Tuesday, July 30, 2013


 Theodore Roosevelt's Presidential Special to Chautauqua in 1905

                       By Richard F. Palmer

     The operation of special trains carrying presidents and VIP's has always been a challenge to railroad management since the early days of railroading. In most cases, however, we know little or nothing about this topic, other than what might be gleaned from old newspaper accounts or reminiscences. The Erie Railroad had more than its share of traveling dignitaries over the years, starting with orator Daniel Webster's and President Millard Fillmore's famous trip over the newly completed line from Piermont to Dunkirk in May, 1851.  

     This story is based on an official memo issued by the Erie Railroad  of the "Chautauqua Special" from Waverly to Lakewood, N.Y. on August 10, 1905. It was given to the author by the late Lyall Squair (cq)  of Syracuse, N.Y., a recognized authority on the life Theodore Roosevelt and an avid collector of Roosevelt memorabilia. In the early 1960s Mr. Squair, an archivist at Syracuse University, was cataloging the records of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western that had been donated by the Erie-Lackawanna. Among these records was an old fashioned traveling trunk labeled "Erie Museum Collection." The account of Roosevelt's trip was among these papers. Throughout his political career as well as in private life, Roosevelt traveled extensively by rail across the country. 

   The special train originated in Jersey City and ran over the Lehigh Valley to Waverly, N.Y., a distance of 273 miles; then another 197 miles over the Erie to Lakewood, N.Y., the station for the Chautauqua Institution. This may seem be a somewhat roundabout routing. On the Erie it was 257 miles from Jersey City to Waverly, but Roosevelt was scheduled to speak at Phillipsburg, N.J.,  and Easton, Allentown and Bethlehem, Pa., with a major four-hour engagement at Wilkes Barre, Pa.   Although George Van Keuren, the General Superintendent of the Erie at the time, made effort precaution to down play the passing of the presidential train, the word spread quickly after the following  announcement was made in the New York Times and other newspapers on August 10, 1905:
                                       PLAN FOR PRESIDENT'S TRIP.
                                   Will speak at Wilkes-Barre Today, 
                                   and at Chautauqua on Friday           
     OYSTER BAY, N.Y., Aug. 9 . - The itinerary of the President's trip to Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and Chautauqua, N.Y., was announced at the Executive Officer here this afternoon. At the former place Mr. Roosevelt is to address a joint meeting of the United Mine Workers and the Catholic Abstinence Union. At the latter he is scheduled to speak at an assembly meeting in the amphitheater.
    The President's special train will leave Oyster Bay at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning. The Presidential party will transfer in Jersey City. The President in all probability will make short speeches from the rear platform of his car at these places.
    The train will leave Wilkes-Barre at 7 p.m. for Chautauqua, with stops at Sayre, Pa., and East Waverly, N.Y. The president will arrive at Chautauqua at about 9 o'clock on Friday morning, and will speak an hour there. The train will start on its return journey at noon on Friday, and is due at Oyster Bay at 9:40 on Sunday morning.  
    The presidential party included Roosevelt and his son, Kermit;  his nephew, Hall Roosevelt; his cousin, Philip Roosevelt; Acting Secretary B.F. Barnes; Dr. Charles F. Stokes of the U.S. Navy; M.C. Latta, Roosevelt's personal stenographer; well known social reformer Jacob A. Riis; a number of leading politicians, Secret Service men, and newspaper reporters. The president and his party were driven to the Oyster Bay station and boarded a Long Island Railroad train that took them to Long Island City. There they boarded Pennsylvania Railroad's tug Lancaster that took them to Jersey City, where they arrived at 9:32 a.m. It pulled out promptly at 10 a.m. The same routing in reverse occurred two days later. The VIPs took their meals aboard the train. Also aboard the special were Lehigh Valley General Passenger Agent Charles S. Lee and the division superintendents.  (1)
    The special train initially consisted of three cars: the private car Magnet which Roosevelt occupied; the compartment car Rocket and  Lehigh Valley combination baggage-cafe car No.414.   These two cars were built by Wagner in April, 1889 and were very palatial. They had very fine interiors. Each was equipped with a kitchen, private offices, dining and sitting rooms, smoking compartments and private rooms. This train was preceded by a "pilot" engine, and followed by an emergency engine and car.  At this period of time, the Lehigh Valley did not have its own terminal in Jersey City, but utilized the Pennsylvania Railroad's terminal there. The Lehigh Valley had trackage rights over the Pennsylvania Railroad from there to Newark Junction, where it reached its own tracks.
    Roosevelt had a warm spot for Chautauqua, located near Jamestown, N.Y., having visited the famous summer cultural, educational and religious center on four occasions. His first visit there was on July 26, 1890, as a member of the U.S. Civil Service Commission.   August 10, 1905 would be his first and last visit there as President of the United States. The Chautauqua organization always held Roosevelt in high esteem and was honored by his visits which were always public events. They were well attended and people even came in on chartered trains to hear him. He was a crowd-pleaser.  R.F. Barnes, Acting Secretary to the President,  sent telegrams to various communities alerting them to the fact the President was coming. (2)

                                          Stops Along the Way
    Roosevelt's first stop was the Lehigh Valley station at Phillipsburg, N.J.,  where the train was met by a crowd estimated at 2,500 people. In his brief remarks he paid tribute to railroaders. He said:
   I want to say a special word to the railway men. You men who do your work in connection with the railways of the country typify to a peculiar degree the qualities that we need in American citizenship. We like to think that the average American is a man who is willing to work hard and to take risks. That is just what a railroad man has to do, and has to be willing to do. We like to think that the average American knows how to do work by himself, and yet to work in combination with others. That is just what the average railroad man has to do. We like to think that the average American citizen knows how to take responsibilities, and yet how to play his part in our world as a whole. That is what the railway man must do.
   The train was drawn by engine No. 2323 and was in charge of Conductor Daniel McCarthy, of South Easton, and Trainmen Elmer Snyder and Joseph McBride. Engineer John Turner and Fireman Harry Phillips brought the train from Jersey City to Easton. Engine 2323 was replaced here No. 2402, in charge of Henry Seals and Harry Godley, engineer and fireman, respectively. The engine was kept on this train through to Waverly.  The Lehigh Valley shops as local factories and businesses closed down at 11 a.m. to allow employees the opportunity to see the president. Roosevelt was a greatly admired and supported by the rank and file railroaders.

