Louis Franklin Schirk, a locomotive engineer and a well known citizen of Pittsburg, being one of the city councilmen, has made a fine record in the operating department of the Kansas City Southern Railway, as well as in all other enterprises with which he has been connected during his very busy and successful lifetime. His career has especial interest because he carried out a fixed determination to a successful accomplishment, and this case among those of so many mortals who drift from one shore of life's sea to another, sometimes finding good fortune and again the ill, is a most pleasing phase of Mr. Schirk's life. Besides having achieved a high degree of success as a railroader, he has been a very public-spirited citizen in local politics and other affairs, and has gained a well deserved popularity during his years of residence in the thriving city of Pittsburg.
Mr. Schirk was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1863, a son of Ambrose and Mariette (Ackerman) Schirk. His paternal ancestry is French, and his father was born in France, from which country he came to America when about three years old. His younger years were passed mainly in Milwaukee, and from that city he enlisted in the Civil war, in the Twenty-sixth Wisconsin Regiment, and served as a loyal soldier of the Union throughout the war. About 1882 he brought his family to southwest Missouri and located on a farm nine miles west of Neosho, where he died.
Mr. L. F. Schirk was reared and received his education in Milwaukee, and at the age of nineteen accompanied the rest of the family to southwest Missouri. He followed farming there until 1888, and then started in to carry out his ambition to become a railroad engineer, for which occupation he had cherished almost a passionate fondness since boyhood. He began working in the mechanical department of the Kansas City Southern Railway (then known as the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf). His start was on the lowest round of the ladder, and he went through the grades from wiper, fireman, etc., until his promotion as engineer came in recognition of merit. In point of length of service on this road, he is now the oldest locomotive engineer, and this fact is of much advantage to him in many ways. He has had engine runs on all the divisions between Kansas City and Mena, Arkansas, and is now, in charge of the passenger run between Pittsburg and Mena. He has a clean and efficient record of service with the company, and is valued accordingly by his employers.
Mr. Schirk has made his home in Pittsburg for the past six years, and during this period has made his influence felt in various ways in public affairs. In April, 1903, he was elected city councilman to represent the second precinct of the fourth ward. In the council he is chairman of the finance committee, and a member of the committee on streets and alleys and of the purchasing committee. In March, 1904, the Republican party in Crawford county chose him as delegate to the Kansas state convention at Wichita for the nomination of governor and state officials. He is a prominent Mason, being a member of Lodge No. 187, F. & A. M., and Mt. Joy Commandery No. 29, R. A. M., in Pittsburg, and of Abdallah Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Leavenworth. He also belongs to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.
Mr. Schirk was married at Neosho, Missouri, to Miss Emma McLeod, and they have five children, as follows: Troy, Grant, Mildred, Rudolph and Maud.Pages 521-522 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, in November, 2003.
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