Samuel Sloan (railroad executive)

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Samuel Sloan
Early 20th century Crosshatch Portrait.
Born (1817-12-25)December 25, 1817
Sloan of Lisburn, County Down, Ireland
Died September 22, 1907(1907-09-22) (aged 89)
Garrison, New York
Occupation Importer, Senator, Railroad Executive
Spouse(s) Margaret Elmendorf
Parent(s) William Sloan and Elizabeth Simpson

Samuel Sloan (December 25, 1817 – September 22, 1907) was an American politician, businessman and executive. He is most known for his tenure as the president of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad (DL&W) for 32 years.

Early life[edit]

Samuel Sloan was born in Lisburn, County Down, Ireland to William and Elizabeth Sloan and moved to New York when he was one year old. He attended the Columbia College Preparatory school until he was 14, at the time of his father's death.[1] After withdrawing, he became employed at an importing house in New York, eventually becoming the head of the firm.

On April 8, 1844, Sloan married Margaret Elmendorf in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and moved to Brooklyn, New York. They had eleven children.


Sloan was elected as a Supervisor in Kings County (Brooklyn) in 1852, and was president of the Long Island College Hospital. He became a director of the Hudson River Railroad in 1855, left the importing business in 1857 and was elected to the New York State Senate, where he served for two years.[1][2]

He became a director of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad in 1864, and became its president in 1867.[3][4][5] Prior to accepting the DL&W Presidency, Sloan had declined an offer to become President of the New York and Harlem Railroad.[2] He extended the DL&W rail lines, and the company achieved great success, in part due to the traffic generated for transport of anthracite coal mined in the railway's expanded territory.[6] Passenger traffic also increased, particularly between New York City and the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, a popular resort area.

Sloan resigned from the DL&W presidency in 1899, but continued as Chairman of the Board. He served on the boards of banks, utilities and other companies.[1]


Samuel Sloan died in Garrison, New York, in 1907 at the age of 89, having been the president of seventeen corporations during his lifetime.[1]

Statue of Sam Sloan, and his ferry station in Hoboken


Samuel Sloan is the eponym of the city of Sloan, Iowa and the village of Sloan, New York.[7]


A statue memorializing Sloan was placed in Hoboken, New Jersey, originally facing the ferries in 1899.[8] Some people criticized the statue's orientation, and the Mayor of Hoboken remarked that Sloan was "turning his back on the great city of Hoboken." On August 3, 1908, during the reconstruction of Hoboken Terminal, the statue was set facing both the town and the railroad and ferry stations.

The inscription reads:




See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Palmer, Richard (April 2008). "A Biographical Sketch of Sam Sloan". Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  2. ^ a b Berry, Earl D. (March 6, 1898). "Samuel Sloan" (PDF). The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Rich and Famous Persons named Sam Sloan
  4. ^ Newton and the Iron Horse: A History of Sussex Railroad
  5. ^ Lackawanna Cutoff
  6. ^ The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, The Route of Phoebe Snow
  7. ^ Chicago and North Western Railway Company (1908). A History of the Origin of the Place Names Connected with the Chicago & North Western and Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railways. p. 125. 
  8. ^ TO SHIFT SLOAN STATUE.; Its Gaze Now to be Impartially on the City, the Ferries, and the Railroad.
  • Duryee, Joseph R. (2013) [first published 1927]. The Story of Samuel and Margaret Sloan. Tokyo: Ishi Press International. ISBN 0923891382. 
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Cyrus P. Smith
New York State Senate
2nd District

1858 – 1859
Succeeded by
Thomas A. Gardiner
Business positions
Preceded by
President of Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad
1867 – 1899
Succeeded by
William H. Truesdale