« PreviousContinue »
There is one other reason why I wanted to write this letter. In looking over the Fraternal columns of the last CONDUCTOR, I see it is very short on communications. What has become of all the correspondents? Where is “Grandpa" of the blue grass regions and Brother Lyon of 413? Have they all been laid in the shade or have they become incensed at the action of our last Grand Division? If so, I think they are making a mistake, for if the Order at large thinks the law enacted by the Grand Division at Portland is a bad one they have a remedy, but I don't think the Grand Officers or a member of that Grand Body who helped to pass the enforcement bill had any thought at the time of doing a wrong to old or young members of the Order. Admitting it will work a hardship to some, I think every old and deserving member will be looked after--that part of the matter rests much with the local Divisions.
We have had no visit yet from our worthy Brother Sheppard, but have looked for him and would like to have him come.
The year has been so prosperous we hardly know how or where to begin to be thankful to the good Master for the many and untold blessings that have been sent unto the people of our land.
Division 223 has not grown much in the year past, but not being a regular terminal we do not have much material to work on. We have taken in several members.
The boys on the B. & 0. R. R. seem to be doing well, as the freight traffic was never better in the history of the road; and as long as business is good, men are not likely to kick-only the grumpy ones.
J. W. RANKIN. Martinsburg, W. Va.
Editor Railway Conductor:
The recent adjustment of rates of the Royal Arcanum has virtually eliminated the older members and left them without protection after having paid for nearly twenty-five years, and now we are too far advanced in life's race to get protection from other sources. And while on the subject of age, it reminds me that I see a great deal in the CONDUCTOR about the age limit, but I am not surprised at the action of the railroads in adopting the limit, for in looking over the laws of our M. B. D. I find an Osler clause and do not think it allegorical when I see the inconsistency. Dr. Osler allows a man 60 years while the M. B. D. knocks them out at 50. I did not join the M. B. D. in my younger days, because I had all the insurance I could carry and now when I need it I find I have been here too long to enjoy the fruits of fraternalism. I am not too old to pay dues and keep the Order prosperous, thereby giving the M. B. D. the elixir, but am too old to enjoy the elixir. [The M. B. D. gets not
penny of your money, nor of any other Brother who does not belong to it.-Ed.] Brothers, let up on the railroads for adopting your course or change your creed. We should at least try to be consistent, "and why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye."
Major, of Cambrage, in the August CONDUCTOR, strikes from the shoulders in speaking of revolt, for we have men who are afflicted with the same misfortune. We have some also who seem to care nothing for the interest of the company, but only live to greet the pay car-any other meeting point is distasteful. They get fair wages, and the work, while irksome at times, is not more trying than other occupations for similar compensation, and they should perform their duty to the best of their ability and with a cheerfulness born of a duty; as long as they accept the position they should be willing to give value received. We also agree with Major that all officials have not the swell head, but some of the Brothers think every order emanating from a new official is to display his authority. They forget that conditions change, thereby making new orders necessary. If our young men would consider this and not object to every order but try to execute them, they would soon see the benefits of their efforts and things would work more satisfactorily for all concerned.
The recent slump in the cotton market has caused a slump in business and the boys are feeling its effect, for business is not what it should be.
The farmers are able to hold for a better figure and are doing so to the chagrin of the freight crews, who get three or four days off at each end thereby making only about two full weeks in thirty days, which was not the case when the season first opened, as then they made two trips per day. Other than above the conditions are all that could be desired, for we meet freight trains daily that are so heavy they cannot get on the side track, so it runs the passenger on the siding and consequently we seldom reach our destination on time, and that allows the kickers an opportunity to ventilate their wrath.
In the September CONDUCTOR Brother Quisenberry of 152 relates a sad narrative of the treat
Editor Railway Conductor:
Yesterday was our annual election of officers of Lincoln Division 206, and certainly a swell time and a good bunch were there, with 31 conductors present. Brother W. P. Sheehan (Commodore, the old war-horse) re-elected secretary and treasurer, also legislative representative.
