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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the B.R. Dew Collection of Railroadiana

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1883-1966
Creator: Dew, B.R.
Extent: 7.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0497
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Railroad employee and collector. Collection of publications, timetables, photographs, tickets, passes, and artifacts relating to the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway, as well as other railroads.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in boxes 3, 4

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: The B.R. Dew Collection was donated in 1997 by Robert, Lynn, and Elizabeth Dew in memory of William R. Dew.

Preferred Citation: B.R. Dew Collection of Railroadiana, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman
Email: lib-spec@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc

Birchel Raymond Dew was born in Corning, Ohio, on September 19, 1901. In 1920 he began working for the Missouri Pacific Railroad and continued working there as a brakeman and conductor until 1936. Very early in his career he began collecting railroad memorabilia, saving items he personally used and adding other pieces of historical value.
 
In 1935 he married Irene Mitchell of Hoisington, Kansas. They had two sons, William Ray and Birchel Robert. In 1936 Birchel Raymond, or B.R. as he was known to most, joined the Rock Island Railroad as a trainmaster in Dalhart, Texas. It was there where his son, William, was born in 1937. B.R. was Superintendent in several Midwestern areas and was the Assistant General Manager of the Rock Island Railroad in El Reno, Kansas City, and Des Moines. He and his family moved at least thirteen times while he worked on the Rock Island, but the railroad memorabilia was always packed up and moved along to the next home. B.R. retired in 1965. He died on March 17, 1973 of a heart attack at Iowa Lutheran Hospital in Des Moines.
 
His railroad collection was inherited by his son William. William Ray Dew was born on March 3, 1937, in Dalhart, Texas. B.R. passed the love and excitement of railroading on to Bill and also his younger brother, Bob. Bill worked for the Rock Island himself during his high school and college years. He graduated from Shawnee Mission High School in Kansas City in 1955. In 1960 he married Lynn France. They both graduated from the University of Iowa with Bill obtaining a Juris Doctor degree in 1966. Then they moved to Ottumwa, Iowa, where Bill practiced law in the Griffin, Dew & Kintigh law firm and Lynn taught third grade. In 1972 a daughter, Eilizabeth Anne was born. William Ray Dew died on June 2, 1996 at the age of fifty-nine in a plane crash in Minnesota while returning from a fishing trip in Canada with three friends.

The B.R. Dew Collection of Railroadiana, 7 linear feet, includes publications, photographs, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, artifacts, and other similar material dating from about 1883 until 1966. Publications include booklets of rules and regulations, public and employee timetables, and passes and tickets, mostly relating to the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway. There is also material on other railroads, including the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway; the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad; the Missouri Pacific Railroad; and the Union Pacific Railroad. There is information on such subjects as railroad accidents, natural disasters (snow removal), and railroad wages.
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company, and Robert C. Brown. Operating Department Timetables: B.R. Dew Collection. Chicago: [The Dept.], 1889-1940. (Special Collections call number: xfHE2728 C55 1889)

Browse by Series:
Series 1: PUBLICATIONS
Series 2: NOTEBOOKS
Series 3: OVERSIZED MATERIALS
Series 4: ARTIFACTS
Series 5: AUDIO CASSETTE TAPES

