Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway
Selected Employee Biographies
All the biographical sketches published in this volume were submitted to their respective subjects, or to the subscribers, from whom the facts were primarily obtained, for their approval or correction before going to press; and a resonable time was allowed in each case for the return of typewritten copies. Most of them were returned to us within the time allotted, or before the work was printed, after being corrected or revised; and these may therefore be regarded as reasonable accurate.
A few, however, were not returned to us; and, as we have no means of knowing whether they contain errors or not, we cannot vouch for their accuracy. In justice to our readers, and to render this work more valuable for reference purposes, we have indicated these uncorrected sketches by a small asterisk (*), placed immediately after the name of the subject. They will all be found on the last pages of the book.
Arthur B. Shaw, the efficient and capable station agent on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway, at Olmsted Falls, Ohio has been in charge of that important shipping point since March 6, 1886.
Years ago, when Olmsted Falls first became a station, a store in the village was used for depot purposes. This was in charge of a Mr. Carpenter. The station had no telegraph office until the depot was built, October 1, 1876. John T. Barnham was the fifth agent to occupy the present building. He was agent for five years and was succeeded, August 7, 1882, by Ora L. Wright, who served until relieved by E. S. Prentice, and he, in turn, by John West, who was followed by Mr. Shaw. The depot is ninety feet long by twenty-one feet wide. It has two convienent waiting rooms, a ticket and telegraph office, and a freight and baggage room. Mr. Shaw does all the day work and has but one assistant, -- H. A. Wyckoff, who is night operator and has been at his present post of duty for the past two years. The population of the village is about four hundred and thirty-six. It contains several manufacturing concerns, which furnish large shipments for the road. The station has one side track and one spur track. The depot is surrounded by fine lawns, interspersed with ornamental shrubbery.
Mr. Shaw was born at Ridgeville, Lorain county, Ohio, and is a son of S. H. Shaw. He was reared on a farm, near which he received his schooling. While still a young man, he served an apprenticeship, and learned telegraphy under D. S. Hendrick, at Ridgeville. He afterward worked at his chosen calling at Rockport, at Oberlin, and at Cloughs Quarry, Ohio. He was then promoted to be agent and operator at Gypsum, Ohio, remaining for six years. He then resigned to try his fortune in the South, and spent the next four years in that section engaged in similar work. Mr. Shaw was subsequently appointed agent at Mineral Point, Ohio, on the C., T. & V. R. R., and was the first agent there. Huron, Ohio, on the W. & L. E. Ry., was his next field of labor. He served as relieving operator and agent for the W. & L. E. Ry. Company, for about fifteen months, after which he acted in a similar capacity for the "Nickel Plate" R. R., for about two years, when he returned to the employ of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway. Mr. Shaw has two brothers, Oscar H., and Zimri A. Oscar H. was agent at Collins, Ohio, for several years, and is now superintendent of the Star Varnish Works, in Cleveland, Ohio. Zimri A. is station agent at Shawville station.
The subject of this sketch was joined in marriage with Grace M. Moore, of Avery, Erie county, Ohio, June 17, 1886. They have one child, Glenn M., nine years old. Mr. Shaw is a member of the I. O. O. F., No. 264, Olmsted Falls, Ohio.
Mr. Buhrer's first work in the railroad business was with this company, being employed as extra gang laborer, at Wauseon, Ohio. He remained there one summer and then went to Perryville, Ohio, as a section hand, and worked there for two years. In May, 1873, he was promoted to be section foreman and continued as such at the same place for two years, when he transferred to Delta, Ohio. He remained there for some time in a similar capacity and was again transferred, going to the Michigan Division in charge of an extra gang. After continuing as foreman for two years, he was appointed assistant roadmaster and served in that capacity for a like period of time. In 1883, he left the employ of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway Company, and accepted a position as roadmaster on the T. C. & St. L. Railroad, at an advanced salary. In 1885, he resigned and accepted a position on the "Pan Handle" line of the Pennsylvania System, taking charge of the road between Richmond and Indianapolis. The company gives a premium of $100 per year to the roadmaster having the best track, and Mr. Buhrer was awarded the prize each of the three years he was in their employ, which is contrued as the highest praise of his abilty. In 1888, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company offered him double the salary he was getting from the "Pan Handle," and he resigned his position with the latter and took charge of building a new track between Streator, Illinois, and Fort Madison, Iowa. He remained with this company for three years and, in 1891, returned to the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway Company, and built a double track on the Western Division. The following year he was appointed roadmaster of the Michigan Division, continuing until 1895, when he was transferred to the Toledo Division, at Sandusky, the largest division of the road. He has since held this position and is unexcelled in his department of work. The subject of this sketch was married to Carrie K. Noble, October 10, 1878, and this union has been blessed wtih five children, as follows: Arthur; Edward; Charles; Florence; and Ruth. His family are members of the Lutheran church.
