Biography - William Bryden
WILLIAM BRYDEN. A self-made man, who has forged ahead through
persistency and initiative, is William Bryden, superintendent of the Wabash,
Chester & Western Railway Company, with headquarters and residence at
Chester, Illinois. Mr. Bryden was born at Dunmore, Pennsylvania, on the 26th
of March, 1866, and he is a son of William Bryden, a practical coal miner
during much of his active career. William Bryden, Sr., was born in Scotland,
whence he immigrated to America as a youth. After his arrival in this
country he located in Pennsylvania, where he was employed in the coke and
coal fields for a number of years and where he was eventually made
superintendent for the Pennsylvania Coal Company at Dunmore. He came to
Illinois in the seventies and was superintendent of the Carbondale Coal &
Coke Company at the time of his demise, in 1878, aged fifty-one years. He
married Margaret Brown, who passed away in Carbondale in 1897, and the issue
of their union were: Miss Agnes Bryden, who was for many years cashier of
the Carbondale Trust & Savings Bank at Carbondale prior to her death in
1909; Mrs. J. E. Craine, of Murphysboro, Illinois; Mrs. J. N. Fitch, of
Cobden, Illinois, Miss Helen Bryden, a member of the faculty of the Southern
Illinois Normal University of Carbondale; and William Bryden, Jr., the
immediate subject of this review.
William Bryden was but a child at
the time of his parents' removal from the old Keystone state of the Union to
Carbondale, Illinois, where he received his preliminary educational training
and where he grew to maturity. As a youth he became interested in railroad
work and began his career by learning telegraphy at Murphysboro, Illinois.
His first position as an independent operator was with the St. Louis Coal
Railroad and his next work was in Chester, from which place he went to
Cutler as agent and operator on the Wabash, Chester & West-ville, New
Orleans & Texas Railway at New Orleans and at other points and when he left
that company he spent a few months with the Mobile & Ohio and the Illinois
Central at Cairo, Illinois. From June 1, 1885, to May 15, 1886, he was agent
at Cutler, Illinois, for the Wabash, Chester & Western Road; and from June 1
1887 to 1890 he was agent at Menard Illinois, and on the latter date he came
to Chester as assistant agent, acting in that capacity until September,
1893, when he was made agent. Subsequently he was promoted to the position
of trainmaster, and he continued both as agent and trainmaster until April
15, 1911, when he succeeded Henry Mason as superintendent of the road.
The Wabash, Chester & Western Railway was built in 1872 and extends from
Chester to Mount Vernon, Illinois, a distance of 65 miles. It passes through
the Southern Illinois coal fields and its tonnage consists chiefly of the
output of the mines and of merchandise carried in and out along the route.
Very little attention is given to passenger traffic. Although a dirt road
bed is maintained, it is kept in splendid condition by the management and
its equipment is ample for the needs of the company. Superintendent Bryden
has grown up with the road and he is familiar with every phase of its
physical condition, this knowledge making him particularly well fitted for
the important position he occupies. Mr. Bryden's life has been studiously
devoted to the service of his company. Politics and fraternities have not
attracted him and his progress is entirely due to his own well directed
endeavors. He exercises his franchise in favor of the Republican party.
At Chester, Illinois, on the 12th of March, 1889, was solemnized the
marriage of Mr. Bryden to Miss Emma Gausmann, who is a daughter of Frank
Gansmann, a German by birth and a blacksmith by occupation. Mr. and Mrs.
Bryden have two children,- Margaret and Frank W.
Extracted from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, page 577.