Col. C. T. Hobart
Col. C. T. Hobart, General manager and chief engineer
of the Columbus & Lake Michigan Railway, now in operation from Lima to
Defiance, Ohio, is a railroad man of long experience and scientific
training. He was born in Vermont and was educated in his State
University, where he was graduated in the polytechnic department.
For 12 years after entering railroad service Colonel Hobart was in
the operating department of the Central Vermont Railroad. From that
time on he has been more of less continuously connected with great lines
of transportation. In 1866 he made the first survey of a preliminary
nature, for the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad; 900
miles were covered before the party was attacked by the Indians. Of the
party of 21 surveyors, only eight escaped with their lives. The
exigencies of his business often required long journeys through unbroken
forests and over dangerous paths. One winter he left Montana by stage
and traveled 700 miles to Salt Lake City, thence by stage 600 miles to
Austin, Nevada. This was necessary in measuring the ground for the
Central Pacific Railway. Afterward he worked back across the Sierra
Nevada Mountains. He was then superintendent of the operating
department which built the road out to a point connecting with the
Central Pacific and continued it until it was in operation to Ogden.
Upon the completion of this great engineering work, Colonel Hobart
was engaged by the Northern Pacific, met the directors at St. Paul and
after impressive services, in which the directors took part, including
Governor Smith of Vermont (the president of the company), Colonel Hobart
was left in charge as superintendent of construction and operation.
This was initial step in the building of that great highway of commerce
and promoter of civilization the Northern Pacific Railroad. For 17 years
Colonel Hobart continued in charge of this great enterprise. When it
was found desirable to construct a branch line from the Northern Pacific
to Yellowstone Park, under a government lease, Colonel Hobart built the
line and erected the hotel in the park for the entertainment of the
people who visit that wonderful region. These hotels he later turned
over to the Northern Pacific road.
On account of the delicacy of his wife's health, Colonel Hobart
then gave up his connection with the Northern Pacific and went to the
Argentine Republic, South America. Here he built 200 miles of railroad,
under government concessions to American capitalists, through Paraguay
and other portions of South America. The road was later abandoned. Upon
his return to New York, he became vice-president of the Raritan River
Railway and constructed the same.
It was while engaged in this great project that he was approached
by Benjamin C. Faurot, who gave him such a glowing picture of the
business possibilities of Northwestern Ohio and so convincingly placed
before him the desirable climatic and other advantages for happy home
building, that Colonel Hobart determined to settle in this section.
From this determination subsequently came about the building of the
Columbus & Lake Michigan Railway ( at first known as the Columbus, Lima
& Milwaukee). Within the current year in all probability, the road will
have reached Columbus as one terminus and Eastern Lake, Michigan, as the
Colonel Hobart is a Knight Templar Mason, and belongs to the
Protestant Episcopal Church.