John Brough was a very busy man. It’s not just that he was running the Madison & Indianapolis Railroad, and preparing to make his name a symbol of failure with the construction of Brough’s Folly, the attempt to run the railroad through what is now
No, Brough (pronounced Brough) was very busy because he was running more than one railroad company while he lived in
In 1851, Brough attempted to get a charter for the Atlantic & Mississippi Railroad, which was to run from Terra Haute to
That determination, and his physical appearance, were well known. After the train engine, the John Brough, arrived in
The weight made itself known in his life as a politician, in the following verse.
“If all flesh is grass, as people say
Johnnie Brough is a load of hay.”
And there was a joke, when he challenged
His energy did not come from clean living. One nineteenth century account said he chewed enormous amounts of tobacco, was never very clean in his personal appearance, and “Did not believe in prohibitory laws and could not be labeled as an exemplar of any particular purity.”
His joint railroad jobs contrasted with the fact that the M&I board hired a superintendent under his predecessor, Samuel Merrill, holding that the two positions were too much for one man. Apparently, Brough was in a different category.
Whatever his capability in railroads, give him credit as a politician. As a vigorous pro-Union War governor of
Brough came close to leaving his name on another map. The town of
Well, it could have been worse in