Sylvan Merritt, Sam Tyler, Lou Springstein, Nathaniel Taft, Gad and William Lyman, Ellis Bart, "Old Drake," John Meginnes, Charles Mygatt, John Kinsella, Ben Gardiner, Dan Shaver, Tim Murphy, Charley Coffey, Amos Beatty, Dave Henderson, Jimmy Frantz, and the hosts of other brave and good men who mounted the footboard when the Erie was still young (some of whom are still on duty), and when the locomotive was part of the man and the man part of the locomotive, seemingly with one soul, one heart, one body.

The first master mechanic on the New York and Erie Railroad was John Brandt. He was a German, and came from the Georgia Railroad. He had been the superintendent of motive power on the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad in 1836, a Pennsylvania State road, and the original portion of the present great Pennsylvania Railroad system. From 1838 to I840 Brandt was superintendent of motive power on the Georgia Railroad, which he left to enter the service of the Erie in I840. He was one of the pioneer locomotive engineers of this country. He brought with him to the Erie, or was the means of their coming, the first engineers that ran on the Erie. Fred Hamel was one of the earliest of the Erie engineers.

Of the engineers who came on the Erie while there was still no railroad beyond Port Jervis, only one is alive to-day, and he is still in the service of the Company—Benjamin Hafner, known the country over among railroad men as the "Flying Dutchman." He came on the Erie in 1848, having been nine years on the Baltimore and Ohio. His first locomotive on the Erie was the "Susquehanna," a Rogers engine. There were then less than 200 men on the pay-roll of the Company, and a majority of them were freight handlers at Piermont. Ben Hafner left the Erie in 1854, and ran on the Illinois Central Railroad, but returned to the Erie in 1858. He has been buried under his locomotive five times so that it took hours to dig him out, and he never got a scratch. Once, at Ramsey's, the train running at fifty miles an hour, he collided with a coal car. The train was behind time, and he had already made up forty minutes between Port Jervis and that place—a run of about fifty-five miles. His engine turned upside down, and some of the cars were wrecked Mrs. James Gordon Bennett was a passenger on the train. A brakeman was badly hurt. Mrs. Bennett took up a collection for him among the passengers, contributing liberally herself.

In 1869, while Jay Gould was President of the Erie, he ordered a locomotive made at the Brooks Locomotive Works at Dunkirk, which he named the George G. Barnard, after the famous judge of that name. It was the handsomest locomotive ever made up to that time. It was decorated by paintings in oil, on every spot where one could be placed, by the late Jasper F. Crapsey, the artist. There were fourteen coats of varnish on the boiler. Gould selected Ben Hafner to be the engineer of the locomotive. The first trip Jay Gould ever took behind this locomotive with Ben at the throttle he was in a special car, bound for Susquehanna, 104 miles from Port Jervis. Gould told Hafner to go pretty fast. He went so fast that before they had gone many miles over the crooked Delaware Division Gould sent his colored porter ahead to tell Ben to go slower, much to the disgust of Ben.

Ben Hafner got the name of the "Flying Dutchman" in this way: One day in the summer of 1871 No. 8 was late when he took that train at Port Jervis. He had orders to make the run to Jersey City in as short a time as he could. The distance was eighty-nine miles. Hafner made the run in just two hours, including seven stops, one of which was fourteen minutes at Turner's for supper. The passengers were badly frightened at the speed of the train. When the train reached Jersey, one of the passengers passed Ben as he was leaning out of his cab, and yelled at him:

"Say, I'd rather sail in the 'Flying Dutchman' than ride after you!"

From that day to this Ben Hafner has been the "Flying Dutchman" to all railroad men. In 1893 Hafner retired as an engineer after more than half a century on a locomotive, and since then has been depot master at Port Jervis. He is hale and hearty at seventy-six.

When the railroad was opened to Dunkirk in 1851, there were locomotives on the line of the makes of Norris, Rogers, Baldwin, Swinburne, the Boston Locomotive Works, Taunton Locomotive Works, the Amoskeag Co., and Ross Winans. There were two of these latter, Nos. 88 and 89, intended for freight, and were remarkable in having eight 3-foot 7-inch drivers. A historic Erie locomotive of the period previous to the opening to Dunkirk was the No. 90, named "The Dunkirk." It was one of the Hinkley, or Boston, locomotives. They were mostly hook-motion, with independent cutoff. This locomotive was brought from Boston in the fall of 1850, by Horatio G. Brooks. It was transported on a vessel to New York, and from there sent up the Hudson River to Albany, thence to Buffalo on a boat on the Erie Canal, and from Buffalo to Dunkirk on the schooner "Commodore Chauncey." The engine was landed at the Erie dock and depot at the foot of what is now Washington Avenue, Dunkirk, November 7, 1850. It was used in the construction of the road from Dunkirk east, and after the road was open was run by Brooks on a regular passenger train on the Western Division. Brooks was the first engineer on that division. He became superintendent of it, and afterward master mechanic of the entire line. He suggested, while holding that office, many of the improvements that began to be made during the administration of R. H. Berdell. In 1868, when the Erie abandoned its shops at Dunkirk, he founded the Brooks Locomotive Works, and was president of that company at the time of his death, April 21, 1887.

