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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Train Truthiness vs. Train Truth

From The Kansas City (Mo.) Star of Jan. 1, 2006:

History of Cape's first train is mostly myth

Southeast Missourian

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Cape Girardeau's first train rolled into town in the early morning hours of New Year's Day 125 years ago to much fanfare boisterous bands, cheering crowds and a huge celebration.

At least that's the way Louis Houck, the man who had the railroad built, told the story for years.

Except that's not exactly the way it happened.

William Penny, the train's chief engineer that night, summed it up years later with a less triumphant version.

He said there were no people in sight, the saloons were all closed and there certainly was no band or cheering crowds.

In fact, the train would operate only in reverse, so it had to come into town backward, Rhodes said.


[Read the whole story]

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