Biography of Thomas Carroll

Thomas Carroll  is an engineer who has seen many years service with the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Road. Beginning on the engine when only eighteen years old, he has come to understand its very life, and almost make it a part of himself. He knows every whim and fancy of the iron horse and can coax it to its utmost exertion.

Thomas Carroll, Sr., the father of the Freeport engineer, was born in county Monaghan, Ireland, and came to America when a young man. He lived in New York for a time and came to Freeport in 1854, the year after the Northwestern was built into the city, securing a place on the road and held it until his death in 1863. He was a democrat and a member of St. Mary’s Catholic church. His wife, Ann Duffy, a native of the same county, still survives, making her home with the subject of this writing, and is upwards of eighty years old. She became the mother of six children, four of whom survive.

Thomas Carroll was born December 23, 1847, and came to Freeport when a lad only seven years old. He had the usual school privileges of the time and when he was eighteen years old began life for himself as a fireman on the Racine & Mississippi Railroad, since incorporated into the St. Paul System. Four years later he was given a seat on the right side of the cab and had a run from Racine to Rock Island, and has been in the employ of the great St. Paul railway ever since it took possession of the former road. He has been over thirty years with the St. Paul road, a fact that speaks volumes for his faithful and reliable character. Mr. Carroll and Miss Mary J. Ryan were married in Freeport November, 1874. She was born in Vermont, a daughter of Michael Ryan who died in young manhood, and granddaughter of William and Ann Ryan. Her mother who is still living was Julia Murphy before her marriage. She was a daughter of James and Bridget (Roach) Murphy. Mrs. Carroll died December 5, 1885, and of her

Mr. Carroll is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic church and belongs to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Freeport Division. He also holds membership in the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He has had a long experience as a railroad man and can say with pleasure that he has never been caught in any bad wrecks nor serious disasters.



Fudwider, Addison L. History of Stephenson County, Illinois: a record of its settlement, organization, and three-quarters of a century of progress. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910.

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