There is only one other man that i desire to mention, and then i am done,and that
is W. T. Grant. he helped me to build the K & I, and he was tha bravest financier i
ever knew. he did moore to build this terminal than I, and louisville owes him a dept
it can never pay. this connection for factories and manufacturing plants has added
$30,000,000.00 to louisville values, and for this he deserves the most praise. i suppose,
without being immodest, i may say that i was the head and front, and got all the abuse ,
and lost a great deal of money, and he and i have got about &200,000,00 in the first
bridge. the money is gone, but i have one satisfaction; it has helped my people and
living here has not been in vain. the money is gone, but it did much for louisville
and kentucky, and i am content. when the L & N railroad bought the stock of the Chesapeake
& Ohio , and Southwestern from louisville to Memphis, I,with Capt. Headly, induced the
governor of kentucky to come in and say, " You can`t buy it,you shan`t buy it," and
brought the illinois central railroad into this town. i feel i have done something for my
town, and something for my people,and that my services of twenty five years ago have not
been forgotten, gives me profound satisfaction. i have come to mingle my cheers with
the cheers with the people here, to offer my congradulations, and to tender my admiration
for the splindid enterprise which marks this terminal railroad. i don`t think the bridge is
the biggest thing. the terminals are the biggest thing,-these tracks. terminals make
railroads, and this is a freat terminal. anybody can build a bridge, but this terminal
here is a magnificent development, and in it`s undertaking, MR. Mitchell putting through,
as he has done, deserves the respect and the admiration of all the people of the city of
louisville, which i today, as the original builder of the kentucky & indiana bridge
company, tender him at this hour." i thank you."
( GREAT ALLPLAUSE )
I like my friend Mitchell. he is what some people unkindly say of me. he is a fighter.
you have heard of Patrick Cleburne. one of the greatest solders that died for the south.
he was handsome and brave. as he rode up the the breastworks, and received a death-dealing
missile, he had only time to cry out as his life`s blood flowed away. "boys, i`m dying.
fight it out". so, my freind mitchell has fought it out, but he didn`t have to die like my
conrade. he survives the the completion of this stupendous task, and we all hope he will
live many years to witness its good for louisville and its trade. you younger here cannot
understand what it meant to build the Kentucky & Indiana bridge. the pennsylvania and the
louisville and nashville railroad had a hand on the throat of louisville.
In the possession and control of the only bridge that crossed the ohio river,here. it
sometimes cost 15$ OR 16$ a car to put freight from one side of the river to the other.
when people complained about it, they not literally but practically answered in the voice
of Vanderbilt "the public be damned". well the public got tired of being damned, and there
were some men who took up this interprise,and said "we will give louisville relief, we will
build another bridge." this was done, but it cost great effort,and to some great sacrifices.
the K&I was built, and the pennsylvania railroad hasn`t got much left. she has her own
traffic and that is about all. the monon has come here; the B&O; S.W. is here;the
southern is here;and the pennsylvania is alone, and has received the rewards that come the
It is a little piece of history. i put $42,000.00 in the bridge, and then we had to stop
for four years. a friend of mine wrote MR. james McCrae, president of the pennsylvanis comp.
and said to him " Young is tired of this enterprise, if you will give him the 42,000.00 that
he put into it, he will drop it. "he said "it is dropped anyhow"(Laughter). i said " not on
your life. we will see." so we went ahead and i had the able assistance of men, nearly all
who are dead. but they were public spirited and nervy. the greatest assistance i had was that
from W.S. Culbertson. (Applause) he was dead game. he was a man of fortune,and a quarter of a
million dollars did not look as big to him as it does to some of us. we haven`t got that much.
it didn`t look big to him when he put himself behind the scheme,and he laid down a quarter of
a million dollars to start with. then we had Morrris McDonald. he was a great help. we called
him " tip." then we had my friend,Louis Hartman. then gentlemen, we had a little Irishmam,
whom i always i always liked, Tom Hanlon,and we got new albany to endorse the bonds of the
of the K&I bridge company for $250,000.00 and that assured the enterprise.
I have always been fond of Capt. hanlon, since,as president of the Monon, i carried
president Arthur over the bridge. Capt. Hanlon was conductor of the train i was
president of the Monon railroad then and president of the bridge. the
pennsylvania tried to steal the president. i said "if you try to get MR.arthur off
this road, i will run the trian two miles from new albany, and hold it over night
so that the pennsylvania can`t take him." president Arthur was very much pleased
with Capt. hanlon,and before we got to chicago he said, "Capt.hanlon , i`m very much
impressed with you. there is an office paying $4,000.00 in Indianapolis and if you
will take it i will give it to you. Tom looked at him with a stare and said "MR.
President, don`t you know that i am a democrate?" (Great laughter) so,tom turned
down MR. president, and his $4,000.00 offer.
I am here to congratulate you. MR.mitchell didn`t do exactly to please me sometimes,
but he has done great work and he is entitled to the praise of the city of louisville.
we are no one-horse,two penny town. We are a great city, with great aspirations, and this is a response
to that cry of a greater louisville that will put us in the position which we should rightly occupy.
When i was actively engaged with the K&I, they met with many difficulties. i was telling
some of these gentlemen this morning that for the right to go under the pennsylvania railroad,
an arbitrator of the city of louisville, then holding office made this bridge company pay $33,000.00,
to pass under the pennsylvania tracks at fourteenth street. when i built the southern from
Versallies to lexington ,22 miles of railroad , i paid $167,000.00 for the right of way. this is
not the right sort of spirit to exhibit. these people may injure property, and they ought to pay
for it, but they only ought to be required to pay resonable prices. there are many difficulties
here, but MR. mitchell, with splendid courage, overcame them all. I tried to hold him up by myself
awhile, but he brushed out of the way. i see now how he fixed it. he had seen mayor head, and he
had seen the board of works and the board of trade, and converted them all to his way of thinking,
and these are powerfull agencies but i am glad they put it through. it is a splendid moment. and
and this company today ought to make MR.Mitchell, as he is now retiring, a present of at least
$100,000.00 for the magnificent work that he has accomplished for them.