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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Train time at Birds circa 1880s.

Birds, in Lawrence County Illinois, was founded in 1878 when John Bird Jr. (1817-1903) son of John Bird (1785-1850) donated land for the Wabash St. Louis and Pacific Railroad including a lot for the depot. The railroad was merged into the Cleveland, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Chicago Railroad in 1889 (Big 4) and in the early 20th Century was acquired by the New York Central Railroad. The line hosted a named passenger train, the "Egyptian", which featured a Pullman car to and from Chicago to Cairo, IL. Passenger service ended in 1957 and in 1980 the portions of the Danville line to Cairo were abandoned, including the line through Birds. The village of Birds was itself un-incorporated in 1997 when a flood decimated what was left of the town.

Locomotive 7102 was built by Alco’s Schenectady Works in September 1888 as Indianapolis & St. Louis #114. She became CCC&StL #114, Class B-5, when the Wabash St. Louis & Pacific was consolidated into the Big Four; it became CCC&StL #7102, Class C-69, as part of the general renumbering and reclassification of all NYC Lines locomotives in 1905. Following a May 1923 rebuilding, she was finally retired and scrapped in November 1930.

Thanks to K. Bird for sending the above information and the photo. IF anyone has a photo of the "new" Birds Depot bult in 1914, please allow LCHS to scan it.

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