Sturm & Dillard 0-6-0 No. 105
Builder: Baldwin Locomotive Works - Philadelphia, PA
Built: January 1917
Serial No:  #44886
Wheel Arrangement: 0-6-0 Switcher
Driver Diameter: 52"
Cylinder Bore x Stroke 16" x 24"
Boiler Pressure: 160 psi
Pulling Power: 13,200 lbs. tractive effort
Weight: 32 tons (engine only)
Fuel: Coal
Status: Non-serviceable

On July 1, 2015, ex-Sturm & Dillard 0-6-0 #105 arrived at the Age of Steam Roundhouse via highway truck from its long-time home in Orrville, Ohio. This locomotive had been owned by the late Art Davis, a long-time friend of Jerry Jacobson and many others of us at AoSRH. We have happy memories of operating #105 under its own steam—and, occasionally compressed air power—at Art’s place. Understandably, there is a sentimental connection between #105 and its many admirers here at AoSRH, and, when this locomotive became available through the terms of a complicated estate sale, this 0-6-0 was acquired by Jerry Jacobson. (This was the same type of long-time, sentimental connection when Jerry purchased a rusting and rotting M&NF 0-6-0 #12.)


While our research about the history of #105 is just beginning, it was apparently constructed by Baldwin Locomotive Works in January 1917. This engine carried BLW boiler serial 44886, and was numbered 51 as one of four 0-6-0s (#51 to #54) that were built for John Marsh, Inc., railroad contractors. These switchers had 16”x24” cylinders, and rolled on 52-inch driving wheels. Records are sketchy, but it appears that at least some of these four locomotives were acquired by the Jones Contracting Company, and later went to the S.A. Healy Co. Records indicate that as of December 1923, 0-6-0 #51 was sold by John March, Inc., to the used equipment dealer, Birmingham Rail and Locomotive (BR&L #1084). On February 23, 1929, BR&L invoiced Sturm & Dillard at Lower Elk, Kentucky, for the purchase of #51. S&D renumbered this 0-6-0 as #105 in its roster of steam locomotives, and eventually it went to work in S&D’s company-owned gravel pits located in Circleville, Ohio.


Photos of #105 made during 1948 show it with a slope-back tender at one of Sturm & Dillard’s gravel pits in Circleville. In 1884 S&D entered into business doing railroad construction work, and during 1902-1904 the company had the huge task of constructing much of the Norfolk & Western’s Big Sandy main line. Included was the massive and famous Elkhorn Tunnel that was equipped with huge exhaust fans in order to reduce the amount of smoke that collected inside long tunnels during the days of steam locomotion. Sturm & Dillard also did construction projects for other large railroads, such as the C&O, B&O, L&N and the Southern.


Around 1969, Art Davis purchased #105 from Sturm & Dillard for $1,500. In 1971, Art loaded this locomotive into a gondola and had it moved to the former PRR roundhouse in Erie, Pa. Circa 1983 he moved the 0-6-0 and tender to his industrial property in Orrville, Ohio. Mr. Davis said that many years ago he swapped-out #105’s original slope-back tender with the chunky-appearing tender now trailing this 0-6-0, but neither he nor anyone else seems to know from just where this replacement came or where the original tender went. Its trucks have cast-in “DT&I” initials, but that does not necessarily mean this replacement tender has a DT&I heritage, just that its tender trucks do. In recent years the DT&I logo was painted onto the tender’s sides, and someone stenciled the name “Jessie B.” onto the smokebox door, but we are left to speculate who that person is.


This is the fourth 0-6-0 acquired by Jerry for the Age of Steam Roundhouse, which has caused a few grumpy railfans to question our collections policies. To them we respond that there are about one-hundred 0-6-0 steamers and two-hundred fifty 0-4-0T saddletankers in the United States, but only seven American-built 2-10-2s, seven 2-10-4s, thirteen 2-10-0s and sixteen 4-8-2s. If more of these larger locomotives were still in existence—and if they were available for acquisition—then we’d have a lot more, big road engines than yard switchers at our roundhouse. Like it or not, we at the Age of Steam Roundhouse are proud that we were able to acquire and provide a safe, dry, indoor environment for Sturm & Dillard #105, yet “another” 0-6-0. Our old friend, Art Davis, would be happy that his steamer was saved and preserved by Jerry Joe Jacobson.


Three other Sturm & Dillard steamers are known to exist—1920 Alco Cooke 0-6-0T #106 at the fairgrounds in Circleville; 1922 Vulcan 0-4-0T #100 at an antique shop in Olmsted Falls; and 1915 Porter-built 0-6-0 #102 displayed at a flea market in Hubbardston, Mass.