Joseph Phelps was a native of Jefferson county, New York, and in the early part of 1825 he moved to the state of Ohio. A portion of his journey wast was by boat, and the rest by wagon. In making the latter part of the journey, the party made very slow progress and were obliged to follow the marked trees. which were their only guide through the timber. Joseph Phelps first settled at La Grange, Ohio, but later took up a farm at La Porte, Lorain county. One week was required for the journey from La Grange to La Porte. He died at Butternut Ridge, in 1863. Of fourteen children born to them, five survive, namely: Morrison W., a farmer at Butternut Ridge, Ohio; Clara, the wife of Edward Beardsley, of Chestnut Ridge, Ohio; Alvira, the wife of John Porter, of St. Paul, Minnesota; and Joseph E.
December 11, 1863, Joseph E. Phelps became fireman, at Cleveland, on the C. & T. R. R., now part of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway System, and continued in that capacity until February 25, 1865, when he was promoted to be an engineer. He then ran on a freight train a number of years. October 15, 1877, he was assigned to a passenger run, and has had a fast passenger train over the Toledo Division ever since. Mr. Phelps is one of the old reliable engineers now in the service of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway Company, and he possesses many warm friends, both in the city in which he resides and among his railroad associates. Mr. Phelps had two brothers who were engaged in railroading, George W. and Erastus W. Erastus W. commenced at Grafton, Ohio, as a wiper on the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad, in 1850; he was fireman one year on the Toledo, Norwalk & Cleveland Railroad, designed to run from Grafton to Toledo, and in 1854, he became an engineer on that road. He died in Elyria, Ohio, in January, 1871. George W. began as a fireman at Norwalk, Ohio in April, 1857; after serving thus four years, he became, in 1861, engineer on a freight train, but, in 1866, he was transferred to the passenger service, in which capacity he remained until February 13, 1890, when he was badly injured in a wreck at Bellevue, Ohio. From the injuries he sustained in that wreck, he died February 19, six days later.
Joseph E. Phelps has been a resident of Toledo since November, 1873. He was married, in May, 1867, to Sarah E. Curtis, of West Huron, Erie county, Ohio, and one son, Burt E., was born to them June 17, 1868. Burt E. has been a brakeman on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway, since 1888. He married Lillie Drago, by whom he had one child, and both mother and child passed away, in 1898. The subject of this sketch is a member of the B. of L. E., Corn City Division No. 4, of Toledo; and the I. O. O. F. Lodge, No. 38, of Toledo.
Hugh G. McIlrath, one of the oldest engineers on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway, was born in Collinwood, Ohio, and is a worthy descendant of one of the pioneer settlers of that vacinity. His birthplace was on the old McIlrath homestead, and he is a son of Alexander and Caroline (Meeker) McIlrath.
Thomas McIlrath, the great-great grandfather of Hugh G., was originally from Ireland, and, during the persecutions in that country, was driven to Scotland, from which country he came to the United States, locating in the state of Pennsylvania. In the spring of 1803, he located in Collamer, then called Euclid township, Ohio, which was at that time a wilderness, and the McIlrath family have resided in that vacinity ever since. He was a member of the Disciples' church. Thomas, the grandfather of Hugh G., was a farmer by vocation and pursued his calling on the old homestead. He was married and the father of the following children: Johathan, who died, single; Alexander, father of Hugh G.; Deborah, who first married John White, and afterward wedded Andrew McIlrath; and Isabella, who married Alfred Jenne, who held office of assessor, and many other township offices in Collinwood; and died in April, 1899.
