Utah Rail Men, Biographical Information

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This page was last updated on August 18, 2022.

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The growth of Utah's railroad industry would have never taken place without the personalities of the men who built the companies. Below are just some of the names, with what little information that has come to light.

(Listed alphabetically)

Arthur B. Apperson

Arthur B. "Bert" Apperson started his railroad career in 1891 at age 18, working on Union Pacific as a brakeman. He tried his hand as surveyor for a period of time, but by 1906, he was a yardmaster working on Union Pacific in Cheyenne. Between 1907 and 1916, Apperson was a manager on Rio Grande in Utah, and on Southern Utah Railroad and Castle Valley Railroad. In 1916-1918, he became general superintendent of United States Fuel, the parent company of Utah Railway, and was reported as being the organizing force when Utah Railway took over the operations of its own railroad. In 1918, he left Utah to manage various coal companies from a new location in Denver. In 1926-1928, while remaining in Denver, he was vice president of Utah Idaho Central.

(Read more about Arthur B. Apperson)

William H. Bancroft

In 1878, William H. Bancroft came to Utah to work on Denver & Rio Grande Western. After holding various manager positions, in 1890, he left Rio Grande to become general superintendent of Oregon Short Line & Utah Northern. He was named as one of OSL&UN's receivers in 1895, and became vice president and general manager of the new Oregon Short Line Railroad when it was organized in 1897. He held various senior management positions of OSL, working closely with E. H. Harriman. He held senior positions with the combined UP and SP interests until the two roads were separated in 1913. He remained as vice president and general manager of OSL until his death in 1915.

(Read more about William H. Bancroft)

Micajah T. Burgess


Micajah T. Burgess was chief engineer of D&RGW from its organization in 1881 until 1882.

From December 20, 1872 to March 26, 1877, Burgess was a Deputy Agricultural and Mineral Surveyor for the District of Utah, in the employ of the Surveyor General of the General Land Office of the United States. His job included surveying mining claims throughout the district.

In early 1873, Burgess was part of the team of surveyors that planned the route of the Salt Lake, Sevier Valley and Pioche Railroad.

He was involved in the organization of the following railroads, either as a director, or as an officer, or both.

While grading progressed during the spring of 1873, a party of engineers, under the direction of M. T. Burgess, surveyed possible routes through Utah to Pioche, Nevada, and arrived there in late June. They traveled through Tooele, Rush, Tintic, Sevier, Beaver and Hot Springs valleys and determined that they had located a satisfactory route which generally followed the one originally proposed in the articles of incorporation.

In September 1880, Burgess is shown as the engineer of the Sanpete Valley Railway, and who was back east procuring rolling stock for that road.

As early as October 1881, Burgess is shown as the chief engineer of D&RGW as the road built the connection between Provo and Salt Lake City. (Salt Lake Herald, October 6, 1881)

In his original 1881 survey for D&RGW, Micajah T. Burgess, the road's chief engineer, stated that a coal vein was located about a mile up Willow Creek. In his report, Burgess stated that development of the coal vein would require a 4,000 foot railroad spur line and a 1,100 foot gravity tramway from the mine. (D&RGW: 1881 Engineer's Report, p. 15)

It was then the Western's turn to counter move to UP's Utah Central; and in late October, 1881, Mr. M. T. Burgess, the company's engineer, announced that surveys had been completed and all passes and canyons between Salina and Iron Springs secured to prevent competition in that crucial area where the Western would make the junction with the California Central Railroad.

The corporately-combined Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd, and Wasatch & Jordan Valley lines were acquired by D&RGW interests on September 1, 1881, and the Utah & Pleasant Valley line was purchased at a foreclosure sale in June 1882. The chief engineer of the D&RGW, Micah T. Burgess, was making surveys east of Clear Creek (later Tucker) toward Colorado as early as the summer of 1881. Rumors persisted that D&RGW was either interested in, or had purchased control of the Scofield roads as early as October 1880, although formal possession did not occur until June 14, 1882 upon completion of the D&RGW tracks into Salt Lake City. The Utah lines, called the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railway, connected with the Colorado lines, called the Denver & Rio Grande Railway, on March 30, 1883, with the actual traffic beginning on April 1st. In April 1882, the D&RG had formally leased the D&RGW. (Wilson, pp. 71-76)

