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Great Days in Dayton
The Iron Horse




“Great Days in Dayton”

Reproduced on these pages is the full script of a “Great Days in Dayton” broadcast.  All music and sound effect “cues” are indicated just as they appear on the working scripts used by the cast.  The sponsor hopes that you will find interesting these dramatized episodes from the life story of your city.

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Theme.  Starts fortissimo, then fades behind…

ANNOUNCER:  Great Days in Dayton!”


ANNOUNCER:  The Dayton Power and Light Company brings you “The Iron Horse,” tenth program in Dayton’s own radio show…an exciting week-by-week dramatization of Dayton history.  Each Sunday at this time we return to the Dayton of early times, relive with our civic foregathers the events and scenes which marked Dayton’s early growth and progress.  And now…here is your master of ceremonies, Mr. Charles McLean, who will introduce you to today’s drama.



NARRATOR:  In earlier programs we have seen the primitive conditions under which early Daytonians lived.  And among these conditions, none was more unsatisfactory than the means of travel and transportation. We have seen horses and wagon trains laboring over the crude forest trails, flatboats moving slowly up and down the river.  Later we saw the establishment of the first stage coach lines, and later still the building of the Miami and Erie Canal.  Today we present the story of an even more important change…the coming of the railroads.  (PAUSE.)  Our play opens on a day in the summer of 1831.  Thomas Morris and his wife Ann are finishing supper in their home on North Jefferson Street.




ANN:  Tom, dear, I made that apple pie specially for you, and you haven’t even tasted it.  Besides, it not polite to read the paper at the supper table.

TOM:  H-m-m-m.  Yes, yes, of course.  Ann, listen to this announcement in the Journal.

ANN:  Yes, dear, do read it.

TOM:  “Important Exhibition.  A locomotive or steam carriage drawing a car on a miniature railroad will be exhibited at Machir and Hardcastle’s warehouse, near the basin, on Friday and Saturday, July first and second.  The exhibition will be a rich treat to the friends of State and National improvement.  The locomotive works with great celerity and precision, drawing a splendid miniature car in which two persons may ride at the same time.  Both locomotive and car are constructed on the most improved principles by Mr. A. Bruen, of Lexington, Kentucky, and the workmanship may be safely pronounced of the first order.  The novelty of this machine has never failed to excite the admiration and curiosity of all who have seen it.  Ladies and gentlemen are respectfully invited to call and ride.  Admittance, twenty-five cents; children, half price.”  (PAUSE.)  There, Ann.  What do you think of that?

ANN:  It sounds very nice, Tom.

TOM:  Nice?  But think what it means, Ann!  This exhibition ought to interest everyone in Dayton. It ought to start a movement to bring a real railroad to Dayton.

ANN:  Where from?  There aren’t any railroads in Ohio, are there?

TOM:  Of course not.  Not yet.  But there are twenty-three miles of railroad operating in the east, and there’ll be one in Ohio before we know it. Dayton ought to be on the very first line that’s built.

ANN:  Of course, dear.

TOM:  We’ll go up there Friday.  I can hardly wait to see what the steam carriages are really like.

ANN:  Yes, dear.  But now do eat your apple pie.  [Music:  fades in and out.]



[Crowd sound. Puffing of locomotive.]

VOICE:  Step right up, folks!  Here’s your chance to ride in the new steam carriage.

ANN:  But, Tom, it’s so small!

TOM:  Yes, this is just a model…to show how a real railroad train would work.

VOICE 2:  I wouldn’t ride in that thing for a hundred dollars.  That engine sounds to me like it’s about ready to blow up.

VOICE 1:  There’s nothing to be afraid of, sir.  It’s perfectly safe. 

VOICE 3:  Henry, don’t you dare get in that carriage.  And the children can’t ride, either. Come on, we’re getting out of here.

VOICE 1:  Step right up, folks, step right up!  Here we are, sir.  Just room for you and the missus, with the two children sitting on your laps.

