Guide to the Samuel Morse Felton Family Papers, 1841-1930
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0170
Creators:
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI.
Felton, Samuel Morse, (civil engineer), 1809-1889
Felton, Samuel Morse, (son), 1853-1930
Dates:
1841-1930
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
0.3 Cubic feet
2 boxes
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection contains biographical material on both Feltons; a handwritten bound report by Felton on the construction of the Norfolk Co. Railroad, 1847 1849; correspondence, 1861 1927, to and from both Feltons; various reports on military railroads during the World War years; and news clippings and articles on the Feltons, 1889-1930.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Collection divided into five series.
Series 1: Biographical, 1841-1921
Series 2: Correspondence, 1861-1927
Series 3: Reports, 1847-1919
Series 4:History of Transportation Department, undated
Series 5: News clippings, 1889-1930

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Samuel Morse Felton (1809 1889), civil engineer, became Superintendent and engineer of the Fitchburg Railroad in 1843 and left in 1851 to become President of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad (PWBRR). Under Felton's able management this unsuccessful and financially failing railroad was rebuilt, restored and prospered. The road was of great strategic importance during the Civil War and performed a great service by transporting troops and supplies for the Union. In 1857, he installed the locomotive engine "Daniel Webster" in service on the PWBRR. It was probably the first really successful coal burning passenger engine in regular service upon any RR in the U.S. In 1865 he left the PWBRR to become President of the Pennsylvania Steel Company. This was the first attempt in the United States to manufacture steel rails as a commercial enterprise. During this period he also served as director of many railroads including the Philadelphia, Wilmington & BRR, the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Co., the Northern Pacific, the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain and several others. He was director for ten years of the Pennsylvania RR. In 1869 he was appointed by President Grant as a Commissioner to inspect Pacific Railroads.
His son, Samuel Morse Felton (1853 1930), followed in this father's footsteps. He graduated from MIT in 1873 and began a life long career in American railroading. In 1889 he became President of the Chicago and Alton Railroad, later assumed the Presidency of the Mexican Central Railroad, and became President of the Chicago Great Western Railroad in 1909. During WWI he was appointed Director General of Military Railways and in that capacity had charge of the organization and dispatch to France of all American railway forces and supplies. He continued in that position during the World War years. By 1928 he was Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Great Western Railroad, President of the Western Railroad Association, and Chairman of the Western Association of Railway Executives, to name only a few of his positions. At his death he was an advisor and associate of the Central Trust Company of Illinois.

Administration
Processing Information
Robert S. Harding 9/91, David Haberstich, Revised 11/28/05, David Haberstich, Revised 5/19/06
Author
Robert S. Harding
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Immediate source of acquisition unknown.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Samuel Morse Felton Family Papers, 1841-1930, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Custodial History
Custodial History
Transferred from the Division of Transportation to the Archives Center on July 3, 1985.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Pennsylvania Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence -- 1840-1930 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reports Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroads Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business records -- 1840-1930 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings -- 1840-1940 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Civil engineers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transportation Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Slavery -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American Locomotive Sales Corporation. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States War Department Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Atterbury, W.W. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ames, Oliver Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Army Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore RR. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Philadelphia RR. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Milliken, J. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McAdoo, W.G. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Southern Railway and Steamship Association. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, M.H. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scott, Thomas A. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Davis, Robert C. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cooke, Jay Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Louisville Southern Railway Co. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lomonossoff, G. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fletcher, Andrew Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives