Norman Clement Pugh

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Norm Pugh

Milwaukee Railroad

Dad came from a long line of railroaders, starting with his Grandpa John Pugh.
John was present when the Transcontinental Railroad came together. He later worked as the Rock Island in Iowa.

Dad's brother's Don and Gene also worked on the Milwaukee Railroad for a short time



Dangerous Job

My Dad's uncle Jim Pugh was killed on the railroad at the age of 21 on the Rock Island RR, in Atlantic, Iowa.  

May 18th, 1909 Atlantic Evening: James Pugh is Thrown under Car at Rock Island Depot, Loses Right Arm and May be Fatally Injured as Result-Tried to Board the Engine.
James Pugh, aged twenty-one years, brother of John Pugh, who is employed in the office of Roadmaster Gibbs, and a son of John Pugh, Sr, formerly section foreman here, and is now of South Dakota, was badly, perhaps fatally injured at 10:50 this morning, when, in trying to board the switch engine at the local station of the Rock Island, he missed his footing and fell under a stock car the engine was hauling to the other end of the yards.

My Grandpa's cousin,  Patrick Pugh, was also killed on the railroad at the age of 50,  leaving a wife and 5 children.  Prior to that he had recovered after falling off the dining car.

Dec 1903 The Atlantic Messenger Atlantic Iowa : Pat Pugh Hurt
Pat Pugh who has charge of the dining car was badly hurt Saturday evening. The car had been placed on the dining as is the custom and he was icing it. In some manner the tongs slipped while handling a block of ice on top of the car and he lost his balance and fell to the ground. He was taken to the hospital at once and the examination showed that he has suffered a fracture of the right leg above the knee and also just below the hip and one rib was broken. Dr. Emmert, the company's physician reduced the fractures and the injured man was made as comfortable as possible. He is suffering and shows that he is badly hurt. Mr. Pugh is a hard-working man and the accident coming just at the beginning of winter means a great deal to him and his family.

Dec 20, 1016 Atlantic News Telegraph Pat Pugh Killed in Explosion. Former Well-Known Atlantic-ite Killed in Explosion at Avoca Last Night. Thrown Over Tank Car. Was Filling Water Tank Pat Pugh, well-known here where he lived for years and one of the best-known employees of the Rock Island on the West Iowa division met sudden death at Avoca at 7:15 last evening, when the gas in the oil tank he was filling with water, exploded, the explosion blowing him over the tank and throwing him on the hard cement walk on the other side. He was dead when picked up, his neck having been broken. Deceased, who for a number of years since leaving the city, had been employed as caretaker of the coaches in the Avoca yards, had gone home last evening for the night, and was called back to fill with water and oil tank car, the water being intended for use at Casey on account of a shortage the Rock Island has there. He had taken off the cap the tank and was filling it from the water tank at the station, when the oil which was still in the nearly empty tank, uniting with the water, formed gas and cause the explosion. Pat had a lantern in his hand, but this, it is thought, did not cause the explosion as there was no fire evident. Deceased was about 50 years of age and leaves a wife and five children. He was a longtime employee of the Rock Island and was liked by all the railroaders on the West Iowa division, as well as a host of friends here and at Avoca, who mourn his death. 
 
Dad's uncle John was also hit by a train when he was working during a strike, but thankfully he did not have major injuries. 
August 5, 1919 Atlantic News Telegraph Roadmaster Pugh Injured by Train Former Atlantic Man Hit by Train at Valley Junction. Had Gone There to Assist in Icing Cars because of Shortage of Labor. John Pugh, Rock Island roadmaster stationed at Iowa city and formerly with headquarters in Atlantic, was injured at Valley Junction when he was struck by passenger train number six. His hip was injured, though not seriously. Mr. Pugh had gone to Valley Junction to assist in terminal work during the shortage of men owing to the strike. He was helping ice cars when injured. It is thought he stepped on the track without noticing the approaching passenger train. He was removed to Mercy Hospital. Mr. Pugh is the son-in-law of Mrs. Mary McGrath 905 Maple St., Atlantic



Dad Retires from the Milwaukee Railroad in 1985