BOY:  Oh, Pa, let’s!

VOICE 4:  Well, now, I don’t know…

VOICE 1:  Get right in, sir.  And you, ma’am.  It’s an experience you and your children will never forget.  Here, let me lift the little girl.  Now, there you are!

GIRL:  Oh, Pa, I’m afraid!

VOICE 4:  That’s all right, Nancy.  Ma and Pa will be right with you.  Com on, son.  Jump in.  [Train starts and recedes.]

ANN:  Why, Tom, it does go, doesn’t it?

TOM:  Of course.  And the big locomotives will be a lot faster.  They’ll pull three or four cars, too, each as big as a stage coach.  One train will carry as many as fifty people.

ANN:  Tom, I can hardly believe it!  [Train on to stop.]

VOICE 1:  And now, sir, would you care to try it?

VOICE 5:  I can’t see nothin’ to it.  Costs twenty-five cents to git on, and the next thing you know you’re gittin’ off right back where you started from.  I can pay out thirty cents to git on a canal boat, and when I git off I’m in Cincinnati.

VOICE 1:  But this is just a demonstration, sir…just to show how the locomotive works.  You’ll see. There’ll be steam carriages running all over America in a few years.

VOICE 5:  Not with me on ’em, they won’t.  I’ve seen all I want of this.  I’m goin’!

ANN:  Tom, do you think you could convert that man into a railroad enthusiast?

TOM:  [Laughs.]  Not his kind.  He doesn’t believe in railroad trains, even though he’s just seen one.  But there’ll be plenty of people in Dayton who will believe.

ANN:  Oh, Tom, I do hope so…just for your sake!  [Music: Fades in and out.]



STANLEY:  Tom Morris, you’ve been hounding me about railroads ever since they had that exhibition a year and a half ago.

TOM:  I know it, Mr. Stanley, but that’s because I believe a railroad would do Dayton so much good.

STANLEY:  Not so fast, Tom.  You’re young, and anything new looks good to you.

TOM:  Don’t you think it would help our business, sir?

STANLEY:  My business, Tom.  And you still have a lot to learn about it, even after working for me for two years.  I’ve been at it for twenty…shipping goods out for growers and manufacturers, shipping goods in for merchants.  Pack trains, wagon trains and river boats…and now canal boats.  There are twenty stage coaches bringing passengers into Dayton every week.  And the canal can handle all the freight business we’ll have for years.

TOM:  Wouldn’t a railroad increase business and prosperity for the whole town?

STANLEY:  I’m not at all sure of that.  A railroad might fail altogether, or it might take part of the business from the stages and the canal so that no one would make money.

TOM:  I know, Mr. Stanley, but…will you do this?  Will you go to a meeting at the National Hotel tonight?  Dan Bickel and Tom Smith and I are getting some Dayton men together to talk this idea over.
STANLEY:  Bickel and Smith are visionaries…just like you, Tom.  But maybe I’ll go.  Who’s going to talk?

TOM:  Well…I am, for one.

STANLEY:  Humph!  Don’t make a fool of yourself.  [Music:  Fades in and out.]



TOM:  I know I’m younger than the rest of you, with little business experience, but I know the railroad offers Dayton the biggest opportunity it’s ever had.

VOICE 1:  [Whispering.]  Who’s that talking, George?

VOICE 2:  [Whispering.]  Young Tom Morris.  He works for Henry Stanley.

VOICE 1:  [Whispering.]  Seems pretty sure of himself, don’t he?

BICKEL:  Tell them what you heard in Columbus yesterday, Tom.

TOM:  All right, Mr. Bickel. The Legislature has granted a charter to the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad Company.  The plan is to run the road from Sandusky down through Bellefontaine, Urbana and Springfield to Dayton.

VOICE 1:  Who’s going to put up the money?

TOM:  Anyone can.  It’s a stock company.

VOICE 1:  Are you putting up any?