  The Easton Express of August 10, 1905 reported:
   In Easton the Valley railroad officials wisely ran the train to the west of the old station and suspended the running of all trains past that point while the tracks were filled with people. As the presidential train slowly ran from the present station up to the point selected for speaking, Mr. Roosevelt stood on the rear platform of the observation car waving his hand to the welcoming throng.

   The crowd here was estimated at 5,000 people. Addressing them, he said in part:
  Passing through today along the line of this railway I notice that everywhere you have decorated the buildings with the American flag. I hope that each of us when he sees that flag strives to remember that it not only confers honor upon each of us and is a symbol of the prosperity and happiness to which we have attained, but that it also imposes responsibilities upon each of us. Self-government is not an easy thing, either for the nation or for the individual; and it works really well only when you have a high type of average citizenship.

  At Bethlehem Roosevelt was met by another 5,000 people. Here, he remarked:
  It is a great pleasure to be here and to be introduced by your mayor, who has called my special attention to this wonderful industry typified by the Bethlehem Steel Works. As I passed by I was greeted with salutes from some of the cannon you have made, and I feel about those cannon that, while I earnestly hope that they may never have to be used, and while all that in me lies shall be done to see that this Nation never gives just cause of offense to another nation so as to warrant their use, yet that if they should be needed, they will come in mighty handy. If they should be needed, we want the very best, and we want the best men behind them. In war the ultimate factor is the man behind the gun. You have got to have not only an A1 gun, but an A1 gunner. The shot that counts is the shot that hits. (3)

 The  train stopped briefly in Allentown, Mauch Chunk and Glen Summit. As it traveled through "The Switzerland of America," and along the summit overlooking the Wyoming Valley, the engineer slowed down so the presidential party could enjoy the magnificent scenery from the rear platform. Roosevelt commented "such grandeur can not be equalled or surpassed east of the Rocky Mountains."   In his usual routine, Roosevelt gave speeches on various topics while standing on the rear platform of an observation car, or at a podium set up at both scheduled and unscheduled stops.  He was a man of the people.  His inexhaustible energy and intellectual resourcefulness were constantly in evidence. He was a gifted speaker and always geared his remarks to a specific group of people - more often than not extemporaneously. Throngs of people assembled at all the stations and enthusiastically waved as the train passed by, which was returned by the president.
   The train pulled into Wilkes Barre shortly before 3 p.m. It was greeted by no less than 200,000 people.  Roosevelt spoke to a joint meeting of the United Mine Workers Union and the Catholic Total Abstinence  Society - the latter of which was holding its annual convention there.   His remarks were quite lengthy. Wilkes Barre had never seen such a crowd to greet the president. From early dawn people came pouring in from all over, including  80,000 miners and their families from the surrounding anthracite coal regions. Enormous crowds thronged the streets. After the train halted Roosevelt walked to the nearby viewing stand. The audience was large it was becoming uncontrollable. Strong cables surrounded the stand, but they threatened to give way under the pressure of the crowd.  Quickly grasping the situation, Roosevelt shouted to the people to stop pushing forward and stand still. He was applauded, and it instantly quieted down. (4).

    Roosevelt's  basic theme was that he strongly supported temperance organizations "which strive to help a man by teaching him how to help himself."   It had been planned to greet Roosevelt here by firing 21 shots in his honor from a cannon captured during the Spanish American War. But the special reception committee had decided to observe the  instructions regarding Roosevelt's safety that no firearms of any description be discharged within a mile of any point where he was to be.
   The president's remarks were transmitted by the Pennsylvania Telephone Co. to their subscribers. Five transmitters were placed around the platform where Roosevelt spoke and his voice was carried over the wires. All the local exchanges were connected - some as from as far away as New York and Williamsport. But everything he said was not picked up as he often leaned over the railing so that he was out of line with the transmitters.  Most of the people had gathered just to see him as he could not be heard at any distance in those days before loud speakers.
    About 6 p.m. people began to gather at the train which had parked on a siding. But to stay on schedule the presidential party, which was quite a distance away, decided to go to Pittston where they were picked up by the train. (5)

  The Brooklyn Standard Union of August 12, 1905, said:
     In each instance he discussed matters of the highest importance and he wasn't mealy mouthed in what he said. Heat and humidity have no visible effect upon Theodore Roosevelt. His energy is unquenchable, his industry tireless. Not only does he perform all the multifarious duties of his high office with extraordinary punctuality, but he finds time to address the Pennsylvania miners one day and to discuss the Monroe Doctrine and the regulation of trusts at a Chautauqua assembly the next.                                                        
       The train passed over three divisions of the Lehigh Valley as they existed at that time  -  New Jersey & Lehigh Division, Jersey City to Mauch Chunk, 122.7 miles; Wyoming Division, Mauch Chunk to Ransom, near Coxton, Pa., 67.9 miles; and the Pennsylvania & New York Division from there to Sayre, 80.4 miles. As a rule, both crews and engines were changed at division points.  But doesn't appear to have occurred in this instance, most likely to keep to a tight schedule.   Prior to passing on to the Erie at Waverly Junction, it stopped in front of the  Sayre station at 9:20 p.m.  Throughout the evening, people gathered at the station to get a glimpse of the president. By the time the train arrived, 10,000 people were crowded in the railroad yards between the two bridges. 
    Coming out on the car platform, Roosevelt directed his remarks to a Grand Army of the Republic contingent of Civil War veterans who were present. He said:
   The lesson they have taught us is not the lesson of war, but a lesson of peace. They did their duty when Abraham Lincoln called to arms; and the war once over, they returned to the farm, the shop, the mill and the counting house, each to do his duty as a private citizen, each carrying into civil life the spirit. I would like to stay and talk to you indefinitely.
   The five-minute stop soon ended and the train was on its way again for the remaining 196 miles to Lakewood, where it arrived at 3 a.m.  August 11,  and returning to Jersey City early Saturday - a journey of 453 miles. 
 The presidential train arrived at Salamanca at 1:55 a.m. Three trains made up the party. The pilot train consisted of locomotive No. 458 and General Superintendent George Van Keuren's private car, No.994.  The second train, consisting of a combination passenger and baggage car and two private cars carrying the president and some of his friends and relatives, Secret Service men and reporters. Following was the third train, actually regular Erie passenger train 3, to which was coupled the business car of Erie President F. D. Underwood.
    The first and third trains changed engines here, but the President's special did not. Although it was very late, a large crowd had gathered at the station. But the president had retired for the night and no one saw him. (7)
    The Roosevelt party was met at Lakewood by Chautauqua officials who boarded the private car shortly before 8 a.m. and were warmly received. There they boarded a special trolley car of the Chautauqua Traction that sped them to the Chautauqua grounds. This brief trip was made without incident and arrived at the gate a few minutes before 9 a.m. At many points along the route, farmers, campers, and others assembled near the track to wave salutes. Upon arrival at the grounds they went to Higgins Hall, where a breakfast was served to 125 guests. After breakfast the party was taken on a 30-minute tour of the Chautauqua grounds, escorted by a guard of honor. 
    The adage, "It sometimes rains at Chautauqua," was re-enforced that day by a steady downpour. It began to rain at 3 a.m. August 11, and did not let up until 2 p.m. No words could express the jam of people at the amphitheater and the attentiveness given to the Roosevelt's address. He talked on a myriad of subjects including America's relations with foreign nations, the Monroe Doctrine,  domestic problems, the trusts, labor, and other topics of interest. This was five months after his inauguration to a second term and was his first public pronouncement of his principles and policies. 
      "There was nothing startling  or new" in his speech, said the Standard Union of Brooklyn on August 12. "His definition of the Monroe Doctrine "was a little more elaboration than most of his former utterances."  He finished his speech shortly before noon to a standing ovation. The presidential party then departed in carriages to the main gate and then got on a trolley car that returned them to Lakewood station where they re-boarded the train back to Jersey City. 

