Charles Donnelly (railroad)

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Charles Donnelly (November 9, 1869 – September 4, 1939)[1] was president of Northern Pacific Railway 1920-1939.


He was born in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, on November 9, 1869, the son of Thomas F. and Catherine Corwin. He married Berthania McMichael on November 6, 1894.

He was educated at Georgetown University, graduating with an LL.B. in 1896, after which he began his law practice in Washington, D.C.

In 1903 Donnelly became division counsel for the Northern Pacific Railway, having an office in Helena, Montana. He held this position until 1908 when he was promoted to assistant general counsel based in St. Paul, Minnesota; further promotions led to his presidency of the railroad beginning in 1920.[2] He remained in this position until his death in 1939.


  1. Northern Pacific. Annual Report. St. Paul [Minn.]: Northern Pacific, 1939.
  2. Who’s Who in Railroading – United States, Canada, Mexico, Cuba – 1930 Edition. New York: Simmons-Boardman. 1930. pp. 139–140.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Preceded by
Jule Murat Hannaford
President of Northern Pacific Railway
1920 – 1939
Succeeded by
Charles Eugene Denney