Business Tour Here in 1924

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Business Tour Here in 1924


At six o'clock on the evening of Thursday, May 22, 1924, a special L&N train pulled into the Richmond depot. From the ten Pullman cars poured out some 150 CEO's and business managers from Louisville. They were on a tour of Kentucky cities and towns called the "Heads of Houses Tour of the Louisville Board of Trade." Among the guests to arrive were the governor, the mayor of Louisville, and the presidents of two important railroads in the state. Among the throng of Madison County persons on hand to greet the visitors at the depot were Mayor William O'Neil and members of the Exchange Club, and a Rotary Club delegation headed by Allen Zaring. Mayor O'Neil gave a short welcoming speech and then a short response was made by one of the visiting businessmen, explaining that they were on a trip throughout all of Kentucky in order to see for themselves what the needs were for economic development in the state. A boys band, which accompanied the tour group, gave a concert, during which the Richmond and Louisville businessmen all had numerous conversations with the other. The Richmond Register noted that "a motion picture camera man," representing the American Motion Picture Co., shot a number of groups of people and places of interest in the community. Souvenirs (not described) were distributed to the ladies and the children. Before arriving at Richmond, the train had carried the distinguished business leaders to Maysville, Carlisle, Paris, Cynthiana, and Winchester all on that same day. It causes one to wonder just how much they could actually find out about economic conditions by visiting each town only a few hours. The special train fascinated the local citizens. Its ten Pullman cars, in the words of the Register, "made a veritable hotel on wheels, being made up of the most modern sleeping and dining car equipment." Every day of the trip there was "mail service and delivery of the afternoon Louisville newspapers by aeroplane." The pilot would take off from Bowman Field in Louisville and fly until he saw the train, which had the roof of one car painted white in order to make identification easy. Once spotted, the pilot would swoop down ahead of the train and drop a large canvas sack of mail and newspapers. The engineer would halt the train while someone ran out and retrieved the sack, and then they would be on their way again. Each member of the Louisville group wore a Palm Beach suit and a white Panama hat, and carried a red and white umbrella. Louis K. Webber, state manager of the Cumberland Telephone Co., was the tour director. He stated that the outfits of the visitors made his job of getting everyone back on the train much easier.


Dr. Robert Grise




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Dr. Robert Grise, “Business Tour Here in 1924,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed September 30, 2023,