Uncle Zeke wrote this story in June 1935:
“On Thursday of last week three boys claiming their homes, one at Richwood and two at Cowen, landed in town on a freight train, and after loitering around for awhile broke into O. L. Stutler’s cellar while the family was absent and helped themselves to some milk and strawberries. The boys were still around when Mrs. Stutler came home and found that some one had been in the cellar. She called the boys to account and at first they bitterly denied the charge, but after Mrs. Stutler’s ire arose and she placed her fist under their noses and told them a few things in plain English, the boys confessed to the crime. The boys got a light lunch at the home of the writer while waiting for a Grafton train and offered to work in the garden to pay for it. Two of the boys who claimed their home at Cowen said they were eighteen years old; the other from Richwood claimed to be twenty-one. After receiving some real motherly advise from the writer’s wife,1. they started to the watertank to catch a freight to Grafton.”
To see the route the boys were taking, click on the map to enlarge it. The bottom dot is Richwood, where the first boy jumped on, the next dot north is where the boys from Cowen jumped on. The third dot up the line is Orlando and the line ends at the top dot, Grafton.
Buzzardtown was the name Uncle Zeke gave fondly to his community around Oil Creek and Posey Run. For more on Uncle Zeke, see the Oct. '06 entry, Uncle Zeke From Buzzard Town
1. "The writer's wife" was Lorena (Godfrey) Blake, 1869-1953.
comment 1. Donna Gloff
Mr. and Mrs. O.L. Stutler were my grandparents, Oras and Edith (Skinner) Stutler. To the right is Edith with her youngest two children, Bill and Jane. about the time of the incident. Their house was one of those right next to the train tracks. This probably wasn't the first time hobos had dropped off the box cars in search of something they needed. It must have been a scarey thing to not know when someone would drop off a train and steal something from you.
comment 2. Donna Gloff
"Riding the rails" wasn't a new thing with the Depression. See the Feb '07 entry Death Rides the Rails for the story of a couple local boys who tried it during the "roaring 20's".)