Joseph Reinhart

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Joseph W. Reinhart

Joseph W. Reinhart was the twelfth president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.

Reinhart ascended to the Santa Fe's presidency on December 23, 1893, when he was appointed a receiver of the railroad along with John J. McCook and Joseph C. Wilson. He had competed for the presidency with Albert Alonzo Robinson, the railroad's vice president and general manager, but Reinhart's connections in financial circles made him the ultimate winner of this battle.

Reinhart's own statements to the press in the previous year about the railroad's financial health would prove to be his downfall. Right up until he announced the receivership, Reinhart had been issuing reports of a highly profitable financial situation. He pointed out that the railroad's revenues for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1893, were more than $16 million, which was $1 million more than the previous year. However, with that amount in revenues, the railroad was barely able to cover the interest on its debts and collapsed with the death of its chairman George C. Magoun.

The press needed someone to blame and quickly centered on Reinhart as the issuer of the glowing statements of solvency as little as six months previous. Investigations were begun and it was soon found that executives in as many as the past seven years had juggled the company's accounts so that by the summer of 1894, the railroad's actual debt in the previous years had at least equalled its revenues, leaving the company's net worth at zero. Reinhart vehemently denied these new reports, but after further posturing and an indictment for violating the Interstate Commerce Act, Reinhart resigned from the railroad on August 8, 1894.

References[edit]

  • Waters, Lawrence Leslie (1950). Steel Trails to Santa Fe. University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, Kansas. 
Preceded by
Allen Manvel
President of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
1893 – 1894
Succeeded by
Aldace F. Walker