Many accidents and fatalities have occurred in our midst in railroad circles in past few weeks, and the C. P. and St. L. is the main actor.
Brother J. W. Woods now lies in Springfield hospital, hovering between life and death, as the result of train 45 breaking in two and running together.
Many changes have been made on the various roads running through Springfield, some coming and some going.
Brother H. T. Mullins, we understand, has been appointed G. Y. M. at Chickasaw, I. T. and is doing fine; and we are glad to hear it.
We were all glad to welcome and reobligate back into our ranks Brother Stephen Ryan, of the Wabash, the first Chief Conductor Lincoln Division ever had.
We now look forward to the new year as a very pleasing and prosperous one, owing to the fact that all our adjustment committees have been reconstructed, and our best material has been placed in charge, and are now ready to wrestle with all kicks
"Moses." Springfield, III.
holders get their money as soon as they can prove up as the law requires, and without going to law and spending half of it.
We are at present having a long wait to see if our governor will comply with the statutes, as we view it, and put a practical railroad man on the Commission, as we claim that ex-Governor David B. Hill is the only governor that has ever complied with the law which states that at least one of the Commissioners shall be a practical railroad man. Gov. Hill appointed an engineer. Now, we have presented the name of an old conductor, and are waiting rather impatiently to see what will happen next.
About our Division officers: You have been notified by the secretary of the two principal ones, no doubt, but you should see the rest of them. Say, it would pay you to come out and see our K. act as inside sentinel. There are others, but, on reflection, I think I will not mention any names, as some people get jealous very easy. The Chief went up to the north woods and stayed until those say, who saw him first, that there was moss on his back and leaves in his hair from camping out. I also met him since his return, but do not think it was balsam that I smelled on him.
Now, in closing this letter let me say to the members of Division 56: The Company seems to be trying to live up.to the contract with us. How is it with you? Are you living up to the contract? Do you handle the property entrusted to your care carefully, and live up to the Book of Rules given out by the company as your guide? Do you watch the bulletin board for special orders, and do your part to make this the safest and best railroad in this country, just because O. R. C. men are running the trains, and can be depended upon to do the work right and protect the company's interests so the people can feel that freight and passengers are in safe hands that can be trusted to do what is right? If you are not doing this, you are not living up to the Order of which you are a member. member that when a contract is broken by one party the other is not bound by it. Now, let's get busy.
ment he received from his Brother conductors while confined in the hospital at Clifton Forge. It is such as should bring the blush of shame to the cheek of every Brother that was in Clifton Forge during his disability. Especially is this so when we read in the October CONDUCTOR the treatment accorded Brother Beisleigh at Portland, Me. “Look on this picture and then on that." Where do we find a foundation for our boasted southern hospitality; and particularly is this sad when it occurred in a state that has a fame as broad as the universe. I guess it must have been quite lonely for the Virginia Brother, as in over two months he had one visitor, while the Brother from the frozen Maine in five months had 323, or over two each day. Have our warm southern hearts frozen? or what is the trouble? Conditions without a doubt have been reversed. Think of the heart gladness of our Virginia Brother if some one had carried him flowers, fruits, books, etc, as he sat lonely for over two months and only one Brother had the nerve to call and he was an Odd Fellow. Yes, very odd, his name should be handed down, and if I knew him I would congratulate him through the CONDUCTOR. Secretary Harriss of 152, with two nights a week in Clifton Forge, could not have done better than to have called; he should at least have paid some heed to his obligation. The Virginia Brother has a right to complain, and when he says "something is lacking" he has the hearty endorsement of every well wisher of the Order. But such treatment is calculated to impair the stability and make us an organization of personal advantage instead of a fraternal organization. As a fraternal organization we should put aside personal consideration and take the part that leans to our obligation, otherwise we are not fulfilling the part for which we ask the "blessing of the Most High." Wilmington, N. C.