                                           The Return Trip
    The special departed Lakewood at about noon on Friday, August 11, 1905. Throughout the trip Roosevelt himself was accommodated on the Magnet.  At 1:55 p.m. it stopped briefly at Salamanca for a crew change. This was where the Allegany and Meadville Divisions intersected. A crowd surged around the rear platform of the private car to hear some words from Roosevelt.  His said in part:
   The traits of character that are required in a worthy public officer are the same as those that are necessary among friends and neighbors.  There is no royal road to success in public life; there is no royal road to anything worth having in this world. First, a man must have common sense. If he hasn't got that, no matter how bright he is, he can't succeed. And no matter how much common sense a man may have, he must  also be conscientious, or he will fail to accomplish anything worthwhile.
   The presidential train departed Salamanca at 2:07 p.m. At 4:15 p.m. it arrived at Hornellsville to pick up a new crew and change engines. Here it was turned over to the Susquehanna Division. While the train was being serviced Roosevelt emerged from the office car to address a large crowd.  In his remarks he said:
      It is a great pleasure to me to be back here again. I have been more than once to your city and I know this region of the country well. I always am glad to be traveling through it and now to have the chance of greeting you while I am President.  (7)

The divisions over which the train ran were: 
    (Mainline mileage:)
    A portion of the Meadville Division between Lakewood and Salamanca,  39 miles (actual length of division, Salamanca - Meadville, was 103 miles);  Allegany  Division - Salamanca to Hornell - 81 miles; Susquehanna - Hornell to Susquehanna - 140 miles; Delaware - Susquehanna Division to Port Jervis, 104 miles; and the New York Division  - Port Jervis to Jersey City, 88 miles.   The train made a five-minute stop for servicing at Railroad avenue near Second street in Elmira at about 5 p.m. which gave Roosevelt a few moments to addressed a large crowd of local residents and visiting firemen who were attending a convention. Special police, detectives and newspapermen were also on hand during the stop here.  Special precautions had been made well in advance.  Only the best motive power and train crews were assigned to this special run.  Preceding the special was a pilot engine with a coach and flagmen who saw to it that the track was clear. (8)
     Preparations to give President Roosevelt and party a rousing reception at Waverly had been made Thursday night when the Lehigh Valley turned over the train to the Erie. Owing to a special order of the railroad officials, the transfer was made at Waverly Junction instead of at the station, as originally planned. As a result the train passed the crowd waiting at the station without stopping at 9:45 p.m. A small group of people, however, had walked down the tracks to the junction and while the engines were being changed, had a little heart to heart talk with Roosevelt. 
    At 6:14 the following day the presidential special pulled into the station and stopped just east of the Fulton Street crossing. An enthusiastic crowd of 3,000 people  had gathered to greet the president.  When the train halted, several Secret Service men were on hand, and no one was allowed to approach Roosevelt's car within a certain distance.  The following account of his stop there appeared in the Valley Record of nearby Sayre, Pa. on August 12, 1905:

             President Roosevelt Addresses Citizens
              The Special Train Bearing Chief Executive
              and  Party Halts at Erie Station For a Brief
    Waverly - Theodore Roosevelt, president of the United States, and party, arrived in this city from Chautauqua over the Erie Railroad at 6:12 o'clock last evening. Notwithstanding the threatening weather a large crowd was present long before the pilot train arrived, about fifteen minutes previous to the special train, to welcome the president. 
    The train stopped near the Fulton Street crossing and no sooner had it come to a standstill than the crowd in its endeavor to get a glimpse of and to hear the great statesman, crowded very near to the rear platform of the train. The Boys' Band was rendering a fine selection as the train drew into the station, but suddenly and for an instant everything seemed to be silent. An instant later the President made his appearance and in his usual pleasing manner addressed the assembled crowd as follows:
    "My Friends and Fellow Citizens:
    "I need hardly say what a pleasure it has been for me to be traveling through my own State and through the very beautiful part of the State included in this southern tier of counties. How glad I am to see all of you, and how happy I have been as I have seen the beauty and fertility of the land! 
    "Yet the production I think most of is the production of men and women, and about the best crop is the crop of citizens because all the rest of it merely serves as a foundation upon which to build. It is important, very important, that the crops should prosper, and the factories should prosper. We have to have all of that as the indispensable basis of happiness, but upon it must be built the superstructure of a worthy national life, for without that superstructure the foundation cannot avail. It is true of a nation as of an individual. A man has to do his part - pull his own weight - to support himself and family. There is no use of his having any amount of backing. He has got to do more than that - a decent neighbor and a good citizen of the State." 
    Here the train started, and the President concluded:
    "I would like to talk to you for hours."
    At just 6:16 o'clock, the train moved slowly out of the station and the last words of the speaker were indistinct.
    The President was on his return trip to Oyster Bay after a most pleasing visit to Chautauqua.

