They Were Interested All Along the Line.
Pittsburg, Sept. 18.—The train ran
more slowly after leaving Harrisburg after midnight and daylight
was dawning as it arrived at Altoona, at the foot of the eastern
slope of the Alleghenies. But through the semi-darkness the forms
of many people could be seen strung along the track. Without the
depot a vast throng, numbering 3,000 or 4,000 people, surged up
to the train.
Many must have been there all night
and others had waited for hours as the train was originally scheduled
to reach that point at 3:20 a. m. Extra engines were coupled on
here and the train was pulled laboriously up the mountains. The
morning was raw, foggy and cheerless. Mountaineers with axes on
their shoulders came down from the steep slopes to pay their homage
with uncovered heads. Passing the summit at Cresson, the descent
Half the population of Johnstown,
the first of the great steel manufacturing centers through which
the train was now to pass on its way to the martyred president’s
home, was at the track and a company of local militia stood drawn
up at attention. Men, women and children all were there. Miners
with lamps in their caps had rushed forth from the tunnels at the
train’s approach and the steel mills along the Connemaugh river
[sic] were emptied.
Their Deep Interest.
These were men who felt that their
prosperity was due to the system for which the dead statesman stood,
and their loss seemed of a personal character. Four women with uplifted
hands were noticed on their knees and handkerchiefs were at the
lips of others; and from the smoke-covered city came the sound of
the church bells clanging out the universal sorrow. The train slowed
down that the people might better see the impressive spectacle at
the rear of the train within the observation car, the elevated flag
covered casket with its burden of flowers and the two grim armed
sentries on guard at the head and foot and outside on the platform
a soldier with his bayonetted [sic] gun and a sailor with drawn
cutlass, both at salute. So rigid they stood they might have been
carved out of stone. A little further on the train passed a string
of coke ovens, the tenders at the mouths of the glowing furnaces
with their hats in their hands.
At Jeannette were 1,000 or more glass
workers with their families.
At Pitcairn the end of the railroad
division, train crews and engines were changed and the railroad
men were out in force.
At Wilmerding the employes [sic] of
the Westinghouse Air Brake company [sic] were at the track, and
at East Pittsburg, where is located one of the largest electrical
plants in the world, were several thousand people. The train had
now practically entered the suburbs of Pittsburg, that city of brawn
and muscle which has just passed through the convulsion of a great
strike, and the industrial workers were strung along the track in
At Bessemer the huge stacks of the
Carnegie steel plant were pouring forth dense volumes of smoke and
flame, and under this black canopy the toilers gathered in dense
throngs, standing mutely with uncovered heads. Just beyond the great
mills of Braddock gave forth another multitude of grimy workmen,
and to the left across the river where is located that other great
hive of industry, Homestead, the wharves were lined with men and
Entering Pittsburg a wonderfully impressive
sight was presented. Along both sides of the track for miles were
solid walls of humanity. In some places the people stood 20 deep,
while the embankments were black with them. On the top of every
freight car was a human hedge. The overhanging bridges bent beneath
their burden. The roofs of houses were lined. All stood with uncovered
heads while the bells of all the churches were tolling.