A History of Conway Borough, the Conway Family, Crow’s Run Valley, and Conway Yards

Compiled by John O. Buerkle, Jr. Contributions by Scott Levenson

New Sewickley Township, situated in the eastern part of Beaver County, is composed of about 19,279 acres of land which is of hilly nature but very fertile. The southern part of the township is drained by Crow’s Run, which flows southwest through a deep and narrow valley and empties into the Ohio River at Conway, Pennsylvania. 

The area called Crow’s Run by the local Indians because of the number of Crows that found a natural sanctuary as they nested and rested in the tall hemlocks that once interspersed the valley was known as Indian lands until March 12, 1783. At that time, the lands were part of what was set aside as “depreciation lands” which were given by the State of PA as payment to the soldiers and officers who had served in the revolutionary war.[1]  This land, until 1789, was priced as low as fifty cents per acre.

 John McKee, who would become the 1st white settler in the Crow’s Run area[2], was born in 1730, in Cork, Ireland.  In 1765, at the age of 35, John was exiled from his native land as a result of the unrest and turmoil, and his disagreement with the imperialistic authorities.

To save his life, he chose to go to America, eventually landing in New England, where he found the same turmoil that he had sought to leave behind in Ireland. Being a hater of tyranny from the very foundation of his nature, he joined himself in sympathy with the colonists, and was one of the “Indians” assisting in the destruction of the tax-ridden tea at the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773. 

McKee served two years in the revolutionary war and was promoted to the rank of General by General George Washington.  McKee was later present at the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  For his service in the war, McKee was awarded 800 acres of land in New Sewickley Township beginning at the Ohio River and extending back over the hills for a distance of two miles, thus including the Crow’s Run Valley.   McKee’s land was enhanced by the presence of a sizeable stream, abundant wild-life, and other natural resources.[3] 

Around 1800, McKee set aside some of his land, located on the bluff behind his cabin, to serve as his eventual final resting place.  It also became the burial site for several other Revolutionary War soldiers.[4]   The later Conway family graves are still located on the bluff at Crow’s Run.[5]

In 1825, McKee sold 230 acres of partially cleared land situated at the lower end of the Crow’s Run Valley to Michael Conway, who eventually founded the town of Conway, PA.

McKee used the funds from the sale of this, and other lands, to promote and help to finance the construction of the first railroad in the area from Pittsburgh to Beaver County.   This railroad would eventually become known as the Pennsylvania Railroad, and later Conrail and then Norfolk-Southern.[6]

John McKee died December 14, 1834, at the age of 94 and was buried in the family plot on the homestead, located at the top of the hill over looking Crow’s Run. The epitaph on his tombstone testifies to the contribution of his patriotic deeds, and reads:

“In memory of John McKee who departed this life December 14, 1834 aged 94.  Emigrated to this adopted country in the year A.D. 1765, was at the destroying of the tea in Boston, present at Declaration of Independence, served two years in the Revolutionary War, and took his share in the glorious struggle of gaining our Independence.”

In 1942 his remains and tombstone were removed and placed in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Freedom, PA, near the Soldiers Monument.[7]

Thomas McKee, born in 1782 in eastern Pennsylvania, the son and only child of John McKee inherited the land from his father and lived on the paternal homestead all of his life.  Thomas prospered and became quite well-to-do. He built a grist mill on Snake Run about one mile above its confluence with Crow’s Run.

The Conway Family

In 1825 Michael Conway, his wife, Mary (O’Brien) and their son Thomas, immigrated from Kerry, Ireland, purchased land from John McKee, and built a log cabin and later a frame house. They would spend the rest of their lives farming, and raising their six children: Abigail, Thomas, James, John, Joanna and Mary.  The Conway farm was known as one of the best kept and most prosperous farms in the area. 