   At every crossing all the way back to New York special flagmen and  track walkers were assigned to make sure everything was clear. Behind the special another locomotive followed, extra manned and prepared for any contingency.   The train passed through Owego at 6:42 p.m. Originally the train wasn't scheduled to stop in Binghamton. The decision of President Roosevelt to stop in Binghamton was not reached until the train was approaching the city. But the president changed his mind. So the train slowed down at Campville and a message was given to the operator who wired ahead to Erie Passenger Agent John Dunbar that the special would make a three minute stop. As the train passed through Owego without stopping - much to the chagrin of a gathering at the station - the editor took noted the consist included the same cars as previously mentioned and the office car of Erie President Underwood. It was pulled by Atlantic-type locomotive No. 518. (9) 

   The train arrived in Binghamton at 7:16 p.m., still exactly on time. A large crowd had gathered despite a steady downpour of rain. The pilot train passed slowly through the crowd and continued east. By this time the tracks in front of the station to the viaduct was packed with people. When the special arrived the chief of the Erie detectives and a corps of assistants dropped from the train and took up positions just inside the line formed by the police. Then out came the president along with his son, Kermit. At that moment a great spontaneous cheer went up from the crowd. 
He then beckoned the crowd to come closer.  He said:
    I have been traveling through NewYork State nearly all day and I have been more impressed than I can say with the beauty of the country and its prosperity. Never forget that, while prosperity is indispensable, there is need for more than this foundation. We need to raise lives of clean, decent and honorable citizenship to make this country what I expect it will be in the future.
    Soon the special was on its way to the next stop at Susquehanna, Pa., where a crowd of 6,000 met the train. During the 12-minute stop to change crews and the locomotive, Roosevelt thanked the people for helping elect him as well as for their loyalty. Three rousing cheers echoed through the surrounding hills as the special pulled out of  town. A crowd had also gathered at the station in Deposit but the train passed through without stopping. At 11:38 p.m. the train reached Port Jervis where it was greeted by 7,000 people. (10)