Alexander McIlrath was born at Collinwood and died there May 2, 1887, at the age of seventy-one years. He was a mason by trade. His widow, who was born in New Jersey, still resides in Collinwood. She is the mother of the following children: Cornelia, who is the widow of Henry Sherman, an old engineer on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway; Hugh G., the subject hereof; Charles H.; Jane, who is the wife of J. R. Garner; Lavina, who married John Miller, a milk dealer of Collinwood; Oliver, who is railroad man residing at Collinwood; Alice, who first married George Moses, and wedded as her second husband Earl Pike, an engineer on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway; Frank, popularly known as "Mark," who is a conductor on the same road and married Julia Snyder; and Mary, who was married three times; her first husband being Henry Bowers, who was killed on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway, -- her second husband being Frank Wheeler, deceased; and her third husband being John B. Tyler, a retired railroad man, who is janitor of the Y. M. C. A. building in Collinwood.
Hugh G. McIlrath remained at home until he was eighteen years of age, and, on October 24, 1862, he began firing on the C., P. & A. R. R. (afterward merged in the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway), on the main line. After seven months service as fireman, he was promoted to be an engineer, and did yard duty at Cleveland, a short time, being then assigned to a run over the Franklin Division. He helped lay the track on that road and hauled the first coal train from Stoneboro over it. He continued on that division about eight months and then, in charge of an old engine known as "Idaho," he hauled the Erie accomodation, four months. He subsequently had a passenger run for several years, and upon returning to the service of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway Company, being absent from the road a short time, he was made engine dispatcher and hostler and served thus in 1876, 1877, and 1878, at Erie, Pennsylvania.
March 21, 1871, Mr. McIlrath was joined in marriage with Marcia Allen, of Fairview, Pennsylvania, a daughter of Stephen B. and Emeline Allen. Her father was a native of Amsterdam, New York, and a farmer throughout his entire life. He died in 1859. Her mother ws born at Newburgh, New York, and died in March, 1896. Mr. and Mrs. McIlrath are the parents of eight children, Charles; Emeline; Belle; William Benson; Alexander Philip; Caroline May; Delight Sylvania; Lavina L.; and Oliver Byron. Charles is on the police force at Euclid Beach, Ohio, and was formerly a fireman on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway; he married Lizzy Yeager by whom he had two children; Hugh W., born March 1, 1894; and Viola May, born August 24, 1897. Emeline Belle married A. B. Hurd, and they have one son, Alexander Kent, born February 28, 1894. William Benson is a real estate dealer, residing in Cleveland, Ohio. Caroline May is a milliner, residing in Cleveland.
S. T. Gage, who has served most efficiently in the capacity of chief clerk to the general superintendent of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway, since the year 1886, has been in the employ of this company and one of its original components for a period of thirty-five years. Mr. Gage was born in Adrian, Michigan, August 17, 1847, and in June, 1864, became identified with the Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana Railroad as telegraph operator at White Pigeon, Michigan. He was transferred to Elkhart, Indiana,, in September, 1865, and remained in the telegraph service until May, 1872. His next employment was in the locomotive department at Elkhart, which continued up to March, 1886, when he was promoted to be chief clerk of the division superintendent at Chicago, Illinois. In August, 1886, he was transferred to Cleveland, Ohio, as chief clerk to the general superintendent, and. still maintains that official relation. He is a man of pleasing personality, and enjoys the good will. of all with whom he is associated.
Clarence A. Carpenter, (deceased) who had many years of experience in the civil engineering branch of the railroad business, was engineer of the Lake Shore Division of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway, being located at Cleveland.
Mr. Carpenter was born in Dedham, Massachusetts, in 1846, and in 1863 accepted a position as rodman on the Adirondack Railroad, remaining as such until 1866, when he became transitman of the same road. One year thereafter he became assistant engineer of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, with which he was identified until 1869, when he accepted a similar position with the Little Rock & Fort Smith Railroad, continuing thus until 1871. He then became resident engineer of the New York & Canada Railroad and as such served until 1876, after which he was employed by the State of New York, for one year. From 1878 to 1880, he was assistant engineer for the Central Branch of the Union Pacific Railway. In 1880, he became division engineer of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway. In 1887, he was appointed division engineer in charge of construction, on the Kansas City Branch of the same road. One year later, he became principal assistant engineer of the bridge department of that road, and from July, 1890, until January 1, 1881, he served as assistant chief engineer in the surveys across the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He became associated with the Northern Pacific Railway on February 1, 1891, but only remained until June 1, of that year, when he accepted the exacting position of engineer of the Lake Shore Division of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway, in which capacity he served until a lamentable fate overtook him in the midst of his duties and severed his most creditable connection with the road. He died at Cleveland, Ohio, November 9, 1899, having been struck and mortally injured by a fast passenger train, at Saybrook, Ohio, two days before his demise.