Among the pioneer engineers who came to the Erie in 1851 was William D. Hall, who began his railroad life as fireman on the Boston and Maine Railroad in 1843, when he was twenty years old, having served two years in the machine shop of the Boston and Providence Railroad. In less than a year he was promoted to be an engineer. He came to the Erie in February, 1851, and ran a train between Hornellsville and Cuba. May 5, 1851, he took the special car containing the officers and Directors of the Company from Hornellsville to Dunkirk, this being the first car through from Piermont to Dunkirk. He was engineer over the Western Division of the second section of the great excursion train that celebrated the opening of the railroad, May 15, 1851, his engine being a Hinkley, No. 99. He ran that engine on a regular passenger train. between Hornellsville and Dunkirk until 1856, when he quit the Erie service, two weeks before the big strike. He has been running an engine on the New York Central twenty-two years, and is still in the service, at seventy-six years old, at Buffalo. He ran the first link-motion locomotive ever built, and has run engines built by every locomotive builder in the United States.

Another of the engineers who came from the Boston and Maine Railroad was Charles H. Sherman, where he had run two years as engineer. He was one of the engineers who came on the road at the solicitation of Superintendent Charles Minot, while the Western Division was being finished. Sherman was the engineer of the locomotive that hauled the first section of the great excursion train from Hornellsville to Dunkirk on the opening of the railroad, May 15, 1851. In 1852 he became engine despatcher at Dunkirk, and remained as such seventeen years. He was afterward travelling foreman and road inspector, and later, and until his death in 1897, foreman of the engine house at Dunkirk.

There are two engineers who came on the Erie from the Boston and Maine Railroad in 1851, still in active service on the Western Division, where they have been running nearly fifty years. They are David E. Carey and Samuel Veazey, of Hornellsville. Both are long past three-score years and ten, with clean records, and apparently as well equipped for service as they were when they began. W. A. Kimball, who ran the first train between Hornellsville and Cuba, is still living at that place, but he retired from railroad service years ago.

Among the curious locomotives that came on the road in 1851, (July) were two from the Boston Locomotive Works, two single-driver engines, designed for speed—Nos. 87 and 112. They were totally different in action. The former was a mass of machinery; hookmotion, and independent variable cut-off. The latter was a full crank, direct-acting, without rocker arm; a link-motion. With a train suitable to their capacity, they were very quick, not costly to maintain, and easy on the track. The engineers took great pride in these machines, which were put in use upon the Susquehanna Division. Luther Pitcher had charge of No. 112, and John Donohue of No. 87. In the light of the present it was folly to purchase such motive power, not to mention the purchase of the two engines nicknamed "Plank Roads," with seven-foot drivers, and cylinders 15 x 20, outside-connected, and firebox not much larger than an ordinary cooking range. The cylinders were placed aft of the smoke arch and steam pipe, out of doors, between the dome and steam-chest. There was a running board from the back end of the footboard entirely around to the other side. They were built by Norris, and came on the road in the winter of 1851. They were Nos. 84 and 85. With two or three coaches, on the Susquehanna Division, after getting under headway, the engineers would make good time with these; but it took a mile start to get them under way. They were a failure, of course. No engineer wanted to run them, and the last one in train service (No. 84), on its very last trip, was ripped to pieces by Mike Barnwell, its engineer, who, it was said, stopped his train just after passing Gulf Summit, west bound, took a wrench and loosened up set-screws and pins, and whistled off brakes, whereupon the whole of her machinery was cleaned off. The boiler and one pair of drivers are in use at the Susquehanna shops as stationary power—or were in such use a few years ago. May 17, 1853, the Cincinnati Express, drawn by No. 84, made the run from Susquehanna to Hornellsville, 145 miles, in 161 minutes, which beat the record up to that time. The No. 85 was used as a switching engine in the Port Jervis yard for several years, but went to the scrap heap in the '60s.

