Urbana in Champaign County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Dayton, Springﬁeld, and Urbana Electric Railway
The Dayton, Springfield, and Urbana Electric Railway (DS&U) was an “Interurban” rail system that ran between the cities of Urbana, Springfield and Dayton. Its beginning can be traced to the franchise given to William H. Hanford to operate a single line of electrical railway between Springfield and the southern boundary of Champaign County in 1895. Hanford then sold his rights to John G. Webb of Springfield and Colonel Frederich Colburn of Kentucky, who along with other syndicate members formed the Dayton, Springfield, and Urbana Electric Railway. In 1897 Boston promoter Arthur E. Appleyard joined the syndicate and brought investment monies, organizational skills, and energy to the venture. He quickly became managing director/treasurer and the real driving force of the DS&U. The railway was organized into two divisions. One operated between Dayton and Springfield and the other between Springfield and Urbana.
The Dayton, Springfield, and Urbana Electric Railway ran on 600 volts of direct electrical current with power generated from a 24,600-volt plant located in Medway. To sustain the current over the track's length, several “booster” stations were constructed along the line. The initial run took place on February 14, 1900 between Springfield and
Erected 2005 by The Peoples Savings Bank, Champaign County Bicentennial Historical Marker Committee, and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 15-11.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection marker series.
Location. 40° 6.429′ N, 83° 45.182′ W. Marker is in Urbana, Ohio, in Champaign County. Marker is at the intersection of Market Street and Main Street (U.S. 68), on the right when traveling west on Market Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Urbana OH 43078, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Champaign County Civil War Memorial (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Billy "Single" Clifford /Clifford Theater (about 400 feet away); This tablet mark's the Site of Doolittle's Tavern (about 500 feet away); Simon Kenton (about 600 feet away); Champaign County Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Harmony Lodge No. 8 Free and Accepted Masons (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Urbana.
Also see . . . The Uncertain Trolley: A History of the Dayton, Springfield and Urbana Electric Railway. 1992 Ohio Railroad Heritage Series book by Jack Keenan.
1. 26,400 Volt Power Plant
Two digits were transposed on the voltage listed on this marker. At that time power was generated in increments of 13,200 volts. Twice that number is 26,400, not the 24,600 volts shown on the marker.
2. Railway Name as Shown is in Error
The official name of this railway was the “Dayton, Springfield and Urbana Electric Railway.” There is no comma after the word “Springfield” in the corporate name.
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