2 POR 5. Albany, N. Y.
Editor Railway Conductor:
As it is some time since Division 56 has had any space in your columns, I thought it would be well enough to let you know we were here and busy. We are getting all that is coming to us just now, anyway the grievance committee seems to be out of work and nothing in sight. All runs are posted for bids, and I do not hear anyone say he did not get a square deal. Quite a number of our members have been on passenger trains this summer, during the vacation rush, and I see that they are drifting back to their old runs on freight as the season of 1905 draws to a close.
The action of the Convention, in making all members of the insurance hold membership in the nearest Division, seems to meet with the approval of our members, and we are taking in quite a number of old ones that have been dropped because of change of run or other causes and neglected to transfer, but now they are getting back in line again, and we are glad to see them, and know that they still hold the insurance with us, and they and their families have the best insurance known for railroad men. We have the privilege of investigating the officers having the business in charge, and do not have any high-salaried officers dividing our money among themselves. We know our money is applied as the law directs, and policy
Editor Railway Conductor:
Since my last letter death has claimed one of our oldest members, Brother Henry M. Hanbury, who was killed in wreck at Blocton Junction, September 18, 1905. Brothers and Sisters all over the country who have at any time in recent years attended the Grand Division will doubtless be grieved to hear of the death of Brother Hanbury, and will sympathize with Sister Hanbury, as they have at. tended all Grand Divisions in recent years.
Only a week before Brother Hanbury was killed his brother, A. A. Hanbury, was initiated into our Division, and proves how true it is that we know not what hour the slender thread may be cut.
Col. A. B. Bayless was very kind to all our conductors, allowing them, the out-of-town men, to get in for the funeral, and allowing the men running out of Birmingham to get in in time to attend.
The Engineers attended the funeral, as did also Col. Bayless and Mr. Wm. Williams, M. of T. and Asst. M. of T. respectively.
Business is very good on the L. & N., A. G. S., and other railroads out of Birmingham.
We are to have an elegant new depot in Birmingham in the near future. I very much appreciated the letter of Brother “Yo Me Vay" from Ecuador, would like to hear from him again, and would be glad to meet him at Memphis next Grand Division; and if he will come by Birmingham we can show him the fires of our furnaces, steel mills, rolling mills. etc., and he can see more fire than he can anywhere else in one place above the ground. Birmingham, Ala.
JOHN R. T. Rives.
Editor Railway Conductor:
You will no doubt be surprised to hear from Division 210, and really I feel ashamed that such an important duty has been so grossly neglected.
Several months ago Brother C. F. Peters wrote a nice letter to The CONDUCTOR, which was very much enjoyed by all, and personally I was in hopes he would keep it up, but Brother Peters is like a great many of us, after battling with a Bristoi hog or a tonnage train for fifteen or thirty hours on a stretch, can hardly see the way home.
We have a good Division, and the indications are that our membership will be largely increased within the next twelve months, the most discouraging facts are, that some of the Brothers do not attend the meetings as often as they might. Our membership will number about one hundred and fifty when the applicants now waiting have been initiated. About seventy members have been taken into our Division in the last two years.
Judging from the continual mentionings of the ast Grand Division in The CONDUCTOR, it is hard for some of the Brothers to quit talking about the trip. I am in the same fix; I think it was the trip of our life, and one that will long be remembered by all who had the pleasure of enjoying the hosnitality of our western Brothers. We feel sure that at the close of the Grand Division at Memphis in 1907, the Brothers will go back to their homes feeling that the same brotherly attention has been extended to all.
O. H. Gish. Roanoke, Va.
would a lodge let a worthy Brother drop out if he was unable to pay his quarterly dues? I do not think so. I know Quaker City 204 would not, be. cause I know of three different occasions that Brothers in distress have been relieved, their dues paid, and put in good standing by every Brother in the lodge room going down in his pocket and contributing his share. That's charity, as Quaker City sees it, and all the unfortunate Brothers knew was a notice that they had been placed in good standing.
I don't think there is any desire to throw out the old men.
