N.P. Ry.

Tell Tale Extra

Notes on and notes from officers, on and off the NP





I was reading over some circa World War One issues of Railway Age [Gazette] last fall and came across an interesting trend. Between 1900 and [roughly] 1915 three high ranking officers from the Northern Pacific migrated to the New Haven: Edwin McHenry [NP Chief Engineer]; John W. Kendrick [NP Chief Engineer and later First Vice President--Also namesake of Kendrick, ID, which turned up in the Tell Tale's Moscow to Arrow Junction Line post] and of course Howard Elliott [NP President to NH President]. I am not sure if this is a sign that one left and enjoyed working for the NH so much he [possibly] influenced the others to move east or if this was entirely independent [there is a significant span of years between the moves] or finally, if this was J.P. Morgan's influence helping move managers to other properties where he had an interest.
Can anyone state if the House of Morgan had any ties with the New Haven?
Does anyone know any details [specific or broad] of these three individuals tenures on the NH? In a related question, how prevalent then and now is the movement of middle and upper level managers from road to road?
In the case of the NP, I can state that Harry J. Horn went from the NP to the Los Angeles, San Pedro and Salt Lake [later UP] as did Virgil Bogue [NP Engineer to UP Chief Engineer]. NP President Charles Denny came from the Erie, his successor, Robert Macfarlane, came up through the NP ranks [Didn't GN's John Budd start out as a rodman for that road's Engineering Department during summers off from Yale? Ah, the good ol' days...] whereas Macfarlane's replacement Louis W. Menk began on the Q.
-John Phillips, 12 Apr 1997, The Railroad List, RAILROAD@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU

The House of Morgan had extensive ties with the New Haven. In fact some people believe that his involvement/influence caused the New Haven huge problems (including bankruptcy) in the 1920s and 1930s. Between 1890 and 1910, the New Haven basically tried to corner the transportation network between Boston and New York. This included railroads, boat lines, and when they became popular street car/trolley lines. They were willing to pay top dollar (too much in many cases) for these acquisitions. The costs of these acquisitions plus the bad press (i.e., monopolies) caused the New Haven significant problems (can't be specific without sources). Anyway, the President of the New Haven at this point was one Charles S. Mellen, who was previously president of the Northern Pacific. By the way Morgan was originally from Hartford. Another side note, Louis Brandeis, who was later appointed to the Supreme Court, gained his reputation as a "progressive" for his fights against the New Haven.

Relevant sources:
Weller, John L., The New Haven Railroad, Its rise and fall. NY: Hastings House, 1969.
Pretty good history, but believed Mellen and Morgan ruined the New Haven forever. Yale has a stack of pamphlets relating to the legal battles of the New Haven. If you have access to our on-line catalog check out the entries under the New Haven.
-E.C. Schroeder, 14 Apr 1997


Notes: Watch for the use of the word 'got' in the Elliott summary, which seems unusual to me given the 'early' date of this material. Also, note the very kind treatment of Elliott and Hannaford, which almost reads like propaganda in part, whereas there is are no holds barred on the statements about Charles Mellen in the Elliott summary [are we seeing Mellen's obituary as a 'railroad man?']. Also, all the college-educated officers listed here are Yale or Harvard graduates, all appear to be Civil Engineers. On the other hand, at least two worked their way up through the ranks with only public schooling. W.P. Clough, whose educational background isn't listed, is very clearly a Hill insider. His move to the NP and Q from the GN appears to be a shortly after that year's NP Corner feud between Hill and Harriman forces. Finally, a note about the mention of Elliott's two and three million dollar surpluses circa 1911 and 1912. I recently contacted list member Dr. Paul Schumann recently with a request about the value of a 1919 dollar and what that dollar would be worth today. The figure he came up with, and I will cite him as an expert without hesitation, was that $6,000 dollars in 1919 would be worth $96,000 today. While this data is clearly not exact for circa 1911 or so, the 1911 surplus [based one a rate of one dollar then is equal to sixteen dollars now] would be worth $48 million, a number which is probably on the low side [any economists in the group are invited to take a stab at the exact figure].