August 1, 1882
Following its original survey from the previous summer of 1881 by Micajah T. Burgess, D&RGW built a new line between the Utah & Pleasant Valley station at Clear Creek (later known as Tucker), and the point where the Price River is joined by the White River flowing down from Soldier's Summit. The new line crossed Soldier Summit by following the north fork of Soldier Creek up to Soldier Summit, then east down the White River to where it met the Price River. The new D&RGW line over Soldier Summit was completed on August 1, 1882, and had an easier grade, without the double switchbacks of the old Utah & Pleasant Valley line, allowing larger cars to be used. (Watts: First Mine, p. 36)

Meredith Wilson wrote in his 1943 PhD dissertation, "Although formal possession of the Utah and Pleasant Valley was not taken until June 14, 1882, rumors that the property had been purchased were heard as early as October 1880 and persisted through 1881. It is possible that fact lay behind these rumors, as M. T. Burgess was working surveys for the Rio Grande subsidiaries from the east end of the Calico Line toward Colorado as early as the summer of 1881." (The Denver and Rio Grande Project, 1870-1901, by O. Meredith Wilson; Howe Brothers, 1982; page 71)

June 8, 1882
Burgess resigned his position as chief engineer of Rio Grande Western to allow him to pursue other business interests. He has submitted his resignation to the board of directors on March 31st. (Salt Lake Herald, June 9, 1882, "yesterday")

In a possibly related note, a suit before the Third District Court had Sarah Skewes suing Burgess as defendant, beginning in April 1882. The case gradually worked its way through the court calendar and on November 9, 1882, the case was dismissed.

By 1900, Burgess is noted as being a resident of Mexico, and visiting Salt Lake City. He remarked that it had been 18 years since he had left Salt Lake City. He had been in Mexico for three years and was traveling through Salt Lake City to buy machinery for mines that he was associated with in south Mexico. "Mr. Burgess came to Utah in 1868 and remained until 1882 and spent most of the time here in prospect work." (Salt Lake Tribune, November 26, 1900)

In 1900, a note related how in 1882 when he had left Utah, he had left a collection of family photographs with a Mrs. Bird for safe keeping. Mrs. Bird had passed away in the mean time, but her son, who had been 12 years old at the time, had seen in the newspapers in 1900 that Burgess was in Salt Lake City, and made an effort to return Burgess's photographs to him.

(Burgess returned to Mexico on December 14, 1900, having concluded his business.)

By February 1910, Burgess had returned to Utah and was involved in an irrigation project known as the Virgin Valley Irrigation Company, which planned to irrigate and reclaim 100,000 acres near Littlefield, Arizona, using water from the Virgin River. Also involved was a proposed railroad serving the reclaimed area, to be known as the Iron Mountain, St. George & Grand Canyon Railroad, connecting St. George with the Santa Fe at Kingman, and with Clark's San Pedro line at Moapa, Nevada, on the south, and at Thermo, Utah, on the north, a total route of over 400 miles. Throughout April, may and June 1910, Burgess actively promoted the scheme. In November and December 1910, his vision had changed, with Burgess was heading a survey party to build a railroad between Beaver and Milford, Utah, then on to Cedar City and Grand Canyon on the south, and Nephi on the north. This road was promoted as the Utah Midland Railroad. (Deseret Evening News, February 5, 1910; Salt Lake Herald, March 24, 1910; November 6, 1910; Salt Lake Tribune, December 20, 1910)

(No further mention of Burgess in local newspapers until 1915, when a note in the Iron County Record of Cedar City mentioned that he had gone north for business in Salt Lake City.)

A search of online genealogical sources shows that Micajah T. Burgess was born in 1843 in Indiana, with his parents being born in Kentucky. The 1880 U. S. census shows him as a single boarder, age 37, at the Continental Hotel in Salt Lake City, with "Civil Engineer" as his occupation. (A side note of interest is that Liberty Holden, of the Telegraph mine in Bingham canyon, along with his wife and six children, was also a resident of the same hotel, just two doors away from Burgess.)

