Looking for confirmation of employment on the Railroads for my Ancestor David Bennett Dawson (1857-1902)

Hello,

My ancestor David Bennett Dawson (1857-1902) of Topeka, Kansas, was a Railway worker from at least 1891-1902. He may have worked on three different railroad companies: 1) as a Railway Engineer/Mechanic in the Santa Fe Railway (ATSF) in the car department from 1891-1897, then 2) Railway Worker for a Branch of the Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad (St. L., I. M. & S.) from about 1899, and finally 3) Locomotive Engineer on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad (CRIP) in 1902, when it was reported that he died in a railway accident in Topeka. 

  Newspapers accounts in Kansas support the above info. He was not a retired employee, but I am still wondering where to get employee info on him for any of these railroad companies, especially the last. It was said his family lived in Topeka while he worked on the railways. He arrived in Kansas in abt 1883 from Ohio with his wife Alvira. Thanks for any help you can lend.

   Brian Paul Kaess

    

  •  

    Thank you for posting your question on History Hub!

    The National Archives’ records pertaining to railroad employment are for the most part limited to Railroad Retirement Board Inactive Claims Folders for individuals who worked in the rail industry after 1936.

    There is a listing in the 1900 US Federal Census for which may be a match for him. Please note that Ancestry incorrectly transcribed his occupation as “Merchant(Undertaker)”.  We have corrected it below based on viewing the scan of the census form.

    David B Dawson in the 1900 United States Federal Census

    Source Information

    Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.

    Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.




    Name

    David B Dawson

    Age

    42

    Birth Date

    Jun 1857

    Birthplace

    Ohio, USA

    Home in 1900

    Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas

    Street

    Ennest Street

    House Number

    186

    Sheet Number

    24

    Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation

    518

    Family Number

    531

    Race

    White

    Gender

    Male

    Relation to Head of House

    Head

    Marital Status

    Married

    Spouse's Name

    Alvira Dawson

    Marriage Year

    1880

    Years Married

    20

    Father's Birthplace

    Pennsylvania, USA

    Mother's Birthplace

    Ohio, USA

    Occupation

    Mechanic (Unknown)

    Can Read

    Y

    Can Write

    Y

    Can Speak English

    Y

    House Owned or Rented

    Rent

    Farm or House

    H

    Neighbors

    View others on page


    Household Members (Name)

    Age

    Relationship

    David B Dawson

    42

    Head

    Alvira Dawson

    37

    Wife

    Burtle Dawson

    18

    Son

    Charles Dawson

    10

    Son

    Cora Dawson

    8

    Daughter

    Talmage Dawson

    5

    Son



    The National Archives does not have the personnel records that would have been created and maintained by private railroad corporations, and there was no legal requirement for railroads and their successors to maintain employment records in perpetuity. The magazine Genealogy Today has an article on Locating Railroad Employee Records, and the Library of Congress has a Research Guide on Railroads: Sources for Historical Research.   The RailRoad Genealogical SocietyNational Railway Historical Society, and the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society may also be able to offer advice. Additionally, you may wish to check with state and local historical societies for that area. However be aware that many historical corporate records of railroad employees have not survived to the present day.

    We hope this assists you with your research! 

    Sincerely,

    Textual Reference Archives II Branch (RR2RA)

    24-11355-JA