Questions: What became of C.S. Mellen after his apparent ouster from the New Haven? The Q is referred to as nearly a farm club for early railway executives. Anyone care to name a few more Q alumni? Does anyone know of a text regarding the Q's influence as a managerial training ground?

Correction: In my April 12 post to CUNY I mentioned the NP's Harry Horn as going to the 'Los Angeles, San Pedro and Salt Lake.' He may have gone to the LA&SL, but he certainly didn't go to the LASP&SL [Why? Because it didn't exist]. Looking through my files I found the original item that brought on this mis-statement: in 1911 the NP's Henry C. Nutt went to the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake [later UP]. Anyone know if HCN moved up in the UP?


William P. Clough is to be made Chairman of the Board of the Northern Pacific, on the resignation of Howard Elliott as president and the creation of this new office.
The creation of this office and the election of Mr. Clough to it are rather a concrete expression of the appreciation of the Northern Pacific directors for the responsibility and executive work which Mr. Clough has been doing for the past 12 years than any radical change in these duties.
William P. Clough was born in Cortland County, New York, and began railway work on October 1, 1880, as general counsel in the West for the Northern Pacific; occupying that position until June 1, 1887, when he entered the executive department of the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba as assistant to the president, soon after becoming a director and second vice-president of that company.
February 1, 1890, when the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba was taken over by the Great Northern, he became a director of the latter company, and remained until the summer of 1901, when he resigned them to become a director of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, and a director and member of the executive committee of the Northern Pacific, which positions he has continued to hold, and which, for the past 12 years, have chiefly occupied his time. On July 1, 1912, he became the first vice-president of the Northern Pacific.
Railway Age Gazette,
August 1, 1913, p. 372