Micajah Terrill Burgess passed away on November 21, 1916 at Holy Cross hospital in Salt Lake City. He was "about 70" at the time and had suffered from chronic intestinal and prostate difficulties for five weeks prior to his death. He was shown as a resident of Modena, Utah. His death certificate was signed by a member of the local Masonic Temple. He was buried on November 23, 1916 at Mount Olivet cemetery in Salt Lake City. Burgess apparently never married and had no children.

Edgar E. Calvin

Later serving as Union Pacific president from 1916 to 1928, Edger E. Calvin started his railroad career as an telegraph operator on Union Pacific.

July 11, 1881
E. E. Calvin drove the first spike on the Oregon Short Line Railway at Granger, Wyoming: "Special to the Tribune - Granger, Wyoming, July 11 - Track laying on the Oregon Short Line began at this point today. The first spike was driven by E. E. Calvin, operator at Granger." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 12, 1881)

May 21, 1892
In a news item about his visit to Brigham City to see about leasing some property, E. E. Calvin is mentioned as the "Supt. of U.&N. and O.S.L. branches of Union Pacific." (Brigham City Bugler, May 21, 1892)

December 28, 1901
In a news item about new shops being built for OSL in Pocatello, E. E. Calvin is noted as being General Superintendent of OSL, and W. H. Bancroft ad General Manager. (Intermountain Catholic, December 28, 1901)

October 28, 1904
A news item about E. E. Calvin being promoted by E. H. Harriman to become General Manager of Pacific Lines of Southern Pacific, replacing C. H. Markham, who had resigned. Calvin was promoted from his previous position as General Manager of Oregon Railway & Navigation, and was formerly Assistant General Manager of Oregon Short Line. (Deseret News, October 28, 1904, "within a few days")

Calvin remained in Portland until a successor was found, which was B. A. Worthington, formerly Assistant Director of Operations and Maintenance for all Harriman Line from his office in Chicago. Worthington moved to Portland in February 1905, and Calvin moved to San Francisco to take up his new duties there. (Deseret News, February 10, 1905)

July 5, 1905
E. E. Calvin was mentioned as being Vice President and General Manager of Southern Pacific. The news item specifically reported that Calvin was in Salt Lake City to see his daughter, who was in a local hospital due to an appendicitis. (Deseret News, July 5, 1905)

March 2, 1911
E. E. Calvin was mentioned as still being Vice President of Southern Pacific lines with his office in San Francisco. The article was about double tracking both Union Pacific and Southern Pacific. (Ogden Standard Examiner, March 2, 1911)

July 13, 1912
E. E. Calvin was promoted from Southern Pacific's Vice President and General Manager, to become SP's Vice President of Operations and Construction. (Ogden Standard Examiner, July 13, 1912)

January 22, 1914
W. H. Bancroft resigned as general manager of Oregon Short Line railroad. Bancroft was to be replaced by E. E. Calvin, currently the vice president in charge of construction and operation of Southern Pacific, effective February 1, 1914. Bancroft would retain his position as vice president of OSL, along with his position as first vice president of the Salt Lake Route, and president of Utah Light and Railway. Reported as being 74 years of age, a year previously, Bancroft had expressed a wish to curtail his work and duties. (Salt Lake Tribune, January 23, 1914)

"The history of the lives of both Mr. Bancroft, the retiring general manager of the Oregon Short Line, and of E E. Calvin, incoming head of the road, shows that both men have attained their high positions by working up from the ranks Mr. Bancroft entered the railroad game as telegraph operator and ticket clerk in 1856. Mr. Calvin began his career in 1871, also as a telegraph operator.