TOM:  Well, no, you see…[Laughter.]…Mr. Bickel, tell them how you feel about this.

BICKEL:  I have some money I’m willing to invest, and I hope the rest of you will feel the same way.  A lot of us were opposed to the stage coach lines at first, and later there was opposition to the canal.  But we know we couldn’t get along without them now.  I think the railroad offers us a still bigger opportunity.

VOICE:  Yes, Dan, but there are good and bad opportunities.  Dayton people could easily lose every dollar they invest in this idea.  And I’m certainly opposed to having the council invest any town funds in it.

VOICE 2:  So am I.  If a man is fool enough to lose his own money, I say let him.  But as a member of the council, I’ll vote “No” on any public investment.

BICKEL:  Will Taylor, you can speak for the hotel-keepers here in Dayton.  What do you say?

TAYLOR:  Sorry, Dan, but I’m against it.  We’re dong all right the way we are.  If the railroad comes in, it might hurt business for the stage lines and the canal.  And I’ve got money invested in both.

BICKEL:  Henry Stanley, we haven’t heard from you.

STANLEY:  Well, Dan, I told Tom Morris he could come here and talk tonight, but he’s not speaking for my shipping firm.  I agree with Will Taylor and the rest of the hotel men.  We’ve got enough travel and transportation in and out of Dayton now.  I don’t think we should disturb things.  [Buzz of agreement.]

TOM:  Wait a minute!  I haven’t told you all of it.  People in Cincinnati and Columbus are interested in railroads.  They’re going to build a line connecting their towns.  They want to build it through Dayton, but if Dayton won’t help, they’re going to build it through Xenia. If that happens, Dayton will be left out in the cold.  Can’t you all see that the railroads are going to spread allover this country, and that the towns that get them first are going to grow and prosper as they never have before?  Can’t you see that, Mr. Taylor?

TAYLOR:  Well, now, Tom, I’m just a hotel-keeper…not a prophet.  [Laughter.]  Maybe the railroads will spread all over the country, like you say.  But maybe they won’t.  Maybe they’ll fail.  If we bring one here to Dayton, and it does fail, we’ll be just where we are now…except that Dayton people will have lost every penny they invested.

VOICES:  [Ad lib.]  That’s what I think…It sounds risky to me…I don’t want to lose any of my money.  [Music:  Fades in and out.]



[Door opens and closes.]

ANN:  Tom, what happened at the meeting?

TOM:  Nothing, dear.

ANN:  Nothing?
TOM:  That’s right.  Nothing.  I tried my best to make them see what a railroad would do for Dayton.  So did Mr. Bickel and Mr. Smith and one or two others.  But most of them were dead set against it.  “We’re all right the way we are”… “The stage coach and canal are all we need”… “We might lose our money.”  That’s the way they talked.

ANN:  What is the trouble, Tom?

TOM:  I’ll tell you.  This town is self-satisfied.  It’s one of the oldest towns in the state, and one of the richest.  We have brick and frame houses, and big churches, and a courthouse and a jail and a market house.  We’re a stage-coach center and a canal port.  So…Dayton’s leading citizens think we’ve finished growing and developing.  They think we’re perfect. They think…

ANN:  Tom Morris!  You didn’t talk about that way at the meeting, did you?

TOM:  No, but I wish I had!

ANN:  Oh, Tom, you mustn’t!  You’ll get all the older men against you. Remember, you’re young…only twenty-three.

TOM:  I’m not likely to forget it.  You should have heard them laughing at me, and talking down to me!

ANN:  I’m worried, dear.  Mr. Stanley is against the railroad, and if you keep on arguing for it, with him and everyone else, he may…

TOM:  Fire me?  I wish he would!

ANN:  No, you don’t, Tom.  Not really.  You know I’d start all over again with you. But we have to think of the baby.  Jane’s only a year old, and we mustn’t do anything that might mean uncertainty for her.  You’re doing well with Mr. Stanley, and he likes you.  He’ll make you a member of the firm some day. Can’t you accept his judgment, and the judgment of other older citizens?