    The Binghamton Press of August 12 reported:
     President Roosevelt reached home at 9:40 a.m. from his trip to Wilkes Barre and Chautauqua. The run to Jersey City during the night was eventful for the members of the Secret Service, who were aboard the special to guard the President. At every stop even as late as 2 a.m. great crowds were at the stations. At Port Jervis which was reached about midnight the most unruly crowd of the night was encountered. A mob of men, many of them intoxicated, demanded that "Teddy" be waked up for their special benefit. "Well if you don't wake him we will," cried one man, and he proceeded to beat on the side of the car with a cane. The detectives stopped him.
    As the train drew out of the Port Jervis station another man leaped up on the rear platform of the "Magnet," the car occupied by the President.
    "Get off, you can't ride there," cried Charley Wright, one of the Secret Service men. "Well, I will, and you can't stop me," replied the fellow as he proceeded to climb to the top of the guard rail. Wright tapped the intruder's wrist with his "black jack" he dropped as if shot. Bu he regained his feet in an instant and followed the train for half a block uttering dire threats of vengeance.
   The only other incident to mar the trip was a bomb threat. An unsigned letter was received by the Paterson, N.J. Police Department indicating there was a plan to blow up the train while enroute to Jersey City. "It is not our purpose to kill the President," the letter said, "but somebody on that train will get hurt." The letter, which turned out to be a hoax, was handed over to Erie railroad detectives. Law enforcement officials along the line were alerted, but nothing occurred.  (11)
                                                         Special Instructions Issued
    The following instructions were issued by the General Superintendent and General Manager to superintendents, etc. regarding passage of the special train, on August 3, 1905:
    "You will receive in the mail today or tomorrow formal notification in regard to the so-called 'Chautauqua Special' which is to run from Waverly to Lakewood and return to Jersey City.
      "This special is to be occupied by President Roosevelt, but it is our desire not to advertise it as being the President's special so as to avoid some crank or half-witted individual taking it upon himself to commit some overt act,and it is desirable to surround the operation of the train with every possible safeguard.
      "You will arrange to run a pilot engine in advance of this train in both directions, keeping not less than fifteen minutes ahead and maintaining an absolute block ahead of and behind the special.
      " Arrange through your Supervisors, they to personally see the Section Foreman and not to do it by letter or by wire, that no work shall be done on the track from the time that the pilot engine passes until after the President’s train has passed for the reason that some employee might accidentally throw some utensil or some material on the rails where it might do some damage. 
    "Also arrange on double track to keep freight trains running in the opposite direction, on side tracks, at least thirty-minutes prior to the passage of the special train. If a side track is not convenient, there is no objection to stopping a freight train on the main track, provided it can be done without delay to superior trains running in the same direction.
     "Also have switch engines out of the way and discontinue switching from the time of the passage of the pilot engine until the special passes.
    "Instruct train crews on freight trains in either direction to carefully examine all car doors and all freight in the cars prior to the passage of the special to see that no obstruction extends and does damage.
    "On four track lines, freight trains running in either direction parallel  to the President's train, must be brought to a full stop on side track or on the main track and remain so for a period of thirty minutes, prior to the passage of the special.
   " Also see that each Agent personally knows that the switches at his station are locked and in proper condition and, if there are any obscure street crossings, section men will be detailed to flag such crossings during the passage of the special.
   Instruct engineers running this train to reduce speed in passing through all stations and yards, as the schedule that has been arranged will permit this.  You may use any additional safeguards within reason.
                                                                                                                George Van Keuren, General Superintendent."*
    In addition to instructions contained in General Superintendent's letter of August 3, Superintendents were to take the following precautions:
   "Special train will be thoroughly inspected at Waverly before receiving it from the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and at each terminal, Superintendents will arrange with Master Mechanics to have car inspectors look over all cars to see that there are no broken parts,  and that the running gear, couplers, etc. are in proper running condition. 
    "Superintendents will personally select the engineer and crew that is to run the train over their division and will personally instruct these men to use care and judgment in the operation of the train. They are to move carefully through all towns and use extra precaution at obscure road crossings, slowing down where they cannot see that the crossing is clear.
   "They shall observe whether the regulations providing that freight trains shall not be moving are carried out and if they find a freight train moving at any point they are to slow down their train so that they can stop immediately if anything is found to be moving on the track or wrong with the train they are passing.
   "They are to be cautioned in regard to the use of the air and to make very careful stops at water stations, also in starting to handle the train carefully so as not to damage drawheads or cause any discomfort to the passengers.
   "The Road Foremen of Engines of each Division will ride on the engine to assist the engineer in looking out for signals or obstructions.
  "If in the judgment of the Superintendent a second fireman is necessary, he is at liberty to put one on.
   Arrange to have a Car inspector with necessary jacks, supply of waste and oil and tools for packing journals accompany the train from Waverly to Lakewood and return to Jersey City. This man should have a supply of Pullman and standard brasses and an emergency knuckle with him. Mr. Sharp will arrange for the above.
  "All Superintendents will arrange to have a telegraph operator and lineman accompany the train over his division with the necessary instruments to cut in on the telegraph line at any point that it may be necessary.
   "All Agents should be instructed to know personally that baggage trucks are located a safe distance from the main track and secured in such manner that it will be impossible for them to foul the main track.
  "Where we have Railroad crossings at grade the Superintendent will arrange with the Superintendent of the line crossing that no trains will be allowed to use the crossing between the passage of the pilot engine and the passing of the special train. 
   "The pilot special is to be thoroughly inspected at each terminal and the conductor of the pilot to ride continuously at the rear to observe whether anything had dropped on the track from his train. 
   "The engineer should be instructed to approach all trolley crossings at grade under control prepared to stop if he finds the track obstructed.
   "All passenger trains moving in the opposite direction to be give the schedule of the special and to be instructed to slow down their train after passing the pilot engine so that when they pass the special they will not be running to exceed 10 miles per hour.
   "The engineers and conductors of passenger trains to be seen before starting out on their trip and personally advised of this arrangement.
   "Conductors of all freight trains must be personally instructed that their train either in side track or on the fourth track be fully inspected to see that there is nothing projecting in the way of car does or freight from open cars. They should also see personally that the switch they have used is closed and locked and the points fit up properly.
  " No train should be allowed to follow the special nearer than two blocks behind.
  "All telegraph offices to be kept open and the operators or signalmen on duty to be thoroughly posted as to the regulation so that there will be no question as to their proper understanding.
  "Engineers must not do any unnecessary whistling.
  "Conductors and trainmen of the special should be instructed to be on the alert constantly as regards the riding of their train to observe instantly in case anything is wrong so they can stop the train immediately and discover what it is. There will be no work done in the tunnel on the night of August 11.
  "Mr. Barrett will arrange to have the ships between Docks 4 and 5 clear so that the special boat can reach the bulkhead of Dock 5.
    "Will also arrange to have the track clear so that the Special can be brought to the small platform at the head of Dock 5 and all loose material to be cleared up the day before and the surroundings put in good condition.
   "He will arrange to have a switch engine at Grove Street to take the special from the road engine and put it on the above location. These movements should be surrounded with every possible precaution to insure safety. The tracks to be used for he movement to be thoroughly gone over the day before to see that all switches and everything is in first class shape.
   "No west bound train will be allowed to pass through tunnel from the time of the passing of the pilot engine until after the passing of the special.
    "Immediately following the pilot engine from Boyers to the tunnel watchmen who will be located in the middle of the tunnel,  will walk each way to the east and west towers and there report and special will not be allowed to enter the tunnel until the watchmen have reported "OK".
    "No drawbridge to be opened within one hour of the arrival of the special.
    "Supervisors will personally inspect all main track switches and frogs between now and Thursday to see that they are in first class condition and on the day of the special they will have their section men prior to the running of the special over his section make a personal inspection of every frog and switch on his main track to see that it is in A-1 condition.
    "They will also see that absolutely no work is done on the track from the time of the passing of the pilot engine until the special has passed.
    "The Division Engineer will arrange with the Supervisor to station one flagman at obscure grade crossings. Men of intelligence should be selected for this who understand the use of signals. They should be provided with white and red flag and be posted as to the pilot engine and the special and be alert to flag either in case of any obstruction on the crossing.
    "Supervisors will personally know that the men selected for this work understand just what is required of them. If on the approach of the pilot engine or Special the crossing is not obstructed the flagman will display a white flag. If any of these flagmen are stationed at a crossing that the special passes at night, they are to be provided with red and white lights.
    "The Division Engineer will advise the Superintendent of the crossings where flagmen are to be stained and if the foreman cannot provide an intelligent English speaking man the Superintendent will arrange to station a brakeman at this point.
   " Wherever stock is pastured in field adjacent to the track the foreman will see that the fences are all right and gates closed and if it is deemed advisable to station a man at any point where stock is liable to get on the track, do so.
    "Switches at outlying pints that are not required for use are to be penned where in the judgment of the Superintendent, this is advisable.
    "Section Foremen should be cautioned in regard to locking up their hand cars and push cars.
                                                                                                      J.C. STUART (General Manager) ."
                       "Work Done by Superintendent of Motive Power
    "The engines were dumped and thoroughly inspected. The coal in tanks was all shoveled out, the tanks emptied and everything inspected ordinarily not seen by a running inspection. Fresh fires were started and full tanks of Dagus coal taken. This coal was examined very carefully as it went on to the tanks so that no foreign matter could get into the fire boxes.
   " A supply of water was taken at the depot just before the engines were ready to start and immediately  after a trusted employee had made an examination of the interior of the cistern."*

Note: The following cover letter was with the instructions:

                                       Bronze Metal Company
                                      30 Church Street, New York
                                      April 17, 1922
Mr. A.W. Munkittrick,
Associate Editor,
Erie Railroad Magazine
71 West 23rd Street,
New York City.

Dear "Mun":
      A friend of mine, E.J. Devans, Supt. of the BR&P, has dug up an old order issued by J.C. Stuart, through George Van Keuren, to which he added his own post script, constituting most of the order, covering the movement of President Roosevelt's Train to Lakewood and return in 1905.