"Mr. Calvin was born October 16, 1858, in Indianapolis, Ind. He began railroading in 1873 and for two years was telegraph operator for the Indianapolis. Cincinnati & Lafayette railway. He then went back to school for a year. From April, 1877, to March, 1882, he was telegraph operator and station agent for the Union Pacific. From then until June 1, 1887, he held the positions of train dispatcher conductor and trainmaster. June 1, 1887, he was made division superintendent of the Missouri Pacific. On February 22, 1891, he took charge as superintendent of the Idaho division of the Oregon Short Line, remaining in that capacity until 1895. He became general superintendent, of the International Great Northern, with headquarters at Tyler, Texas, until March 16, 1897, when he was called to the general superintendency of the Oregon Short Line, with headquarters in Salt Lake.

"From May 15, 1903, until April 1, 1904, he was assistant general manager of the Oregon Short Line, the same position now held by F. H. Knickerbocker. He was sent to Portland in 1904 to take charge Of the Oregon Railroad & Navigation company as vice president and general manager of the road. Until July 15, 1912, he was general manager of the Southern Pacific company, with headquarters in San Francisco. He was then made vice president in general charge of construction and operation, the position he will leave to accept the general managership of the Oregon Short Line."

June 1, 1916
E. E. Calvin was elected President of Union Pacific, succeeding A. L. Mohler who was to retire on July 1st. (Logan Republican, June 1, 1916)

November 21, 1917
E. E. Calvin was noted as being President of both Union Pacific and Oregon Short Line. (Salt Lake Telegram, November 21, 1917)

April 12, 1919
E. E. Calvin was noted as being President of Union Pacific Railroad, and Federal Director of the Union Pacific System. (Ogden Standard Examiner, April 12, 1919) (Also noted as being "Federal Manager in charge of Union Pacific" April 23, 1919)

January 1920
The federal government returned control of Union Pacific and its subsidiaries back to its board of directors and officers on March 1, 1920. E. E. Calvin had been federal manager and director in charge of the entire Union Pacific system, but the Chairman of the Board, Judge Robert Lovett took the opportunity in January 1920 to place Carl R. Gray into the office of the President. With the reorganization, E. E. Calvin became Vice President of Operations. (Klein, Union Pacific, Volume II, The Rebirth, pages 243-245)

March 25, 1920
E. E. Calvin, already serving as Vice President of Operations of Union Pacific, was elected as First Vice President of Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad. (Ogden Standard Examiner, March 25, 1920)

October 17, 1922
E. E. Calvin was noted as being Vice President of Operations of Union Pacific, with Carl R. Gray as President of Union Pacific. (Ogden Standard Examiner, October 17, 1922)

October 17, 1928
E. E. Calvin was noted as being Vice President of Operations for Union Pacific upon his retirement on October 16, 1928, his 70th birthday. His career with Union Pacific had spanned 51 years. He planned to retire to Los Angeles. (Salt Lake Telegram, October 17, 1928)

J. Ross Clark

Together with his brother, Senator William A. Clark, J. Ross Clark was the moving force behind the construction of the railroad between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. Their railroad, the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad, was completed in May 1905. Union Pacific bought a half-interest in the SPLA&SL in 1903, and in 1921, Union Pacific purchased the Clarks' interest.

(Read more about J. Ross Clark) (Read the Wikipedia article about Senator William A. Clark)

William F. Colton

William F. Colton was a close friend and associate of William Palmer. He and Palmer were in the 15th Regiment Calvary, Pennsylvania Volunteers, during the Civil War.

Pleasant Valley Junction (earlier known as Fish Creek) was later renamed to Colton, after William F. Colton.

October 1882 -- Colton was the principle organizer of Price River & Pleasant Valley Railway, connecting the D&RGW mainline east from Soldier Summit, with the Utah & Pleasant Valley line between Clear Creek and Pleasant Valley, replacing the difficult switchbacks of the U&PV line.

May 1889 -- Colton was the secretary and a director of the newly organized Rio Grande Western Railway. Palmer was president and Dodge was vice president.

May 1891 -- Colton was an organizer and director of the Sevier Railway, to extend RGW's line south from Salina to Marysvale.

May 1891 -- Colton was an organizer and director of the Tintic Range Railway, to build southwestward from RGW at Spanish Fork, to Eureka in the Tintic Mining District, then to Mammoth in the same mining district.