Howard Elliott, President of the Northern Pacific, on July 25 was elected President and Director of the New York, New Haven and Hartford, as the selection of the special committee of directors appointed to choose a successor to Charles S. Mellen. The election becomes effective on September 1, but it is announced that at a meeting of the directors of some time in October that it is proposed to make a change in the by-laws of the company, under which Mr. Elliott will be elected Chairman of the Board of the entire New Haven system, and that each of the principal constituents of the system, the New York, New Haven and Hartford, the Boston and Maine, the New England Navigation Company, and the trolley line system, will have individual presidents. The new administrative plan conforms with recommendations of a committee of stockholders headed by George von L. Meyer. In become president of the New Haven, Mr. Elliott for the second time follows in Mr. Mellen's footsteps, having succeeded him as president of the Northern Pacific in 1903, when Mr. Mellen left that road to go to the New Haven.
Mr. Elliott seems to be an excellent choice for dealing with the very difficult railway situation in New England. He is a native of the East, having been born in New York City. While his railway career has been spent on western lines, he will find himself perfectly at home in New England, for he received his education at Harvard University, having graduated from the Lawrence Scientific School in 1881 with the degree of C.E. One of the things that got Mr. Mellen into trouble was his undiplomatic way of talking to and dealing with people. his biting sarcasm and disregard for other people's feelings and opinions made him innumerable enemies. Mr. Elliott is so differently constituted that he would be incapable of making enemies in this way, either for himself or for a railway that he was managing. He is naturally reserved, but in spite of this, he has made a practice in recent years of delivering numerous public addresses on railway subjects. In his personal relations with patrons of the road and in his public addresses he has been moderate, conciliatory and patient. He is an extremely sincere and earnest man, who leaves this impression on all with whom he comes in contact, whether in a business way or otherwise, and it seems to be a safe prediction that he will very soon win the regard and complete confidence of the people of New England both by what he says and by what he does. He accepts unreservedly the modern principle that railways and their officers are public servants, and tries to live up to this theory in both is utterances and in his management.
As a railway executive, he is one of the leaders of the country. He learned the business from the Burlington, from which so many able and successful railway mangers have been graduated. He has served at different times in the engineering, the accounting, the traffic, and the operating departments and few men know both the theory and the practice of railway operation and management so thoroughly. He is a tireless worker, a master of details, and an excellent organizer. He makes his plans far ahead, and is indomitably persevering in carrying them out. He has had a difficult situation to deal with throughout his career on the Northern Pacific. The road when he took charge of it was not in very good physical condition, and he very greatly improved it. Its mileage was 5,111 miles and he increased it to 6,032 miles. Its revenue freight train load was 326 tons, and he increased it in 1912 to 511 tons. It looked as if the Northern Pacific was hard hit when the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul built its extension to the Puget Sound right through the Northern Pacific territory, and that the Northern Pacific did feel severely for some time the effects of this new competition, but Mr. Elliott sturdily met the issue, fought a good fight, maintained the road's dividend, and at the same time made large expenditures from earnings for improvements. In spite of the adverse conditions he was able to show a surplus of over $3,000,000 in 1911, and one of over $2,000,000 in 1912. When George J. Gould retired as president of the Missouri Pacific in 1911 Mr. Elliott was offered the presidency of that road, but declined it.
The foregoing indicated in a very inadequate way the manner of man who has now been given the task of solving the New England railway problem. If the owners of the new England railroads and the people of New England will give him a fair chance Mr. Elliott will do a great work for them, and his personality and his method are such that it would seem they should command the respect and support of both the owners and the patrons of these railways.
Mr. Elliott has always taken active part in the social and business life of the cities in which he has resided, and also by acting in co-operation with various organizations, aided in the conservation movement, and materially forwarded the agricultural interest of the West.
He was born on December 6, 1860, in New York, and entered railway service during the summer of 1880, during his college vacation as a rodman on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy. after his graduation for Lawrence Scientific School in 1881, he became, on October 17, clerk in the president's office of the St. Louis, Keokuk and Northwestern, and during the following year for several months was a clerk in the assistant treasurer of the Chicago, Burlington and Kansas City and the St. Louis, Keokuk and Northwestern at Keokuk. From January 1, 1887 to May 1, 1891, he was general freight and passenger agent of the same roads, and from the latter date to January 1, 1896, also of the Hannibal and St. Joseph and Kansas City, St. Joseph and Council Bluffs. From January 1, 1896 to May 1, 1902, he was general manager of the same roads, and from May 1, 1902, to October 21, 1903, second vice-president of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy. On the latter date he was elected president of the Northern pacific, and he is also president of various subsidiary companies of the Northern Pacific.
Railway Age Gazette,
August 1, 1913, pp. 177-8


Jule M. Hannaford, Second Vice-President of the Northern Pacific, has been recommended by the executive committee for election as president, to succeed Howard Elliott, as announced in a recent issue. The election of Mr. Hannaford will be a well deserved recognition over 41 years of consecutive and faithful service on the Northern Pacific, since he became connected with the road in 1872 as chief clerk in the general freight office at St. Paul. For many years he has been reputed one of the ablest traffic officials in the country. It also represents another conspicuous example of the policy of promoting traffic men to railway presidencies, for Mr. Hannaford's entire railway experience has been in the traffic department, of which he has been in charge since 1899 successively as third vice-president, and second vice-president, and previously as traffic manager.
His railway service was begun in 1866 as a clerk in the general freight office of the Central Vermont at St. Albans, Vt., where he remained until he went with the Northern Pacific in 1872. In his first position with the latter road he is said to have compiled and written with a pen the first regular distance tariff of freight rates ever published on the Northern Pacific, and the original now hangs in his office at St. Paul.
He is one of the most democratic and approachable of men, and his election as president will be especially acceptable to the shippers with whom he has been so long associated, and whom among he is exceptionally popular, as he bears an enviable reputation for willingness to hear both sides before reaching a decision and to co-operate with the patrons of the road for the best interest of all concerned. Mr. Hannaford is also remarkably popular with his subordinates and employees of the company, which is attributed not only to his kindly and pleasing personality, but also to the fact that he never forgets an old friend, and has in many ways been especially appreciative of loyal and faithful service on the part of his subordinates.
He was born November 19, 1850 at Claremont, NH, and from June, 1866, to May 11, 1872, he became chief clerk in the general freight office of the Vermont Central. On May 17, 1872, he became chief clerk in the general freight office of the Northern Pacific, and on May 1, 1879, was promoted to assistant general freight and passenger agent. From May 1, 1881, to August 1, 1883, he was general freight agent of the Eastern Division, and from August 1, 1883, to March 1, 1884, assistant superintendent of freight traffic. He was then for two years general freight agent of the main line and branches, for four years traffic manager, and from 1890 to 1899, general traffic manager. From 1890 to 1893 he was also general traffic manager of the Wisconsin Central line [a route the NP leased to secure a connection to Chicago, but was forced to give up control of after its second bankruptcy in 1893] during their lease to the Northern Pacific. On February 1, 1899, he was elected third vice-president, and on April 1, 1902, second vice-president. From June 1, 1895, to June 28, 1906, he was also vice-president and general superintendent of the Northern Pacific Express Company, and since June 28, 1906, he has been president of that company.
Railway Age Gazette,
August 29, 1913, p. 373


