Henry Clay Baber lost his life in October 1925 while working as an engineer with Southern Railway Company.  His career with Southern Rwy. carried him from North Carolina to Charleston and the outlying Islands where he boarded at the Lockridge Boardinghouse in the 1920’s.  His granddaughter, Norris Bright Wilson (Mrs. T. N.) of Greer, SC has donated his papers and books to the Charleston Chapter  – NRHS  where  her niece, Mary Lehr, is a member.  These items are scheduled for display at some of the area Railroad Museums in recognition of Mr. Baber and the sacrifice he made in serving the transportation industry.One of the papers in this collection details the settlement of $2500.00 which Southern Rwy. Company paid to Mr. Baber’s family as compensation for loss of life.  One of Mr. Baber’s books is a handsome leather bound 1905 edition of  Progressive Air Brake Association Questions and Answers on the Westinghouse and New York Systems.  The book has detailed diagrams of  brake systems on fold-out sheets of  onion skin paper.

An interesting development since the chapter received this donation is the discovery of the Department of Transportation’s website, http://dotlibrary.specialcollection.netwhich gives written and pictorial documentation of the investigation of train accidents from 1911 to 1966.  In the instance of Mr. Baber, the photographic evidence of the train equipment which failed and resulted in the accident is information which the family never had access to in the past.

* April 2004 

© 2004 CCNRHS