Monday, April 20, 2015

My Grandpa Worked for the Union Pacific

We knew that. It shows on the 1930 Census that his dad, George Robert Vaughn, worked as a Machinist for the U.P. and son George was a Machinist Helper. Technically, he was an intermittent laborer at the start of the Great Depression. Fifty cents an hour was pretty darn lucky. And I was thrilled to see some Union Pacific employment records pop-up to show all that on

Note that the employment periods have gaps and on the back (second pic) it gives reasons for leaving. Mostly they are a ditto of "Reduction in Force," a euphemism for "we don't want to pay you." But I can't make out the last scribble. It seems to be "over . . . " something. If anyone can help me with that, please comment below.

And I was disappointed not to find a card for his father or grandfather. Both worked for the U.P., his Grandfather, Thomas, dying of a heart attack he had in the Salt Lake warehouse, and his father, George R., with an under-achiever employment record that we haven't been able to figure out yet.

There's an error in the record as it gives George's birth year as 1907. He was born in 1910. But with a height of 5'11", he was probably very convincing. He worked for nearly a year in '28-'29 without a break in service. It was during his second period of employment that the stock market crashed and I assume UP stocks and bonds along with everything else.

I've often thought about my paternal grandparents both graduating from Ogden High at the height of boom-times in 1928 and just a year and a little later, the world changed.

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