TOM:  But they’re wrong, Ann.  And they won’t see it. They…  Oh, Ann, dear, I’m sorry.  I know I worry you and antagonize everyone else with my constant talk of railroads, railroads, railroads.  But you see…

ANN:  Yes, dear.  I see.  But you’re tired now, and it’s so late.  [Music.  Fades in and behind…]



NARRATOR:  Unfortunately the sentiment of leading citizens proved to be the sentiment of Dayton as a whole.  Money could not be raised to bring the railroad to Dayton.  The Mad River and Lake Erie road was completed from Sandusky to Springfield. The Little Miami line was built from Cincinnati to Columbus, by way of Xenia. The two lines were then connected by a link from Xenia to Springfield.  This left Dayton entirely off the paths of railroad travel, north and south, east and west. For many years while railroads were developing in Ohio…Dayton was isolated. [Music. Fades out.]


ANN:  Jane, dear, are you nearly ready?

JANE:  [Off.]  Yes, Mamma.  I’m just getting on my bonnet.

ANN:  Tom, do you realize that our Jane is a grown-up young lady?  She’ll be sixteen next month.

TOM:  I don’t know how she’s done it.  I still think of her as a baby.

JANE:  [Coming on.]  Now I’m ready.  Do I look all right?  Do I, Daddy?

TOM:  You do now.  But after twelve hours on a railroad train you’ll be covered with dust, soot and cinders.  Why don’t you wear something old?

ANN:  Tom! The very idea!  What would Aunt Martha think if she didn’t have on nice clothes when she got to Cleveland? 

TOM:  I’ve never been able to guess what Martha thinks.  We’d better start now. The stage coach will be leaving for Xenia in twenty minutes.

ANN:  Stage coach!  It makes me mad just to think of it.  Here’s Dayton, a town of nearly eight thousand people…and sixteen miles from the nearest railroad.  Maybe you men don’t mind being jounced around over miles of bad road, but I can tell you the women do.  There isn’t one in Dayton who doesn’t hate to travel.  I don’t know what’s the matter with you men.  Dayton could have had the railroad in the first place.

TOM:  That’s what I’ve been saying for fifteen years.

ANN:  Let’s start.  Jane, you do look very nice.

JANE:  Thank you, Mamma.
TOM:  I’LL walk to the National Hotel with you and see that Jane’s trunk gets on the stage.  Then I’ll go right to the warehouse.  I’m late now.  [Music fades in and out.]


[Door opens and closes.]

TOM:  Good morning, Mr. Stanley.

STANLEY:  [Dull.]  Good morning.

TOM:  Something wrong?

STANLEY:  We’ve lost two more clients, Tom…Diehl’s furniture factory and the Ridgeway Plough Works.

TOM:  I’ve been afraid of that.

STANLEY:  I talked to both Henry Diehl and John Ridgeway last night. They’re good friends of mine, just as they’ve been good clients of this business, but…well, they’re starting this week to haul their shipments to Xenia and load them on the railroad cars there.

TOM:  That’s the trouble.  Manufacturers and buyers all over the country are demanding faster movement of goods.  We can still give them lower freight rates by canal, but they’re willing to pay the difference to get quicker deliver by railroad.  What’s more, railroad freight rates are coming sown.  Some day the railroads will be able to put our canal out of business.

STANLEY:  I know, I know.  You see, when all this railroad talk began, seventeen years ago, I thought the railroads would fail.  I thought low canal rates would hold all the shipping business for us.

TOM:  But what good are low rates, if we don’t get the freight to handle?  And we’re not getting it; we’re losing it, more all the time.

STANLEY:  Yes, and I want you to know it’s my fault, Tom, not yours.  Since I took you into the firm, five years ago, you’ve done a lot to keep this business going.  But now….I’m afraid we’ll have to cut down…sell one or two of the boats, let some of our freight handlers go, and perhaps rent part of the warehouse. 

