| Submitted by Ray Evans
During the 1920s through the 1940s Brodhead, Kentucky was a
bustling little community. Much of the activity centered around the L & N
railroad depot and three restaurants (Miss Murphys, Friths and Miss
Clarks) that were across the tracks from the depot. The L & N had
four passenger trains that discharged and boarded passengers there daily. There
were two north bound trains (Numbers 22 and 24) and two south bound
trains (Numbers 21 and 23). There were usually a number of people that
gathered to pickup arriving passengers or to drop-off those who were departing.
The northbound train number 22 from Lynchburg, VA. to Louisvilles Union
Station arrived at Brodhead around 5 or 6 p.m. which was considered to be
supper time for most people.
The three restaurants served as a place where train crews could get a quick
meal or a hot cup of coffee. In addition the restaurants alternated putting
boxed lunches on the north bound train number 22. The restaurant owners used
young boys and girls as extra help to take the lunches on board the train. They
paid the children 10 or 15 cents for this effort. Of course, this provided
comic book or other spending money for the youngsters. During the early
forties, I was fortunate enough to be employed to take the lunches onto the
The lunches were made up of a choice of roast beef or baked chicken. Various
vegetables were served in little paper trays and all lunches included some kind
of pie for dessert. The pies baked in these restaurants were as close to being
homemade as you could get anywhere.
As World War II ended, many of the trains were loaded with returning service
men in what was commonly called cattle cars. Some days there were as many as
300 box lunches put on the train in one day.
I thought I was cock-of-the-walk during the summer of 1945 when I was a student
operator for the L & N railroad at London, Kentucky. One of my tasks was to
take the lunch order from the conductor of train 22 and relay it by telephone
to the railroad operator at Brodhead. He would then give it to whichever of the
three restaurants whose turn it was to make up the box lunches for that day.