Arrow-right Camera


Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Sun., May 27, 2012

From our archives, 100 years ago

Moses Brinkerhoff, one of the first conductors on the Northern Pacific railroad and oldest continuously serving railroad man in the U.S., died at his Spokane home at age 87.

He started working as a brakeman on the New York Central around 1842. He worked at various railroads for the next 69 years without a break. He began working as a conductor on the Northern Pacific as soon as track was laid into the Dakotas.

He also served a stint on a railroad in Panama, and saved a train full of gold bullion from a band of brigands by disguising himself as a native and fighting his way to another train seven miles away. The railroad company gave him a watch and a revolver in gratitude.

He stopped working on train crews when his hearing started to fail at about age 60, and he became a coal agent for the Northern Pacific at Fargo, N.D.  He was transferred to Spokane not long after and worked in the freight department for 23 years. He showed up regularly at his office until three weeks before his death.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1937: The newly completed Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County, Calif., was opened. … 1941: The British Royal Navy sank the German battleship Bismarck off France.

Click here to comment on this story »