Get Today in Masonic History into your Inbox. Sign up today for one of our email lists!

TODAY in Masonic History:

Facebook Twitter Google

William Wallace Atterbury is Born

Today in Masonic History Nathaniel Prentice Banks is born 1866.

William Wallace Atterbury was an American soldier.

Atterbury was born in New Albany, Indiana. He attended Yale University, graduating in 1886.

After Graduating Atterbury became an apprentice in the Pennsylvania Railroad shops at Altoona. He was paid five cents and hour. He worked hard and completed his apprenticeship in just 3 years instead of the normal 4.

Through out his twenties and thirties Atterbury worked the rails and began to work his way up the ranks. By 1912 he was made the vice president of operations for the Pennsylvania Railroad.

In 1917, during World War I, General Pershing had arrived in France. There he found the rail system in France a mess and he was unable to get supplies moved around for his expeditionary force. He sent word back to America about the problem and asked for the "ablest man in the country" to fix the rail problems in France. France in the meantime had agreed to put their rail system under American control. By the time that Atterbury had made it to France, he had already studied the problem and was ready with solutions. Atterbury was made a brigadier-general.

Atterbury received the United States Distinguished Service Medal, the French Legion of Honor, Great Britain's Order of the Bath, and various awards form other countries including Belgium, Serbia and Romania.

In 1925 Atterbury became the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Rail was under fire from other transportation methods. Atterbury, to keep competitive, bought into bus, airplane, and truck lines.

Atterbury would hold the president position until 1935, when poor health caused him to retire. He would pass away just 5 months later in September of 1935.

Atterbury was a member of Colonial Lodge No. 631 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.