Friday, June 05, 2015

John Insley Blair

From: "Christine Beegle"

My name is Christine Beegle of the Blairstown Historic Preservation Committee. I am trying to find out if the CPRR might have any records regarding whether railroad baron John I. Blair, namesake of our town, attended the ceremony of the joining of the Central Pacific Rail Road and the Union Pacific Railroad in May 1869.

It is stated ... that he received one of the seven watch fob spike souvenirs. However, we are trying to determine if he actually attended the ceremony. He would have traveled a great distance from his home state of New Jersey to Utah for the ceremony. He was an avid train traveler, but the [Promontory Summit, Utah, May 10, 1869 Golden Spike] ceremony was about 3 months after the death of his eldest daughter. So far we haven't been able to find any record by newspaper report and when calling the NPS Golden Spike National Historic Site, they stated that they did not have his name on record as a dignitary in attendance.

John I. Blair was instrumental in completing the Iowa portion of the Chicago Iowa & Nebraska Rail Road among many other railroad ventures. ...

—Christine Beegle, Chairperson, Blairstown Historic Preservation Committee