John William Kendrick

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John William Kendrick
John William Kendrick circa 1900.png
Born(1853-10-14)October 14, 1853
Worcester, Massachusetts
DiedFebruary 16, 1924(1924-02-16) (aged 70)
EducationWorcester Polytechnic Institute (1873)
OccupationCivil engineer, railroad official
EmployerNorthern Pacific Railway
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
Known forCivil engineering
TitleChief engineer, general manager, vice-president, vice-chairman

John William Kendrick (October 14, 1853 – February 16, 1924) was chief engineer, general manager and vice-president of the Northern Pacific Railway and later vice-chairman of the board of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.


He was born on October 14, 1853.[1][2] He entered railway service: 1879 as levelman construction party in Yellowstone River Valley for the Northern Pacific Railroad, since which he has been consecutively 1879 to 1880, location work; 1880 to 1883, in charge of construction of 160 miles of Missouri and Yellowstone divisions; 1883 to 1888, chief engineer, St. Paul and Northern Pacific Railroad, in charge of main line and terminals between Brainerd, Minnesota and St. Paul, Minnesota; 1888 to July, 1893, chief engineer, Northern Pacific Railroad and leased lines; July, 1893, to February 1, 1899, general manager for receivers, same road and reorganized road, the Northern Pacific Railway; February 1, 1899 to date [1901], second vice-president.

From June 5, 1901, to October 4, 1905, Kendrick was third vice-president Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, in charge of operation. From October 4, 1905, to June, 1911, he vice-president in charge of operation. From 1911 onwards he was a consulting railway expert.

John William Kendrick was later vice-chairman of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. In the 1890s he formulated the engineering plans the reconstruction of the Northern Pacific Railway after its construction era, a period during which the Northern Pacific endured two receiverships and corporate reorganizations. At the dawn of the Twentieth Century he joined the Santa Fe, helping usher in an era of scientific management on that road. John William Kendrick played a vital and active role in the construction and formulation of business policies at two of the largest corporations in the American West.

He died on February 16, 1924.[3]


  1. ^ MacRae, Albert (1908). An Illustrated Biographical Directory of Officials of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. John William Kendrick, Second Vice-President Born on October 14, 1853, ... 1883 to 1888, chief engineer of the St. Paul & Northern Pacific Railway, ...
  2. ^ World War I draft registration
  3. ^ Annual Report of the New England Society in the City of New York. 1924. John William Kendrick, died February 16, 1924.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bryant, Keith L. Jr. History of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Lincoln [Neb.]: University of Nebraska Press, 1992, various.
  • Busbey, T. Addison, editor. The Biographical Directory of the Railway Officials of America, 1901 edition. Chicago [Ill.]: Railway Age and Northwestern Railroader, 1901, p. 298.
  • No author. Men of 1914: An Accurate Biographical Record of Prominent Men in All Walks of Life Who Have Achieved Success in Their Chosen Vocations in the Various Civil, Industrial, and Commercial Lines of Activity. Chicago: American Publishers' Association, 1915. Available on the Web at
  • WPI Journal. "People of the Century: Building Iron Rails." Worcester Polytechnic Institute: Spring, 1988. Available on the Web at: Ironically, four of the five WPI civil engineering graduates listed in this article are early veterans of the Northern Pacific!