December 1897 -- Colton was one of the directors of the Utah Central Railroad, the consolidation of RGW interests in the former Salt Lake & Fort Douglas and Salt Lake & Eastern lines of John W. Young.

December 1897 -- Colton was one of the directors of the Utah Eastern Railroad, proposed as a consolidation of Utah Central Railroad (above) and new lines to be built eastward from Park City, over Wolf Creek Pass to the Duchesne River and Uintah River and Ashley River to the Utah-Colorado state line. Also eastward from Heber, following the Provo River to Duchesne Pass and the Duchesne River, connecting with the above line from Park City.

August 1898 to January 1899 -- Colton was the president of the Salt Lake City School District.

January 1899 -- Colton was principle organizer (treasurer and director) of the Duchesne Railway, proposed to build from Colton Station of the RGW, southeastward along the Price River to Willow, then northward from the price River to the Duchesne River, to Strawberry Creek. Harkness was secretary and director.

November 1899 -- Colton was vice president and director of the first Carbon County Railway, connecting the RGW mainline with the coal mines at Sunnyside. Sharp was president and Harkness was secretary-treasurer.

1901 -- Colton was president and treasurer of Pleasant Valley Coal Company.

January 1901 -- Colton was secretary-treasurer and director of the Castle Valley Railway, proposed to build eastward from Salina, through Salina canyon and over Salina pass, into Castle Valley.

Silas Wright Eccles

S. W. Eccles was part of Utah's railroads from the late 1880s through 1900. He held upper management positions with D&RGW, RGW, Union Pacific, and Oregon Short Line. He was involved with OSL when that road purchased the much smaller New East Tintic line, purely to keep RGW from doing the same thing, to control the mining traffic coming out of Utah.

Silas Wright Eccles was born in Illinois in January 1852, and died in Florida in December 1917, at age 65. He lived his life in Illinois, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, and California. From 1900 until his death in 1917, he lived in New York and was part of the Guggenheim organization, and their control of mining, smelting and railroad interests throughout the West. His last few days were in Florida, where he had gone to recover from a recent illness.

A review of the Eccles family trees, both his tree and their extensive tree, shows that S. W. Eccles was not related in any way with the Eccles family who controlled so many banking and industrial companies in Utah. The Eccles family in Utah stemmed from David Eccles, who was born in Scotland in 1849 and immigrated to Utah in 1863. (David Eccles' parents had converted to Mormonism in 1842 and came to Utah with very little money. David Eccles later became Utah's first millionaire, and himself passed away in 1912.)

"S. W. Eccles, vice president of the American Smelting, Refining and Mining company, and who for many years previous to 1901, was a resident of Salt Lake, died suddenly in St. Augustine, Florida, yesterday." "For several years he was traffic manager of the reorganized Oregon Short Line and at the time of his death was president of Copper River & Northwestern railway, Mexican Union railway, the Nevada Northern railway and a number of other roads. At various times in his career in the West he occupied high positions in many railways of this section of the country, and was prominent in civic and club life of Salt Lake." "About sixteen years ago he became traffic manager of American Smelting, Refining and Mining company, since which time he has lived in the East." (Salt Lake Telegram, December 31, 1917) (Engineering & Mining Journal, January 5, 1918, Volume 105, Number 1, page 34, repeated most of the above information, adding that Eccles had gone to St. Augustine for his health.)

(All of the railroads mentioned above were controlled by the Guggenheim Exploration Co., and were later controlled by Kennecott Copper.)

The "Manual of Statistics, Stock Exchange Handbook," for 1909, showed Eccles as a vice-president and director of Nevada Consolidated Copper Co., located in New York. Nevada Consolidated had been organized in November 1904, with the Guggenheim Exploration Co. holding a large interest in the company. Eccles was also shown as a director of American Smelting & Refining Company.

The following comes from Railway and Marine News, July 1, 1912, Volume X, Number 12, page 12:

Silas Wright Eccles, who was recently elected president of the Alaska Steamship Co., has been identified with this and allied corporations for several years. He has been prominently connected with the Copper River & Northwestern Railroad and has been one of the big men of New York who has done much to assist in opening up Alaska. Only a short time ago Mr. Eccles was also elevated to the presidency of the Nevada Consolidated Copper Co. He has been identified with that corporation as its vice-president since organization and it is largely due to his extensive knowledge and persistency of effort that the Nevada Consolidated is able to produce copper at the lowest cost of any mining company in the world and is therefore one of the most successful and best paying.