    The "old man" overlooked nothing outside of an earthquake, and it is such a dictionary of detail connected with train movement I thought you might like to have it published in the Erie Magazine, in case you need a filler, as there are undoubtedly many employees and old associates of J.C.S., who would like to read it. It would also be educational to the present generation, as the order contains a lot of rings that would not occur to the average operating man.

    I pass it along to you for whatever you wish to do with it. Read it and marvel that a man could think of so much at one time.
  Yours very sincerely,
  Arthur N. Dugan
  Vice President
  (a former Erie man)


                      From Erie Railroad Magazine, September,  1905, pp. 179-180

     The Trip of the President Over the Erie

        For a long time, employees of the Erie Railroad have yearned for an opportunity to give President Roosevelt a ride over the Old Reliable. This desire was finally gratified by the receipt of instructions to move the Presidential train on August 10 from Waverly to Lakewood, and return to Jersey City, a total distance of 649 miles.

       The systematic operation of the train and adherence to schedules indicated the ability of Division Superintendents, Trainmasters. Train Despatchers, Road Foremen of Engines, Agents, Telegraph Operators and Signalmen.

(P. 180) The absence of any defect in cars or engines showed the careful administration of the Mechanical Department, including Master Mechanics, machinists, roundhouse forces and others engaged in the care of locomotives. The very perfect operation of the train, including the absence of smoke and jarring stops, and the uniform and judicious speed showed clearly how engineers, firemen, conductors and brakemen operated in concert to make the trip successful.

    The perfect track supervision, protection at crossings and waterways indicated the care used by Division Engineers, Supervisors, Track Foremen and trackmen.
    The precautions taken by the Police Department to prevent injury to the public and unnecessary interference with the party reflect credit on the Superintendent of Police and those of his staff who were assigned to the train.

Following are the names of the various officials and their assistants who were most directly concerned in the handling of the train:
  New York Division.-A. C. Elston, Superintendent.; M. C. Roach. Assistant Superintendent; J.M. Hoffman,Trainmaster; C. W. Jones, Train Master; V. A. Smith, Train Master; W. J. English, Chief Train Despatcher; M. Nolan, Chief Train Despatcher; H. Cole, Train Despatcher; F. Ewerz, Train Despatcher; T. 0’ Donnell, Train Despatcher; H. J. Quigg, Train Despatcher; T. F. Hawley, General Road Foreman of Engines; E. Salley, Road Foreman of Engines; Jas. Cunneen,  Road Foreman of Engines; W. Schlafge, 
Master Mechanic; S. C. Brown, Division Engineer; J. H. Lynch, Supervisor and John Carr, Supervisor. Presidential Train - Jos. Coots, Engineer; J. Welsh. Fireman; E. Rosencranse, Conductor; C. A. Seymour, John, Pendergast and E. C. Westbrook, brakemen, and Robert King, Pilot. 
    Pilot Train.-  H. Springstead, Engineer; C. V. Davis, Fireman, B. D. Carpenter, Conductor; Thos. Shaw and C. J. T. Cordes, Brakemen. 
Delaware Division -Mr. G. A. Heller, Superintendent; Theo. Mackrell, Train Master; M.H. Hanrahan, Train Despatcher; Thos. O’Day, Road Foreman of Engines; R. A. Van Houten, Division Engineer; W. L. Madill, Supervisor, and M. Taffney, Supervisor; J. W. DeWitt, Chief Despatcher. 
    Presidential Train.-Sidney Luckey, Engineer; Bert. Millpaugh. Fireman; E. Rosencranse, Conductor; C. W. Murphy and Geo. Ostrander, Brakemen. Pilot Train.-Frank Sweeney, Engineer; W. T. Hinnman, Fireman; Chas. Bilz, Conductor; Frank Dilger and C. W. Turk, Brakemen.
    Susquehanna Division. -W. J. Sharp, Superintendent; F. R. Mosher, Train Master; G. P. Bryan, Train Master; J. A. Healey, Chief Despatcher; L. N. Rockefeller, Train Despatcher; G. C. Grantier, Road Foreman of Engines; W. A. Baldwin, Division Engineer; J. J. Quinn, Supervisor; P. Tomey, Supervisor; W. H. Wilson, Master Mechanic.
     Presidential Train.-Eugene Brink, Engineer; C. F. Griffith,  Fireman; C. P. Collins, Conductor; W. D. Logan, and J. H. Woodward, Brakemen. Pilot Train. - John Haire, Engineer; J. W. McCarthy, Fireman; J. B. Kinne, Conductor, and E. W. Sager, Brakeman.
    Allegheny Division - J. C. Tucker. Superintendent; E. I. Bowen. Train Master; W. H. Daley. Chief Despatcher; E. A. Strauber, Train Despatcher; H. F. Moss, Train Despatcher;  T. J. Donaldson, Train Despatcher; H. E. Barber, Train Despatcher; G. W. Ferguson, Division Engineer; W. H. Connelly, Supervisor; F. L. Balcolm, Traveling Engineer; G. T. Depue. Master Mechanic.
    Presidential Train - H. L. Helmer, Engineer; H. H. Wilcox, Fireman; J. P. Lowe, Conductor; M. Murphy and J. Costello. Brakemen. Pilot Train.-D. F. Potter, Engineer; N. Robinson,  Fireman; M. Flannery, Conductor;  C. M. Barber and E. Monaghan, Brakemen
   Meadville Division - E. W. Batchelder. Superintendent; A. L. Carskadden, Train Master, J. O'Laughlin, Chief Despatcher; T. J. St. Clair, Despatcher; J. C. 0‘Neill. Despatcher: L. P. Baker, Division Engineer; J. Braff, Supervisor, and W. C. Curtis, Road Foreman of Engines.
    Presidential Train.- J. McKee. Engineer; W. B. Goodrich, Fireman, A. G. Post, Conductor and M. J. Finnegan. Brakeman. Pilot Train.- Charles Kriger, Engineer; Guy Covell, Fireman and D. G. Lyons, Conductor.
    Police Department - Gen. Geo. J. Schoeffel, Superintendent of Police; William Hillhouse, Inspector of Police; A. A. Bogardus. Lieutenant; Martin Daly, Captain of Police; M. Little, Captain of Police; Chas. Daly,  Lieutenant of Police and P. J. Vickers, Rudolph Schlesinger. Thos. Dooley, Chas. E. Hazelhurst. T. P. Ryan, L. Mueller. S. E. Hempstead. C. Lyons, John Daly, Ed. McGetrick, Jos. Texler, T. P. Riley, C. W. Fenstermaker and William Parkinson, Officers.
    It is impossible to mention each and every individual who had to do with the success of the trip, but it is with pleasure that we say that the work of every man concerned, and the result of that work, was without a flaw and could not have been improved.
    It is a credit to the Erie Railroad employees and we take pleasure in expressing our gratification at their zeal and ability. 
   General Superintendent.
   General Superintendent.
General Manager.

