Charles Eugene Denney

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Charles Eugene Denney
Born (1879-10-18)October 18, 1879
Washington, D.C.
Died January 18, 1965(1965-01-18) (aged 85)
Education Pennsylvania State College
Occupation civil engineer, railroad president
Employer Lake Shore and Michigan Southern
Nickel Plate Road
Erie Railroad
Northern Pacific Railway
Known for civil engineering, North American railroad signals, railroad official
Spouse(s) Irene Sullivan Sickels (c1880-1970)
Children Charles Eugene Denney, Jr.
Parent(s) William H. Denney
Sarah E. Tabert

Charles Eugene Denney, Sr. (October 18, 1879 - January 18, 1965) was president of Northern Pacific Railway from 1939 through 1950.


He was born in Washington, D.C., on October 18, 1879, the son of William H. Denney and Sarah E. Tabert.

He married Irene Sullivan Sickels (c1880-1970), and together they had two sons: Clark Denney and Charles Eugene Denney, Jr.[1]

Denney was educated in the public schools of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, after which he attended Pennsylvania State College during 1899 to 1905, while working for Union Switch and Signal Company.

In 1905 he began working for the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway (which later became part of New York Central Railroad) as assistant signal engineer. He worked his way up through promotions within the New York Central system until 1916 when he returned to Union Switch and Signal. In 1917 he moved to an executive position with the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad where he was promoted to vice-president and general manager in 1928. In 1929 Denney became president of Erie Railroad.[2] He remained in that position until October, 1939 when he became president of Northern Pacific Railway.[3][4]

He died on January 18, 1965 in Pinehurst, North Carolina.[5]

See also


  1. "Died". New York Times. January 11, 1970. January 9, 1970, beloved wife of the late Charles Eugene Denney, who was former president of the Northern Pacific Railroad and the Erie Railway. Mother of Col. ... |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Charles E. Denney President of Erie. Vice President of the Railroad Is Elected to Succeed John J. Bernet, Who Resigned. Began as Section Hand. Robert E. Woodruff, Assistant Vice President, Promoted. Is a Purdue Graduate. Worked His Way at College. Woodruff a Purdue Man". New York Times. May 25, 1929. Retrieved 2008-07-31. Charles E. Denney, vice president of the Erie Railroad in charge of operation and maintenance, was elected president of the railroad yesterday. He succeeds John J. Bernet, who resigned to become president of the Chesapeake Ohio, the Hocking Valley and the Pere Marquette and ranking head of the Van Sweringen system.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "1037 & 1030". Time (magazine). October 9, 1939. Retrieved 2008-07-28. To succeed Northern Pacific's late Charles Donnelly is the job of big (225 lbs.), reserved, ironhanded Charles Eugene Denney, taken from the presidency of the bankrupt Erie.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Northern Pacific Elects New Chief; Elected Railway Head". New York Times. September 29, 1939. Retrieved 2008-07-31. The election of Charles E. Denney to the presidency of the Northern Pacific Railway was announced yesterday. He succeeds the late Charles Donnelly.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Charles E. Denney Dead at 85. Ex-Presldent of Erie Railroad". New York Times. January 19, 1965. Retrieved 2008-07-28. Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Irene Sullivan Denney; two sons, Charles Eugene Denney Jr. and Clark Denney, and three grandchildren.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Who’s Who In Railroading in North America, 1940 edition. New York: Simmons-Boardman. 1940. p. 161.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Preceded by
John Joseph Bernet
President of Erie Railroad
1929 – 1939
Succeeded by
Robert Eastman Woodruff
Preceded by
Charles Donnelly
President of Northern Pacific Railway
1939 – 1950
Succeeded by
Robert Stetson Macfarlane