The subject of transportation has been and is now one of the vital questions in the growth and development of a country, be it new or old. Midland County was for several years shut off from civilization except by means of the river, there being no wagon roads leading out of the county. Even the despised "corduroy" was unknown until the county had been settled for many years.
THE FLINT & PERE MARQUETTE RAILROAD
Was the first and only line to date that has been completed in the county. This was secured by liberal inducements offered by the citizens of Midland and a few individuals along the line. John Larkin gave the right of way through the village. J. W. Cochrane was also quite active in this enterprise, which has been of so great benefit to Midland County. This railroad was completed to Midland City and opened for business Dec I, 1867. Six months later it was extended to Averill, which place was its western terminus nearly two years. The line was then pushed rapidly to Clare, and thence to Reed City, its present western termination. A branch road, under the control of the Flint & Fere Marquette, extends southerly from Coleman to Mt. Pleasant, in Isabella County. Added to this is a line extending several miles into the woods north of Coleman, which carries logs to the Flint & Pere Marquette.
With the railroad, came prosperity to this county, and the men who so energetically managed the matter will never receive half the credit they deserve.
THE BAY CITY & MIDLAND RAILROAD
Was comtemplated in 1870, and prospects for an cast and west road were never better between two villages. A company was organized in the spring of that year, consisting of such well known men as John Larkin, J. W. Anderson, Geo. A. Janes, Thomas J. Carpenter, Benj. Dean and Wm. Patrick, of Midland, George Campbell, the Munger Brothers, W. H. Miller, James Shearer, Wm. Westover, J. R. Hall, Pitts & Cranage and Judge Holmes, of Bay City, as stockholders.
The assessment of ten per cent, was paid up. Capt, E. R. Craw was elected President, John Haines, Secretary and Geo. Campbell, Treasurer. Work was pushed during the year, and the road was graded and culverts built along the entire line. As the work progressed, furtherassessments were made, but, owing to the mismanagement of the secretary and treasurer, the company ran out of funds and operations were suspended indefinitely.
In the spring of 1882, Bay City parties made this proposition to the stockholders: That Midland raise $10,000, and some one be authorized to act as attorney for the original stockholders; that the right of way be thus secured and Bay City would raise the balance necessary to complete the line. This was done by the people of Midland, and Wm. Mann, of Bay City, given authority to act for the stockholders. This venture was also a failure, Bay City failing to raise the amount necessary to complete the contract. The right of way is still secure, but no efforts are made toward finishing the road. There is little doubt but it will be taken hold of by some company ere long and carried to completion.
Portrait Biographical Midland MI 1884