Mr. Eccles, who is conceded to be one of the best informed men in the mining field, was born in Washington, Ill., on Jan. 3, 1852, the son of Joseph C. and Susanna (Davidson) Eccles. He was educated in the public schools of his native state and began his business career in 1870 as station agent and telegraph operator with the Chicago & Alton Railroad Co. After two years' service with this company he accepted a similar position with the Missouri Kansas & Texas Railroad at Fort Scott. Kansas, and was next employed with the Kansas & Pacific Railroad at Kit Carson, Colo. In 1876 Mr. Eccles became identified with the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad at Pueblo, Colo. The year thereafter he filled the position of general freight and passenger agent for the same company and located at Denver, Colo. His next position was that of the general superintendent of the Denver & New Orleans Railroad. Then he became stationed at Salt Lake City, Utah, as general freight and passenger agent of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad. Mr. Eccles next advance was as general agent of the Union Pacific Railroad, at San Francisco.

In 1887 Mr Eccles' services were secured by C. P. Huntington as general freight and passenger agent for the Mexican International Railroad. In 1889 he again became connected with Union Pacific Railroad, and again located at San Francisco. He afterwards returned to Salt Lake City as traffic manager of the Union Pacific Railroad and subsequently filled the same position for the Oregon Short Line Railroad.

In 1900 inducements were offered Mr. Eccles to enter the smelting and refining business, and he accepted a directorship with American Smelting & Refining Co. He, however, does not entirely confine his well-known abilities to that line of industry. He also is president of the Copper River & Northwestern Railroad Co., and vice-president of the American Smelters' Alaska Steamship Co. Other prominent corporations also claim a portion of his attention.

George Goss


George Goss was one of the earliest organizers of D&RGW interests in Utah, dating back to serving as general superintendent of both Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd Railway and Wasatch & Jordan Valley, two of D&RGW's predecessor roads in Utah.

He was one of the incorporators and directors of the following D&RG-related companies:

October 28, 1873
George Goss registered at the Townsend House hotel. His residence was given as Detroit, Michigan, and note was made of him being "a railroad contractor who has been engaged in building many of the most important railroads in Michigan and Canada." On October 27th, Goss, of Detroit, Michigan, had been elected to the board of directors of the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd railroad. At the same time, Goss was elected as the road's general superintendent. (Salt Lake Herald, October 28, 1873; October 30, 1873)

In 1874, the Gazetteer of Utah and Salt Lake City showed Goss as the general superintendent of the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd railroad.

In 1875, Goss was the general superintendent of Scofield's two companies in Salt Lake valley: Wasatch & Jordan Valley and Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd.

George Hilton's American Narrow Gauge Railroads, published in 1990, showed Goss as the superintendent of the Wasatch & Jordan Valley in 1876 when the entire 7.5 miles of steep horse tramway was covered with snow sheds.

In 1878, Goss was the superintendent of Utah & Pleasant Valley Railway when the new railroad began laying its first rails at Springville on August 29, 1878. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 29, 1878)

June 12, 1882
At the time of the sale of the Utah & Pleasant Valley line to D&RG interests, George Goss was shown as manager of the San Pete Valley Railroad & Coal Company. (Ogden Herald, June 13, 1882)

In 1882 when D&RGW arrived in Salt Lake City, Goss was Assistant Manager of Construction. (Salt Lake Herald, July 15, 1882)

By May 1883, Goss was shown as the Chief Engineer of D&RGW. (Salt Lake Herald, May 3, 1883)

In his description of the D&RGW in 1886, Edward Tullidge wrote, "M. T. Burgess was the first engineer, but he was succeeded by George Goss, under whose direction most of the construction was accomplished." (History Of Salt Lake City by Edward W. Tullidge, 1886)

In August 1885, George Goss was noted as being in charge of the D&RGW's Pleasant Valley coal mines after David Williams' five-year lease was to expire on October 1, 1885. (Salt Lake Evening Democrat, August 5, 1885)

In 1889 Goss was one of the directors of Rio Grande Western when it was organized to fund the conversion of the D&RGW from narrow gauge to standard gauge.