Fraternally, Mr. Carpenter was a member of Rising Sun Lodge, No. 104, F. & A. M., Painesville Chapter, R. A. M.; the American Society of Civil Engineers; and the Civil Engineers' Club of Cleveland; he was also a charter member of the, American Railway Engineering and Maintenance, of Way Assoclation.
Ira Fish, an experienced and skillful engineer on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway, has worked at railroading for the past thirty years, during which he has made an excellent record. Mr. Fish was born in Ottawa county, Michigan, April 6, 1851, and is a son of Hubertus Fish, a blacksmith by occupation.
Mr. Fish found employment in his father's blacksmith shop, where he worked until he attained the age of eighteen years. He then began his career on the railroad. In 1869, he accepted a position as fireman on a freight train from Toledo to Elkhart. His first work was on engine, No. 99, a wood burner, for Engineer Charles Martin. Subsequently he was fireman for Engineer Hardy, and, still later, for A. B. Kidder, on engine NO. 29.
Mr. Fish continued to work on that
division until August 10, 1873, when he was promoted to be an engineer. He
was given a run on a switch engine in
the, Detroit yards, for a, short time, and was then transferred to Air
Afterward he worked in the Toledo yards. From 1876 to 1890, he was in the
freight service, on a run from Elkhart to Toledo.
In 1890, Mr. Fish was still further promoted to be a passenger engineer, and, after serving one year as an extra, was given a regular run on Nos. 101, 102, 103 and 104, and now has a regular run on engines 321, 322, 323, 324, 325 and 350. Although he has had large experience in the passenger service, no accident of a serious nature has ever occurred on his trains.
The subject of this sketch was joined in marriage with Mary Bloomfield, of Toledo., Ohio. They have three children, Fannie A.; Daniel F., and Harry H. Fannie A. is the wife of H. J. Jenssen, of Toledo, Ohio. Daniel F. began as fireman on the Michigan Central Railroad in 1898. He is stationed in Toledo, and is in yard service. Harry H. is a fireman ...
J. Frank Jones, one of the oldest and best engineers on the Franklin Division of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway, resides in Sharon, Pennsylvania, and has spent his whole life on this road. He was born in Madison, Lake county, Ohio, and is forty-six years of age. He is a son of Hiram M. Jones, who was among the first engineers on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway, and was considered an expert. The father is now retired from railroad service, and conducts a hotel at Williamsfield, Ohio. J. Frank Jones began his career on the road when but fourteen years of age, by dropping spikes and carrying water. He was next promoted to b a fireman with his father. At that time, his fired hired and had charge of the entire train crew. The subject herof worked on the construction train at Jamestown, and assisted in laying the track from Stoneboro to Oil City.
While still very young, he was promoted to be an engineer. He was placed ahead of others, and was assigned to a run on the Franklin Division before it was extended to Ashtabula. The first engines upon which he worked were old, wood burners. He became quite expert at working on these, and often stood on top of the tank and filled the firebox completely full. In those days engines went by names. Mr. Jones ran the old "Lion," the "Massachusetts" and the "Eagle." Later he ran No. 201, on the construction train, to Youngstown, Ohio. He continued on that run for many years. He also ran on the Franklin Division to Girard, and Erie, an on the coal run, to Stoneboro, where he remained over night. In 1887, when the track was laid to Sharon, Pennsylvania, he was assigned to duty there, where he is at the present time, in the freight service.
Mr. Jones has frequently been offered passenger runs, but could never be prevailed upon to accept, always preferring freight runs. In his long and eventful career on the road, he has never been severely injured, but had several "close calls." At one time, he had a head-end collision while going at the rate of forty miles an hour. Both engines were smashed, but no one was injured. At another time a side rod of his engine broke, and Mr. Jones was precipitated down a steep embankment at Powder Works. He was severely bruised by being thrown some distance and striking on frozen ground. His engine was damaged beyond repair. But his most narrow escape was on the run from Sharon to Youngstown, on engine No. 298. His train was late, and was running at the rate of fifty miles an hour. Near Liberty, it struck an open switch, entered a siding, and collided with an approaching train. His engine was thrown down an embankment and several cars were demolished, but no one was seriously injured.