By 1830, the area was part of Economy Township, which had been formed from part of New Sewickley in 1827.[8]  In that year John Dean and his wife Eliza, after having immigrated from Ireland, came to live in the area.  Mr. Dean established a saw-mill and also opened the first general store in the Crow’s Run area.  Mrs. Dean organized and taught in the a 1-room school beginning in 1833.  In 1838, the Dean’s moved to Allegheny, where Mr. Dean died in 1884.[9]

Carrying on what Gen. McKee had begun, some of the Conway family money went to help finance railroads that were building through the area, presaging Conway’s future role as the hub of a gigantic railroad system.[10]  

Michael Conway was sixty-five years old at the time of his death on January 31, 1862. Mary Conway was seventy-two years old when she died on July, 28, 1871. Thomas Conway died at the age of 57, on February 19, 1878. Census data lists Thomas as a farmer.

John Conway was born on March 27, 1830. He attended the commons schools and the College of Vincennes, Indiana, and then returned home. His first business was as a steamboat clerk on the Ohio River, at which he remained from 1847 to 1853. In 1856, he then embarked in the dry goods trade and established a store in New Castle, PA remaining there until 1858. In 1858, he married Thalia Bentel, a native of Freedom, PA,  and of German origin. They had two children, Lillian and Charles. John spent most of his life in the County and for many years was prominently identified with its commercial interests and progress.

·        In 1858 he came to Rochester and was engaged in the mercantile trade until 1871.

·        In 1871 he bought Bonabright’s Starch Factory Building at 749 West Madison Street and established the banking firm of John Conway and Company, the second oldest banking institution in Rochester. The business of this firm was safely conducted by John through the panic of 1873, and the dismal business times of 1874 and 1875. 

·        September 1, 1879 the Olive Stove Works was organized and John Conway was named President. 

·        From 1880 to 1881, John served as Master of the Masons’ Rochester Lodge. No. 229 F.&A.M.. In addition, he held the position of secretary within the society. 

·        On May 17, 1887, at the organization of the Rochester Heat and Light Company John was named Superintendent. 

·        The Peoples Electric Company was organized on August 13, 1891. John was named its president at that time. 

·        In 1895 the Star Publishing Company was established. In 1904 John was named president of the company. 

·        In February 1897, John was named president and Director of the Keystone Tumbler Company. The company employed three-hundred and sixty persons. 

·        On May 20, 1899 John was appointed to the Beaver County Centennial Finance Committee. The Beaver County Centennial was held from June 19 to June 22, 1900. 

·        In 1905, John partnered with James J. Mitchell and others to establish the Peoples National Bank. John served as President until his death in November of 1905. The bank was located in the Mitchell Building. 

John was a member of the Presbyterian Church and a trustee for sixteen years. He built and sold many fine residences in Beaver County. He was a prominent member of the Masonic Fraternity and has served in the Borough Council and as school director. He was one of the promoters of the project to build the Masonic Block at Rochester. In politics, he was a Democrat. The Book of Biographies for Beaver County, 1899, lists John as one of the most influential men in the thriving Borough of Rochester, …” and is notable for sound judgment and sterling integrity.” After his mother’s death, John and his sisters owned the farm.

James J. Conway served in the Union Army in Company H, 139th Regiment, Pennsylvania Voluntary Infantry, from September 1, 1862 to June 21, 1865. On September 1, 1862 Conway was enlisted to the US Army for a three year term. On July 21, 1863, he was promoted to the rank of captain. During his tenure, Conway served his Country in the following battles of the Civil War:

  • Second Bull Run Battle – August 28-30, 1862 Burial Detail
  • Battle of Fredericksburg – December 11-15, 1862 (December 15, 1862) 
  • Battle of Chancellorsville – April 30-May 6, 1863 (May 3 to May 5, 1863) where he was engaged in heavy fighting 
  • Promoted to the rank of Captain – July 21, 1863 
  • Battle of Gettysburg – August 2, 1863 to August 3, 1863 where he served on the Union Line to the right of the 20th Maine at Little Round Top, possibly five regiments from the Flank. 
  • Mine Run – November 27-December 2, 1863 (November 1863) 
  • Battle of Brandy Station – June 9, 1863 
  • Wilderness Campaign – May 5-7, 1864 
  • Spotsylvania – May 8-21, 1864 
  • Cedar Creek – October 19, 1864 
  • Battle of Cold Harbor – June 2, 1864 
  • Petersburg – June 15-18, 1864 
  • Fishers Hill – September 21-22, 1864 
  • Saylors Creek Battle – April 6, 1865 

James was wounded at the battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia on June 2, 1864. A letter from Hudson J. Elder, Physician and Surgeon dated June 8, 1864 indicated that “… his wound of the thigh is so that in my opinion unable to travel without endangering his life or producing permanent disability …” He was mustered out of the Army at the end of the Civil War, on June 21, 1865. Captain Conway was fifty-nine years old at the time of his death on January 19, 1884, from the lingering effects of his wound. Census data lists James as a farmer.

