Alfred A. Appling Railroad Surveyor Papers
Scope and Contents
The collection provides a window into the field-life of a railroad surveyor. It shows small town life, surveying equipment & teams, track gangs, immigrant labor, locomotives, riverboats, bridges, handcars, train wrecks, desert camps & tent cities, wagon trains & freighters, log cabins, bunk furnishings, wildlife, lumbering operations, and railroad offices.
- Appling, Alfred A. (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Noncirculating; available for research.
Conditions Governing Use
This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the united States (Title 17, United States Code).
Biographical / Historical
Alfred A. Appling’s diary and photograph album both begin in April 1903 while he was working as a low-level supervisor, jack-of-all-trades, and surveyor-in-training at Pennsylvania Railroad’s Linwood Yards in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was simultaneously taking correspondence courses towards a college degree. In August 1903, he then began working with the U.S. Corps of Engineers Ohio River surveying project. Appling’s journal shows that between December 1903 – August 1904 he spent most of his time as a full-time student, probably at the University of Cincinnati, until he secured a job with the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway (CCC&StL), also known as the Big Four Railroad.
After his journal ends, the captioned photographs in the album (1905-1907) continue to document his career. Over the following three years, Appling worked in succession for the Chicago, Quincy & Burlington Railroad (CBQ) at Wind River Canyon & the Powder River Basin in Wyoming, the Chicago, North Western Railway (CNW) in Wisconsin, the Illinois Central Railroad (IC) in Tennessee, and the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad (Y&MV) in Mississippi.
.75 Cubic Feet
Language of Materials
A unique and extremely detailed first-hand visual and textual record of railroad fieldwork in the early years of the 20th-century.
This small collection contains three volumes.
Purchased with Culpepper funds in February 2021.
• Case File
• Contents from the collection
- Chicago and North Western Railway Company. CNW (1859–1995)
- Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company. CBQ (1849–1970)
- Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, and St. Louis Railway Company. CCC&StL (1889–1930)
- Diaries. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Greenville (Miss.). Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Illinois Central Railroad Company. IC (1851–1999)
- Personal narratives. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Photographs. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Railroads. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Vicksburg (Miss.). Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad Company. Y&MV (1882–1946)
- Alfred A. Appling Railroad Surveyor Papers
- Collection processed and finding aid written by Carla Carlson.
- March 23, 2021
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository
118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001