Railroad War of 1873

This article is a work in progress.

From: Ashtabula Weekly Telegraph, March 29, 1873, page 3:

WAR UPON THE A. Y. & P.—The injunction upon the A. Y. & P. restraining the use of that part of the line known as the Liberty & Vienna road, has been argued before Judges Gliddon and Conant, who decided to dissolve the injunction. The news reached Youngstown from Warren by Telegraph, on Monday afternoon. The effect of this information is told by a correspondent of the Cleveland Hearld [sic], as follows: Soon after several persons in the interest of the Vienna and Liberty Company tore up sections of the rails, preventing the passage of trains of the A.Y. & P. road, and stationed a force to prevent the relaying of the rails. In the evening Mr. McCreery President of the A.Y. & P. Company, arrived from Pittsburg, and, after consultation with the officials of the road and his lawyers, filed an affidavit before Justice Edwards, charging John Stambaugh, Homer Hamilton, Frederick Gerwick, Christopher Metzger, C. L. Heaton, Robert Shehey, John Tidball, Edward Tidball and George Beidelstein, with feloniously, etc., displacing, injuring, etc., the rails, etc., of the A. Y. & P. Road to the value of fifty dollars and more, under that section of the statute which makes wilful injury to railroads to the value of thirty-five dollars a penitentiary offence. The magistrate issued a warrent [sic] for those persons who were arrested and brought before him. On motion of Mr. Stambaugh, the hearing is postponed to Saturday morning at nine o’clock. The offenders, it is said, will defend their acts on the ground that they, or those for whom they acted, are the owners of the road, and have the right to do as they will with their own property.

Associated Press Dispatch.

About a year ago the stockholders of the Liberty & Vienna Railroad Company sold that road the A.Y. & P. Railroad Company in payment part cash and part in bonds of the latter company. Owing to some subsequent misunderstanding the matter was brought before the courts and for the past four or five months the A.Y. & P. Company had control of the former road by virtue of an injunction which expired at two o’clock yesterday afternoon, at which time there appeared upon the premises two of the principal stockholders of the L. & V. R. R., with a large force of men, who tore up the track, cut the wires, stopped all trains, took possession of the rolling stock and are now in forcible possession of the road, with a force of two or three hundred armed men. William McCreery, President, and other officers of the A.Y. & P.R.R. are at Youngstown, and it is reported that a special train has left Pittsburg with reinforcements for McCreery, who is backed up by Tom Scott and the Pennsylvania Company. Great excitement prevails, and there is imminent danger of a riot.

Everything is quiet here this evening. There was much excitement here to-day, but no riot.

It appears that only a part of the Liberty and Vienna railroad was sold to the A. Y. & P. company, and part payment made in cash. The balance in bonds of the latter company was tendered, but the Liberty & Vienna company refused to accept them and claim they still own the road, never having deeded it away.

Updated 8/13/2020