Tuesday, November 21, 2006

UPRR Railroad Worker, Joseph Holbrook, c. 1868

From: "Joan Ogg" joan.ogg@comcast.net

A fellow researcher, Ms. Peduzzi, from England contacted me regarding her ancestor, Joseph Holbrook, who immigrated to the States around 1857 residing briefly in New York and then in Massachusetts. It appears that after 1860, Joseph traveled out to the west. His letters to back home told his family that he saw the Mormon temple in Utah and Brigham Young and his new wife. They also stated that his was working in the Black Hills (being attacked by Indians), working in the silver mines, etc.

On April 22, 1868, his address was In care of Carmichal, Fort Sanders, Dakota Territory, North America. In June 1868, he wrote home saying that he was working in the Sweet Water mines and they are troubled by Indians (he stated that he was in Salt Lake 4 years ago). On October 25, 1868, he had left Black Hills 5 months ago and was now 700 miles north up country (300 miles from the gold region. Next March he was going to start for the gold region. This was part of a letter from Humbold County, Winnamucca Post Office. After many attempts to locate information regarding Joseph Holbrook (U.S. Federal Census, vital records), I wrote back to Ms. Peduzzi with disappointment because I could not find anything that matched her ancestor. She e-mailed back stating that she thought her ancestor Joseph may have worked on the railway. Most of the letters she has were written in 1868 and all the addresses were "In Care of L. Carmichael." Some were from Cheyenne Territory, Black Hills, Dakota, Green River Station and one for Fort Sanders. She had done additional research on the addresses and L. Carmichael on the internet and they were all linked to UPRR. When she saw these initials, they did not mean anything to her.

This made a lot of sense to me now – if he was working on the Union Pacific Railroad, there would be no record of him on the Federal Census. It also appears that he may have died in 1869. A letter dated then was returned back to the family many years later.

Any information you can provide me with regarding Joseph Holbrook would be greatly appreciated. If there are any other organizations that may be of help would also be greatly appreciated. ...

Can you help us with any information regarding Lewis Carmichael and his employees? Any information you can provide me with will be greatly appreciated.