Industry in the Crow’s Run Valley

The Crow’s Run Valley, had many natural resources which helped to provide new settlers to the valley a profitable livelihood.  Beginning in 1880 and for the next four decades, Crow’s Run became a busy industrial region for the production of clay, coal, oil, building stone, brick making and building railroads. The creation of these enterprises was due to the foresight and endeavors of the Park Brothers of Crow’s Run who gave their share to the development of Beaver County[11].

William Park, born in Cookstown County, Tyrone, Ireland, immigrated to Philadelphia on May 1791, learned to be a stone mason and located in Wilkinsburg, Allegheny County, 1796 where he instituted the first Masonic lodge in that region. He was a member of 479 F. & A.M. at Tullaghage County, Tyrone, Ireland. He died at the age of 88; his wife, Mary McGahey died at the age of 94. They had the following children: John, James, David, Jane, William, Robert and Thomas. 

David Park, son of William Park became a wagon maker, married and settled in Wilkinsburg in about 1844, then in 1845 the family moved to Beaver County and purchased a farm in New Sewickley Township, about one mile from Freedom. He married Ann Hamilton, and had the following children: James, George, William, John, David, Theodore, Elizabeth and Mary.

James I. Park, son of David Park, learned to be a wagon maker like his father, then engaged in the lumber business in Freedom for thirty years. He married Emily McDonald and had the following children: William A., John H., George I. and Ann.

The members of the Park family who were to establish their various enterprises in Crow’s Run and who were active in the promotion of the valley’s rapid growth, were James I. Park (Father) and his sons William A., John H. and George I. Park.  

John H. assisted his father in the lumber business and later entered into business on his own account. He opened a general store in 1880 under the name of J. H. Park & Company. 

Park opened a stone quarry in Crow’s Run in 1880, and in 1882 established another quarry in New Galilee, Pennsylvania. A post office was established at the Park quarries where John H. Park was Post Master in addition to running the General Store. From these quarries he shipped fine building stone to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and surrounding areas. Some notable buildings erected from this stone were the Pittsburgh Post Office, Pennsylvania Railroad Station at Pittsburgh, Pa., the First Presbyterian Church in 1890, Beaver, Pa., Carnegie Library in 1902, Beaver Falls, Pa. and much of the stone used in and about the Court House in Beaver, Pa.[12]  

In 1885 the Park Fire Clay Company was organized at Park Quarries with J. I. Park President, W.A. Park Treasurer, and John H. Park Superintendent, and added to the Parks other mercantile and quarry businesses. 

The valley’s ample supply of excellent quality clay provided for the needs of the two brickyards, known as #1 and #2 works, that were situated on the west side of the Crow’s Run valley.  Each yard had a separate shaft that tunneled into the hill to retrieve the clay.[13]  The capacity of the works was 250,000 bricks daily. These were a paving brick, burned hard and sized 4″ x 4″ x 9″ and weighing 9 pounds[14]. The employees numbered 350 men. The bricks made in Crow’s Run were hard and durable and at that time were used extensively for paving purposes throughout the Beaver Valley.  These bricks were also shipped to all points in the United States and Canada.

In 1884 John H. Park built the North Shore Railroad from Park Quarries to connect with the Pennsylvania Railroad at Conway, Pa., a distance over three miles to facilitate the transportation needs of the Park’s industries[15].  The North Short RR was later sold to the Ohio River Junction Railroad Company of which William A. Park was the treasurer.

The clay mines were opened daily to supply clay for the brickyards and they also shipped the clay as one of their products. A scarceness of labor became a problem and they eventually built over twenty-five houses and an African American church for their employees.

