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The First Telegraph

HAD FIRST WESTERN UNION

History of Indiana Shows Madison Offered First Telegraph Services

Madison not only had the first railroad in Indiana but the first telegraph office, according to records revealed in tracing the history of the two services.

Henry O’Reilly built the Ohio, Indiana and Illinois telegraph line to Dayton, Toledo, Indianapolis and Chicago, which was opened in an office in Indianapolis May 12, 1848. That year or early the following year, James D. Reid built a line from Madison to Indianapolis along the Madison and Indianapolis railroad for Governor Brough, president of the railroad.

It is probable that the Indianapolis to Madison service was the first telegraph line in Indiana. It later became the Western Union. This makes 86 years of service in Madison.