Charles M. Gogan, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Charles M. Gogan


These are favorable opportunities in men's lives, which, if taken advantage of, will take them far along the road toward the consummation of their ideals, and, too, there are those who have a strange intuition of that time and avail themselves of it. But never does this mysterious aid come to those without ambition and fixed purpose. Determined effort invites success. Included in the narrow circle of men who have fought the battle successfully is Charles M. Gogan, passenger engineer on the P. Ft. W. & C. R. R. He is a product of the Empire State, born in Oneida County, September 22, 1844, to the union of John and Jane (--------) Gogan. The father was born in Dublin, Ireland, and was there married to Miss Sheffree, who was of French origin, her parents having been born in that country. Some time in the thirties the parents crossed the ocean to America and settled in Oneida County, New York. Later they moved to LaPorte County, Indiana, and in 1858 came to Valparaiso, where the closing scenes of their lives were passed. The father followed the occupation of a farmer, and was also a successful dairyman. Of the eight children born to this worthy couple only three now survive. The original of this notice received his scholastic training in the common schools, and when sixteen years of age came with his parents to Valparaiso. Two years later, or in 1862, he enlisted in Company A, Seventh Indiana Cavalry, and served through the war, being mustered out at Austin, Texas, under Gen. Custer, in 1865. Although so young Mr. Gogan was one of the bravest soldiers who ever trod the red sod of a battle field. He was in the battle of Holly Springs, Mississippi, Ft. Pillow, Vicksburg, Guntown, thirty-two engagements in all, and was a sergeant, being first chief of orderlies under Gen. Custer. At the close of the war he returned to Valparaiso and soon after began railroading on the P. Ft. W. & C. R. R. as fireman. After two years he was promoted to engineer, and ran a freight for some time, but later was given a passenger engine, which he has been running for the past seventeen years. He ran the limited train between Chicago and New York for a number of years, and has won a record as the bravest and fastest running engineer on the whole system of the Pennsylvania Railroad. He ran the fastest train in the west - the fast mail - with engine No. 167, the second fastest engine on the road. Generally he pulled three or four mail cars and as many express cars, making the run from Chicago to Ft. Wayne, 149 miles, in three hours and forty minutes. Considering the number of stops made necessary by railroad crossings during the first twenty-five miles of the run, this is really remarkable time. To be a skilled engineer requires courage and nerves like steel, and the man who pulls out with a train load of passengers to dash into the darkness at the speed of a mile a minute, needs plenty of self-confidence and nerve. Mr. Gogan is a fine-looking man, with a massive, well-knit frame, keen bright eyes, hair slightly sprinkled with gray, and impresses those who meet him in a casual way as one who has drifted easily and naturally into his business. He has been with the Fort Wayne R. R. Co. for nearly a quarter of a century without a day's loss of time, and is one of the most valued men on the road. His train has carried more dignitaries over the road, more special trains with Presidents and other noted people, than any other on the line. Mr. Gogan is an interesting conversationalist, and can relate many thrilling experiences, but he has never met with an accident. The Valparaiso Commandery adopted resolutions thanking Mr. Gogan for his kindness and thoughtfulness of guests of whom he had charge in a trip across the Rocky Mountains to Denver, Colorado. Our subject started from the bottom round of the ladder and has now reached the top. He has accumulated considerable property and has a good cash account. A short time ago he sold property that he owned in Chicago for $9,000 cash, and he owns a nice home in Valparaiso. Mr. Gogan was president of the Seventh Indiana Cavalry Association, and was presented with a handsome gold-headed cane at their last reunion held at Marion, Indiana, in 1890. He is a member of the G. A. R., and also a member of the Masonic fraternity, being a life-long member of Pleiades Blue Lodge and Worley E. Egan Chapter of Chicago. He is past eminent commander of Valparaiso Commandery, and led the same to Denver in 1892. Mr. Gogan selected his wife in the person of Miss Kate O'Connell, a native of Kentucky. He is a substantial citizen of Porter County, and a liberal donator to all public enterprises.

Source: Goodspeed Brothers. 1894. Pictorial and Biographical Record of La Porte, Porter, Lake and Starke Counties, Indiana. Chicago, Illinois: Goodspeed Brothers. 569 p.
Page(s) in Source: 515-517

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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