Biography of Robert Bell


Bell, Robert, Buffalo, general superintendent of the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railway, is a son of Thomas and Hannah Bell, and was born near York, England, July 5, 1844. Coming to America when about seven years of age he received a common school education in Rochester, N. Y., and his technical education as a civil engineer at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, N. Y. In 1869 he entered the railway service as chairman and transitman of the Rochester and State Line Railroad. He then became chief engineer of the Silver Lake Railway, and chief engineer of the Belmont and Buffalo Railway, supervising the construction of the first named road and locating the latter. In 1872 he became assistant engineer of the New York, Lake Erie and Western Railroad and continued in that position until 1880, when he became chief engineer of the Genesee Valley Canal Railroad, now the Rochester division of the Western New York and Pennsylvania, and supervised its construction. In 1883 he became chief engineer of the Washington, Ohio and Western Railroad of Virginia, and located its extension across the Blue Ridge and through the Shenandoah Valley and Alleghanies. In 1885-86 he was superintendent and chief engineer of the same line, and then superintendent of the same line as a division of the Piedmont Air Line. In 1887 he became engineer of maintenance of way of the Richmond and Danville Railroad, which position he resigned to become division superintendent of the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad at Oil City, Pa., and since 1889 has been the general superintendent of that line, with headquarters in Buffalo. Mr. Bell is one of the best known railroad men in the State, and in these various capacities has exhibited rare ability, good judgment and masterly executive qualifications.

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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