In 1883 the Ohio Railroad Company was incorporated in Columbus, Ohio by W.A. Lynch of Canton and Akron industrialists Col A.L. Conger, Lewis Miller and David E Hill. The company proposed to construct from Akron westward to Chicago Junction or to some other good connecting point, the link that had long been desired, to make a new east and west line. At Chicago Junction the B & O road could be connected with, and at Akron the Pittsburgh & Western leading directly to Pittsburgh. It was expected that the building of the link would materially shorten the distance between New York and Chicago by existing routes. Considerable interest was aroused in the project in Akron and Medina. In Medina and it's townships considerable money and right of way were promised. Surveys were made and the route was determined. Funds for construction purposes could not readily be negotiated however, and the project lagged. Mr. Lynch who was general counsel for the company, kept at work, however, and in the end his patience and energy were rewarded with success.
The name of the company was changed November 10, 1883 to the Pittsburgh, Akron & Western Railway Company. That was the only major event in the history of the enterprise for six years. In October 1889 new life was given to the "Lynch line" project as it was called by a consolidation of the Pittsburgh, Akron & Western Railway Company and the Cleveland & Western Railroad Company the new company taking the name of the Pittsburgh, Akron & Western Railroad Company. The Cleveland & Western (previously The Cleveland, Delphos and St. Louis Railroad.) was a narrow gauge road running between Delphos and Carey, Ohio. Its principal owners were William Semple, an Allegheny merchant and James Callery, the latter for a time president of the Pittsburgh & Western. This consolidation made Carey the western terminus of the link from Akron westward instead of Chicago Junction. Arrangements for funds to begin construction work had been achieved, and on March 17, 1890 mortgage bonds in the sum of $3,680,000 were issued to the Central Trust Company of New York, as trustees. An election of directors was held about this time resulting in the choice of D.E. Hill, A.L. Conger, Lewis Miller of Akron, James M. Semple of Toledo, taking the place of William Semple Sr. of Pittsburgh then recently deceased; Chas G. Milnor of Pittsburgh to take the place of James Callery deceased; A.W. Jones, Youngstown; James Schoonmaker and Josiah N. Davidson, Allegheny; James I Callery, Pittsburgh. An election of officers resulted in the choice of James I Callery president in place of Wm. Semple Sr. (deceased), Arthur Latham Conger Vice President, William Arnold Lynch secretary and general counsel, Chas G. Milnor treasurer, William Semple general manager, and James H. Sample chief engineer.
The contract for the building of the line from Akron to Carey in Wyandot county was let to W.V. McCracken of New York and Wm. Semple of Allegheny under the firm name of McCracken & Semple. Work began in the latter part of May 1890 and on January 24, 1891 the track was completed to Silver street Akron. The right of way in Akron began at Old Forge running along the old Pennsylvania & Ohio Canal almost to Summit street. There it crossed over to the north side of the water way that crossed North High street and North Main street. Then went across North Howard street by a bridge and spanning the valley of the Ohio & Erie Canal with an immense trestle then striking the northern brow of West Hill out to Silver street and then on to Copley. From Copley the line goes to Medina and then on to Greenwich, New London and Plymouth. Trains began running from Akron west early in the Spring of 1891 The principal offices were in Akron at the old brick homestead of the Beebe family on North Howard street. C.W. Risley was superintendent and auditor and W.S.Taylor general freight and passenger agent. The depot was on the west side of North Main street. The P A & W ran no farther than Akron. The leasing of the Pittsburgh & Western by the B & O dashed the dreams of the P A & W Company which had expected to get to Pittsburgh over the P & W, while the B & O lease made the P & W the eastern connection at Akron, of the Akron & Chicago Junction.
Consequently, in 1892, the P A & W promoters formed the Akron & New Castle Railway to construct the eastern extension to Pittsburgh. The new company quickly surveyed a line to the Niles-Youngstown area, a distance of about fifty miles, and acquired options for most of the needed seven miles of right-of-way between Akron and the village of Moagadore. There the Akron & New Castle also planned to connect with the Cleveland, Canton & Southern (Wheeling and Lake Erie).
At the end of winter 1893, Akron & New Castle Railway began grading and track laying. After completeing only two miles of track in and around Akron, the economic conditions from the Panic of '93 forced the company to suspend construction. The panic, moreover, threw the parent and financially troubled Pittsburgh, Akron & Western into receivership. When reorganizaion plans failed, the Summit County district court ordered the property sold. On July 29, 1893, William A. Lynch was appointed receiver of the property and the road was ordered sold. Sheriff William A. Williams, acting under orders of the court, sold the property at auction on October 17, 1894, to one George Fisher Baker, President of the First National Bank of New York City, at his bid, $844,000, which was two-thirds of the appraised value. Mr Baker, who represented a syndicate of bondholders, then transfered and assigned his bid to Samuel Shortridge, and on June 7, 1895, the court confirmed said sale. On August 6, 1895, Samuel Shortridge transfered and assigned his bid to John H. Sample, and on August 10, 1895 the Master Commissioner deeded the property to John H. Sample. On the same date, John H. Sample deeded it to Akron industrialist Arthur Latham Conger and others, incorporators of the Northern Ohio Railway Company.
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