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Railway Workers and Builders

William Stokes

William Stokes retired with 46 years of experience working on the Michigan Central and New York Central railways, in addition to active service in the Boer War and the First World War, a term as St. Thomas Mayor, several years as an alderman, membership in many service clubs and fraternities, and an early job dressing […]

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Civil Engineers Walter and Francis Shanly

The Shanly brothers, Walter(1819-1899) and Francis(1820-1882) were Irish-born civil engineers, who worked mostly on railways, and came to British North America in 1836, settling on a farm near Thorndale beside the Thames River north of London, Upper Canada. The Shanly brothers disliked farming and eventually searched for employment that was more in keeping with their […]

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Ronald Lawless

Ronald Lawless served a number of roles with the Canadian National Railway, beginning as a clerk of CN Express in 1941. He rose through the ranks, becoming vice-president of sales in 1972 and vice-president of marketing in 1974. He became president of the rail division in 1979 and chief operating officer three years later. Eventually […]

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Arlein Family

  The Arlein men held many positions on the railroad, from engineer, to conductor, dispatcher, machinist, boiler maker, clerk, and blacksmith. It all started with Charles Arlein who emigrated from Belgium in 1855. He started on the railroad when he was 24 as a boilermaker. He spent the next 41 years serving the company. There […]

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William Stokes

William Stokes served for 46 years with the Michigan Central and New York Central, beginning in 1903. For 19 of those years he was an passenger conductor on such trains as the New York Special, New England Wolverine and the Detroiter.  Stokes also served as mayor of St. Thomas from 1928 to 1929 and several […]

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Joseph Brant Ryckman

Joseph Brant Ryckman, born September 7, 1871 in Hamilton, Ontario. He died in Windsor, Ontario on November 13, 1954. Joseph Ryckman entered the service of the Wabash Railway on December 31, 1900 and was promoted to conductor on September 17, 1907. He continued as a conductor on the Wabash Railway until the late 1940s. While […]

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Edgar Berryman

Canadian architect Edgar Berryman was born in 1839. He advertised himself as an architect, civil engineer, surveyor, and landscape gardener. He typically designed buildings in the Italianate, Gothic and French Renaissance styles.  Berryman was active in St. Catharines, Ontario from 1863 until he was appointed company architect for the Canada Southern station in St. Thomas, […]

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John Wilson Murray

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1840, John Murray had a long and varied career, first in the United States navy between 1857 and the Civil War. He had an avid curiosity and investigative talent that led him to work with the Erie, Pennsylvania police department and the Pennsylvania Central Railroad. Officers of the Canada Southern […]

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John Harold Becker

Over the course of his career, John Becker worked with both the Michigan Central Railroad and the New York Central Railroad. Raised in a railroad family, Becker worked to rise within the corporations and relocated to several communities throughout his life. Like many of his generation, his railway service was interrupted by his recruitment in World War […]

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Russell Allison

Among his many accomplishments during his tenure as President, most significant was Mr. Allison’s initiation and responsibility for the construction of the Mount Macdonald tunnel project. Mr. Allison put forth the business case for the tunnel to CP’s Board of Directors, outlining the overwhelming financial and operational benefits of the tunnel. Famously, after the completion […]

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