Veedersburg in Fountain County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Erected by the town of Veedersburg in memory of Cal Scherer who used old Curfew Bell over 30 years.
—Board of Trustees: Leon L. Ewbank, L. R. Owens M.D., Leon Wiggins.
Erected by Town of Veedersburg.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Communications • Landmarks • Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Historic Bells series list.
Location. 40° 6.95′ N, 87° 16.031′ W. Marker is in Veedersburg, Indiana, in Fountain County. Marker is on West Fifth Street, on the left when traveling east. Marker is on front side of large concrete base holding the original Curfew Bell—at South Entrance to Hub Park in Veedersburg. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 511 West Fifth Street, Veedersburg IN 47987, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Veedersburg " Scout Cabin " (within shouting distance of this marker); Booe - Inlow - d'Arlier Cultural Center (approx. 0.2 miles away); Veedersburg (approx. ¼ mile away); Veedersburg Wabash Clay CompanyLee and Mike Ramsey (approx. 0.3 miles away); Nineteenth Century Functional Commercial Building (approx. 0.3 miles away); Veedersburg Memorial Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); Veedersburg - VanBuren Township War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Veedersburg.
Regarding Curfew Bell. Calvin H. Scherer (called “Cal” by all the townspeople) was the night policeman—the cop—for the railroad Town of Veedersburg, Indiana; its turn-of-the-Century law man.
Veedersburg was a railroad hub with both north/south and east/west railroads. During its heyday there was a passenger train every hour day and night with two train depots serving the public.
“Ole” Cal Scherer, as night cop, had a kind heart but a firm hand with locals and travelers. It was even known by “the boys” in Chicago to mind youself in Veedersburg. The Town lock up housed those (locals and travelers alike) that had social problems.
During his night duty Cal would rattle every door twice each night making sure they were locked. He took mail to the night trains—and delivered to the Post Office the incoming mail. He escorted home
At 9:00 P.M. each night he rang the Curfew Bell. Young people were moved along home. Slow movers would get his personal attention—right to their front door. He never lost a bent ear in the process.
The “Curfew Bell” rang for the last time at his funeral in 1935. Thereafter it hung mute over the Veedersburg Town Office.
In the 1940’s the town trustees (Leon L. Ewbank, L. R. Owens M.D., and Leon Wiggins) and the citizens of Veedersburg honored Ole Cal by the building of the concrete base and mounted the Curfew Bell at the entrance of Hub Park.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. "Veedersburg - Home of Brick Yard"
Also see . . . History of the Nickel Plate Road, 1881-1964. Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society website homepage (Submitted on May 27, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
1. Veedersburg’s Railroads
Veedersburg was a railroader’s working town back then. It once had a “rail loop” that enabled cars to be moved from one line to another. Today most of the railroaders are dead or gone. All of the railroads in Veedersburg are gone; the last of the tracks
The railroads changed names periodically during the 19th and 20th century. During “Cal” Scherer’s time, the best guess for the east/west line was the “Bee Line”, later called the “Big Four” for the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway (CCC&StL). Another east/west line in Scherer's day, the New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad was once part of the Clover Leaf Route. It became part of the “Nickel Plate Road” in 1922.
The north/south line was the Chicago, Attica, & Southern, affectionately known as “Coal, Ashes & Soot.” Reorganized from parts of the old Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railway (CE&I) in 1922, the CA&S was never financially strong and was completely abandoned in 1946.
Towards the end of the passenger train era in the 20th century, Veedersburg was still served by three long distance passenger trains a day in each direction, although all of the “locals” (short distance trains) were gone, as was direct service to Chicago. The Nickel Plate had a fast train with dining cars and sleepers between St. Louis and Cleveland, while the New York Central ran sections of its Chicago/New York/Boston New York Special and Interstate Express between Indianapolis and Peoria through Veedersburg.
2. Railroads through Veedersburg
The Chicago Attica and Southern (CA&S) was not part of the Nickel Plate railroad. The depot in picture #5 was the Nickel Plate Depot. The depot in picture #6 was used by the New York Central that ran East and West, and also for the CA&S that ran North and South. Picture #6 is before the depot was divided into two separate depot’s. The station’s employees of the NYC and CA&S where having a disagreement over how loud the CA&S employee was playing his radio.
The CA&S ran from Chicago to Brazil Indiana. It ran though Attica, Veedersburg, Yeddo, Kingman and Tangier. The old line can still be see running along Indiana Avenue and along Shale Pit Road. Bridge abutment's are still present just east of the Nickel Plate bridge abutments on the south side of Veedersburg. In Attica, the lumber yard office building is the old CA&S depot. The rail line still is present going to Harrison Steel in Attica. The line can be followed south out of Veedersburg into Kingman and in places south of Tangier.
The Nickel Plate railroad is the old Clover Leaf railroad, which was a narrow gauge railroad. The Clover Leaf was changed from a narrow gauge line to the standard width of 4' 8½" all in ONE DAY. They had work crews working simultaneously on ten mile
Editor's note: Changes made to this page now reflect this information. Thank you for your help to improve this entry.
— Submitted May 27, 2008, by Robert W. McElwee of Veedersburg, Indiana.
3. Robert IS RIGHT.
Thank You Robert, Best info so far! Other source agrees with your info.
Sources show approximately nine different named railroad companies running North/South -and- three different company names running East/West through Veedersburg.
All info is welcome! With more good help like Robert's hopefully Veedersburg's Railroad History will be sorted out.
— Submitted May 30, 2008, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.
Additional keywords. Town Curfew Bell
Credits. This page was last revised on August 21, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 6, 2007, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 7,088 times since then and 40 times this year. Last updated on August 6, 2010, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 6, 2007, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. 3. submitted on November 13, 2007, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 23, 2008, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. 7. submitted on May 30, 2008, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. 8, 9. submitted on July 16, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. 10. submitted on November 6, 2007, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. 11, 12. submitted on June 13, 2008, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.