  • Series 1: PUBLICATIONS
  • Sub-Series: General Publications
  • Box 1:
  • American Railway Association -- United States Safety Appliances for All Classes of Cars and Locomotives - 1928
  • Arkansas & Memphis Railway Bridge and Terminal Company -- Special Instructions No. 2 - 1941
  • Association of American Railroads -- Recommended Rules for the Receipt, Stowing, Handling and Delivery of Less-Than-Carload Freight - 1938
  • Baldwin Locomotive Works -- Locomotive Data 1914
  • Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen -- Arbitration Award and Vacation Agreement - 1944
  • Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad -- Historical information, etc.
  • Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad -- Official List of Officers, Agents and Stations - 1898
  • Burlington Route -- General Rules (1900)
  • Burlington Route -- Rules of the Transportation Dept - 1891
  • Burlington Route -- Train Rules, Operating Dept - 1900
  • Conductor’s Pocket Book and Cutter - 1902
  • Davenport, Rock Island and Northwestern Railway Co -- Rules of the Operating Dept - 1930
  • Denver & Rio Grande -- Rules and Regulations of the Operating Dept - 1906
  • El Paso & Southwestern--Rules and Instructions, Maintenance of Way Dept - 1917
  • Flood Disaster, Kansas City - 1951
  • Freight Conductors Wheel Reports - 1924
  • Frisco playing cards
  • Keokuk, Fort Des Moines & Minnesota Rail Road, the Des Moines Valley Rail Road -- Historical information
  • Missouri Pacific -- Conductors Memorandum Transportation, Etc. - 1931
  • Missouri Pacific Hospital Association -- Constitution and By-Laws - 1945
  • Sub-Series: Public Time Tables
  • Box 1:
  • Big Four Route - 1899
  • Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern - 1899
  • Chicago Great Western - 1898
  • Colorado Midland - 1905
  • Denver & Rio Grande - 1905
  • Dixie Flyer Route - 1904
  • Erie - 1905
  • Frisco - 1905
  • Grand Trunk - 1898
  • Great Northern - 1904
  • Illinois Central - 1898, 1964
    2 items
  • Iron Mountain Route - 1899
  • Kansas City Southern - 1905
  • Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway - 1899
    2 items
  • Lehigh Valley - 1898, 1918
    2 items
  • Missouri, Kansas & Texas - 1899
  • Mexican Central - 1898
  • Minneapolis & St. Louis - 1905
  • Missouri Pacific - 1898, 1899, 1965
    3 items
  • Nickel Plate Road - 1904
  • Northern Pacific - 1898
  • Northwestern - 1898
  • Port Arthur Route - 1898
  • Queen and Crescent Route - 1905
  • Rock Island - 1899, 1922, 1943, 1952
    4 items
  • Santa Fe - 1905, 1966, 1967
    3 items
  • Union Pacific - 1898, 1899, 1964
    3 items
  • Wabash, - 1899
  • Sub-Series: Rock Island Railroad
  • Box 1:
  • Analysis of Equipment (Locomotives, Freight Train Cars, Passenger Train Cars) - 1925
  • Catalogue of Blanks, Books, Envelopes, Letter and Memorandum Heads and Stationer - 1903
  • Des Moines Division -- General Notices - 1966
  • Diagrams of Steam Locomotives - 1943
  • Disbursement Accounts - 1902
  • Distance Tables - 1887
  • Employee Timetables - 1940-1968,1955
  • Box 2:
  • Employees Hospital Association Constitution and By-Laws - 1930
  • Freight Tariffs - 1888, 1890
    3 items
  • General Roster of Officers, Agents, Attorneys, Surgeons, Stations, Structures, Mileage, Connections, Clearances, Equipment, etc. - 1929
  • Historical Accounts
  • Indenture Between Des Moines & Fort Dodge Railroad Company and the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Co. - 1904
  • Instructions to Freight Agents - 1890
  • Labor Agreements - 1907, 1922, 1938, 1947
    4 items
  • Leavenworth Joint Terminal Agreement - 1894
  • List of Officers, Station Agents - 1903
  • Local Passenger Tariff - 1907, 1921
    2 items
  • Pension System - 1910
  • Questions and Answers for Examination on Rules and Regulations for Maintenance of Way and Structures - 1951