TOM:  Who’d rent it?  If we can’t do business here, who can?

STANLEY:  I suppose that’s right, too.  (PAUSE)  Tom.

TOM:  Yes.

STANLEY:  Tom, would you…er…I mean, do you suppose we could get the railroad movement started here in Dayton again?

TOM:  I don’t know.  I’ve been trying to get it started all these years, and you see where we are.

STANLEY:  But if you tried again, Tom…

TOM:  Not I.  People in Dayton think I’m half crazy now, and if I start arguing about railroads again they’ll want to lock me up somewhere.

STANLEY:  Well, you know more about railroads than anyone Dayton.  What should be done?

TOM:  I can tell you that.  You and Will Taylor and Walter Harris and some more who’ve opposed the railroad ought to come out for it, openly and strongly.  Get a hundred thousand dollars pledged from local business men:  they’ve got it. Then go to Cincinnati and Springfield, and get people there interested in building lines into Dayton.

STANLEY:  Do you think they’d do it?

TOM:  I know they will if they think Dayton will do its share.

STANLEY:  Would you help with the movement, once we got it started?

TOM:  Just try me!  [Music: Fades in and out.]


[Desk bell rings.  Pause.  Repeats impatiently.]


CLERK:  [Coming on.]  You want something, Mr. Biddle?

BIDDLE:  A fine hotel, this is!  No clerk behind the desk.  No anything else when you want it. Where’s the proprietor?  Where’s Will Taylor?  I want to talk to him.

CLERK:  I’ll see if I can find him.

BIDDLE:  [To himself.]  And a fine town, too, if you ask me! Asleep, fast asleep…the whole town, and everyone in it!

TAYLOR:  [Coming on.]  What’s the trouble, Mr. Biddle?

BIDDLE:  Trouble enough!  I’ve been stopping at your hotel for ten years, Will Taylor, and it’s worse every year.   Paper peeling off the wall and a broken window pane in my room. Front steps rotting, so that your guests are likely to break their necks.  And the supper I had last night gave me indigestion…didn’t sleep a wink all night.

TAYLOR:  Well, now, I’m mighty sorry, Mr. Biddle.  But you see we haven’t been doing so well lately.  Neither have the other hotels, the National or the Phillips House.  I was aiming to get this place fixed up in the spring…painting, papering, new furniture, and so on…but it don’t look like I can.  Fact is, I had to let our best cook go, and I may have to fire some more of the help.

BIDDLE:  What’s the matter with this town, anyway, Taylor?  It used to be alive, people coming and going, business good.

TAYLOR:  We’re not on the railroad; that’s the main trouble.  We had plenty of travel here when Dayton was a big stage-coach center.  And the canal brought lots of people, too.  But the railroads are putting the stages out of business, and people say the canal boats are too slow.  They like to travel fast these days…fifteen or twenty miles an hour, like they can go on the railroads.

BIDDLE:  Of course they do.  I don’t ride on stages or canal boats if I can help it.  I wouldn’t do enough business to make a living if I did. I ride the stage over here from Xenia, but Dayton’s the only town I visit between here and New York…the only town, mind you…that isn’t on a railroad.

TAYLOR:  But we’re going to…

BIDDLE:  Go to Cincinnati, Columbus, or any city in the east.  They’ve all got railroads, and you ought to see them booming.  Hotels full, business good. New buildings, new factories, new people coming to town.

TAYLOR:  Just yesterday Henry Stanley was in here, and he said…

BIDDLE:   Henry Stanley?  That old Rip Van Winkle!  He’s asleep, like the rest of your leading citizens.  And I’ll tell you what’s going to happen if they don’t wake up.  Travelers like me, selling goods to merchants all over the country, are going to stop coming to Dayton.  And buyers all over the country are gong to stop buying goods made in Dayton.

TAYLOR:  Tom Morris says…

BIDDLE:  Now, there’s a man you ought to listen to.  Tom Morris.  He’s talked railroads to me, and he knows what he’s doing.