   Although documentation beyond newspaper accounts has not been found, the Lehigh Valley adhered to a similar operating plan. One newspaper commented:
   The Lehigh Valley certainly can well afford to feel proud of the excellent time made by the special and of the fine arrangements of transportation of the train. (12)

1. Syracuse Herald, August 9, 1905 (Associated Press dispatch); New York Times, August 12, 1905; Wilkes-Barre Record, August 11, 1905.
2.  These two cars, built as Wagner lot WB14. The Lehigh Valley car, either #419 or #420, built by Barney & Smith, 1904; New York Times, op. cit.; P. 31, Palmer, Richard, "The Handsomest Train in the World," Sayre Historical Society, 2011; PP 295-297; Barger, Ralph R., "A Century of Pullman Cars," Vol. 1, pp 45-47, Hurlbut, Jesse L., "The Story of Chautauqua," G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1921; Easton Express, August 10, 1905. 
3. PP. 665-656, Lewis, Alfred H., "Compilation of the Messages and Speeches of Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-1905,"  Executive Edition, Bureau of Natural Literature and Art, 1906.
4. Ibid. P. 657, 658;  Easton Express, op. cit.
 5. Buffalo Courier, August 8, 1905; Wilkes Barre Record, August 11, 1905.
6. Elmira Gazette and Free Press, August 10, 1905; Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, List of Officers, Agents, Stations, Equipment, Facilities, Etc. No. 4, November 1, 1910; old Erie Railroad public timetables; Compilation of Messages, op. cit. P. 660.
7. Valley Record,  Sayre, Pa.,  August 11, 1905; Chautauqua Assembly Herald, August 12, 1905; "The Story of Chautauqua," op. cit.; New York Times, op.cit.; Salamanca Republican Press,  August 11, 1905; Elmira Gazette and Free Press, op.cit.
8. Salamanca Free Press, op. cit.; Elmira Gazette and Free Press, op. cit.; Erie Railroad division employee timetables.    
9.  Valley Record, op. cit; Elmira Gazette and Free Press, op.cit.; Owego Times,  August 17, 1905; Tioga County Record, Owego, N.Y., August 10, 1905.
10. Wilkes-Barre Record, August 12, 1905.
11. Binghamton Press, August 12, 1905; New York Sun, August 13, 1905.      
12. Wilkes-Barre Record, August 11, 1905.

                          Locomotives Known to Have Powered Roosevelt Train

  (From "Railroad History" {Railway & Locomotive  Historical Society]  Nos. 126 and 131 - All time rosters of the Lehigh Valley and Erie, respectively).                                         
                                             Lehigh Valley
Number   Class             Type          Builder                    Date     Dimensions           Notes

2323           F-1                4-4-2         Baldwin #13858   7-1896   19x26-76 1/2"        ex-668
2403           F-3                4-4-2         Baldwin #22547   8-1903   20x26-77"                ex-684
507            E-1                4-4-2         Baldwin #17182  10-1899   22x26-76"  Over Allegany Division    
515            E-1                4-4-2         Baldwin #17234  11-1899   22x26-76"  Over Delaware Division
518            E-1                4-4-2         Baldwin #17280  12-1899   22x26-76"  Over Susquehanna Division

*George Van Keuren was born September 14, 186l, in Jersey City, and received  a public school education, after which he studied some time in Hasbrouck's Institute in his home city. Previous to entering upon his railroad career he was a clerk in the employ of the Merchants' Dispatch Transportation Company, which connection he severed to go with an engineering crew on the New York & Albany Railroad in the capacity as a chain man. This was in 1880.
After a year he went to the New York, West Shore & Buffalo, where he assisted in surveys from 1881 to 1884, first as rodman, and later Assistant Engineer, which position he accepted on the New York Division of the Erie on July 1, 1884. In April, 1887, he was promoted to Roadmaster, and in October, 1890, he was advanced to Superintendent of the Jefferson Division. He was appointed Superintendent of Transportation of the Erie Railroad in November, 1894, from which place he was advanced recently to General Superintendent of Erie Lines East of Salamanca.(Excerpted from: "American Locomotive Engineers, Erie Railway Edition," H.R. Romans Editor;  Crawford-Adsit Company Publishers, Chicago, IL 1899).


Thursday, July 18, 2013


James S. Wadsworth resumes his legal studies, now at Yale.

Jan 1
Martin Van Buren becomes governor of New York State.

Jan 24                 
The Cattaraugus County town of Lyndon is formed from Franklinville.

Jan 28                 
Moses and Roxanna Bates Rathbun have a daughter, Elizabeth, in Buffalo. She is 38 years younger than her half brother, merchant Benjamin Rathbun.

An American scientific expedition leaves for Antarctica. Among the scientists aboard is New York naturalist James Eights.

Mar 19                 
The Sodus Canal Company is incorporated, capitalized at $200,000, to connect either the Seneca River or the Canandaigua outlet to Lake Ontario’s Great Sodus Bay. It’s partly constructed but never used.

Mar 20                 
The Town of Cheektowaga is established.

Mar 26                 
The Onondaga County towns of Elbridge and Van Buren are formed from Camillus.    **    The Seneca County town of Waterloo is formed from Junius.    **    The Niagara County village of Lockport is incorporated, made the county seat.

The official opening of the Oswego Canal, connecting the Erie Canal at Syracuse with Lake Ontario.

Apr 11                 
The Cortland County town of Cortlandville is formed out of Homer.    **    Construction of the Crooked Lake Canal is authorized. 

