Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad, opened in 1851. Butler County's first railroad was at least five to six years in the making. The ceremonial opening was Sept. 18, 1851. From south to north, CH&D Butler County stops or stations included Muhlhauser, Jones Station, Fairsmith, Schenck, Lindenwald, Hamilton, North Hamilton, Old River Jct., New River Jct., Middletown Jct., Overpeck, Busenbark, Trenton, Middletown and Poasttown. Robert M. Shoemaker, an experienced railroad builder, was hired in 1849 to construct the railroad. He had been chief engineer of the Mad River & Lake and the Little Miami railroads since 1838. Prominent Hamilton and Middletown men were joined by business and civic leaders from Hamilton County (Cincinnati) and Montgomery County (Dayton). Butler Countians among the original backers were William Bebb, Lewis D. Campbell, John W. Erwin, E. R. Ruder, Charles K. Smith, Aaron L. Schenck, Francis J. Titus, Abner Enoch, Dr. Andrew Campbell, Samuel Dick, George W. Wren, Solomon Banker, John W. Millikin, Alex P. Miller, O. S. Campbell, Samuel Snively, William Hunter, Sigsimund Wurmser, O. S. Caldwell, Taylor Webster, James McBride and John Woods. Among those playing key roles in the formative years were Engineer Shoemaker; Bebb, Ohio governor, 1846-49; Woods, state auditor, 1845-51; and Stephen S. L'Hommedieu, an influential Cincinnati banker and publisher. The CH&D eventually connected north to Toledo and Detroit. In 1863, the Dayton & Michigan was leased to the CH&D. In 1865, the CH&D allied with the Atlantic & Great Western (later the Erie Railroad), providing access to New York and other eastern points, and the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad, linking Cincinnati and St. Louis through Indiana and Illinois. In 1869 the CH&D acquired the Cincinnati, Richmond & Chicago (formerly the Eaton & Hamilton), with connections to Richmond, Indianapolis and Chicago. In 1872, the CH&D took over operation of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Indianapolis (originally the Junction Railroad), extending west from Hamilton to Oxford and Indianapolis. In 1886, the CH&D sold the Hamilton-Richmond route (the former Eaton & Hamilton) to the Cincinnati & Richmond, part of the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1891 the CH&D gained control of the Cincinnati, Dayton & Ironton and the Cincinnati, Dayton & Chicago. July 12, 1895, the Cincinnati & Dayton Railway Co., formerly the Louisville, Cincinnati & Dayton, became part of the CH&D.
The LC&D ran between Hamilton and Middletown and never reached the cities in its name. In 1902 the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Indianapolis (under CH&D control) combined with the Indiana, Decatur & Western (a line extending west to Springfield, Ill.) and was renamed the Cincinnati, Indianapolis & Western.
Starting in 1904, the CH&D was involved in a series of complicated financial maneuvers. In 1904 the CH&D acquired most of the stock of the Pere Marquette Railroad, and controlled the Pere Marquette until 1907. In 1905, the Erie briefly acquired the CH&D.
In July 1909 the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad agreed to purchase the CH&D in about seven years. The B&O purchased the CH&D at auction June 7, 1917, and the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton became part of the Baltimore & Ohio.
Punsters had suggested that the CH&D abbreviation stood for "Cold, Hungry & Dirty." Dec. 31, 1962, the Interstate Commerce Commission approved the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad acquiring stock control of the B&O. The combined railroads became the Chessie System in 1963 and, after a merger with other roads, became CSX Corp. Nov. 1, 1980. The Baltimore & Ohio name was dropped April 30, 1987, as the B&O was merger into the C&O. The C&O markings began disappearing Sept. 2, 1987, when the C&O was merged into CSX Transportation. Effective June 1, 1999, Conrail property and rolling stock was split between CSX and Norfolk Southern. (See Eaton & Hamilton Railroad Co., Junction Railroad, Hamilton Belt Line Railway Co. and Louisville, Cincinnati & Dayton Railroad.)<br>