TAYLOR:  That’s it.  Now, you see, Henry Stanley has come around to favoring a railroad for Dayton and…

BIDDLE:  He has?

TAYLOR:  Yes.  And he and Tom and I, along with some others are starting to do something about it.  We’re raising money here, and we’re going to Cincinnati and Springfield to get people there interested.  We’ll have a railroad in here within two or three years.

BIDDLE:  I’ll believe it when I see it.  Maybe I can stand waiting for it.  And that reminds me.  I’m not staying over till tomorrow… not enough business here.  I’m leaving on the afternoon stage for Xenia.  I’ll be doing business in Cincinnati tomorrow morning.

[Music fades.]



[Postman’s whistle off. Repeated closer. Door opens.]

ANN:  Good morning, Mr. Watson.  You have a letter for me, haven’t you?

WATSON:  I have, Mrs. Morris, and it’s from Cleveland.

ANN:  I’m glad.  Yes, it’s from Jane’s Aunt Martha.

WATSON:  Mr. Morris well, Ma’am?

ANN:  Yes.  He just got home this morning.  He and Mr. Stanley and Mr. Taylor have been in Cincinnati all week.  They’re trying to raise money for a railroad to Dayton.

WATSON:  Dayton sure needs one.  Good morning, ma’am.  [Door closes.]

ANN:  Now, let’s see.  [Envelope tears.]  “Dear Ann:  I don’t want to worry you, but Jane is sick, quite sick.  Our doctor here thinks you should come to Cleveland.  He says you should leave Dayton as soon as you get this letter, if you can.  It may not be really serious, but”…Oh!…Oh!  [Calls.]  Dinah!  Dinah!

DINAH:  [Coming on.]  Yas’m, Mis’ Morris.

ANN:  Dinah, go to the warehouse and tell Mr. Morris to come home right away.  Tell him Jane is sick.  Hurry, Dinah.
DINAH:  Yas’m.
ANN:  Run every step of the way, Dinah.

DINAH:  Yas’m.  [Music:  Fades in and out.}


 [Door opens.]

TOM:  [Coming on.]  Ann, dear, what’s the matter?

ANN:  It’s Jane, Tom.  She’s terribly sick.   I must go to her.  Oh, Tom!

TOM:  There, there, dear.  Don’t worry.  Martha’s probably exaggerating; she always does.  Now…I’ll get a carriage and take you to Xenia right away.  If we can catch the late train from Cincinnati, you’ll be in Cleveland tomorrow noon.  And you mustn’t worry, Ann!

DINAH:  [Coming on.]  Hurried fast as I could, but Mist’ Morris, he done outhurried me comin’ back.

TOM:  Dinah, get Mrs. Morris’ trunk from the attic right away.  I’ll get a carriage.  Can you be ready in fifteen minutes?

ANN:  I…I think so.

TOM:  Then we ought to make it.  I’ll hurry.  [Door opens and closes.]

ANN:  Now, let’s see what I’d better take.  [Sobs.]  Oh, Jane, Jane!  [Music: Fades in and out.]



[Thunder.  Heavy rain. Carriage sound, fast.]

TOM:  Hold on to me, Ann, dear.  This road’s pretty bad, and on a night like this I can’t see where I’m driving.

ANN:  Oh, Tom, if we can just get there in time!

TOM:  I think we can.  There are the lights of Xenia now.  Just a few more minutes.  (PAUSE.)  [Storm and carriage sounds continue.]

ANN:  Oh, Tom!

TOM:  Don’t cry, darling.  Jane will be all right.  You’ll see. [Train whistle off.]

ANN:  There’s the train.  Oh, Tom, hurry, hurry, hurry!

TOM:  Come up there!  [Whip cracks.  Carriage sound faster.]

VOICE:  [Far off.]  All aboard!  [Bell.  Train starts off.]

ANN:  Wait!  Wait!  [Train sound up.]  Oh, Tom, Tom!