By May 1891, Goss was the largest stockholder of the Rio Grande Western. (Salt Lake Herald, May 15, 1891)

In December 1891, Goss was shown as the vice president of Pleasant Valley Coal Company. (Salt Lake Herald, December 25, 1891)

He retired from active affairs with RGW in 1892, at age 66 (September 1904, "twelve years since he was actively engaged in railroad work."), and remained in Salt Lake City until his death on September 30, 1904, at 78 years of age.

By October 1894, local newspapers referred to him as the former chief engineer of Rio Grande Western. Goss was involved in a gold placer mining company on the Colorado River, and with a planned railroad between Portland and Astoria, Oregon. In the 1891-1983 period, his name was shown as organizing the Utah Asphalt Company, making use of raw asphaltum deposits discovered during railroad surveys in the early 1880s.

"George Goss, the original chief engineer of the Rio Grande Western railroad died at 12:30 this morning at the age of 78." "It has been twelve years since he was actively engaged in railroad work. He remained with Rio Grande up to that time. Recently he has been in bad health and a stroke of paralysis caused his death. this occurred at his residence at 1074 East First South street." "Mr. Goss was born in the State of Maine in 1826. As chief engineer he planned the building of the Rio Grande over the Rockies and directed the work which led to the completion of that great enterprise. He leaves a widow and two sons. His daughter, Mrs. Richard McIntosh died some time ago. One of his sons is Alma Goss of Salt Lake, and another (Robert) lives in California." (Salt Lake Tribune, September 30, 1904)

A search of online genealogical sources finds that George Goss was born on May 4, 1826 at Danville, Maine. Father: George Goss; Mother: Sarah Stinchfield. George was the third of nine children. He passed away in Salt Lake City on September 30, 1904, after suffering an attack of apoplexy at Green River, Utah, ten days previously. He was buried on October 2, 1904 in the Mount Olivet cemetery in Salt Lake City. He and his first wife, Emily Jordan, were married in Maine in January 1850. Emily Goss passed away in November 1877; she was born in Danville, Maine, in February 1830. George and Emily had three sons and a daughter, all born before they came to Utah. Goss and his second wife, Laura Larsen, were married in 1885; their only child, a son, Joseph Alma Goss was born in 1887. Laura Andersen Goss passed away in August 1920; she was born in Denmark in April 1855. The 1870 U. S. census shows George, wife Emily, daughter Emma, and son George living in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and George working as a railroad contractor. Emma had been born in 1858 in Maine, and George Jr. was born in California in 1862. The 1880 U. S. census shows George Goss as a widower, working as a railroad manager, and living with his 18 year old son George Jr. in or near Signal, Mojave County, Arizona Territory.

Joseph G. Jacobs

J. G. Jacobs was the organizer of at least three railroads in Utah. Each company used Shay locomotives as its motive power, and included the Salt Lake & Mercur, the Copper Belt, and the Salt Lake & Alta companies.

(Read more about Joseph G. Jacobs)

John Sharp VI

(1820-1891) "The Railroad Bishop"

"Brigham Young appointed Sharp as his personal representative and as a representative of the LDS Church in transcontinental railroad construction negotiations with the Union Pacific Railroad. After the railroad was completed in 1869, Sharp became an officer for the Utah Central Railroad and the Utah Southern Railroad. He also became a director for the Union Pacific Railroad."

(Read more about John Sharp)

Arthur A. Sweet

A. A. Sweet was shown as the president of Southern Utah Railroad when it was organized in 1907, with W. H. Sweet shown as one of the directors.

Arthur A. Sweet was the general manager of the Southern Utah Railroad. (Eastern Utah Advocate, December 10, 1908)

(Read more about A. A. Sweet on the Utah Coal Men page)

More Information

Utah Coal Men -- Information about the men who helped develop Utah's coal industry.