William Doak: N&W Brakeman and Secretary of Labor

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed May 18 21:27:41 EDT 2005

A former Conrail colleague, now workin' for da Hawss in Michigan, recently 
sent me this information about one William Doak, an N&W brakeman who rose to 
more affluent levels.  Apparently the information was published in the March 
1931, issue of Railroad Magazine. Anyone know anything about him and his service 
on the Narrow & Weedy Ry (specifically, where he worked) ?  

-- abram burnett
The name of this cabinet secretary was William Doak.  He was a switchman on 
the N&W who rose to be the General Chairman on the N&W for the BRT and 
eventually became a vice-president of the national union.  He ran for a Virginia 
senate seat in the 1920's, but as a Republican so you know he didn't get elected. 
That seems odd, a respected labor leader running as a Republican - and in 
1920's Virginia.  The bio I saw said he was born in Rural Retreat. Evidently 
President Wilson thought highly of him and so did Hoover.  In 1931, Hoover made him 
his Secretary of Labor.  -- Keith
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