John Joseph McCullough, whose appointment as division superintendent of the Northern Pacific, with headquarters at Seattle, Wash., has been announced in these columns, was born June 17, 1871, at De Soto, Ill. He attended the common schools from 1878 to 1885 and began railway work in May, 1888, as freight brakeman on the Illinois Central. Four months later he went to the Minneapolis and St. Louis, at Minneapolis, Minn., in a similar capacity and was promoted to freight conductor in 1891, leaving in 1894 to go with the Great Northern in yard service at Superior, Wis., and Duluth, Minn. He was made general yardmaster of the Lake Terminals in 1896, resigning in September, 1900, to become general yardmaster of the Erie at Susquehanna, Pa., and three months later was transferred to the eastern terminals as general yardmaster and trainmaster, where he remained until 1906. He was then employed by the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie at Minneapolis as yardmaster, and in November, 1907, became connected with the Northern pacific as general yardmaster at Billings, Mont. In June, 1908, he was made assistant trainmaster on the Rocky Mountain Division; three months afterward he became senior trainmaster on the Montana Division at Livingston, Mont., and in April, 1901, was promoted to the inspector of terminals of the entire system, with headquarters at St. Paul, Minn., which position he held at the time of his appointment as superintendent of the Puget Sound Division, as noted above.
Railway Age Gazette,
January 24, 1913, p. 187


Henry C. Nutt, Fourth Vice-President of the Northern Pacific and general manager of lines west of Paradise, Mont., at Tacoma, Wash., has been appointed general manager of the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake, with office at Los Angeles, Cal., succeeding R.E. Wells, resigned, effective May 1. Mr. Nutt was born November 12, 1863, at Council Bluffs, Iowa and graduated in 1883 from the Sheffield Scientific School. In August, 1883, he began railway work with the Burlington and Missouri River, and remained with that road and its successor, the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy, until 1906, having been consecutively rodman, trainmaster, assistant superintendent and general superintendent. He was made general superintendent of the Michigan Central at Detroit, Mich., in 1906, and the following year was appointed general manager of the Northern Pacific lines west of Trout Creek, Mont. He was elected fourth vice-president and general manager of the latter road, as above noted, in November, 1909, which office he will resign on May 1, to go with the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake.
Railway Age Gazette,
Volume 52, Number 16, p. 963 (1911)


