Biography of William Lester Kellogg

William Lester Kellogg. The superintendent of motive power of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, William L. Kellogg, had worked his way to his present position through his own initiative. At the outset of his career he had no favorable influences to assist him, and he had depended upon no happy circumstances to aid him in his promotion. The chances he had had have been the chances that have come to every man who had been placed in a position similar to his own; the reason that he had gone further than some of his fellow workmen is due to the fact that when these chances arose he had the foresight to recognize them and the ability to fill the positions which they offered.

William Lester Kellogg is an Ohican, born at Alliance, February 3, 1869, a son of Franklin J. and Catherine M. (Mather) Kellogg. He is of Scotch descent and is a representative of a family which was founded in America prior to the Revolutionary war. His grandfather, William Kellogg, was born in 1787, in Pennsylvania, from which state he removed to Ohio, where he was a superintendent of mines. He retired in 1877 and moved to his home at Alliance, Ohio, where he died in 1881. Franklin J. Kellogg was born in 1832, in Pennsylvania, and was reared and educated in the Keystone State. He went to Alliance, Ohio, as a young man and was there married, beginning his career upon a farm in the vicinity of that city, where his enterprise led him into the operation of a dairy and a general store. His inclinations led him to Kaneas in 1883, and, settling at Eldorado, he became one of the most substantial men of the community, both from the standpoint of holding property and from the viewpoint of good citizenship. He accumulated large properties in city realty and farm properties in different parts of Kansas, in order to take care of which he removed to Topeka in 1890 and resided in that city until 1894. In 1896 he retired and took up his residence at Los Angeles, California, where his death occurred in 1914. Mr. Kellogg was a republican who voted the straight ticket but did not look for favors at the hands of his party. Throughout his life he was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He married Miss Catherine M. Mather, who was born at Alliance, Ohio, in 1839, and died at Topeka, Kansas, at the age of fifty-four years, and they were the parents of two children: Daniel P. and William L. Daniel P. Kellogg, like his brother, had been a railroad man all of his life. He started at the bottom of the ladder in learning the railroad business with the Missouri Pacific Railroad, in Kansas, and at the present time is master mechanic for the Southern Pacific Railroad at Los Angeles, California.

William L. Kellogg received his education in the public schools of Eldorado, Kansas, and he and his brother had as a classmate the noted William Allen White, now of Emporia, Kansas. A warm friendship sprang up between the three boys and time had not served to chill its glow. After his graduation from the Eldorado High School, in 1887, Mr. Kellogg devoted himself to learning the machinist’s trade, in the shops of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, at Fort Scott and Eldorado. He gained some valuable experience as a locomotive fireman, but left this position in 1891 to go to St. Paul, Minnesota, where, after a short period of firing he was given an engineer’s run, and subsequently was promoted to foreman of the roundhouse. His all-round ability, fidelity and extensive knowledge combined to gain him still further promotion, and he was made road foreman of engines at St. Paul, holding that post until 1900, when he went to the Iron Mountain Railroad as master mechanic. After 1½ years, Mr. Kellogg was recalled to the Missouri Pacific, where he remained as master mechanic, with headquarters at Fort Scott, Kansas, until 1905. That year saw his appointment as superintendent of motive power for the Pere Marquette and Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad, at Detroit, Michigan. His excellent services there were recognized and appreciated by the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, which sent for him to take a like position with them in November, 1912. He now had his headquarters at Parsons and had charge of the locomotive and car departments of the entire system. Mr. Kellogg holds a responsible position, and it is one for which his training and experience well fits him. Having worked his way up from the bottom he is able to appreciate the difficulties surrounding the various departments and is capable of rectifying any discrepancies.

Mr. Kellogg is a railroad man through and through. He is a member of the Master Mechanics Association, the Master Car Builders Association, the Traveling Engineers Association and the American Railway Fuel Association. The spirit of fraternalism had led him into Masonry, in which he had attained to the thirty-second degree, being a member of Cincinnati Lodge No. 542, Anciant Free and Accepted Masons; Cincinnati Chapter No. 97, Royal Arch Masons; Cincinnati Commandery No. 3, Knights Templar; Valley of Cincinnati Consistory; and Syria Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Cincinnati. He also holds membership in the Commercial Club, and is a republican in his political allegiance. He is interested as a stockholder in several oil companies.

Mr. Kellogg was married in Old Trinity Church, New York City, in 1911, to Miss Sylvia Woodruff, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Woodruff, both of whom died in 1912. Prior to his death Mr. Woodruff had charge of the water service department of the Pere Marquette Railroad at Saginaw, Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Kellogg are the parents of three children; William Howard, born January 19, 1912; Clara Louise, born October 21, 1914; and Russell Harding, born October 21, 1914, the latter two twins.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

Search Military Records - Fold3

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top