Albert E. Ham
HAM, SPEICHER, ANDREWS, MILLIE
Posted By: Black Hawk Volunteer
Date: 7/19/2016 at 19:59:57
Albert E. Ham Called By Death
Was First C. G. W. Agent in Waterloo
Honored Early Resident Begins Railroad Career at Age of 12.
Albert E. Ham, a resident of Black Hawk county for over forty years, the first agent for the Chicago Great Western in Waterloo and one of the finest men the city has ever known, passed away this morning at 3:25 at his home, 212 Franklin street, after a few weeks illness of typhoid fever.
Mr. Ham, who had been district agent for the Equitable Life Insurance company since retiring from the railroad business five years ago, was taken sick a month ago but paid little attention to the symptoms of illness until three weeks ago tomorrow when a physician was called who pronounced the case typhoid fever. A trained nurse was secured and he seemed to be improving, his condition yesterday being very encouraging. Early in the evening, a change for the worse was noticeable and soon after 11, he began to fall steadily. The end came peacefully a few hours later.
To the wide circle of friends as well as to the immediate family, the news of Mr. Ham's death comes as a distinct shock and brings a feeling of deep grief in the hearts of all who knew him. Mr. Ham was a man of quiet manner and simple tastes, fond of his home and his friends, a loyal Mason who sought to live up to the highest ideals of the order, one who sided in every way possible in advancing the interests of the city in which he lived, and one who was at all times, a Christian-hearted gentleman. Those who knew him best will mourn him most while all will regret his passing.
Operator at Age of 12.
Albert E. Ham was born in the east Jan. 20, 1857 and came with his parents as a baby to Illinois and when a young child to Cedar Falls where the family resided on a farm near town. He attended school in town and while going to school, studied telegraphy at night, and at the age of 12 had his first position as operator I the B. C. R. & N. depot at Cedar falls. At the age of 16, he finished his training as operator and was assigned as his first station to Independence, where the office was in a box car until the depot could be built. Coming to Waterloo from there, he was operator at the B., C. R. & N. depot and when 19, was appointed as the youngest agent on the road. George Goodell, afterward general superintendent of the Chicago Great Western, was an operator at the time under him.
First C. G. W. Agent
On February 16, 1878, he was married to Elizabeth Speicher and, while continuing his position as agent, engaged in the clothing business with his wife's father for two years, after which the business and the building, later known as the Carpenter building, were sold to Mr. Carpenter.
In 1884, Mr. Ham was about to go to Sioux Falls, S. D., to accept a position with Mr. Goodell, who was then located there, when he was tendered the position of the first agent at Waterloo for the Chicago Great Western, which came through here that year. This position of commercial agent for both sides of the river he retained until 1906 when he resigned to engage in the insurance business. In his railroad and business career Mr. Ham was always courteous and efficient.
Besides his widow, Mr. Ham is survived by one son and two daughters, Harry E. Ham, who is with the Western Farmers Land company; Bess D., who is assistant cashier of the Corn Belt Telephone company, and Mary, who is a sophomore in Waterloo high school east. Mr. Ham's mother, Mrs. Elmira Ham, and a sister, Mrs. Addie Andrews, of Minneapolis have just gone to Venice, Cal., for the winter. Mrs. Etta Millie, another sister, resides in Philadelphia, while the three brothers are Dr. Myron Ham and Clark Ham of Spokane, Wash., and Dr. G. H. Ham of Minneapolis.
Mason Many Years.
Mr. Ham became a member of the Masonic order in 1879, being initiated into the Waterloo lodge in that year. His membership he continued for the intervening thirty-three years and always too a loyal interest in the lodge's affairs.
Funeral Probably Thursday.
The Masonic lodge will have charge of the funeral which will be held at the home probably on Thursday afternoon. Rev. Effie McCullom Jones will be the minister in charge and the burial will be in Fairview cemetery. Definite arrangements await word from the relatives in California.
SOURCE: --Waterloo Evening Courier, Waterloo, IA (Tuesday 26 Mar 1912)
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