Personal Stories, Memorabilia

Frank Gilmore

The following items were loaned to me by Art Gilmore, long time DRGW and Amtrak Conductor. They are items saved by Art’s Grandfather, Frank Gilmore, and his family. Frank was born in New York in 1857, and passed away in 1927 after retiring from Colorado to California. Unfortunately, Art never had a chance to know his grandfather who was a railroad Conductor many years before Art started with the Denver Rio Grande Western in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Frank’s original railroad employer was the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy (CBQ), exact dates unknown, but a couple of items below are from 1879 and 1880. Several of the items below confirm that his service date with the Denver Rio Grande was 1883. By the time a seniority list was published in 1923 at Salida, Colorado, Frank was the second Conductor listed on the several pages. Other items displayed are letters relating to leaves of absence, discipline matters, and letters of commendation. Additionally, the Order of Railway Conductors issued very nice membership cards, many of which Frank saved and are found below. Also, a number of trip passes from various railroads, and annual passes from the Denver Rio Grande and nearby railroads are displayed. I found the trip pass to Como, Colorado quite interesting. A very small sampling of train orders is displayed – the fragile nature of the paperwork of that era probably precluded preservation of more examples. It would have been very interesting to view operating train orders involving meets, wait and time orders, and run authority for various territories that Frank worked. Somewhat difficult to read are two “tariff” or fare books from 1893 – they are interesting for the size of the fares and many of the stations shown. Perhaps on a trip east, Frank acquired several postcards issued by the Wabash Railroad to advertise the Saint Louis to Colorado Limited (in conjunction with the Union Pacific Railroad through Kansas City). They make quite a nice final chapter to commemorate his long ago railroad career.