Mr. Jones was joined in marriage with Miss Hartley, of Youngstown, Ohio. They have three sons and one daughter, namely: Edward; William; Grace; and Frank. Edward and William are firemen on the Erie Railroad. The subject of this sketch is a member of Ashtabula Division, No. 260, B. of L. E. Some time since, he built a beautiful residence in Sharon, Pennsylvania. He is faithful to the duties and trusts devolved upon him, and is popular with all.
Hilliard H. Sloan, the industrious, diligent and well disposed station agent at Genoa, Ohio, has faithfully discharged the duties of that office for more than a quarter of a century. The railroad activities constitute the life of Genoa, which is a little village with a population of one thousand. The depot has two convenient waiting rooms, a telegraph office, an express and baggage office, and a freight department. There are four side tracks and two spurs. Mr. Sloan is assisted by H. Sartoris, baggage master, and B. T. Harford, a telegraph operator.
When the line was built in 1852, W. S. Wood was made agent at Genoa, and cared for the local interests of the company for several years. On March 6, 1856, A. B. Rudes was appointed agent. Mr. Rudes also carried on business in his store, on the corner of Third and Main streets. In 1866,he, with others, was influential in having a depot built. In order to accomplish this desirable improvement, Mr. Rudes and William Huffman gave land for the purpose, and induced the town to donate more. Upon this ground stand the present depot and freight house.
Mr. Rudes, who is an uncle of Mr. Sloan, held the position of station agent, until October 1, 1873. He was born at Hunts Hollow, near Moravia, New York, in 1825. With his father, he went to Medina county, Ohio, in 1834, while still a child. In 1854, he moved to Genoa and engaged in the lumber business, as a member of the firm of Rudes & Austin. Mr. Rudes is now one of the most respected citizens of Genoa. He lives with Mr. Sloan, but owns a fine property in that village. He married Mary J. Parker, who is now deceased. His public spirit in building the village is commended by all, while his long service in connection with the road has gained for him the commendation of its officials. Upon the resignation of Mr. Rudes, in 1873, his nephew, Mr. Sloan, was transferred to the station.
Hilliard H. Sloan was born in Medina county, Ohio, June 6, 1843, and a son of Peter Sloan, a farmer. His parents dying when he was a child, he went to live after their death with an uncle, G. M. Rudes, who with his wife became foster parents to Mr. Sloan. He moved with them to Genoa adn followed lumbering and farming until 1861. He then entered the Union Army, serving three years in Company D, 3rd O. V. C., Army of the Cumberland, and was severely wounded in battle near Atlanta, Georgia, August 16, 1864. On January 1, 1868, Mr. Sloan accepted a position as baggage agent with the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway Company, which occupied his attention until October, 1873, the date of his assuming the agency at Genoa. The beautiful walks and lawns, surrounding the depot, are under his direct supervision, and render it a most attractive spot.
In 1866, Mr. Sloan was joined in marriage with Permelia Warriner, a daughter of Harvey L. Warriner. Three children were born to them, of whom only one survives, Ralph S., who has assisted his father as baggage agent, and is now employed in the road service. Ralph S. Sloan served in the 5th Reg., U. S. Calvary, in Porto Rico, during the Spanish-American War. Mr. Sloan's first wife having died in 1877, he was again married in 1883, in this instance wedding Diana Dryer. Mr. Sloan is a member of the G. A. R.; the Ottawa County Soldiers and Sailors Association; and the I. O. O. F. He has filled many offices of honor and trust. His ability in managing the affairs of the company at Genoa has won him the approbation of his employers; through all the years of his service with the company, he has commanded the confidence and esteem of the business men and citizens of the community in which he resides.
Mr. Sloan's ancestors came to this country shortly before the Revolution, settling in New York. His great-great-grandfather served as an officer in the Continental Army, in the memorable struggle for independence.
Frank Craig is now in both the passenger and freight service of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway Company, and all his runs have been over the Eastern Division. He was born in Hamburg, New York, where he received his early schooling, and he is a son of Robert Craig. Frank Craig commenced railroading in 1873, and his first position was with the above named company, on engine No. 321. He was fireman on that engine many months, and then performed like duty on engine No. 344, until He received his promotion as engineer, which was on December 14, 1880. His first regular run was from Buffalo to Erie, Pennsylvania, on a through freight train, and his engine was No. 479. He still has a through freight run, and at times he is called upon to take charge of a passenger engine. Frank Craig has made an excellent record as an engineer, and along his run and in railroad circles, he is esteemed by all who know him.