TOM:  Ann, dear you mustn’t let yourself go this way.  Everything will be all right.  We’ll stay here over night and you can take the morning train.

ANN:  But, Tom, maybe I’ll be too late.

TOM:  Don’t even think that, Ann.  You’re going to take care of Jane, and she’s going to get well.  [Music; Fades in and out.]


[Door opens and closes.]


STANLEY:  Hello, there, Tom. I missed you yesterday afternoon when I came back here to the warehouse.

TOM:  [Quiet…to last speeches in scene.]  I left in a hurry.  I had to take Ann to Xenia.

STANLEY:  A little trip, I suppose.  That’ll be good for her.  [Brisk.]  Tom, my boy, you should have been at that meeting last night.  Never saw anything like it in my life.

TOM:  Good, was it?

STANLEY:  It was like a revival meeting…everyone confessing his sins.  I got up first.  I said, “Gentlemen, I’ve been a fool for twenty years.”  Someone…I think it was Walter Harris…said, “We know that,” and everyone laughed.  But I went right on.  I showed them we’d all been fools, showed each man how it had cost him money, and how much, not to have the railroad all this time.  And I had the facts and figures, as you know.

TOM:  Anyone else talk?

STANLEY:  Everyone.  Wish you had heard Will Taylor.  It seems that Arthur Biddle stopped at Will’s hotel when he was here from New York two weeks ago.  He laid into Will something awful…laid into every other business man in Dayton, too.  And Arthur Biddle knows us. Will told us everything he said.  It made us all mad, but it made me ashamed, too.  Then, after Will talked, the rest of them fell over each other getting up and saying that they’ve wanted a railroad here for years , but were ashamed to admit they’d been wrong about it.

TOM:  How about the plans we worked out?

STANLEY:  Not one objection.  They want to start the line to Springfield right away.  And the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton road can be started as soon as the survey is made.

TOM:  Sounds like strong talk.  Will they put up any money?

STANLEY:  Money?  Why, the fifty thousand dollars for the Springfield line was subscribed right there at the meeting.  And we know where there’s plenty more for the Cincinnati line.

TOM:  Yes.  Well, it’s all settled then, isn’t it?

STANLEY:  Tom, what’s the matter with you?  You sound as if you don’t care about all this.

TOM:  I’m tired, I guess.

STANLEY:  Look here, my boy, you said Ann’s gone away.  Nothing wrong between you two, is there?

TOM:  No.  No, it’s Jane.  She’s very sick.  Ann had a letter from Martha yesterday afternoon.  She wanted her to come to Cleveland right away.

STANLEY:  That’s too bad.  But, of course, Ann’s with Jane now, and that makes it better.

TOM:  No, she isn’t.  She won’t get there until late tonight.  We missed the train in Xenia.

STANLEY:  Oh…yes   I see.  (PAUSE.)  As if we’d just had a railroad here…

TOM:  If!  If! If!  What good does that do Ann now…or Jane…or me? Suppose Ann gets there too late!

STANLEY:  Now, now, Tom, my boy, you mustn’t take on this way.  You’re not going to lose Jane.  You’ll have a letter from Ann in a day or two, telling you that Jane’s getting well.

TOM:  I want to believe that.

STANLEY:  You can, Tom.  [Music:  Fades in and out.]



[Knock, repeated.  Door opens.]

ANN:  Good morning, Mr. Stanley.  Come right in.

STANLEY:  Good morning, Ann.  Are you all ready?

ANN:  Just about.  Tom will be down in a minute.

STANLEY:  That’s good.  We don’t want to be late. There’s going to be a big crowd at the depot to see the first train come in. We want to get a place where we can see everything and…

JANE: [Coming on.]   Good morning, Mr. Stanley.

STANLEY:  Well, now, if it isn’t Miss Jane.  And lovelier than ever.  You know, Jane, one time about three years ago your father told me you were a very sick little girl.

