Edward Turner Jeffery June 23, 1905 - November 6, 1913

Born in Liverpool, England on April 6, 1843 his father, who was an engineer in the British navy, died when Edward was five years old. Very soon afterward, he and his mother came to the United States and settled in Wheeling, West Virginia, where he received his only school education until the age of 12. The family then moved to Chicago, and in October 1856 he found employment as an officeboy with Samuel J. Hayes, superintendent of machinery of the Illinois Central Railroad. He was afterward placed in the tin and copper shops, and then served as an apprentice in the machine shop, cultivating what might be regarded as an hereditary fondness for the craft of the machinist. He then entered the department of mechanical drawing, and, after he had mastered this science, at the age of twenty, put in charge of this department, and was also made secretary to the superintendent of machinery, and had charge of all new work done in the shops and foundry. From February 1, 1871, to May 4, 1877, he was assistant-superintendent of machinery, and on that date he was appointed general-superintendent of the road serving as such until December 15, 1885, when he was appointed general-manager of the entire line, a rare promotion for one of his age, more so when his humble beginnings are considered. He resigned as general-manager in 1889.

After David H. Moffat resigned as President of the Denver & Rio Grande in 1891, the Board appointed Mr. Jeffery to head the company. He was immediately under pressure to make the D&RG profitable, and enable it to meet the interest payments on its bonds. Jeffery met the challenge, and by 1893 the road was in excellent financial condition. With his conservative policies in place the D&RG came through the financial panic of 1893 relatively well.

Copyright © 1996 - 2017 by Frank Brehm. All Rights Reserved.