From 1851 on, the Essex Company, Danforth, Cook & Co., the New Jersey Locomotive and Machine Co., Seth Wilmarth (who made twenty thirty-five-ton engines for the Company in 1854, Nos. 167 to 187), and the Taunton Locomotive Works, added their styles to the lot; while later came the Grant, Brooks, and other makes to jumble the equipment, so that in 1870 there were eighty-five different patterns.

Running on freight trains between Suffern and Jersey City, at the time the Erie began to run between those points, in 1851, were two of the original type of locomotives, named the "Whistler" and "McNeal." They were hook-motion, single driver, and worked steam at full stroke, no "cut-off." The steam-chests and slide-valves were perpendicular between the cylinders. There was an extension on the forward end of the valve yoke, which came through the steam-chest and ran into a guide. The bell was on the back end of the boiler, inside the cab, and was without a "clapper," being operated by strokes of a soft hammer in the hands of the engineer. The fuel used was wood, and was cut in about eight-inch lengths. The heating surface, or firebox, was very small, so that if the engineer had to drop down a grade and rise another, he would stop at the top of the hill, put in a good fire, spread his slide-valves so as to allow steam to pass through the cylinders and create artificial draught to ignite the fuel, and when sufficient steam was generated, open his "butterfly" throttle-valve, rush down the one hill and probably just raise the other, accomplishing wonderful results for that day. The freight cars were four-wheeled and barn-door style, with a bar across them.

The story of how Rogers engine, "No. 100," failed to make a record for herself and her engineer, Gad Lyman, on the historical 14th and 5th of May, 1851, when the Erie was opened to Dunkirk, is told on preceding pages ("Administration of Benjamin Loder," pages 98 to 100). Gad Lyman was so much disappointed and chagrined over the failure of his favorite on that occasion that he soon afterward quit the Erie's service. The "100" was taken in charge by Gad Lyman's brother William, who ran her on the Eastern Division until April 13, 1852, when, while she was making her stop at Chester, the crown sheet blew out with frightful results. The locomotive was thrown completely over backward and rolled down an embankment. The fireman, Robert Irving, was in the tank at the time and was blown more than fifty feet away. He was instantly killed. Engineer Lyman was buried in the wreck. His leg was cut off by the latch of the door of the fire-box. He lived but a short time. The headlight of the locomotive was picked up more than an eighth of a mile distant. This explosion was one of the first of the kind in this country. The Rogers Locomotive Works called in all their engines of that make and strengthened their crown sheets.

In March, 1858, an experiment was made on the Erie with Cumberland (soft) coal as a substitute for wood as fuel for locomotives. Although it was reported that the experiment showed a saving of forty-eight per cent. in cost of fuel, no movement was made toward adopting the substitute until December, 1861, when Hinkley engine "99," Taunton engine "117," and Rogers "64" were rebuilt to burn coal, and this was the beginning of coal-burning locomotives on the Erie for regular service. It was not until 1872, however, that coal entirely replaced wood on the road, and if an engineer of the present generation of Erie trainmen should by any circumstance happen to see one of the old wood-burners, even of the most modern type, he would wonder at it; and what would be the speech of one of the dead and gone Erie engineers who passed their days on the cabless, pilotless machines that first came on the Erie, if he might come back and see the marvellous and monster Erie engines of to-day?

For several years of its later-day operations the Erie has had in use a type of remarkably large engines. The class S engines weigh 200,550 pounds each. They are used for hauling freight trains on the Susquehanna Division. At the time of the World's Fair this was the largest style of engine built.

In 1899 the Company placed on the road what are claimed to be the fastest locomotives in any service. They are of the compound passenger Wootten Atlantic type. They are used for hauling the fast mail and express trains, and for the passenger service over two or more divisions between New York and Chicago, and were designed by A. E. Mitchell, superintendent of motive power of the Erie. The railroad men claim that the trains have made over eighty-two miles an hour, with six vestibuled cars. The trains have made an average of better than sixty miles an hour. These engines were built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, of Philadelphia.

The engines are not as heavy as the former modern engines, and are much neater in appearance. The cab is about half way back on the boiler, making it near the centre of the engine. The fireman remains behind on the tender, and can at all times see the engineer at his post in the cab. The total weight of these engines is 151,240 pounds. They have 76-inch drivers. The weight on the drivers is 81,320, and on the trailing wheels 30,710 pounds. The cylinders are 13 x 26 inches in diameter and 26 inch stroke.

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