The Railroads section is by far the most important and interesting part of this
website. My past ancestors and present family including myself, have worked for
the railroads.
With the advent of this new form of transportation in the early 1800's, the
railroads brought the westward expansion of the United States to the forefront.
Now the necessary supplies and people to build a nation could be transported to
their destination in a matter of days or weeks, where as before it took months or
the goods could not be delivered at all. Passenger travel from the east to the west
coast was now an attainable goal. Livestock transportation made it profitable to
ship animals from the west to the east where there was a market for beef, pork
and poultry. Wheat, corn, and other grains could now be shipped in mass quantities,
along with coal and other necessary goods. But most of all the railroads provided
jobs, either through the railroad company itself or with the creation of
manufacturing jobs and farming. In the next pages you will read about my family,
David T. Nichols, Edward J. Engel, James Crawford, David T. Crawford, Clifford L.
Nichols, Charles Ervin and Robert E. Jacobs. Also, just as important were the
family, friends, acquaintances and co-workers of my ancestors and present family,
who are also included in this section.
Without these individuals, there would be no story.
My Present Past
A genealogical experience
Click on an image to view full size
Background Image:
Looking east from the Birmingham, Missouri
C B & Q depot in 1948
Image by: Robert E Jacobs
Background Image:
Charles Ervin, Engineer on left.
AT&SF #1882 2x6x2   Prairie Type
Argentine, Kansas 1930's
1892 AT&SF depot in Argentine, Kansas
Edward J Engel sitting far left
Background Image:
1893 Chicago Rock Island & Pacific memo to Clifford L Nichols
David T Nichols was hired by Col. Charles G. Hammond as
the first agent for the  
Chicago Burlington & Quincy
Railroad at Wyanet, Illinois in 1854.
Joshua Rufus Nichols, David's younger brother was
married to Charlotte (Hammond) Nichols, daughter of
C. G. and Charlotte Hammond.
David T. Nichols remained employed at the C. B. & Q.
railroad until his retirement in 1893.

Source: Wyanet Record
December 22nd 1927
The first two pages of the Railroads section contain short stories of the people
and links to the different railroads. In the individual pages there is a large amount
of images, maps, paperwork, passes, locations and information for each different
railroad and person represented in this site. I have tried to be as accurate as
possible in presenting this so please be patient as I am adding new information daily.
Upper Right:
1855 Chicago & Burlington pass for David T Nichols, signed by
Charles. G Hammond
1879 Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Monthly Pass
Edward J. Engel, Agent
Edward John Engel worked for the Chicago Burlington &
Quincy Railroad as a switch tender/brakeman in Wyanet,
Illinois from 1872 to 1875.  
In 1875 he was hired as an operator/agent by the
Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, working at various
locations in Illinois. He was promoted in 1878, as a joint
agent at the
C B & Q and C R I & P Junction at
Wyanet, Illinois.
In 1881 he was hired by the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe
Railroad, moving to
Emporia, Kansas. Then in the summer of
1882 to
Halstead, Kansas. In 1883 he made his final
transfer to Argentine, Kansas, where he remained until his
retirement in 1928.

Santa Fe Employee Magazine
November 1920
Charles Ervin began his career with the Illinois Central
Railroad in 1907. He went to Argentine, Kansas in 1918
and was hired as a fireman for the Atchison Topeka &
Santa Fe Railroad .  He was promoted to engineer
before WW1 and ran the "Scout" train from Argentine
Newton, Kansas starting around 1920. Later, he ran
the Chief, Super Chief and El Capitan trains from Union
Station in Kansas City, Missouri until his retirement on
March 20th, 1963.
Illinois Central Railroad Engine Permit
Charles Ervin, Fireman, April 04, 1907
Clifford L Nichols started his railroad career in 1870 at the age of 15, with the Chicago Burlington & Quincy
railroad in Wyanet, Illinois. In 1880 he was hired by the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe in Emporia, Kansas as a
dispatcher and held various positions with the Santa Fe until 1888. From 1888 to 1891 he was employed by the
Elgin Joliet & Eastern, Chicago Santa Fe & California, Chesapeake & Ohio and Missouri, Kansas & Texas
Dispatcher. He was then promoted to Superintendent of the Illinois Division, headquarters at Blue Island,
Illinois, a position he held until 1903. In 1904 he was hired by the Chicago Cincinnati & Louisville Railroad at
Richmond and Peru, Indiana and in late 1904 to the Chesapeake & Ohio division in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1905 he
was hired by the Chicago Great Western Railroad and held various positions until 1908, when he was hired by
the Northern Pacific Railroad as Superintendent of the Montana Division, headquarters at Livingston, Montana.
He was promoted in 1921 to General Manager, Lines East of Paradise Montana, headquarters at
St Paul, Minnesota, a position he held until his retirement in January of 1927.
Chicago Rock Island & Pacific
C. L. Nichols, Blue Island, Illinois
David T. Crawford started his railroad career with the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe as a conductor in Bureau
County, Illinois in 1885. He was hired by the Union Pacific Railroad as a conductor in 1886 and was stationed in
Kansas City, Missouri. In July of 1907 he was appointed Trainmaster of the
Eastern District, Leavenworth,
Manhattan & Junction City Branches of the Union Pacific. He moved up to Superintendent of the Omaha Yards
with duties that included South Omaha and Council Bluff yards for the UP in 1909. On June 02, 1918 he took a
position as a Superintendent for the Missouri Pacific Railroad in Kansas City and Joplin, Missouri. On March
08, 1920 he was hired by the Grand Trunk Railroad as an Inspector of Transportation, headquarters in
Chicago. In 1921 he was appointed Superintendent, Chicago Division, Western Lines with headquarters in
Battle Creek, Michigan a position he held until his death due to an automobile accident in

Bottom Right:
David T Crawford, Inspector of Transportation
Grand Trunk Railroad System