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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1477~


Walter P. Chrysler


"Practical industry wisely and vigorously applied never fails of success. It carries a man onward and upward, brings out his individual character and acts as a powerful stimulus to the efforts of others. The greatest results in life are often attained by simple means and the exercise of the ordinary qualities of common sense and perseverance. The every-day life, with its cares, necessities and duties, affords ample opportunities for acquiring experience of the best kind and its most beaten paths provide a true worker with abundant scope for effort and self improvement. Among the energetic and successful citizens of Oelwein, none holds a higher position in the regard of those who know him than does Walter P. Chrysler superintendent of motive power for the Chicago Great Western railroad.

Mr. Chrysler was born in Wamego, Kansas, April 2, 1871, and is a son of Henry and Mary (Breyman) Chrysler. Henry Chrysler was a locomotive engineer on the old Kansas Pacific (now Union Pacific) railroad, whose termini were Kansas City and Denver, though at that time Wamego was the western end. Mr. Chrysler was on construction work and when the road was completed as far as Ellis, Kansas, he moved to that point and remained there until the subject was twenty-one years of age. The latter received his preliminary education in the public schools, graduating from the high school at the age of seventeen years.

When ready to take up the active duties of life, Walter Chrysler became a laborer in the shops of the Union Pacific railroad. Eight months later he entered the machine shops as an apprentice, serving two years there and completing his apprenticeship at Omaha, Nebraska. In the meantime he was attending night school and taking a course in mechanical drawing and mechanical engineering, and he also took a course in mechanical and electrical engineering from the International Correspondence Schools of Scranton, Pennsylvania, in which course he was graduated and granted a diploma. Leaving the Union Pacific he went to Wellington, Kansas, and entered the employ of the Santa Fe system as a machinist, but eight months later he was transferred to the general shops at Topeka, Kansas, where he became foreman of the erecting shops. Two years later he entered the employ of the Rio Grande Western at Salt Lake City. He entered the employ of this road as a machinist, but five months later he was promoted to the position of foreman of the roundhouse, which position he retained two years. At the end of that time he accepted the position of general foreman for the Colorado Southern, at Trinidad, Colorado, where he remained about two years. He then went to Childress, Texas, as master mechanic for the Fort Worth & Denver City railroad, which position he retained until 1906. In that year he came to Oelwein as a master mechanic in the shops of the Chicago Great Western railroad, and on December 21, 1907, he was promoted to the position of superintendent of motive power for the entire system of that road. This responsible position he is now filling to the entire satisfaction of his superiors. His intimate knowledge, both practical and theoretical, of mechanics, admirably qualifies him for almost any position in the mechanical department of a great railroad system and in his present position he is giving the best of satisfaction. The duties of the office are multitudinous and of the greatest responsibility, but Mr. Chrysler has been able to handle the operation of the road with ease and dispatch. He is extremely popular with both his superiors and the men under him, who recognize his sterling qualities and his practical worth, and in the community no citizen stands higher in popular regard.

On June 4, 1900, Mr. Chrysler was married to Della Forker, who was born at Ellis, Kansas, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Forker, natives of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To the subject and wife have been born three children, Thelma, Bernice and Walter P. In politics Mr. Chrysler is a stanch Republican, but is not an aspirant for public office, though he takes an intelligent interest in public affairs. Fraternally he is a member of the Masonic order, in which he has taken the Scottish-Rite degrees up to and including the thirty-second, belonging to the consistory at Salina, Kansas. He is also a member of Isis Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Salina. The Woodmen of the World also claim his membership."

~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project


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