(I'm one myself) but I do think if the old member can't afford to carry a large insurance and pay lodge dues, he had better reduce his insurance and stay in the Order, because he must remember the law, common or fraternal, sustains a contract, and when a member drops his Order he breaks the contract, and must not expect the Order to carry on the contract.
I would like to see the O. R. C. rate raised to $2.00 per month per thousand. We at the present time charge away below other fraternal organizations, and yet we pay for disability, which is usually about one-fourth above the death loss. We'll have to come to it sooner or later, and now is the time. I do not know of a single fraternal organization that has not raised its rates within he last five years to at least $1.50 per month per thousand at death or total disability. If others find it necessary will not the 0. R. C., especially as they allow for disability? That is a great deal, as you can readily see by report from Jan. 1 to July 31, when $12,000 was paid out for loss of limbs No wonder they want to retain insurance. Well, good goods cost money
A. R. POTTER, Philadelphia, Pa.
Editor Railway Conductor:
The September issue of The CONDUCTOR is before me, and I have just finished reading Brother Jesse Gossell's reply to Brother R. L. Myers, of Oakland, Cal.
The law passed recently, annulling the insurance of members dropping out of the Order, is just and equitable, and will stand at Memphis in 1907, or anywhere else, because the common law will sustain any fraternal organization adopting or making laws for the good of the many. The O.R. C. does not compel any man to drop the Order. If he wants to be insured in the O. R. C. he must retain his membership, and live up to his obligation. The O. R. C. does not want any half and half business. If the 0. R. C. insurance is good, so is the Order. Those who want the child must take the parent.
It seems strange any Brother would advocate differently, especially as the cost is only a few dollars per year more, and he gets benefits for those few dollars he could not get elsewhere. But
Editor Railway Conductor:
I believe that most of the Brothers write about current events. I will try to tell of something of the past.
The first locomotive engine I ever saw was in Tuscumbee, Ala., in 1834. I suppose that very few of this generation know that one of the first railroads in the United States was built from Tuscumbia to Decatur, Ala., in the early '30's, about 1831 or '32. The track was first cross-ties, then stringers, 6x7, on which the rails were laid. The rails were just about the size of common wagon tires and spiked down to the stringers at first without any clamp at the ends. What were called snake heads were common; that is the ends of the rails would be. come loose, and as the wheels passed over, would rise up and strike the bottom of the car.
You can imagine what would be the result. The engine had just two drivers. The cylinders stood at an angle of about 45 degrees, with no cab; just a footboard for engineer and fireman. When I first saw it, there were two men, one on each side, with bars, pinching the wheels forward. I remember this distinctly, although it is 71 years ago.
What a change I have lived to see in railway building!
Now, my Brothers, I have, for the greater part of the last 50 years, been a conductor, and have been a member of the Order 21 years.
I want to give you what I have observed during all these years. When I first went on the road, nearly ev
ery employe drank whiskey; many got drunk; it did not make much difference, just so he was able to go out. I made up my mind that I would not touch whiskey. I have kept the vow, no matter what happened to my train, I never was accused of being drunk. I have seen hundreds, in my time, go down from the demon, drink. Now, Brothers, let me tell you something; in the first place, accept Christ as your Saviour; live a pure, clean life, remember your dear old mother, and never act unworthy of her. And now I want to give you something to think about. Begin right now. Cut out gambling, whiskey, and tobacco. Jackson, Tenn.
Editor Railway Conductor:
The following donations have been received at the Railroad Men's Home at Highland Park, Ill., for the month of November: O. R. C. DIV.
L. A. C. DIV. 51 $ 5.40 2
$10.00 66 10.00 73
5.00 73 12.00 110
5.00 173 10.00 149
5.00 363 12.00 199.
8.00 466 2.97 Total.
SUMMARY. O. R. C. Divisions.