In 1881, a Post Office was established in the Remington Station of the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad located near Crow’s Run.   The first post master was Charles Cheney.[16]  An interesting note is that the Ryan Homes subdivision of houses constructed in Conway during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s was called the Remington plan.

 On May 19, 1902, the peace and tranquility of the village was disturbed by a murder, the second ever to occur in Beaver County, involving two employees in a dispute over a woman of dissolute character. William A. Payne shot and killed Allen Austin. Payne was tried, convicted and hung on June 9, 1904 in the jail yard at Beaver by Sheriff Howard Bliss.

The Oil Industry

At the place called “Wallace City” situated at the crossroads of what is now Route 989 and the Freedom-Crider Road, near the head waters of Crow’s Run, an oil boom started in 1900. The first well was drilled on the Robert Wallace farm (hence the name “Wallace City”), and produced 1,400 barrels per day and before it was brought under control, thousands of gallons flowed down Crow’s Run to the Ohio River[17]

The well with the largest production, 2,600 barrels per day, was drilled on the Whipple Farm. Thirty wells were drilled on the Stewart Farm, seventeen on the Whipple Farm, twenty-two on the Kramer Farm and seventeen on the Wallace Farm. Others were Morgan, McElhaney, Stewart, Bock and Landis Farms. 

Three pipelines were laid and 500 barrel storage tanks were built to market the oil. Natural gas was also found on several farms, and the one on the Kline farm was still producing in 1950. 

During the oil boom in Wallace City, the Park Brothers realized the need for transportation. They extended their North Shore Railroad up Crow’s Run over three miles from their quarries to Wallace City. The path that the Park’s followed was an old Indian trail leading to Venango, which also had been the route that George Washington had followed in 1753.[18]  In order to do so, they had to blast two tunnels through solid rock, one about one-fourth mile long. Their plans were to extend the railroad on to Callery Junction, PA, and connect with the Pittsburgh and Western Railroad at that point. After the collapse of the oil boom, they decided not to extend that railroad any further. 

The oil boom was of brief duration and when the dry holes were drilled, the business began to collapse.  By 1910 the derricks and buildings of Wallace City were being torn down and began to disappear.

By the 1920’s, the wells of Wallace City were no longer productive, and although the area was populated with the usual service buildings such as boarding houses, blacksmith shops, livery stables and other temporary buildings associated with the industry, no permanent residences were ever erected. It never even became a village or hamlet, and eventually, all the derricks, etc…were dismantled and no trace of the once bustling oil business was left.

 In 1898, the Ohio Street and Tin Plate Company was formed and began operations on the banks on the river. In 1910 the entire plant was moved to New Castle. Before 1902, Graham Torpedo Company was located in the village, but was soon asked to leave because it was storing nitroglycerine. 

In January 29, 1902, a petition was drawn up and signed by forty people living in the village of Conway in the township of Economy. On June 3, 1902, the court decreed that the village of Conway be incorporated into a borough and be called the Borough of Conway. Addru Bepler was the town’s first Mayor.[19]  The petition established the borough boundaries. On August 19, 1902, a Health Ordinance was passed. It provided for the preservation of the public health and to prevent the spread of communicable diseases within the borough. Also, a peddling ordinance was passed which provided for the regulation of hawking and peddling. On August 25, 1902 an ordinance was passed to allow the People’s Electric Street Railway Company to construct a single track railway on the Beaver and Pittsburgh Road.[20]

 On March 13, 1903, the Agnew Water Company was given a franchise. The Fort Pitt Gas Company was given permission to lay gas lines and fixtures on the streets of the borough on April 4, 1903. On May 4, 1903, the Agnew Water Company was permitted to build a water plant in Conway. In 1908, Mr. Bock and Mr. Bruce started the Bock and Bruce Lumber Company. These two men, with the help of the Powell Brothers, built the first homes in Conway. 

By 1903 Conway had three doctors, Dr. McCaskey, Dr. Mercer and Dr. Torreus.  In 1909 the Borough building and Fire Station was constructed.[21]  Also in 1909, the Croation Fraternal Union of America was organized in Conway.

