(eight belonged to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers)
My son Leo had been running a year when he was killed in an automobile accident and a train in 1946.
My grandparents came from Ireland, had 4 boys - one died on the long voyage coming over and was buried at sea, they settled in Kingston Ontario. My grandfather was working on construction of the Grand Trunk Railroad which was being built and father only a young lad, drove a span of horses for a contractor by the name of McNeil. He was delivering the mail along the right-a-way and later was night watchman in a large shed which housed the engines during the winter months. I think they had a bunch of wood stoves to heat the sheds, from there I think he went on the mail running on construction crew. Time passed and he worked out of Brockville, both ways to Belleville and Montreal.
When Pat and Jack (his brothers) left school they went firing out of Brockville; but when the C.P.R. was under construction they both went over and were hired as engineers and worked on the C.P.R. between Montreal and the Rocky Mountains. I had a clipping out of Calgary Herald in about 1924 that said Uncle Pat ran the first consolidated engine through the Rocky Mountains. I lost the clipping and I know from the old timers that Uncle Jack worked out of Montreal. My father took me with him from Brockville to Carleton Place to see Uncle Jack who came down from Fort William to take a repaired engine back to Fort William. Carleton Place was a terminal with a large repair shop but in 1910 was moved to Smith Falls. My father stayed at Brockville and died in 1898. Now I have a picture of Uncle Jack on one of the first committees taken at Ottawa in 1885 and the names of them. It was in the Engineers Journal in the 1932 or 19361 believe. There was a later one which I lost and I think it was taken at Winnipeg with Uncle Jack and Pat on the committee. The two pictures were sent to the Journal by Jim Ward who was General Chairman; he died about two years ago. When the road was completed to Vancouver my two uncles went to St. Paul and went to work for Jas. J. Hill on the Great Northern.
Jack told me that Uncle Pat was Master Mechanic but went back running again and took a work train for the summer, in the Mountains for health reasons. One morning the engine on No. 2 brokedown and he had to take the train to the next terminal and was coming back that night on the No. 1, the engine left the rails in a rock cut and he was killed outright, he was so badly scalded his wife never saw him. He is buried in St Paul. His fireman Harry Chapman went over to the C.P.R. out of Calgary. I met him several times but he don't know the exact place of the accident. The first time I met him was in 1943, it was the year he retired and I was attending the Brotherhood of Railway Engineers banquet with him, he died less than two years ago.
The last time I saw Uncle Jack was in 1904 the year of the World Fair at St. Louis. I went to St. Paul and he had just moved to West Superior. I went there and it was a long lay over of 6 days which I enjoyed very much. He was running the Overland Limited between St. Paul and West Superior, he died in 1915.
Now for my other relatives as railroad men. I have two brothers Frank
and Joe. Frank started his trade at Brockville with the Grand Trunk Railroad
Co., finished it as a machinist at Montreal with the C.P.R. He came to
Ottawa and worked for the Canada Atlantic, then went west and worked for
the Great Northern in Montana. From there he went to Winnipeg, worked
for Canadian Northern Kamsack. When the Second World War started he went
to Calgary was hired with the C.P.R. and is now retired in Calgary. Joe
learned his trade at Winnipeg with the Canadian Northern but quit after
the Second World War, is also retired and lives in Calgary.
I started to work in 1896 for the Grand Trunk at Brockville cleaning
and firing but quit on account of unsteady work, and promotion seemed
too slow. I got a job with the C.P.R. at Farnham 40 miles south of Montreal
and later was transferred to Eastern Divisions Main Terminal, East-West-North-South
at Ottawa with many branch lines, and was set up as an Engineer in 5 1/2
years. I was only set back firing once for 3 months, ln 1910 1 went to
Smiths Falls and ran a freight engine, then came back to Ottawa and held
a steady passenger run from 1923 to 1943 when I was retired. I was the
oldest on the seniority list the last year and a half before I retired.
Now I had an Uncle Frank Blaine who was killed in 1906 running the International Limited, it happened at Napanee. There was not much light from the engines coal oil lamps and it was very foggy. An engineer going west, pulled out foul over the crossover. All Uncle Frank had time to do was to holier to his fireman to " jump " which he did. The fireman lived and Uncle Frank died right there on the track. He was at the funeral and was badly shaken up.
I had a cousin Frank Flanagan an engineer running out of Brockville,
but passed away, also a brother in-law Jack Reid, an engineer also dead.
All belonged to the Brotherhood of Engineers.
I had a very good life as an engineer but there were a lot of sad
memories. I had several train accidents, not too serious and was blameless.
Had some accidents involving trains and automobiles but just too many
to go into detail but will tell of a few. Twelve or more persons were
killed, the last one, it happened 1 1/2 miles east of Pembroke. Three
in the auto were struck as they pulled on to the crossing there was no
inquest, it was at farm crossing we were going 60 miles an hour. Another
one happened at Beaconsfield, an old lady crossing the tracks at the station
was killed outright, also the horse. We lost sometime and the remains
came through to Montreal with us on the train. After about 45 minutes
standing in the station the Superintendent came to the engine and gave
the fireman and myself the room number and we went to the claims agents
office. We gave our statement and then to City Hall where the inquest
was held. The verdict was Accidental death loss of life. The inquest was
over and we were still not off duty till we got to Glen Yard, that was
sure some trip!
I think I have covered everything, but as far as I know my son Joseph Hussey is the only Hussey in running trade. He is a conductor on the C.P.R. with 20 years seniority working out of Ottawa.