PAGE 272 - DECEMBER 6, 2006
One good turn deserves another?
Several years ago, the General Offices at Southampton Street Yard were clearing some old file cabinets full of no longer needed employee files belonging to long deceased New Haven era railroaders. Many of these railroaders had retired during or shortly after World War 2. I grabbed a couple of the files just to take a curious look at them, and to my pleasant surprise, these file folders told an amazingly detailed story of the railroad life of each railroader.
One of the files belonged to a Car Knocker by the name of Charles R. Tibbs, from Quincy, Massachusetts. Born in Clinton, Tennessee on February 16, 1895, Charlie Tibbs hired out with the New Haven Railroad on July 3, 1922 at Dover Street Yard as a "Hose Coupler," earning an hourly rate of .47 cents per hour.
Twenty Five days later, he became an "Air Brake Inspector" and his hour rate climbed to .63 cents per hour.
On June 1, 1942 Charlie was promoted to "Assistant Foreman," earning a very respectable $256.23 per month.
On October 15, 1956, Charlie Tibbs was promoted to Assistant General Foreman at Dover Street Yard and his monthly earnings rose to $531.58 per month.
He left the railroad on November 26, 1960 due to illness and subsequently returned to service that following May of 1961. According to the obituary taped to his file folder, Assistant General Foreman Charlie Tibbs, of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, died on January 12, 1962.
| The letter from Markson Brothers
Clothiers, Boston, to the New Haven Railroad, requesting that the New Haven
Railroad "talk to Charlie" about his outstanding debt to their company for
merchandise obtained "under a lease agreement."
This was one of about 15 letters from the accounting departments of various Boston stores and places of business, who sent similar requests to the New Haven for assistance in recovering outstanding debt from ol' Charlie Tibbs.
Charlie also had "issues" with Bond Clothes, located on the corner of Washington Street and Essex Street, Boston, Massachusetts, as well as Morgan Furniture Store, located on Washington Street in Boston, as well as several other Boston businesses.
Besides the letters from businesses looking to recover debt, Charlie's file was loaded with injury reports. A total of 22 of them, ranging from a "crushed wrist due to a fall between tracks 14 and 15," to a concussion from being "knocked in the head with a airbrake hose while inspecting equipment."
In true railroadman fashion, It appears that Charlie was a heck of an employee and a true credit to the New Haven Railroad. No discipline, no complaints, just a good man......Just remember to say no when he asks to borrow some of your hard earned cash.