Mr. Craig was joined in matrimony with Johanna Kleinschmidt, of Buffalo, and they reside at No. 225 Jefferson street, Buffalo, New York. They were blessed by a family of six children, namely: Isabella; Howard; Esther; John; Frank; and Robert H. The subject of this sketch is a member of the I. O. O. F., Red Jacket Lodge No. 238. His family are members of the Catholic church. We present on a preceding page a portrait of Mr. Craig, executed from a photograph taken in April, 1900.
General John H. Devereux, whose death occurred in Cleveland, Ohio, March 17, 1886, was, for many years, one of the best known railroad officials in the United States. At the time of his death He was president of the Bee Line System; his connection with that road, although not continuous in service, dated from its very earliest stages of construction as a national highway. He held many important positions on other railroads, and was engaged in railroad work continuously from the age of sixteen years until his death, with the exception of three years spent in the Union Army,-but even those years were employed in the line of his profession. His relation to the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway, and its original constituents, was very important.
General Devereux was born in Boston, Massachusetts, April 5, 1832, and in May, 1848, started upon his remarkably successful career in the construction department of the Cleveland, Columbus & Cincinnati Railroad, as rodman and assistant engineer, in which capacity he served until the line was opened to Columbus, in February, 1851. The construction of the Cleveland, Painesville & Ashtabula Railroad, now included in the Eastern Division 0f the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway, was his next field of usefulness and advancement, and as assistant engineer he performed the duties of that office for the next two succeeding years; he was then tendered, and accepted, the position of resident engineer of the Tennessee & Alabama Railroad, now merged into the Louisville & Nashville System, where until October, 1861, his energy and attention were devoted t0 the construction and operation of southern lines of transportation.
From October, 1861, until the close of the Rebellion, on account of his high
standing as an engineer and recognized executive abilities, He held various
loyal and high positions of trust in the military department, doing service
and battle for his cherished country; first, as United States military engineer
0f the Shenandoah Valley, and from May, 1862, Until March, 1864, as superintendent
of the United States military railroads of Virginia, where his skill and engineering
brought him meritorious recognition.
In March, 1864, he returned to Cleveland, and for the following four years was identified with the interests of the Cleveland & Pittsburg Railroad as general superintendent, during the latter term of his office being vice president of the same company, which position he resigned, in May, 1868, to accept the vice-presidency of the Lake Shore Railway, and subsequently was its president until the consolidation of the independent lines between Chicago and Buffalo into the present Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway.
He was vice-president of the consolidated company until May, 1870, when he was appointed general manager, which office he held until June, 1873, when he returned to the Bee Line (Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railway). In June, 1873, he was elected president of the Bee Line, at the same time accepting the vice-presidency and general management of the old Atlantic & Great Western Railroad, and was president of the same road during 1874. For the succeeding five years the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad was operated by General Devereux as its receiver. In January, 1880, he was elected president of the re-organized company, the N. Y., P. & O. R. R.--and continued as its president until October, 1881. in June, 1880, he was elected to the presidency of the C., H. & D. R. R., with its leased and operated lines, in which office he continued as chief executive for the two succeeding years. In October, 1880, the Bee Line having secured control of the Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad, he assumed the duties of president, and was receiver of the company from May to September, 1882, and from that time until almost the day of his death, he was actively engaged in administering the duties of president of the Bee Line System.
Several months before his death, General Devereux took a short trip to Europe with a view to benefit his health; on his return, with a knowledge that his time on earth was rapidly drawing to a close, he still did not, until within a few days before his death, relinquish his daily office cares, nor did his intimate friends know with what fortitude and Christian resignation he had kept his true condition a secret from them.
His death terminated his presidency of the Bee Line, that for thirteen years had resulted in so much good to the road. By his practical training and capabilities of successfully dealing with important questions of the day and hour, he had few, if any, superiors in the successful management of vast railroad interests. He was a builder--not a wrecker--of railroads. He was acknowledged as a conscientious leader in his chosen profession, honored as a citizen, and cherished as a true friend and a devout Christian, upright and just in his dealings with all mankind.