  • Rules and Instructions Governing Employees in the Operation of Train Air Brakes and Air Signal - 1939
  • Rules and Instructions Governing the Operation and Maintenance of Automatic Train Control - 1926
  • Rules and Instructions Governing the Operations of Railroad Radio Communication System - 1956
  • Rules and Rates of Pay for Locomotive Engineers - 1907, 1911, 1917, 1922, 1925
    5 items
  • Rules and Rates of Pay for Trainmen - 1924, 1929, 1943
    3 items
  • Rules and Rates of Pay for Telegraphers, 1910, 1920, 1924, 1928
    4 items
  • Rules and Regulations for Conductors and Collectors - 1906, 1919, 1924, 1929
    4 items
  • Rules and Regulations for Maintenance of Way and Structures - 1901, 1940, 1951
    3 items
  • Rules and Regulations for the Baggage Department - 1905, 1911
    2 items
  • Rules and Regulations Operating Department - 1897, 1904, 1930, 1967
    4 items
  • Rules and Specifications for Standard Uniforms - 1925
  • Rules and Working Conditions for Signalmen - 1923
  • Rules for Care and Operation of Maintenance Motor Cars - 1929
  • Rules for Clerks, Freight Handlers, Station and Storehouse Employees, - 1922, 1931
    2 items
  • Rules for Rates of Pay for Switchmen - 1919, 1924
    2 items
  • Rules for Train Dispatchers - 1926, 1950
    2 items
  • Rules Relating to the Car Service Dept - 1906
  • Rules 1 to 5 Compilation and Maintenance - 1937
  • Seal Record - 1895-1896
  • Speed Restrictions and Special Instructions - 1958, 1967
    3 items
  • Standard Practices Adopted by the System Loss and Damage Committee - 1914
  • Telegraphic Code - 1897
  • Time Freight Schedules - 1924
  • Time Role of Iowa City - 1901-1903
  • Uniform Code of Operating Rules - 1950, 1968
    4 items
  • Various pamphlets - 19191934
    5 items
  • Sub-Series: Various Other Publications
  • Box 2:
  • Rules and Rates of Pay in Train and Yard Service on the Principal Railroads of the United States, Canada, and Mexico - 1900
  • Saddler’s Railroad Time Book - 1926
  • Santa Fe Rules and Regulations -- Operating Department - 1909, 1911
    2 items
  • Southern Pacific Desk Map - 1929
  • Union Pacific (Eastern & South-Central Districts) Rules and Instructions of the Transportation Dept - 1940
  • Union Pacific -- Examination of Conductors and Engineers and Train Dispatchers on Operating Rules - 1954
  • Union Pacific -- Memorandum of What Constitutes Proper Observance of Signal Tests - 1940
  • The Western Settler, Vol 1, No. 1 (Feb 15, 1893), published by the Rock Island
  • Series 2: NOTEBOOKS
  • Box 2:
  • Clippings, photos, forms
  • Forms
  • Box 3:
  • Derailments, floods, washouts, snow plows, clippings and photos
  • Locomotives, old and new, clippings and photos
  • Old forms, letters, etc.
  • Old newspaper clippings
  • Old records
  • Old station records, letters, tariffs
    3 folders
  • Old tickets and passes
  • Old waybills, messages, records, etc.
    2 folders
  • Box 4:
  • Photographs, miscellaneous
  • Photographs of snow storms
  • Pictures, retirement parties
  • Train orders
  • Series 3: OVERSIZED MATERIALS
  • OS1: Rock Island Employee Time Tables - 1883-1916
  • OS2: Rock Island Employee Time Tables - 1916-1939
  • OS3: Assorted printed and manuscript material mostly pertaining to the Rock Island
  • Series 4: ARTIFACTS
  • Vault:
  • Flimsy/Train order hoop
  • Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern framed poster
  • Flagman’s flag with torpedo space
  • Rock Island oiler
  • Series 5: AUDIO CASSETTE TAPES
  • Box 5:
  • Tape 1, Side 1
    Birth in Corning Ohio, Boyhood in Ohio, School Days, Jobs as a Boy, Riding a Train, Ice Cream, New [Bohelers]
  • Tape 1, Side 2
    Railroad rules exam, Tales of Ed Heathooker, Tales of Red Taylor, Tales os Joe Whato, Silk Train, Army Worms, Jack Rabbits, Pheasants in Kansas, Hot Boxes on Cars, Take Water and Coal on Enginge, Local Freight Trains, Engines Thu Rd. House Topeka