The last business venture of the Park Brothers was an attempt to construct an inter-urban trolley line between the Beaver Valley and Butler, PA.  In 1905-06 rails were laid in Freedom on Fourth Avenue between Second and Seventh Streets, also in Rochester, entering on Case Street via Pinney Street, Connecticut Avenue, Jefferson Street and leaving town via New York Avenue and northward ending at the borough line. It also required a bridge in Freedom between Seventh and Ninth Street across Eighth Street and Dutchman’s Run. Due to rival competition and difficulty in obtaining right-of-ways, this business venture was abandoned with tremendous loss. It was the last business venture of John R. Park who died in 1933.  His only son, William H. Park, born June 13, 1882 (died June 28, 1968), remained on the homestead and on June 12, 1916 he married Lena Evelyn Keiber, a registered nurse, who had been born in Lincoln, Nebraska on August 1, 1891. They had one son, William H. born 1919, died 1939.

In 1914 the Works Project Administration built all the streets and sidewalks in Conway which included Fifth to Second Avenue and from Conway Methodist Church to Thirteenth Street. In 1915, Mr. Balter built the first store, and a Mr. Caplan Built the second store at Thirteenth Street and Second Avenue.  In 1919, the Park Co. stopped firing brick at the upper #2 yard. 

Conway Airport

The Conway Airport operated within the Borough from 1920 to 1961.  The hanger was located at the present site of Albert’s Heating behind the Shank’s convenience store. The hanger building, after having served as a grocery store and flea market was destroyed in a fire in the mid-to-late 1980’s and was replaced by the current structure.  Some of Conway’s streets were laid out following the taxi and runways for the airport, including Highland Ave.and Foote Streets.  

The Taylor Aircraft Company operated a production facility at the Conway Airport from at least 1947 thru 1956, though the Company headquarters moved to Connellsville in 1950.  The Conway plant produced the Taylorcraft Model 15-A Foursome and Tourist side-by-side aircraft beginning in 1947, as well as various other models.

In 1923, the Builder’s Risk Insurance Company was started by Henry J. Bock, and in 1924, the company dedicated its new building on Second Avenue.  Also in 1924, construction got underway on the Conway – Freedom Blvd. During the period of construction, vehicle traffic was detoured from 9th Street in Freedom through Crow’s Run and down the Baden Hollow to connect with the Baden Road South of Conway.[22]

In June 28, 1924, a severe cloud burst resulting from a hurricane, struck the area of Beaver County, caused tremendous damage to property, and also caused Crow’s Run Creek to flood, washing out sections of the railroad tracks, storage buildings and caused large piles of brick stored for shipment at the Park Co. to topple into the stream. It was a severe loss to the owners, and for years afterward the scattered bricks lay embedded in the creek, on it’s banks, and elsewhere.

 By 1929, the cement industry began to dominate the paving industry and coupled with the depression, demand for paving brick lessened, causing the No. 1, and last, brickyard in Crow’s Run to close its operations. The brick kilns and buildings were sold as salvage. The borough of Freedom purchased a number of them and paved many of its streets with the bricks. The balance of them were sold to a real estate firm in Ambridge, PA.[23]  Bricks can still be found today in Crows Run, though the dismantling of the yard brought an end to the industrial hey-day of the Crow’s Run Valley.

In 1952 the Conway School System joined with those of Baden and Economy, but the venture only lasted 1 year.  Eventually, the Conway schools became part of the Freedom Area School District along with Freedom Borough and New Sewickley Township.[24]

The Railroad

The railroad has been a landmark in the Conway area for over 125 years. It was the construction of the railroad which brought the first industrial boom to the area. The railroads offered a valuable means of transporting the natural wealth of the area, and with the expansion of local industry, came the expansion of the railroad.

In 1848 the Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad was established. In 1851, the rail lines were extended westward through Beaver County. On July 29, 1856 the Railroad was purchased by the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad. In April 1871 this was consolidated into the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, and in 1884, they began to construct the Conway Yards in what was then Economy Township.. 

