The view above is looking north from Locust Street. Picture courtesy of the Milton Historical Society.
From History Of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania 1876: Milton Car Works, Murray, Dougal & Co., proprietors. The enterprise was started in February, 1864, for the manufacture of agricultural implements, which was soon after changed to the manufacture of railway-cars, and the new firm of Murray, Dougal & Co. was organized, the partners being S. W. Murray, W. P. Dougal, J. S. Stoughton, John McCleery, and S. H. Pollock. In November, 1865, the firm was re-organized under the same style and name, but with only Murray, Dougal, McCormick and McCleery, as partners. It continued, without change, till the retirement of Mr. McCleery in 1874, the three remaining partners continuing the business and firm name. Other branches have since been added, as the manufacture of mine-cars, oil-tanks, steamboilers, bridge-bolts and castings, bill lumber, etc. The buildings consist of machine-shop, iron-foundry, brass-foundry, smith-shop, erecting-shop, paintshop, two repair-shops, boiler-shop, planing-mill, wareroom, saw-mill, and office, and they occupy about six acres of ground. At full capacity, the works employ about four hundred and fifty men.
From Bell’s History of Northumberland County 1891: The firm of Murray, Dougal & Company was organized and the erection of the Milton Car Works was begun in 1864. During the first years of its existence a number of changes were made in the membership of the firm, which was finally composed of S. W. Murray, William P. Dougal, C. C. McCormick, and John McCleery, who remained associated and conducted the business until his retirement in 1875. C. C. McCormick withdrew in 1878, and William P. Dougal a few months later in the same year. The business was still continued under the original firm name of Murray, Dougal & Company, and a reorganization of the firm was made in 1880, when C. H. Dickerman and B. C. Carter became associated with S. W. Murray as a limited partnership under the law of 1874. Soon after this reorganization William B. Kramer became a member of the firm and in 1881 B. M. Longmore, and under this organization the firm has existed until the present.
The business of the firm has been principally the construction of all kinds of freight cars including oil tank cars, which has been an important branch, and of which they have built a very large number. The firm was engaged also for several years in the construction of iron bridges, but the bridge department of the works was destroyed in the great fire of 1880 and was not rebuilt. They also for a time had a large trade in the construction of oil tanks for storage purposes and also steam boilers. The manufacture of freight cars has, however, been the leading business of the firm, and there is no description of car used in the freight traffic which has not been turned out of the Milton Car Works.
A large number of their cars have been exported to Cuba and the various countries of South America.
The capacity of the works is ten sixty thousand-pound hopper coal cars per day, or three thousand cars per year, and employment is ordinarily given to about four hundred hands, though at times the number has reached nearly five hundred.
Those portions of the works which were destroyed by the great fire of 1880 have been replaced by substantial stone and brick building, and every department is amply supplied with the most approved machinery and appliances.
Connected with the plant is a saw mill for the manufacture of the oak lumber used in the business, and sixteen acres of pool for the storage of logs, which are purchased along the Susquehanna River and its tributaries and brought from the Muncy dam by the canal.
The works are located between the Philadelphia and Erie railroad and the West Branch Canal, with a branch from the Philadelphia and Reading railroad running to the premises, which gives unusual transportation facilities.