  • Tape 2, Side 3
    Dust Storms in the 1930s, Cabooses, YMCAs, Water at Horace Arkansas, St. Joe Run 1921, Switchman K and MR Roak, Olmitz Kansas, N. Moorehead, Reversing Steam Engine
  • Tape 2, Side 4
    Water Engine, Hand Brakes and Couplers on Cars, Train Chains, C.J. Frown Scrap Program, Break in Engines, Passenger Conductor 1931, Work Trains, Flood Pueblo Colorado 1921, Getting off your cars enginge, Local Chairman [1929?], Supt. H. E. McMullen
  • Tape 3, Side 5
    JCE Trains, D. Sullivan, Collision Hogan New Mexico 1937, Derailment Middlewater Texas 1938, ACR Line Liberal to Amarillo, Morse Line Dolhart to Morse Texas, Passenger Trains, Son Bill Born at Dolhart 1937
  • Tape 3, Side 6
    Hay Fever, Herington Kansas 1937, Operation Railraod, Circus Train Salinas Line 1937, Rocket Trains 1938, Rocket Train Belleville Line 1938, Train Order Signed McFarland 1937, Switching Engines, Track Maintenance, Steam Heat Trains
  • Tape 4, Side 7
    Dress of Railroad Men, Eng 1864 Turned o/CC Line 41, Eng Swenson Hits Bull C Chic, Derail Inspection Coe CC Line, Derailment CC Line 1941, Shooting Track, 44 Ton Engine Derails Audubon Iowa, Big Liars, Carson Branch, Lose Engr on Montezuma Line, Meete F. Wells, Coal Freeze in Coal Chute
  • Tape 4, Side 8
    Winterset/New Line Atlantic, Bridge Ratings, Rateing (sic) of Superintendents, Steam Engines vs Diesel Enginge, Turn Tables, J. W> McNulty, Handling Snow Plows, Coldest Day I Ever Worked
  • Tape 5, Side 9
    J.W. McNulty continued, Blizzard of 1947, Steam Engines Freeze to Rail, Running [F Hangers?], Cleaning Switches, Moveing [sic] Bad Order Cars, Moveing [sic] Cars After Snow Storms, C. P. Trachia, Diesel Engines in the Snow, Orvel Spray, K. O. Thomas, O. A. Johnson
  • Tape 5, Side 10
    Positive, [Heart?] Operation, Snow Storm 1964, Snow Storm 1965
  • Tape 6, Side 11
    Snow Storm 1965 continued from side 10, Pulling cars Manly Snow, Plow Snow off Track Manly, Halley's Comet, Five Days a Week vs 7 Days Ago, Blood Test Brakeman 1938, Put Steam Engines on Blocks, Steam Eng Power on One Side, R E Mechanical Failure, Derailment at Hampton Iowa, Derailment at Cambridge Iowa, Charline Corimm Death, B. R. Dew Personal View on Drink and Where Lived in DM
  • Tape 6, Side 12
    Nevada Derailments, Food Stamps in WWII, Derailment in Northfield Minnesota, Char. El. Farley M. Meehanie, Farley and I at Waterton Line, Camp Car Haywood Okla, Café at McFarland Kansas, Woody Kay Mill and Filmor Smith, George Green Goes to Memphis, R.W. Gravy Vest Lucas
  • Tape 7, Side 25
    Sect Forman [sic] gives a sack of potatore (4-57--28-139 [2699@129]), Flood at Louisville, Nebr 1960 (1400-348), Joe Shires Lells Iowa, (349) CTC, West Liberty Iowa (374-506), Chgs Main Line Double Track, Derailment at West Branch Iowa, Jack Denniger (507-614), J. Toler (615-666) Agent, J.T. Monig (667-709( Agy, SW Eng at Newton (710-746)
  • Tape 7, Side 26
    Switch Eng contd. (11-74), Kellogg Iowa Toy , ?, Washington Line (74-173), Derailment at End Of Lake Park Iowa (174-536), Passenger Car Radio (537-581), Fruit Car Lossed [sic] w/o Knowledge by the Crew (582-611), Poor Segment of Rail Oxford to Iowa City derailment #14 and #8 (612-651), Engineer Coggart or Scrap Iron, Unauthorized Trips and derailment incident (652-746)
  • Mr. Fred B. Huffman, Eng with Ia CRIP RR
    General discussion on class of steam engines that he ran and fired by # class (345), Discussed the West Iowa Railroad, Carson, Harhan, Guthrie Center, and Griswold Branches. Discussed the Atlantic Cutoff & Segment Between Adair and Casey Iowa
  • Mr. B. R. Dew. Recorded February 13 - 1973
    2 tapes
  • Charles Grimes, Roadmaster
  • Three tapes without notes. Tape on the covers are marked 13-13 1/2. J Windsor 2/14/73; 14 -14 1/2; and 15-16. J. Windsor 2/14/72