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At the start of the 20th century railroads were the main life line for communities to get their products out to the world. This is the true story of how one man changed a large portion of Southern Indiana from a back woods area to a thriving mineral extraction economy. John R. Walsh was a Chicago banker that financed a small belt line railroad and quarry in Bedford, Ind. The loan went sour and he was hung with the assets when the borrowers went broke. This story reports his efforts to save his investment loan capital, and in the process made limestone a nation wide recognized building product. Other railroads of the time were reluctant to adequately serve the quarries and mills, so John R. Walsh bought a defunct rail line and made it into a 'State of the Art' railroad to move his products to market. To get enough traffic on his railroad to make it profitable, he opened up several coal mines in Western Indiana., so his line would have more to haul. Railroads were expensive to build, and Walsh borrowed more from his bank than the banking laws allowed. In addition the large railroads in the Chicago area did not want another road entering Chicago.
As John was building his railroad into Chicago, he was brought into federal court on banking law violations and found guilty. This book is a diary of the overall events that caused him to get into the railroad business, how he built the road, day to day chit-chat about what happened on a 1900 railroad, and the trial that put him in jail.