Apr 14                 
The Buffalo & Erie Rail Road is organized to connect Buffalo and Erie, Pennsylvania. Capitalized at $650,000, it will be surveyed.    

Apr 15
The State legislature approves funding for the Chemung Canal, linking the Chemung River to the Erie Canal. Construction begins later in the year.

Apr 17                 
The  Madison County Rail Road is organized. Capitalized at $70,000, and meant to link Chittenango and Cazenovia, it is surveyed but never built.    **    The Port Byron & Auburn Rail Road is organized. Capitalized at $50,000, and meant to link the two upstate villages, it is never built. 

Apr 20                 
The Wayne County town of Walworth is formed from Ontario.

Apr 23
The Ellicotts Creek Slackwater Navigation Company is organized, capitalized at $5,000, for construction in Erie County. Nothing is ever done.   

Apr 26                 
Brockport is incorporated.

Apr 27                 
The Salina & Port Watson Rail Road is organized. Capitalized at $375,000, and meant to link the village of Syracuse and the site outside of Cortland, it is surveyed but never built.

Apr 30                 
The Scottsville Canal Company is incorporated, capitalized at $15,000, to connect the settlement of Scottsville with the Genesee River.

May 1                 
The state legislature incorporates the Owasco & Erie Canal Company, to connect Owasco Lake to the Erie Canal. Nothing is ever done.

May 2                 
English barrister Henry Tudor sails from Portsmouth, England, aboard the 500-ton New York packet boat Hannibal, bound for New York.

Jul 24                 
Chautauqua Institution co-founder Lewis Miller is born in Greentown, Ohio.

Sep 15                 
Directors of the Bank of the United States vote to establish a branch in Buffalo.

Oct 9                 
The Albany canal boat Seneca Chief passes through Brockport on the Erie Canal with cargo of oysters. The toll comes to $13.59.

A fire in Buffalo burns $25,000 worth of stores on the west side
of Main Street.

Nov 13                 
Daredevil  Sam Patch, in his early twenties, is killed jumping into the falls of the Genesee River at Rochester, before a crowd of 7,000.

Nov 24                 
John P. Murray of New York City writes to Yale law student James S. Wadsworth, thanking him for his advice to Murray's son on studying.

Daniel Webster marries Caroline Le Roy in Le Roy, New York.

The state legislature passes a measure assigning the Syracuse water supply monopoly to Captain Oliver Teall, through 1831.    **    Trumbull Cary founds Batavia’s Bank of the Genesee (later M&T), the first bank west of the Genesee River.    **    Geneva attorney Charles Butler and his wife Eliza move into a house they’ve had built on South Main Street (later the Prouty-Chew House/Museum.    **    Newell’s Settlement changes its name to Wyoming.    **     The town of Canadice is formed out of the town of Richmond.    **    Ansom M. Weed and Allen Warner buy Geneseo’s Livingston Register from James Percival.    **    The Reverend Thomas Parker becomes minister of the East Penfield Baptist Church.    **    Granville, Vermont, native Levi Steele arrives in Connewango from Genesee County, as does Grafton, New Hampshire, native Ziba Hovey.    **    Derick Knickerbocker builds the Knickerbocker Hotel health spa in Avon.    **     Bushnell's Basin innkeeper and philomath (almanac compiler) Oliver Loud dies.    **    Vermont carpenter Brigham Young settles in Monroe County.    **    A bill is passed to consolidate the Onondaga County courts at Ovid, Levana and Onondaga. Commissioners Samuel Forman, Oren Hutchinson and John Smith are named to select a location for the new courthouse, in Syracuse.    **    Farmboy Joseph Smith claims to have found golden plates buried at Cumorah Hill outside of Palmyra. He will found the Mormon religion.    **    The Alexander H. Howell House is built at 101 Gibson Street in Canandaigua.    **     Perrinsville is renamed Fairport.    **     Keuka Lake landowner John Beddoe sells part of his land to James and Rebecca Taylor. John Beddoe Stafford is born to Charlotte Beddoe Stafford (daughter of John Beddoe) and her husband George Stafford, in Branchport.    **    The approximate date Almira Fowler, younger sister to phrenologist-architect Orson Fowler, is born to Horace and Mary Taylor Fowler in Cohocton.    **    1,291,820 bushels of salt are processed at Salina (almost 131,000 more than last year). Syracuse, Liverpool and Geddes have added to the increase.    **    Total income of the canal system, including tolls and duties on salt, amount to $1,193,979.    **    Newfane pioneer James Van Horn, Sr. is elected as the third town supervisor.    **    County clerks are required to report a transcript of all convictions and sentences to the Secretary of State.    **    An inn is built along the Erie Canal near Pittsford, close to the nearby Monroe Mineral Springs. It will usually be called the Spring House.    **    The state’s statutes are revised. Among the changes is consolidation of laws concerning apprentices.    **    Politician Frederick Whittlesley served two one-year terms as Monroe County treasurer.    **    Poet and hymn lyricist John Hugh McNaughton is born in Caledonia.

Use of the harbor increases 20% over last year.    **    Merchants Lyman and Moses Rathbun are brought to court on assault charges.    **     With $10,000 pledged the Buffalo High School Association begins planning construction.    **    A branch of the Bank of the United States is established here. Bank president Nicholas visits the area, views Niagara Falls, and offers to pay for a circular staircase into the gorge. The structure will be used for nearly a hundred years.    **    Nathaniel B. Rochester moves from the eponymous city founded by his father to Buffalo, to manage the Bank of the United States branch there.

The Rochester Athenaeum, a forerunner of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is founded.    **    The Reynolds Arcade is completed.    **    Packet boat builder Seth C. Jones launches the 15-20 ton Superior on the Erie Canal. The boat has a 7-foot-high cabin and scenic paintings by artist Daniel Steele.    **    Banker Abraham M. Schermerhorn finds himself the owner of the four-story, brick Eagle Tavern, when the builder is foreclosed.    **    Elisha Johnson is elected president of the community for a third consecutive one-year term.

New York divinity student Orson Fowler enrolls in Amherst College, working for tuition and board.

Englishman Basil Hall’s Travels in North America.

© 2013                        David Minor / Eagles Byte