Ohio History Journal

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Agricultural Trains: An Innovative

Educational Partnership Between

Universities and Railroads


The handbill said 1:10 P.M., Thursday, October 26, 19111 but by

one o'clock a crowd had collected and was greeting each farm wagon

or buggy as neighbors arrived. A stranger might have described the

gathering as festive; not the exuberance of a 4th of July celebration,

but an expectant air akin to a farm auction or the county fair. Beside

the Hocking Valley Railroad Depot the mood reflected a break from

the work of harvest, the sociability of friends and neighbors, and

the anticipation of a program to be seen and heard. Men stood by

their horses and women held the hands of small children as the

steam whistle announced the approach of the special train. By the

time the engine and three coaches settled to a halt at the Logan,

Ohio, station, the crowd was moving toward the baggage car where a

platform was being cranked down to present the first star of the day:

a prize Poland China hog!

For the next hour and a half people flowed into the coaches to

hear Professor Johnson of the Ohio State University lecture on soil

improvement or C.R. Titlow of the agricultural extension department

show stereopticon views of improvements for country life.2 But many

of the farmers had come especially to see the stars in the baggage

car: the Berkshire, Yorkshire, Poland China and Duroc Jersey hogs

selected by the agricultural college to exemplify the well-bred ani-

mals of scientific hog culture.

The crowd attending the Hocking Valley "Hog Special" did not





Virginia E. McCormick has served on the faculties of Pennsylvania State University,

Iowa State University, and The Ohio State University, and Robert W. McCormick is an

Ohio State University Emeritus Professor of Agricultural Education. A portion of this

article appeared in their recent book, A. B. Graham: Country Schoolmaster and Exten-

sion Pioneer.


1. Hocking Valley Railroad Handbill, "Hog Special" October 23-27, 1911.

2. "Agricultural Extension," Lancaster Daily Eagle, October. 26, 1911.