Edmond Du Barry

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Fri Jan 19 11:08:29 EST 2018

Edmond’s appointment to the N&W position is not surprising giving that the PRR effectively controlled the N&W by that time.


Craig Close   BORHS/C&A Live Steam

Balimer Merlan

OK: Far West Catonsville

Or: Greater Oella


From: NW-Mailing-List [mailto:nw-mailing-list-bounces at nwhs.org] On Behalf Of NW Mailing List
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 11:44 AM
To: nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Subject: Edmond Du Barry


Abram Burnett's inquiry yesterday prompted me to contact Chis Baer at the Hagley Museum & Library and his response to both Abe and myself is below. It fills in a lot of interesting details about the Du Barry in question and leaves it to the N&W guys to ferret out the remaining pertinent N&W info to fill in his bio to a greater extent. Enjoy.


Bob Cohen


Abram and Bob,


There is genealogical material on the Du Barry family through ancestry.com <http://ancestry.com/> , a pedigree book put out by the Sons of the Revolution, and a death notice for Edmund L. Du Barry in Railroad Age Gazette in 1908.


Jean-Baptiste-Marie Du Barry (1764-1830) arrived in Philadelphia in August 1791 as a refugee from the revolution in Haiti, which had turned into a race war with fighting to the death and atrocities on both sides.  Many white refugees came to Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, and were responsible for bringing the mosquitoes that caused the great yellow fever epidemic of 1793.  His son, Edmund Louis Du Barry (1797-1853) became a naval surgeon.  He married Emma Duane, the daughter of William Duane, a prominent newspaper editor and publisher of Philadelphia and a leader of the Jeffersonian political party.  By 1830, he was living in Bordentown, NJ, where he was friend and physician to Joseph Bonaparte, the exiled former King of Spain and Napoleon's brother who maintained a large country estate there.


His eldest son was named Joseph Napoleon Du Barry (1830-1892) in honor of both Bonaparte brothers.  He entered railroad service on June 18, 1847, at the age of 16 as a rodman on the original surveys under J. Edgar Thomson.  After completion of the PRR, he passed through a series of engineering jobs, including Assistant Engineer on the first phase of the Pittsburgh & Connellsville's Sand Patch Tunnel.  In 1858 he was appointed Superintendent of the Western Division of the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago, and on Dec. 1, 1861, he became Superintendent of the Northern Central.  As such, he supervised the removal of the wounded after the Battle of Gettysburg. He was promoted to VP of the Northern Central in Feb. 1869, after which his rise in the PRR hierarchy was rapid.  He was VP of the Baltimore & Potomac from July 5, 1870 to Jan. 1, 1875, President of the Shamokin Valley & Pottsville RR from March 1871 to May 1875, and VP & General Manager of the Alexandria & Fredericksburg Ry. from June 1872.  Generally, he was in charge of all the PRR interests lying south of Baltimore, and represented the PRR on the boards of the Richmond & Danville and the Richmond Terminal until those interests were relinquished.  On Jan. 1, 1875, he was named Assistant to Pres. Tom Scott for what was referred to as the "Southern Bureau," but once southward expansion slowed, he was placed in charge of other new construction projects as well.  He was promoted to Third VP on Oct. 1, 1882, after Scott's death, and to Second VP on July 1, 1888, always with the same duties.  He died of a heart attack soon after waking up at his Philadelphia home on Dec. 17, 1892.


The other two Du Barry brothers clearly rode their eldest brother's coattails.  Hartman Bache Du Barry (1832-1893) was a minor PRR official and at his death was engineer of property at Pittsburgh.


Edmund Louis Du Barry was born at Washington on Dec. 17, 1842. This is the date given by ancestry. Other dates are computed by extrapolating backwards from age given at death, which is not always accurate. Dates of 1843 and 1840 are also given. In Nov. 1867 he became Assistant General Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent of the Northern Central under his brother. On Sept. 4, 1872, he became Superintendent of the Baltimore & Potomac and was present when the connection between the B&O and Alexandria & Washington was broken. When his brother left the B&P proper to join Scott's staff in 1875, Edmund was made Superintendent of the Frederick & Pennsylvania Line RR for a brief time. This seems to have been his last PRR post and ended on Sept. 1, 1875. He was appointed Superintendent of the Eastern Division of the Norfolk & Western RR on July 1, 1888, which is the same day his brother became Second VP of the PRR. I have no record of where he was between 1875 and 1888. Also, I did not follow his appointments on the N&W, in part because most appointment notices came from the PRR system minute books, and we have no N&W minutes for this period. His obituary in "Railroad Age Gazette" when he died in Dec. 1908 describes him as Superintendent of the Norfolk Terminals.


If you can access newspapers.com <http://newspapers.com/> , which I can't, you might be able to find obits in either the Norfolk or Roanoke papers.


Chris Baer

Hagley Museum and Library



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