$ 70.62 B. R. T Lodges,
259.50 B. L. E Divisions.
66.75 B. L. F. Lodges,
43.15 L. A. T. Lodges.
57.25 L. A. C. Divisions.
33.00 G. I. A. Divisions.
49.00 L. S. to F..
26.00 Station from Memphis, Tenn.
2.65 Station No. 25.
1.56 Station No. 16.
61 Station No. 9. James Costello, No. 270, O. R. C.
Editor Railway Conductor:
Division 289 held its first regular meeting of November on Sunday, the 5th inst., with the largest attendance of the year; the election of officers for the ensuing year brought out the members, who expected to see contests for the various offices.
Now that the rush of business is over for the season, may we not have a reason to hope that our attendance may be better and more interest be attained in our work?
A. J. EVINS. Wellsville, O.
1.00 Joint Social given by No. 23 B. R. T. and No. 289 L. A. T..
22.09 Payment of Funeral Expenses of J. Rodenbaugh, No. 526 B. R. T
Editor Railway Conductor:
Division 304 elected officers for 1906 Nov, 5th, and had the largest attendance of the year; 41 Brothers registered. Brothers J. Turner, Z. Goodwin, of Division 175, and Brothers T. J. Jewell and McInteroff, of Division 108, were visitors, and each made nice talks, which were very much appreciated by all. After election of officers and initiating Brothers Carr and Dallolute, everybody enjoyed a nice supper.
Division 304 has reason to be proud of our record made in 1905, and we are determined to do as well, if not better, next year.
The I. C. has done away with all 800-class engines on the W. Valley & Granada districts, getting all 600-class engines, which beats about four crews out of work; but we expect business to increase so it won't be felt so much. Dec. 31st we will install new officers and initiate candidates, and enjoy'an opossum supper, you are invited to attend (yum, yum, thanks-ED.). also any Order man who happens down this way about this time; don't forget the date, Dec. 31st.
Brother J. L. Robinson lost his little daughter a few weeks ago.
She was one of the sweetest and brightest little girls in Water Valley, and was a general favorite with every one.
We are all looking forward to the Grand Division meeting in Memphis, and Division 304 expects to help her sister Division 175 entertain. Division 149 and all other Divisions in this territory should help also, and make the Memphis convention a grand success.
I feel that it is to our interest to do this.
I enjoyed my trip to Portland very much, and too much praise cannot be given Portland for the manner in which we were entertained. My wife also enjoyed the trip very much, especially the return trip. (Dad) Brother G. B. Sondlay and his worthy better half were with us to St. Louis, and by his happy and witty sayings made this trip sev. eral hundred miles shorter for us all.
Brothers, we are about to enter into another new year, and I hope every Division of the Order will make it a point to have a meeting first meet. ing day in January, and do a charitable act, no matter how small. You know that "the greatest of these is charity." There is not a Division in the Order but can get at least one worthy Brother employment if they will try. Place some Brother on the roll of honor, send some widow a ton of coal, send some one of our orphans to school, pay a month's rent, or furnish a month's provisions to some worthy poor family, or do a thousand other acts for charity's sake.
0. A. HARRISON. Canton, Miss.
$709.88 MISCELLANEOUS. One quilt from No. 54, G. I. A.
Box of household supplies and linen from L. S.
Thirty towels from L. S. No. 58.
One barrel of canned fruit from Mrs. T. B. Watson.
One quilt from No. 290 L. A. T.
Box of magazines from Mrs. Majors of Blue
Mr. J. J. Shields, No. 128 0. R. C., suit case and
Editor Railway Conductor:
At a meeting of Division 379, Sunday, November 12th, our election of officers took place. A better set of officials has never handled the reins of government for 379.
Our city, with a population of over three thousand, had its city election last week and we elected for city councilmen, five railroad men, three of whom are conductors-Brothers M. G. Sigman, W. C. Killinger and W. F. Cooper. This is the first time in the history of our city that a conductor was elected to a city office, and it is our earnest hope that they will conduct the city affairs in an honest and businesslike manner, so that at the end of their two year term we can re-elect them with a handsomer majority than was done at this election. Some of our citizens contended that railway men were not competent to handle municipal matters, being like a piece of chinery, lacking in executive ability, with a knowledge limited to railway affairs. I opine that our new councilmen will show the people that the contention is wrong.
