Charles Mack Levey July 14, 1916 - March 30, 1927
Mr. Levey began work with the Michigan Central as a telegraph
operator when only a boy of 15. He then went to the Chicago,
Burlington and Quincy railway as a telegraph operator in 1873.
Mr, Levey was for a number of years private secretary to Thomas J. Potter when he was vice president and general manager of the Burlington, and his first official position was that of assistant superintendent at Burlington, Iowa, in 1881.
On January 1, 1883 he was appointed superintendent of the St. Louis. Keokuk & Northwestern & Chicago, Burlington & Kansas City roads (part of the Burlington system), with his office at Keokuk, and from January 1, 1887 to June 1892, was general superintendent of the same roads. In this position he was in general charge of these two roads, including the commercial, legal and accounting departments.
In June 1892, Mr. Levey was transferred to Burlington, Iowa, as superintendent of the Iowa lines of the Burlington system. While superintendent of the Iowa lines he was in general charge of the reconstruction of the main line of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy across the state of Iowa, a work of grade revision and general change of line, involving a large expenditure of money, and many problems of bridge and track construction. He was later transferred from Iowa to be general manager of the Missouri lines of the same company, with headquarters at St. Louis, when Mr. Elliott became vice president of the Burlington in 1902. In this position he had general charge of the affairs of the company within the state of Missouri, including the very large terminals at St. Louis, St. Joseph and Kansas City, where he represented the company on the directorate and executive committee of the various terminal companies.
As general manager of the Missouri lines of the Burlington system, on February 4, 1904 he was appointed assistant to President Howard Elliott, of the Northern Pacific. His headquarters were located at Tacoma and he was in charge of the company's business west of the Rocky mountains. Mr. Levey's experience had been varied. He brought to the Northern Pacific a trained and energetic mind, wide experience in railroad affairs, and a great familiarity with the general situation in the Mississippi and Missouri valleys, with which the Pacific Coast interests had a large and constantly increasing business.
The position which Mr. Lerey was to occupy had been created by President Elliott at the request of the Pacific coast business men. Every since Thomas Cooper left the coast to become the road's general manager, the Western executive business has been transacted from the company's St. Paul offices. To this arrangement the business men of Seattle, Tacoma and other Western cities had strenuously objected, contending that too much time was consumed by referring every little matter to the St. Paul offices. Mr. Levey was one of the best known railroad men in the West. For more than twenty years he has been closely associated with Mr. Elliott in the management of the Burlington system. Mr. Levey at this time was forty-five years old.
Mr. Levey, the newly elected vice president and general manager of the Western Pacific railway, arrived in San Francisco from Tacoma, Washington on the evening of October 25, 1909 and spent all of the 27th inspecting the yards and equipment of the new road. He departed on the morning of the 29th with Virgil G. Bogue, chief engineer of the company, for an inspection trip as far as Orovllle.
Levey arrived just in time to qualify as a director of the road and upon his return from the inspection trip Sunday he will confer with Charles H. Schlacks, first vice president of the company, who will arrive in this city from Denver Sunday night or Monday morning. At the conference it is probable that several operating officers will be chosen, although the names of any have not yet been discussed.
"From what I have seen of the Western Pacific, it is an excellent railroad and should do an excellent business, Levey said yesterday. "Of course I have not been over the line at all, but from the description I judge it to be a fit competitor of any western road. While all of the track is laid, or will be laid within the next ten days, we will not really begin business for about a month or so. I will establish my offices in the Mills building along with the other Western Pacific offices.
The fact that Levey comes from the Northern Pacific has caused a rumor to the effect that Hill was interested in the Western Pacific, but this was denied by Levey, who says that he comes to San Francisco from the Northern Pacific mainly for personal reasons.
Mr. Levey was elected President of Western Pacific on July 15, 1919.
On September 4, 1923 Mr. Levey, E. W. Mason, vice president; and G. L. Phillips, assistant engineer where held up by two youthful bandits who entered Mr. Levey's private car at Thornton, San Joaquin county, and robbed them of approximately $150. Mr. Mason's watch was also taken. The bandits entered the car by kicking out a large pane of glass in the observation end. They roughly awakened Mr. Levey, Mr. Phillips and Mr. Mason but did not disturb C. K Post, purchasing agent of the road, who was a member of the party. The bandits, who were masked, held their pistols close to the faces of the victims while they rifled their clothing and uttered threats. A flagman came upon the scene during the course of the hold-up, and was also compelled to hold up his hands.
The bandits compelled their victims to keep their hands aloft until the train pulled into Stockton, several miles distant. They then jumped from the car while the train was in motion and disappeared in the darkness. The party was returning from an inspection trip of the road in the state when the hold-up occurred.
Mr. Levey resigned as President of Western Pacific effective April 1, 1927 but retained his seat as a director and as assistant to the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Mr. Levey passed away on June 24, 1929 at St. Lukes Hospital in New York towards the end of an around the world trip, he was 71.