From several 1914 and 1915 issues of Erie Railroad Magazine
The readers of the magazine will be interested in this series of write-ups, which will tell in stories and pictures, all about the men who conduct the Erie's superb dining car service. These men include the Superintendent, Inspector and Chief Clerk, and the Stewards in charge of cars on the road. The first three are incorporated in this writeup.
I.A. Canning, Supt.
I. A. Canning, Superintendent, entered the service of the Erie as clerk and storekeeper in Dining Car Department at Jersey City, June 18, 1899.
Resigned Jan. 16, 1903 to enter the service of the Pennsylvania Railroad Dining Car service as clerk, on Jan. 17, 1903; promoted to Dining Car Steward April 5, 1903 and remained until Feb. 14, 1904, when he was appointed Manager of the Union Station restaurant at Pittsburgh, Pa. (P.R.R), which position he held until May 17, 1904. He reentered the Erie dining car service as Manager of the Jersey City Restaurant, where he remained until Dec. 19, 1906, when he was appointed Chief
Clerk of Dining Car Dept. and remained as such until July 15, 1912, when he was appointed Supt. of Dining Cars. Mr. Canning is making a reputation for the dining car service, that does great credit to himself as a man who understands his business.
J.L. Reynolds, Chief Clerk
J.L. Reynolds, Chief Clerk, entered service of Erie as Clerk and Accountant, July 23, 1906, promoted to Chief Clerk Dining Car Dept., July 15, 1912, when Mr. Canning was promoted. He is a man who is fully conversant with the details of his department, well liked by the employes and painstaking in alt that devolves upon him in the important position he fills.
R.B. Smith, Inspector
R.B. Smith, Inspector, entered service of Erie as Clerk in Employment Bureau, April 1, 1905, was transferred to Susquehanna, PA December 18, 1905 as Clerk to Trainmaster. On March 26, 1908 he transferred to (illegible). Left the Erie June 9, 1906, to enter service of Pullman Co. Re-employed by Erie as Dining Car Steward, April 23, 1907 and promoted to Inspector, Dining Car Dept., Sept. 1, 1913.
Our review continues with biographies and pictures of two
stewards in charge of dining cars of the Erie Railroad, both of whom are well and favorably known to patrons of the company.
William Ross, Steward
William Ross entered the restaurant business Dec. 15, 1884, and worked at Chicago Oyster House in all its branches until December, 1887, when he resigned to go to Boston Oyster House, and worked there in different positions, until July 30th, 1888. He then resigned to go with the Charles Rector's and Kinsley's Hotel at Chicago, until December, 1889, when he resigned to accept a position as manager of the Grand Central Passenger Station Dining and Lunch Rooms at Chicago. He remained here until December, 1896, then resigned to take charge of cars, doing construction work for the Chicago & Northern Pacific R.R. Co., until Aug. 10th, 1897, when he entered the service of the Erie R.R. Co. as dining car steward, which he has held until the present time.
Mr. Ross is a quiet individual, with a good eye, and is always solicitous in caring fully for those who patronize his car. He has a fine record, and in the February issue of this magazine it was our pleasure to print a letter from a patron who noticed the kind attention Mr. Ross paid four female immigrants and then wrote to Mr. R.H. Wallace, General Passenger Agent, stating the facts.
J.H. Hoffer, Steward
J.H. Hoffer entered the service of the D.L. & W. R.R. Co. as cashier in restaurant November, 1900, and was promoted to dining car conductor, April, 1901. He resigned March 10, 1906, and entered the service of the Erie as dining car steward, April 1st, 1906, and continues to hold same, giving satisfaction to both the company and the patrons of his car.
During the eight years Mr. Hoffer has been with the Erie's Dining Car Department, he has made lots of friends, both among his associates and the traveling public, and he is regarded as a man who fully understands the requirements of his position, and as a caterer is par excellence.
He has found that experience counts a great deal in his line of endeavor and he uses it for all it's worth.
Harry V. Ellis, Steward
It is now our pleasure to present Messrs. Harry V. Ellis and Rennie Q.
Prall, the former of which has served practically eighteen years in the Erie's dining car service.
Mr. Ellis was employed somewhat over one year in the Erie's Car Record office and then in the Jersey City restaurant, before going on the road. Mr. Prall has been seven years on the dining cars, although familiar with restaurant interests for many years previous.
Mr. Prall is a son of former Pullman Conductor Prall, who was one of the oldest running on the Erie at the time, about a year ago, when he was made night agent at the Jersey City end of the road.
Following are the records:
Harry V. Ellis entered service of the Erie R.R. Co. May 16th, 1896, as Clerk in Car Record office, was transferred to Night Cashier at Jersey City restaurant, Dec. 25th, 1897, and afterward promoted to Night Manager, until January 20th, 1903, when he was appointed Accountant for Dining Car Department. He was appointed Dining Car Steward May 29th, 1905, resigned March 1st, 1907, and was reemployed as Dining Car Steward, July 17th, 1907, which position he has held to date.