I often wonder what the people outside of the state of Kentucky think of the Kentucky mountaineer, their mind picture of those whom the papers portray as bandits and moonshiners. Part of what is stated is correct, while a greater part is either false or exaggerated. We have tough characters like other communities, but there is not at the present time, to my knowledge, a hamlet, city or county in the Kentucky mountains that is not absolutely under the control of the law. Middlesborough has been undergoing a siege of lawlessness, but out of the chaos will come order and law, which it has never been her good fortune to enjoy. The militia is there now and a good majority of the bad element has 'been jailed and the better class of people now have the upper hand and will not stop until all of the bad element is landed in the penitentiary or run out of the state. There is very little illicit distilling going on, as the revenue officers keep in close touch with such violators of the law, The root of all the trouble in the mountains is lack of education, which has been brought about by not having the educational facilities. It strikes me as a peculiar spectacle for the philanthropists of the United States endowing colleges, universities and libraries with their millions, in the interest of higher education for churches, maintaining foreign missions, while up here in the mountains we suffer for want of churches and clergymen and for common schools where the children could but receive the benefit of the lower branches and build up a foundation of knowledge that would fit them for a better education and would make them better citizens. The life of the average mountain clergyman is one of adversity and sacrifice. To ride over the mountains fifteen or twenty miles, to meet with his parishioners, fording streams and climbing cliffs is certainly a task.
Should this article fortunately meet the gaze of any of our philanthropists, I hope they will ponder and give the Kentucky mountains a little attention and they will find it a good place for their missionary work. As the old adage goes, 'Charity begins at home," and it would be a
greater act of charity to care for our own people than those across the waters.
Three years ago we had thirteen counties in the mountains without a railroad or navigable stream, but the number is now greatly reduced, as several railroads are being built and many projected. Mine operators and railroad companies are spending millions in improvements and new work, and it would dazzle the eyes of outside people were they to take a trip through our country.
Coal abounds in unlimited quantities, a good part of which is coking coal and not surpassed by the celebrated Connellsville, Pa., coke. The quality of the coal for domestic and steaming purposes is not excelled; in fact, I doubt if equalled by coal from any other section of the United States.
Corbin is the coming metropolis of the Kentucky mountains. It is the gateway thereto, and we have four divisions of the L. & N. R. R. centering here. Our yards at Corbin hold fourteen hundred cars and have a twenty-eight stall roundhouse. We handle from thirteen hundred to seventeen hundred freight cars in and out every twentyfour hours. If we had the power to handle the business with despatch and cars to meet the demands, we would handle far in excess of this number. I would ask some of our readers to compare these figures with those of the larger terminals where they are located and it will give them an idea of what a storm center for freight business the little city of Corbin really is—and she is just in her infancy. We are on the tidal wave of prosperity, and I am glad to say a majority of the railroad men are interested in real estate and are enjoying their good investments.
Brothers Charles Crabtree and M. F. Masden have severed their connection with the L. & N. R. R. Co. Both are good-souled, clever fellows, and should any of the brothers meet them in their travels, I hope they will be given a welcoming hand. Should any of my friends meet them, do not allow their money to be used, as it is counterfeit, but foot the bills and charge the account to me.
W.C. SURRAN. Corbin, Ky.
Editor Railway Conductor:
Kindly indulge me space in The CONDUCTOR to make special reference regarding the delegation of railway trainmen's unions which called on President Roosevelt on the 14th inst. to protest against the federal regulation of railway rates. Taking it for an assured fact that the President means just what he says regarding the rate question, causes me to think that the Brothers who called on the President acted on a misunderstanding. In the first place their contention would not have been justified even on the extreme state of facts assumed by them. If regulation of railroad rates meant lower rates, and this meant lower wages for railroad workers-even then it would not follow that the remaining workers in the United States should sacrifice from their own wages to save those of railway employes. It is not proposed to reduce any but unfairly high rates. fairly high rate always presses unfairly on some