The subject of this sketch is a member of the order of Red Men, and also a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. He resides in Buffalo, where he is very well known, and well liked by all who know him. He is a favorite among his fellow workmen, and is ever ready to assist any who are in trouble.
John J. Butler, one of the well known engineers in the freight service of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway Company, began his railroad career in the train service of this company, when he was but seventeen years of age. In 1871, he commenced work as road fireman, and in July, 1872, he was called to do extra running in the Buffalo yards. The first engine he worked on was No. 284, known as the "R. N. Brown," and the first engine he ran was No. 261, called the "Vulcan." Mr. Butler was promoted to be an engineer in March, 1875, but for some time thereafter he also ran extra and worked in the shops. His first regular engine in road service was No. 253,-this was during the winter of 1883; He had run an extra in road service during the previous winter. His present run is between Buffalo and Collinwood.
In his railroad career, Mr. Butler has witnessed some startling sights. He has participated in a number of thrilling incidents, and has been very fortunate in escaping serious accidents. At one time, when he was serving as fireman on engine No. 321, the cab was knocked off, but neither the fireman nor engineer was hurt. Again, when he was in charge of engine No. 253, the cab was wholly torn off, and people looked in amazement at his engine running without a cab. On the morning of January 9, 1887 (about 1:45 A. M.), when he was going east with a train of freight cars, he was stopped at Athol Springs, and notified to look out for high water on Tifft's flats, and to report at Buffalo Creek Crossing, if he thought the track was not safe. The wind kept increasing In velocity, and by the time he arrived at West Seneca, New York, it was blowing a gale. When be was about a mile east of West Seneca, the engine gave a lurch to the left, and Mr. Butler at once knew that the bank on the left side had been washed out. Without a moment's hesitation, he reversed his engine, and brought it to a stop on a culvert. About thirty telegraph wires on the north side of the track fell as the train was brought to a stop, and supported the left side and front of the engine, preventing it from toppling over. Had the train gone one car-length farther, the engine and about fifteen cars would have been ditched. When day dawned, a worse spectacle was witnessed on those flats than had been seen there in the preceding fifty years. Mr. Butler remained there until about 10 P. M. that night, and from 4 P. M. had to bail water into the tank from the flood of water on the flats, in order to keep the engine alive. On this occasion, Mr. Butler came as near to having a bad accident without actually having it, as he possibly could.
Mr. Butler made the best freight run ever made on the Eastern Division, April 30, 1898, when he was called upon to carry a test train that came from the Lehigh Valley Railroad, consisting of twenty-one cars, with engine, No. 254. He made the run from Buffalo to Erie in 131 minutes. This included three stops, and four minutes of the time were consumed in waiting while the train inspectors at Dunkirk, New York, were looking over the train. At another time, on the occasion of a large fire in the village of Angola, New York, a request for a fire engine to fight the flames was sent to Buffalo. Mr. Butler was selected to carry aid to the distressed village. He took engine, No. 553, and in 26 minutes froin the time he started to get the fire engine, he had carried it to Angola, a distance of 21 miles, and the water was being played upon the flames. Soon after reaching Angola, he received a message from Train Dispatcher T. W. Niles (now superintendent of the Eastern Division), stating that he had done well, but cautioning him to be more moderate in has speed on the journey back to Buffalo. Another unusual run of Mr. Butler was between Angola and Buffalo, New York, which he made in 40 minutes, with a train of thirty-two loaded cars. His engine was so crippled that he could use but one side; he told the dispatcher at Angola, however, to give him a start over Derby hill, and he would take the train to Buffalo, if he could have the Buffalo Creek Crossing clear. On April 22, 1899, when he pulled out of Westfield, New York, on his way to Buffalo, with the Westfield accommodation train, he was 23 minutes late; he was told by his conductor that the most time that had ever been made up on that run (which required 115 minutes for the entire distance) was 18 minutes, and that here was a chance to show what he could do. Mr. Butler took up the challenge, and No. 26 took the train into Buffalo on time, after making i8 stops, and meeting with a delay of 3 minutes in getting into the yards.