Rennie Q. Prall, Steward
Rennie Quick Prall entered the restaurant business in New York City, in April, 1903, and was employed in its various lines until April 30th, when he entered the employ of the Erie as Dining Car Steward and holds same to date.
By way of continuing the Dining Car Steward series, which has proved very interesting to many Erie men who patronize the dining cars, sketches of two well-known stewards, together with their pictures, are presented herewith. The first is John J. Barwig.
Mr. Barwig entered service of Erie R.R. Co. October 1, 1902, as Cashier in Jersey City restaurant, and was promoted to Assistant Storekeeper January 9, 1903, later being promoted to Clerk in charge of Linen room, which position he held until June 30, 1909, when he resigned to go into the Laundry Business at Closter, N.J. He was reemployed as Dining Car Steward, June 25, 1911. Prior to entering service of Erie R.R. Co., Mr. Barwig was employed as Clerk at Pierrepont Hotel, Brooklyn Heights, until same was torn down in 1902 to make room for a more modern hotel.
Frank A. Riley, Steward
Frank Andrew Riley first learned the trade of Granite Cutting at Peabody, Mass., and worked at same from May, 1896, until May, 1902. Then he went into the Grocery Business until November, 1908. He entered the service of the Pullman Co. as Conductor, November, 1908, until May, 1910, and entered the service of the Erie R.R. Co., as Dining Car Steward.
This month it is our pleasure to present, briefly, the picture and biographical sketches of two more Dining Car Stewards employed by the Erie Railroad.
George B. Cody, Steward
So far as George Cody is concerned, it is believed that, had he not leaned toward the commendable industry of catering, he might have worn the uniform of a baseball artist, for, be it said, he does love the great national game.
George Benedict Cody entered the service of the Erie Railroad Company as Night Manager of the Jersey City Restaurant, July 12, 1908, and was promoted to Dining Car Steward, August 28, 1908. Prior to his being in the service of the Erie he entered the restaurant business in 1900 at Port Jervis, N.Y., also at Ellenville, Middletown, and Fishkill-on-the-Hudson, New York.
Gustav Casper, Steward
Gustav Casper entered the service of the Erie Railroad Company on June 3, 1912 as Dining Car Steward. About eight years prior to that time, he was employed as head waiter and butler at various places.
Albert Chase, Steward
Albert Joseph Chase, who has his name inscribed on a little plate in his car, is a very decent fellow, with an eye to business all the time. He is not at all demonstrative, but is a joy at the game of catering, having had a lot of experience in places where one must know his business when looking after discriminating people.
He entered the service of the Erie Railroad Company as Dining Car Steward, March 1, 1913. Prior to that time he was employed as waiter at the Grand Restaurant, Jersey City; J.J. Dowd's restaurant and Cafe, New York City; and at the Sagamore Hotel, New York City.
William Condit, Steward
William E. Condit entered the service of the Erie Railroad as Dining Car Steward, February 6. 1913. Previously he had been employed by the Pullman Car Company as Conductor.
He is a cheerful proposition with everybody he meets and the patrons of his dining car seem to take kindly to him. One evening he was heard
going through the sleepers announcing the first call for dinner. Two commercial men were in conversation in Section 2 and as "Bill" came along they stopped him and queried as to what he had in the way of food. "Fine spring chicken and lots of it," answered Bill. "Are you sure it's tender?" asked one of the drummers. "I am," replied Bill quickly, "for I killed them myself this morning." As he passed into the next car to further announce the dinner call, one of the drummers turned to the other and said, "Guess we'll go in and try some of that spring chicken, do you know I like that fellow's manner; he's no grouch." And both went in Bill's car to eat.
This is evidence, that the merry laugh goes many a mile.
Daniel A. Coneys
Daniel A. Coneys entered service of Erie Railroad Company on November 24th, 1913, as Clerk; he was promoted to Dining Car Steward January 25th, 1914.
Prior to entering the service of the Erie Mr. Coneys was engaged in business at Piermont, N.Y., for about four years; also had six years' experience in catering business at Yonkers, N.Y. and Newark, N.J. By his cheerful disposition and courteous manner, Mr. Coneys has won many friends since entering the service of the Company.
A.J. Harms entered service of Erie Railroad Company on January 14th, 1914 as Clerk; he was promoted to Dining Car Steward February 14th, 1914. For ten years prior to January, 1914, he was engaged in the catering business in New York City; also one year with P.R.R. Company. Like Mr. Coneys, Mr. Harms has also won many friends for himself since entering the service of the Erie.
The May, 1916 issue of Erie contained an article on the Dining Car service. Click here to read more.
The Erie shows off its latest dining cars in 1927. Click here for photos.
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