N&W in 1912--Alumni
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Thu Mar 22 22:20:41 EDT 2012
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Sun., April 14, 1912
BIG RAILROAD MEN TURNED OUT BY NORFOLK & WESTERN
Man Who Can Make Good on Pocahontas Division Fit to Hold a Job on Any System in the Country
Interest in the receivership of the Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad has been unusually active here since the Daily Telegraph reported that New York bankers were seriously considering the appointment of George P. Johnson, of this city, as receiver of the road if' favorable action by the court could be secured. A report from Cincinnati stating that Mr.Johnson is now being considered for the presidency of the line, as soon as it is sold, is renewing the gossip and incidentally gossip about the railroad men which the Pocahontas division of the Norfolk and Western has turned out.
It has been well said that if a man can railroad on the Pocahontas division, which division originates over twenty-five million tons a year, he is "some" railroad man from every standpoint.
The long list of men who have been promoted from this division contains many names of well known Bluefielders [including three who became N&W presidents].
N. D.Maher, vice president and general manager of the Norfolk and Western was the first trainmaster of the Pocahontas division and left here after serving as superintendent for some years to accept the position of general superintendent of the road and from that position became general manager of the Seaboard, coming back to the general managership of the Norfolk and Western, and has since refused executive positions with the Missouri Pacific, Chesapeake and Ohio and other roads [he became N&W president in 1917].
M. J. Caples was formerly division engineer on the Pocahontas division and grew into the superintendency of the division from which place he went to the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio, of which road he superintended the original construction, and was later made vice president and general manager, which position he resigned to become third vice-president in charge of transportation of the Chesapeake and Ohio.
A. C. Needles was the first yard master on the Pocahontas division and was located at Bluefield. He grew to the superintendency, and then to the position of general superintendent and is now general superintendent of the eastern division with headquarters at Roanoke [he became president in 1924].
W. R. Hudson was a telegraph operator on the Pocahontas division, and is said to be one of the biggest men the division ever developed. After receiving promotions which gave him the .position of trainmaster on this division, he went with the Seaboard, later the Southern and is now general manager of the Norfolk and Southern.
L. H. Phetteplace is another telegraph operator who earned promotion until he finally became trainmaster on the Pocahontas division, from which position he went to the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio and is now general superintendent, and of him the chairman of the board of directors recently said he "guessed the road could get along with Mr. Phetteplace without the election of a general manager."
S. R. Payne came to the Pocahontas division as trainmaster and later became assistant superintendent from which position he went to the New York Central as a superintendent and is now a general superintendent on that system.
C. S. Lake was an assistant trainmaster on the Pocahontas division and went to the position of trainmaster, but his qualifications were noticeable, and he is now a superintendent on the New York, New Haven and Hartford.
Clem Layne, a Pocahontas division operator, train despatcher [sic], and under official here is now a superintendent on the Seaboard Air Line.
L. L. McIntyre, a well known Pocahontas division operator, train dispatcher, and later car distributor, went to the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio as chief despatcher and car distributor and is now a trainmaster on that line and is performing duties which usually fall to superintendents.
E. E. Winters, who was an operator on the Pocahontas division and later chief dispatcher, is now trainmaster on the Chesapeake and Ohio.
W. J. Jenks, now prominently mentioned to get promotion should George P. Johnson leave here, started as an operator and became dispatcher and from that to chief dispatcher and car distributor. He then went to the Seaboard as chief dispatcher and later became trainmaster, from which position he went to superintendent returning to the Pocahontas division as chairman of the car allotment commission when that place was created [became president in 1936].
W. S. Becker, now superintendent of the Pocahontas division, and a man who is close to his men and one of the best liked men in the section by everyone, was a trainmaster on the Pocahontas division and later chief clerk to President L. E. Johnson, from which place he came here as superintendent.
W. R. Dawson was born over in Cove, Va., and with no other advantages than a desire to get on in the world, and make his work count pushed himself from the bridge force to every position within reach until he is now assistant superintendent of the Pocahontas division, and a vice president of a foreign road claims he is the safest man on estimating that he knows of. Mr. Dawson has refused promotion to positions on other lines. He has had the distinction of having about every bone in his body broken at some time or other, but he is still a militant railroader.
W. J. Beard was a trainmaster on the Pocahontas division when he left to become trainmaster on the Rock Island and later became superintendent on that line. The local boys have lost track of him, but shop track says he is now a vice president and general manager of some line in the southwest.
J. T. Cary was a section hand who wanted to run an engine; became a fireman, then engineer, then road foreman of engines, assistant trainmaster, trainmaster of the Sciota [sic] division, assistant superintendent of the Pocahontas division, superintendent of the Shenandoah division and is now superintendent of .the Sciota division. Both he and Mr. Dawson ran the gamut of work to get their places, and had to climb faster and work harder than most men do.
O. D. Moss was a Pocahontas division operator who left here to become dispatcher on the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio and is now chief dispatcher.
Frank Clifford was a Pocahontas division operator who is now a chief dispatcher on the Illinois Central.
O. M. Bray was an operator here who became dispatcher and went to Crewe as night chief from which place he was recently promoted to the position of chief dispatcher.
H. P. Staley was general foreman at the local shops and left here to become master mechanic on the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio, with headquarters at Johnson City.
L. P. Ligon another general foremen at the local shops went the pace and is now master mechanic at the Roanoke shops, one of the most complete plants in the country.
E. A. Blake came here as trainmaster from Roanoke where he was chief dispatcher. He displayed ability and got plenty of training and later went to the Shenandoah division, as superintendent, from which place he went to the Sciota division as superintendent, and then back again to the Shenandoah division as superintendent, an exchange of places between him and J. T. Carey having been effected.
It is very unlikely that this list of men has been compiled: without leaving out a few who deserve mention, because the list was not prepared after an exhaustive search, but from memory of a few old timers.
There are a number of men in the service on the Norfolk and Western, who have received their places after promotion, but they are well known to the men on the line. They are holding numerous positions and the Pocahontas division has done its share in the making of them.
D. E. Lehay is now trainmaster on the New Island Creek division of the Chesapeake and Ohio. He was formerly yard master in this city.
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