George Theron Slade, who was recently elected first vice-president of the Northern Pacific, with office at St. Paul, Minn., was born July 22, 1871 in New York City. He graduated from Yale University, class of 1893, and entered railway service that year with the Great Northern as a clerk. He was successively timekeeper and assistant roadmaster until August, 1895, when he was made chief clerk to the superintendent of the Eastern Railway of Minnesota. In September of the following year he was advanced to assistant superintendent and one year later was appointed superintendent of that road and the Duluth Terminal Railway. In November, 1899, he became general manager of the Erie and Wyoming Valley and the Delaware Valley and Kingston, which position he held until March, 1901, when he was made superintendent of the Wyoming and Jefferson Divisions of the Erie. Five months later he was promoted to the general superintendency of the Erie Division of that road, resigning April 1, 1903, to go to the Great Northern as general superintendent. Mr. Slade left the Great Northern in 1907 to accept the position of general manager of the Northern Pacific, and in 1910 he was chosen third vice-president of that road, and on August 27, he was elected first vice-president, as above noted.
Railway Age Gazette,
August 29, 1913, p. 393


James Dun, Esq.,
Chief Engineer, AT.&S.F. Ry.,
Great Northern Bld., Chicago.

Dear Sir;-

Answering yours of February 5th. The cost of lining the Stampede Tunnel through the Cascade Range on the main line of the Northern Pacific, was higher than some work subsequently performed, not so much on account of the special difficulties encountered however, but by reason of our inexperience in such work.
The lining extended over a series of years from 1889 to 1895 inclusive. At the beginning the cost per lineal foot of completed tunnel was $125.00. This was progressively and steadily decreased to an average cost of $35.00 per lineal foot, during the last two years, the quality of the work being at the same time much higher. The average cost per lineal foot of the whole tunnel was $54.09, but for reasons above explained, this estimate is of little practical value.
Considerable difficulty was experienced in three sections, where a soft chalky rock was encountered. This rock was composed of volcanic sedimentary deposits, which had been subsequently overflowed by basaltic lava. The great heat seemed to have the effect of developing hydraulic qualities in the sediment, and the soft rock disintegrated rapidly where water had access to it, and the slacking process as attended by a great increase in bulk, similar to the action of water on lime. The floor of the tunnel in two places rose as much as six or eight inches. This was not caused by the ordinary plastic flow of clay water pressure, but simply by the increase in cubic volume, due to the slacking action of the water. The lining through these sections was very heavy, but was insufficient to withstand the great pressure, and the walls and arch showed signs of failure and have since been cut out and renewed. Except for these sections, we have had no more than the normal difficulties.

Yours truly,
E[dwin] H. McHenry
Chief Engineer


VENTILATING PLANT, STAMPEDE TUNNEL.
NORFOLK & WESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY
October 23, 1914

Mr. W[illiam] L. Darling,
Chief Engineer,
Northern Pacific Railway,
St. Paul, Minn.

