CHARLES DARIUS HAMMOND
ONE of the prominent railroad officials of our city, whose services have been of great value to the corporations with which he has been connected, is Charles D. Hammond, the present superintendent of the Northern department of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company’s railroad. His ancestors came from England to this country at an early date and settled in Massachusetts. His grand-father afterward moved to Rushford, Allegany county, N. Y., where he was born on the 1st of March, 1844. He is a son of the Rev. S. Y. Hammond, a member of the Genesee Conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, who for half a century faithfully discharged the regular duties of a pastor in different parts of this state, and who is now, at the age of eighty-one, rounding a life of consecration to the cause of his Divine Master in the noblest of all professions, calmly and hopefully awaiting that Master’s summons to a blessed immortality. The maiden name of his mother was Martha Adams, a devoted Christian lady, who departed this life in 1863.
Charles D. Hammond, the subject of this sketch, is of the fifth generation in a direct line from the original settlers of that name in this country. The earliest years of his life were spent in Western New York, under the parental roof, and in attending the district schools in places where his father officiated as an itinerant preacher. His father, who was noted for his high Christian character, and his eloquence and fervency in the pulpit, took the greatest pains to direct and lead him in the pleasant paths of human and Divine knowledge. Besides the rudimental instruction he enjoyed in the common schools and in his father’s house he received his principal education at the Friendship academy, N. Y. There young Hammond made an excellent record as a diligent and faithful pupil, earnestly endeavoring to lay the foundation of a sound, practical, educational superstructure. Leaving the academy at the age of seventeen, he deemed it his duty to engage forthwith in some useful occupation that might at the same time be somewhat remunerative to him in beginning life’s struggles. Being naturally fond of the science of telegraphy he, accordingly, sought and obtained a place as an operator on the western end of the old Erie railroad, where he was not long in acquiring a thorough knowledge of a business so congenial to him, and a remarkable energy in dispatching the work belonging to the office. In this capacity he continued until the beginning of 1864, when, at the age of twenty, he enlisted in the army, in the service of which he remained till the close of the civil conflict. Soon after his connection with the army his superior qualifications as a telegraph operator became more widely known, and the government desiring his services in this line he was detailed from the ranks and appointed an operator. He now devoted his whole time with promptitude, alacrity and success to the duties assigned him. At the close of the war he returned with renewed energy and enlarged experience to his telegraphic work on the Erie road at Susquehanna, Pa. There he remained seven years in constant employment, becoming manager of the general office in 1867. Leaving Susquehanna in 1873 he accepted a position as train dispatcher on the New York, Oswego and Midland railroad. He now acquired a still more profound knowledge of the practical workings of the railroad system and the important and incessant duties connected with it. This experience was subsequently to be of great use to him in occupying wider fields of usefulness in the same direction.
Continuing on the Oswego Midland road about a year and a half as assistant superintendent, he was appointed in 1874 train dispatcher of the Saratoga division of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company’s railroad, with headquarters in Troy. He held this position until March, 1875, when he was made superintendent of the Susquehanna railroad division, his office being first established at Oneonta and afterward removed to Albany. For ten years we now find him attending to his daily official business with a diligence, fidelity and success which elicited no little praise among railroad men as well as the traveling public.
In 1885 Mr. Hammond was chosen superintendent of the entire Northern department of the district, including the division previously under his care. This highly responsible post he has filled for five years with great acceptableness to the company and much credit to himself. While Albany is his official residence he has a pleasant private home at Slingerlands.
Mr. Hammond has always made excellent use of all the opportunities afforded him in the course of a life now in its very prime. From a youthful telegraph operator he has gradually risen to his present ample field of labors by the cultivation and exhibition of those qualities which distinguish our most useful and successful citizens – “justice, truth and probity of mind,” untiring perseverance, rare executive ability, and a careful watch over public trusts.
Mr. Hammond has also shown a sincere regard for all matters of a religious, moral and benevolent nature, his influence being especially felt in the affairs of the large religious denomination of which – like his venerable father – he is a working, honored, benevolent member, contributing largely of his own means toward its success. He is deservedly held in high estimation by his church and has been frequently chosen as a representative in its public deliberations. In 1884 he was a delegate to the general M. E. conference in Philadelphia, and again in 1888, to the general conference in New York city.
He is a trustee and second vice-president of the Round Lake association, and a trustee of Poultney academy. With a tall, well-proportioned, impressive figure, a face beaming with intelligence and benevolence, manners quiet and unassuming, a somewhat ministerial bearing inherited from his father – he is one who, in all the activities of his life, rejoices to enlarge the sphere of his benevolence – to elevate and purify the standards of business, religion and morality.
In 1866, Mr. Hammond married Miss ELeonora Babcock, of Friendship, N. Y., daughter of Dr. Brayton Babcock, one of the most eminent physicians in that part of the state, a young lady whose acquaintance he made while pursuing his acadedemical Study at that place. They have no children.