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Benton County, Iowa ~ Biography and Family Information


Source:  A History of the Puget Sound Country, Vol. II.
  By William Farrand Prosser.
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1903.
New York — Chicago.
Pages 416-417.
Alvertis Branin, who is assistant superintendent of the Bellingham Bay & British Columbia Railroad, at Whatcom, is a native of Stark county, Ohio, born on the 8th of July, 1851. His father, Mahlon Branin, a native of New Jersey, died in 1898, at the age of seventy years. The mother, who bore the maiden name of Margery Ellyson, was a native of Virginia, and, like her husband, belonged to a family that had long been established in the new world. In the year 1854 the parents removed with their family to Benton county, Iowa. They had four sons. Alvertis, Chester, Willis and Hartwell.

Alvertis Branin was only about three years old when his parents went to Iowa, and in that state he was reared and educated, pursuing his studies in the schools of Vinton and later taking a course in the Ames Agricultural College. He was thus well equipped by intellectual training for the practical and responsible duties of life. After his own school days were ended, when he was twenty years of age, he began teaching in the district schools of Kansas, and was thus engaged for two years. In 1873 he learned telegraphy at Columbus, Kansas, with the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad, now a part of the Frisco system, and the following year was appointed station agent on that line at Fulton, Kansas, where he remained for a year. He was then transferred to Coffeyville, Kansas, and in 1876 was appointed train dispatcher at Kansas City by the same company. There he served until 1879, when he went to Slater, Missouri, as dispatcher for the Chicago & Alton Railroad Company, and in 1885 went from there to Tacoma, Washington, where he acted as chief dispatcher of the Northern Pacific Railroad until 1888. In that year he was transferred to Seattle as dispatcher and trainmaster on a line that is now a part of the Northern Pacific system, but left there in the fall of 1890 to enter upon his present relation with the Bellingham Bay & British Columbia Railroad Company, as assistant superintendent at Whatcom. For thirteen years he has served in this capacity, and is well qualified for the important position, the duties of which he has discharged in a manner that has won the commendation and regard of those whom he serves.

In 1874 Mr. Branin was united in marriage to Miss Flora Bower, a native of Illinois, and a daughter of John H. and Mary Bower, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Branin have three children: Charles, now twenty-five years of age, is with the Associated Press at Portland, Oregon, as an operator; Alvertis, Jr., twenty-two years of age, is a conductor on the Bellingham Bay & British Columbia Railroad: and James Walter, twenty years of age, is an operator of the Western Union Telegraph Company, at Portland.

Mr. Branin votes with the Republican party, for he believes its platform contains the best elements of good government. His social relations connect him with the Masons, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Tribe of Ben Hur and the Cougar Club, and of all he is a worthy and valued representative. His genial manner has made him popular, and the circle of his friends is an extensive one. Throughout the greater part of his life he has been connected with railroad service and has always enjoyed the confidence of the companies which he has represented, because of the care and painstaking attention which he has given to the discharge of his duties.

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