Industry flourished in the Ohio River Valley and the Pennsylvania Railroad recognized the importance of its “gateway to the west yard” at Conway. On January 9, 1900, the Pennsylvania Railroad purchased sixty-three acres from the heirs of the late Mary Conway for $ 44,000. The Beaver Valley Times of January 10, 1900 describes the property: “The land lies adjacent to and forms a part of the tracts being secured by the railroad company on which extensive shops will be located in the near future.” Here we have the beginnings of what was to become the largest and most modern classification yard in the United States.

On January 10, 1900 the following article appeared in the Beaver Times:

A Large Purchase Deal Involving payment of $ 44,000 for Land at Conway Consummated” 

“Yesterday a deal was consummated at Rochester, by which 63 acres of land belonging to the heirs of the late Mary Conway, was acquired by the Pennsylvania Company, the purchase price being about $ 44,000. The land sold comprises about sixty-three acres and is located at Conway. The price paid, it will be seen, is in the neighborhood of $ 700 an acre. 

On January 11, 1900 the Beaver Times announced the following:

“The Pennsylvania Railroad Company will put a steam shovel to work at once to cut a straight channel for Crow’s Run, through land purchased from the Conway heirs to the Ohio River.” 

On January 17, 1900 the Beaver Times notes that salaries for employees of the Pennsylvania Railroad had been increased. An Engineer will now make 27 cents per hour, a Fireman 17 cents, a Conductor 22 cents per hour day shift and 23 cents per hour night shift, brakeman 16 cents per hour day shift and 18 cents per hour night shift, and Car Droppers 18 cents per night.

In 1901 the Pennsylvania Railroad officially opened Conway Yards.

On December 5, 1901 the Pennsylvania Railroad bought 92 acres of land adjacent to its existing property. The railroad paid $ 1,000 an acre with the intention of plotting the entire tract into building lots. The purpose of this was to provide housing for the families of the men working at the Conway Yards as there was insufficient housing in the area for the anticipated increased employment.

The first “Rest Home” for train crews was opened May 1, 1902. It was a three story frame structure with accommodations for 36 men. The foundation can still be seen on the side of the hill overlooking the shop.

The yard was sufficiently enlarged by 1904 that the Allegheny Yard was shutdown, and the men from the Allegheny Yard with their work to the Conway Yard, and also moved their families to Conway.  At one time, there were only four families in the entire Borough which did not have someone working for the railroad.

Construction began on the new roundhouse in 1909. The new roundhouse backstop and machine shop was to replace the old roundhouse, which had been built in the 1880’s and had 12 stalls. It was located west of the present M & W building, across from Crow’s Run.

The increase in the size of the yards meant an increase in the number of yard locomotives. Conway also became a junction for trains traveling to all points of the compass. A larger locomotive shop was needed. The new locomotive shop had 23 stalls which were entered by crossing a 100′ turntable. The backstop was attached to the roundhouse by a transfer table which would spot the locomotives in one of the 13 stalls in the backstop. Locomotives were also lifted from one location to another in the backstop by a 200 ton crane. The machine shop was also incorporated into the back shop area. The boiler makers had a separate building west of the locomotive shop.

The first drop tables were built in Conway in 1927. There were two 50 ton tables that were located in stalls number 21 and 22. These drop tables were later removed in 1946 after new drop tables were installed in stalls 17,18, and 19. 

The Conway engine house underwent it’s first major rehabilitation during World War II. The Pennsylvania Railroad decided to run the larger J-1 steam locomotives on its Central Region lines, and Conway, because of its location, was chosen as a maintenance point for these engines. 

In 1943 work was started on the engine house. The railroad spent $ 300,000 to accommodate these larger locomotives at Conway. The size of the turntable was increased from 100′ to 110′. The roof was raised and ten feet taken off the circle side of the roundhouse to increase the size of the doors. The transfer table was removed and the tracks extended into the former transfer table area. A roof was built over the transfer table area, and new drop tables were installed in stalls 17, 18, and 19. Glass block windows were also installed. All of this work was completed in May of 1945.

