T. W. McCarthy

T. W. McCARTHY is master mechanic of the Rock Island lines in the Kansas Division, and is a veteran in this branch of railroad service. He began his career many years ago as an apprentice back in New York, and has risen steadily in the grade of responsibilities until he is now at the head of the large shops of the Rock Island Road at Horton, which is division headquarters. He is master mechanic in the shops situated just west of the city limits, and has the general oversight and supervision of 700 employes. At one time or other every freight and passenger car and locomotive on the Kansas Division of the Rock Island lines comes to these shops for overhauling and repairing. The Rock Island shops are the central and chief industry and prosperity asset of the City of Horton.

Mr. McCarthy is of Irish ancestry, though his people have been in America for several generations. Many of the McCarthys have followed railroading or active business careers. T. W. McCarthy was born at Dunkirk in Chautauqua County, New York, and is a son of the late John McCarthy, who was born in New York City in 1834. John McCarthy when a young man moved out to Dunkirk in Western New York, and for a number of years was connected with the Erie Railway, at first a broadgauge railroad, known as the Atlantic Great Western. The Erie had one of its important stations at Dunkirk, New York, and John McCarthy was in the service for thirty years as baggage master there. Finally he left the railroad work to enter business on his own account and sold flour and feed until his retirement. He died at Dunkirk in 1908. He was well known in local affairs, serving as assessor, city councilman and as receiver of taxes. He was a democrat and a member of the Catholic Church.

T. W. McCarthy grew up in Dunkirk, had the advantages of the public schools until graduating from high school, and almost immediately he began his apprenticeship as a machinist, at first with the Brooks Locomotive Works and then with the Dunkirk Engineering Works, a business then operated under the name Sellew & Popple Dunkirk Engineering Works. As a finished mechanic and machinist he entered the railroad service with the Union Pacific and for a number of years was in the shops of that road in Wyoming. Later he went with the Wabash Railway and worked in Ohio, but in 1907 came with the Rock Island as general foreman of the Shawnee shops at Shawnee, Oklahoma. From those shops he was appointed master mechanic of the Arkansas Division at Little Rock, Arkansas, and was returned from that position to master mechanic at Shawnee, Oklahoma, in charge of the Panhandle Division and the Indian Territory Division. He had active supervision of the shops at Shawnee until 1911, when he was again transferred, this time to Horton, Kansas.

Mr. McCarthy is a democrat, a member of the Catholic Church and is affiliated with Camp No. 100, Woodmen of the World, at Canton, Ohio. In 1899, at Cheyenne, Wyoming, he married Miss Augusta Richardson of Cheyenne. They have one son, Edwin J., who is now in the senior class of St. Mary's College at St. Mary's, Kansas.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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