Biography of Lewis K. Sillcox
Jefferson County, NY Biographies





Lewis Ketcham Sillcox, who is vice president of the New York Air Brake Company, is esteemed as a progressive and enterprising business man of Watertown. He was born at Germantown, Pa., April 30, 1886, the son of George Washington and Georgiana (Parker) Sillcox.

Lewis Ketcham Sillcox received his early schooling at Trinity School, New York City, and in 1903 was graduated from L'ecole Polytechnique, Brussels, Belgium. He then served an apprenticeship with the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad from 1903 until 1907, and from 1907-1909 became shop supervisor for the McSherry Manufacturing Company, at Middletown, Ohio. From 1909 until 1912 he was shop engineer for the Canadian Car & Foundry Company, Montreal, Canada, having charge of passenger and freight car construction with mechanical electrical work on lighting systems of steam railway sleeping cars and other passenger types, as well as for street railway service. In 1912 Mr. Sillcox became mechanical engineer for the Canadian Northern Railway System in charge of car and locomotive works, during which time the initial steps were taken in the electrification of the Montreal Tunnel. Four years later he was appointed mechanical engineer for the Illinois Central Railroad System, Chicago, in the mechanical department. From 1918 until 1927 he was assistant general superintendent of Motive Power and General Superintendent of Motive Power for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, Chicago, in charge of mechanical and electrification departments. In 1927 Mr. Sillcox was appointed assistant to the president and in 1929 was elected vice president of the New York Air Brake Company, Watertown.

Mr. Sillcox served as chairman of the Mechanical Division, American Railway Association, during 1926-27; member of the Standardization Committee, A. S. M. E., 1928-33; member of the Executive Committee, Mechanical Division, American Railway Association during 1921-27; member of the American Railway Association Committee on Electric Rolling Stock during 1920-27; and member of the Committee on Shops and Power Plants, American Railway Engineering Association during 1922-31. From 1923 until 1931 Mr. Sillcox was a lecturer at Harvard University, and he is a member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, London, England. He also belongs to the American Standards Association Council and is chairman of the Standardization Committee, American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

On Sept. 14, 1918, Mr. Sillcox married Miss Edna May Harris, of Toronto, Canada, the daughter of William and Caroline Richardson Harris, natives of England. Mr. Harris died in 1916 and his wife died in 1926. Mr. and Mrs. Sillcox are the parents of four daughters: Elsie Winifred, Esther Harris, Enid Burnham, and Edith May.

Mr. Sillcox is a Republican, a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and belongs to the University Club of Chicago, Metropolitan Club of New York City and Black River Valley Club, Watertown, Railroad Club of New York City, and Medinah Athletic Club of Chicago. He is a 32nd degree Mason, and a member of the Medinah Temple.

He is a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (London), Institution of Electrical Engineers (London), Institution of Locomotive Engineers (London), Engineering Institute of Canada, Iron & Steel Institute (London); Institute of Transport (London), American Railway Guild; a life member of the American Railway Association (Mechanical Division), American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, Institute of Mining & Metallurgical Engineers, Western Society of Engineers, Franklin Institute, American Society of Testing Materials, Society of Automotive Engineers, American Railway Engineering Association, American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, National Geographic Society, American Foundrymen's Association, National Founders Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Physical Society, American Academy of Political & Social Science, Traveling Engineers Association, Air Brake Association, Academy of Political Science, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the American Geographical Society.

From:

The North Country
A History, Embracing
Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Oswego, Lewis
and Franklin Counties, New York.
By: Harry F. Landon
Historical Publishing Company
Indianopolis, Indiana 1932


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