Dear Sir:
In accordance with my verbal promise, I give you below report of the conditions of the ventilating plant at Stampede Tunnel, which examination was made on October 17th 1914. There were present Mr. A.M. Burt, Chief Engineer M.W., the Superintendent and others.
It was noted that the weather was clear, and that there was no natural current through the tunnel before the fans were started. Two readings were made of the current through the tunnel after the fans were started, one at 11:16 A.M. and one at 11:20 A.M. during which test both fans were running at an average speed of 212 revolutions per minute instead of the speed designed for these fans, i.e., 220 revolutions per minute. The reason for the comparatively slow speed of the fans was that only four of the five boilers installed were in use, and during the period the fans were running the pressure of the steam varied from 150 to 95 pounds. when the measurements of the current were started, and during the measurement of the current varied from 95 pounds. to 75 pounds.
At a point 350 feet inside the tunnel, at the west end, two readings showed a velocity of 1400 feet per minute, at a point where the section of the tunnel is 317 square feet, showing a delivery of air through the ventilating plant of 443,800 cubic feet per minute. However, an accurate measurement of the nozzle outlet by your local engineer developed the fact that the area of the outlet was only forty-nine square feet instead of fifty-two square feet as required in the letter of specifications sent you under date of September 16, 1913. This shortage of nozzle outlet area is quite important, and the required area can be readily secured by reducing the thickness of the beveled edge of the outlet of the nozzle approximately an inch. I told your local people that they should secure the full fifty-two square feet of area of nozzle outlet in this manner. Since returning to Roanoke we have reviewed our figures again and think that the trimming of the edge of the nozzle should be carried on so as to secure about fifty-three square feet.
I also noted that the back lining of the nozzle on the inside of same had not been constructed in accordance with Plan Number 9335 which I sent you with my letter of September 16th above referred to. It had not been carried up to the proper height, and I pointed this matter out to Mr. Burt, showing that it would be carried to a point near the bottom of the damper when it was opened. This correction can be made at a very slight cost.
A few small leaks were noted by Mr. Burt in the inside lining of the nozzle, which it would be advantageous to stop, because very high pressure of air is used in this case.
One other feature which I had previously mentioned to Mr. F.W. Herlan, representing the B.F. Sturtevant Company at Saint Paul, namely, the advisability of having a flaring piece of steel inserted in the nozzle directly below the forward end of the fan inlets so that the air can enter the nozzle proper without first striking the vertical face of the concrete nozzle itself. This steel plate need not be over an eight of an inch thick and should extend from the outer vertical side of the nozzle to about a foot toward the center from the fan inlet, the depth of this plate to be variable to suit the curved top of the concrete nozzle. This plate can be fastened to the inside of the floor forming the top of the nozzle by means of expansion bolts, and to the curved back under the concrete forming the nozzle, by the same means. The shape of the plate will be necessarily a warped surface. Mr. Herlan wrote his people in regard to this, and they state that this will be an advantage. I saw Mr. Herlan on my return to St. Paul and he said he would recommend that your Company be authorized to put in these two plates at the expense of the B.F. Sturtevant Company. The result of the insertion of these plates will be a considerable reduction on the resistance to the air from the fans and consequently a better output from the fans.
I note that these fans and engines work very nicely and that you have a good plant, although as only five boilers are installed the full horsepower mentioned in my letter of September 16th as necessary to deliver 540,000 cubic feet of air per minute through the tunnel cannot be secured over long periods, but it can be secured over a short period providing a good grade of fuel is used. That which was being used during the term of the test was not, you recall, of very good quality.
When the test was made which resulted in showing 443,800 cubic feet of air per minute through the tunnel, the measurements of the induced draft at the nozzle was found to be at the rate of 470 cubic feet per minute. This indicates, of course, first that no air that is put into the tunnel is lost. In a tunnel of this kind, which ventilates naturally, generally from west to east, in other words in the direction of the forced draft from the fans, it is not necessary that this induced draft be as large as this, and after the three important improvements above described have been made in the nozzle, including the one that gives an outlet of fifty-three square feet, I will be glad if you will have another test made of the delivery of air through the tunnel at the same point, the first point being about 350 feet inside the tunnel and the other point being in the nozzle about thirty feet from the west end thereof: these tests, however to be made, first, with the fans running at 220 revolutions per minute, the second with the fans running at 230 revolutions per minute. Mr. Herlan states, and I know this to be a fact, from my experience with the Sturtevant fan, that it is entirely practicable to run these fans up to 230 revolutions per minute, and I think you will find that with this number of revolutions the delivery will be the amount designed, namely, 540,000 cubic feet per minute.
After I have a report on the measured induced draft, together with the delivery through the tunnel, I will be able to advise you, in case there is any further increase in the area of the nozzle outlet advisable.
The general plan for running trains through this tunnel should be the same as I have described for Mullan tunnel: but in view of the fact that you have not now available as many as six boilers so as to secure the horsepower mentioned in my letter of September 16th, it will be advisable to run eastbound freight trains probably about seven miles per hour, the exact speed, however, to be determined by your trainmen as has already been done in the case of the Mullan Tunnel: and my judgment is that the seven mile speed will be found to be a safe one.
I would also recommend that this ventilating plant be used with passenger trains and as this tunnel is a long one I would use the ventilating plant for trains in both directions through it, because, in this case, the section is a comparatively good, large one and there is ample room for the fresh air to pass around the train.

Yours very truly,
Chas. S. Churchill



Author: John A. Phillips, III. Title: Officers On and Off the NP. URL: www.employees.org/~davison/nprha/tteofficers.html.

© November 20, 2000

BACK