Mr. Butler was born in Buffalo, where he received his mental training. He married Catherine C. Regan, of Lake View, New York, a sister of M. W. and Thomas Regan, two prominent engineers on the Lake, Shore & Michigan Southern Railway. Mr. and Mrs. Butler are the parents of eight children, as follows: James J. , Olive T.; William M.; Edward P.; Catherine; John; Florence; and Francis D. The subject of this sketch is a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, W. L. Scott Division, No. 298, of Erie, Pennsylvania; C. M. B. A., Branch No. 11, of Buffalo, New York; A. O. H., Division No. 1, of Buffalo, New York; Improved Order of Red Men, Cazenovia Lodge, No. 330, of Buffalo,, New York; and Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway Mutual Relief Association. He also carries a policy in the New York Life Insurance Company.
John Kirby, born in Charlton upon Otmoor,
a village in the County of Oxford, England, thus portrays, in his own words,
an interesting career. "My father
was a farmer and also carried on the business of a malster. Both father and
mother were stanch Episcopalians,--dissenters from the Episcopal church not
being numerous in those days. My parents were strict observers of the Sabbath,
and required the same of their. children, eight of them. In my early days I
attended the village school; at fourteen and fifteen years of age, during two
winters, I walked three miles to school, morning and evening, there being no
bicycles then. In summers I worked on the farm. At the age of fifteen, I was
apprenticed to John Pharaoh, of Oxford, to learn the coach-making trade, until
I was twenty-one years old. During the term of my apprenticeship, I received
for the first year two shillings and six pence; the second year, three shillings
and six pence, with an increase of a shilling a week, to the end of the fourth
year; the fifth year, six shillings; and the sixth and last year, eight shillings
per week. I was what was known as outdoor apprentice, and boarded myself outside
the family of my boss. On the 23rd day 0f October, 1844, I commenced as a journeyman
for the same John Pharaoh, at twenty shillings per week. On the 31st day of
March, 1847, I quit my old boss and went to London, working on railroad cars
at forty shillings per week,--about $9.50. I worked in London until the end
of 1847, then went to my home in Charlton and remained until the latter part
of March, 1848. I went to London and sailed from the London docks on the 28th
day of March, in the sailing vessel "Adriatic," for America. I arrived
in New York on the 5th day of May, 1848, and remained one day, then took the
steamboat for Troy, where I remained until the 23rd of the month. I then took
the cars for Oneida, New York, and of the journey of 122 miles, two-thirds
was on strap rails. On my arrival at Oneida, I commenced work for the Syracuse & Utica
Railroad at nine York shillings per day, $1.12 1/2, that being the wages of
mechanics at that time. My wages did not continue at that rate very long, but
were gradually increased. On the 1st day of June, 1853, I went to work at Syracuse
for the same company, the Syracuse & Utica Railroad Company having completed
new shops at Syracuse. On the 3rd day of June, 1851, I was married, at Oneida,
to Ruth S. Hunt, of that village. That third of June was one of those beautiful
days for which the month of June is famous `Seemed as though all creation teemed
with life, from the gay fly that peopled the sun beam to the wise elephant
who shades him in the forest, and the huge whale whose home is in the deep.'
I left Syracuse about the middle of July, 1854, then getting $1.75 per day,
and went to Adrian, Michigan, to work for the Michigan Southern Railroad Company,
for $2.00 per day. In 1856, I was made foreman of the shops at $2.25 per day.
On the 1st of July, 1858, I went to Litchfield, Illinois, for the St. Louis & Terre
Haute Railroad Company, and made plans for the new car shops. I had them well
under the course of construction, when on the 28th day of August, I received
a letter from John D. Campbell, then general superintendent of the Michgan
Southern & Northern Indiana Railroad Company, to come to Toledo and take
charge of the car department for that company. I was on hand at Toledo, September
1, at a salary of $1,000 per year. I continued with that company in the same
situation, until the 15th day of October, 1870, at which date I was appointed
general master car builder of the consolidated line between Buffalo and Chicago.
Prior to this tune, in 1858, that salary of $1,000 had increased to $3,000
per year. The position of general master car builder I held until the 1st day
of October, 1892, when I resigned the position to Mr. A. M. Waitt.
I, having held that position for thirty-four years, served under nine presidents, three general managers, and six general superintendents. In 1893, I received the appointment from Willard A. Smith, of Chicago, which was confirmed, as one of the arbitrators of award in the Department of Railroad Rolling Stock. I think I have said enough to convince any one that clinging to duty at any cost is one of the essentials to success in life.
"It will be seen by this that in May, 1898, I had been in the railroad
service fifty years, have seen many and great improvements in railroads and