Archive for Thursday, November 3, 2005

Who was Charles L. Cherrie?

November 3, 2005

Charles L. Cherrie was a popular and widely known agent for the Santa Fe Railroad Company at Lansing.

He was born Jan. 24, 1856, at Belle Point, Delaware County, Ohio. He received his education at Watkin, Ohio, prior to coming to Kansas in 1878. He was a farmer. In 1880, he began working for the Santa Fe Railroad at Gardner, then moved to Burlington. He came to Lansing on Nov. 10, 1887, at age 31. He learned the telegraphic business at Valentine Brothers School at Jonesville, Wis.

Mr. Cherrie and his wife, Frances May, had three children. Frances May died February 1891. His oldest son, Charles was a conductor for the Southern Pacific Railroad in California. William B. was in the auditor's office of the Santa Fe Railroad Company at Topeka. A daughter, Estella, was a trained nurse.

On July 8, 1892, Mr. Cherrie married Laura A. Weeks from Grenola. They also had three children: a daughter, Lafie, who married Clarence Miller of Lansing; Earl W., who grew up to be third-trick (night) operator and clerk with the Santa Fe Railroad in Iola; and Bernice, who was a stenographer for the Kansas City Southern Railway Company in Kansas City, Mo. They lived on what is now Helen Street.

Mr. Cherrie took interest in civic affairs and was on the Lansing Grade School Board for six years. This was in the early 1930s. At that time, the grade school and high school each had its own three-member board. The other two school board members were Albert Sherley and Andrew (Andy) Camp.

I remember being taken to a school board meeting by my mother. The meetings were conducted on the south end of the grade school gymnasium next to the stage. On the east side of the gym was the piano, and Mrs. Bess Ballard played music before the meetings. Mr. Cherrie had to be about 80 years old that time, and I had no idea I was witnessing history.

I think it is really interesting that so many of his family were connected with the railway companies.

Mr. Cherrie died Jan. 18, 1948, just six days before his 92nd birthday.

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