JANE:  I was.  That was in Cleveland.  And mamma came and took care of me, so I got well.

STANLEY:  Nonsense!  You couldn’t have been sick. Couldn’t believe it then, and can’t now.  No one as pretty as you could every have been sick in her life. [Laughs.]

TOM:  [Coming on.]  Good morning.

STANLEY:  Good morning, Tom.  Now, let’s get started right away.  My carriage is here, and we’ll all ride down together.  [Music:  Fades in and out.]


[Strong crowd sound.]

STANLEY:  You know, Tom, this is going to be a big celebration.  The Journal says there are close to five hundred people coming up from Cincinnati and Hamilton.  It’s taking four locomotives and fifty cars to bring them.

ANN:  Mr. Stanley, Tom says these new locomotives are very fast.  He says they’ll go twenty-five miles and hour.

STANLEY:  That’s right.  Of course, some people hold that it’s sinful to go that fast, but you’ll see those same people riding on the steam cars before long.

TOM:  That’s what I want to see…more and more people using the railroads all the time.

STANLEY:  And you’ll see it, my boy.  [Whistle and bell off.]

JANE:  Here it comes!  Here comes the first train!  [Cheers.  Train coming on.]

ANN:  Oh, it is coming!  Tom, dear, I’m so glad…and just for you.
TOM:  Yes, darling, this is something that’s been worth working for, and waiting for, all these years.  [Train full on, with bell and whistle, to stop.  Cheers.]
[Music: Fades in and behind…]



NARRATOR:  In those early days, our civic forefathers took a proper pride in the arrival of a dozen trains a day, bearing perhaps a hundred passengers.  I wonder what they would think of these figures.  On an average day…today…there arrive in Dayton: 110 railroad trains. 474 buses, 950 highway trucks and 23 transport airplanes.  And the total number of passengers brought to Dayton daily by these various means is well over 8000.  (PAUSE.)  Surely we may take some pride in these modern figures, for they reflect the progress that our later generations have made.  And may we hope, too, that they will inspire us to still greater future progress.  (PAUSE.)  And so ends the story of how the Iron Horse came at last to Dayton. Thus our city was linked with the vast network of travel, trade and commerce which was to bring an era of incredible prosperity to all America.  [Train sound.  Should be heard far off first, approach, pass and recede.  Long whistle.] [Music: Swells and fades behind…]


ANNOUNCER:  “Great Days in Dayton” is brought to you each Sunday by The Dayton Power and Light Company.  Many factors have contributed to the progress of this community since its founding in 1796. The opening of stage lines…the digging of canals…the coming of the railroads…all contributed their share to Dayton’s growth.  In much the same way, gas and electricity have shared in the stimulating responsibility of making Dayton a better city.  The factories that pour their merchandise throughout the markets of the world—the stores where you buy—the homes in which you live—all benefit from the conveniences, the economies and the comforts that gas and electricity provide.  (PAUSE.)  “Great Days in Dayton” is the story of our city and its growth.  The Dayton Power and Light Company sponsors this story as evidence of its town pride in Dayton’s past—its faith in Dayton’s future.  (PAUSE.)  And now…we invite you, your family and your friends to attend a “Great Days in Dayton” broadcast, originating in the auditorium of the Dayton Art Institute.  There are free tickets, as many as you’ll need, waiting for you in the ground-floor offices of the Gas and Electric Building, 25 North Main Street.  Just go in and ask for them.  (PAUSE.)  These programs are broadcast at five o’clock each Sunday afternoon over Station WHIO.  All dramatic parts are played by members of the Dayton Civic Theatre professional company.  Your narrator is Charles McLean. Your announcer is Morton DaCosta.  (PAUSE.)  Be sure to listen to next week’s program.  It is a dramatization of the great Harrison campaign rally of 1840, an occasion when the small town of Dayton entertained more than 100,000 visitors.  Next Sunday!  Same station!  Same time. “Great Days in Dayton!”

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