The “Conway Project” of the mid 1950’s had a great impact on the Conway roundhouse. $35,000,000 was spent to upgrade the yard and other facilities at Conway. 145 miles of new track were laid in the classification yard which now measures four and one-half miles long and three-fourths of a mile wide at its widest point. In the engine house eight stalls and an office were torn down. They were thought to no longer be needed as there were no longer any steam locomotives operating through Conway. A boiler room was added in a section of the old backstop, which was to supply steam for heating all the buildings in the area and replace the old power plant that had been torn down. A new fueling facility was laid out and numerous changes were made in the tracks.

The 1960’s brought even more improvements to the Conway Diesel Terminal. The Pennsylvania Railroad, realizing Conway’s strategic location, spent $ 782,000 to make Conway its largest and most modern diesel repair facility. Locomotives were reassigned from Crestline, Pitcairn and Columbus. Forces were reduced at these locations and Conway’s man count increased. Over six-hundred locomotives, half the railroad’s fleet, were assigned to Conway when the Process Line and the Wheel Trueing Facility were completed and placed into operation in 1964.

Further improvements of the 1960’s included the addition of a small forty ton drop table in stall number 17. This drop table was relocated from Pitcairn in 1967. The fifteen ton overhead crane was relocated from Pitcairn in 1964. This crane serves the material storage and backstop areas. A Spectrographic Laboratory was installed at Conway in 1964. The present one stop locomotive servicing facility was placed into service in 1969. This facility provides for the fueling, sanding, watering and adding of oil to eight locomotives on two tracks simultaneously.

Money became very tight on Penn Central in 1969 and with the bankruptcy of June 21, 1970 further major improvements to the Conway Diesel Terminal ceased.

In 1976, with the government’s consolidation of twelve railroads, Conway Yards began operating under its third railroad, the Consolidated Railroad Corporation, also known as Conrail.  During this time, the Conway Yard was the Busiest Automated Rail Yard in the United States. 

In 1998, Norfolk Southern took over the Conway Yard. 

[1] “The Crow’s Run Valley” by Kaye Stryker – Milestones Vol 9 No 1 – Winter 1984

[2] Beaver County Bicentennial Atlas

[3] “The Crow’s Run Valley” by Kaye Stryker – Milestones Vol 9 No 1 – Winter 1984

[4] “The Crow’s Run Valley” by Kaye Stryker – Milestones Vol 9 No 1 – Winter 1984

[5] Beaver County Bicentennial Atlas

[6] “The Crow’s Run Valley” by Kaye Stryker – Milestones Vol 9 No 1 – Winter 1984

[7] Beaver County Bicentennial Atlas

[8] Beaver County Bicentennial Atlas

[9] Beaver County Bicentennial Atlas  and “The Crow’s Run Valley” by Kaye Stryker – Milestones Vol 9 No 1 – Winter 1984

[10] Beaver County Bicentennial Atlas

[11] “The Crow’s Run Valley” by Kaye Stryker – Milestones Vol 9 No 1 – Winter 1984

[12]  “Conway’s Crows Run Valley” – Milesstones Vol 23 No 2 – Summer 1998

[13]  “The Crow’s Run Valley” by Kaye Stryker – Milestones Vol 9 No 1 – Winter 1984

[14] “Remembering Crow’s Run” by Joseph H. Thompson – Nov 1, 1970 Milestones Vol 21 No 3 – Fall 1996

[15] “The Crow’s Run Valley” by Kaye Stryker – Milestones Vol 9 No 1 – Winter 1984

[16]  Beaver County Bicentennial Atlas

[17]   “Remembering Crow’s Run” by Joseph H. Thompson – Nov 1, 1970 Milestones Vol 21 No 3 – Fall 1996

[18]  “Landmarks Map #9” by Denver Walton (Beaver County Historical Research & Landmarks Foundation – Landmark Map Series No. 9).

[19]  Beaver County Bicentennial Atlas

[20]  “Conway’s Crows Run Valley” – Milesstones Vol 23 No 2 – Summer 1998

[21]  Beaver County Bicentennial Atlas

[22]  “Some Early History of Beaver County – Highways and Cars” – Milestones Col 13 No2 – Summer 1998

[23]  “Conway’s Crows Run Valley” – Milestones Vol 23 No 2 – Summer 1998

[24]  Beaver County Bicentennial Atlas

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