George B. Roberts
George B. Roberts ( - 1897) of The Pennsylvania Railroad
"DEATH OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD.- Those who have taken any interest in American railroad development must have learned of the influence of Mr. George B. Roberts, who by sheer merit rose from the lowest to the highest rank, and who, for nearly twenty years,, acted with conspicuous credit as president of the principal company in the States-the Pennsylvamia Railroad. He has, however, been lately laid aside from his work, and succumbed on Saturday evening, the 30th u1t., to the regret of a wide circle of friends.
He began his association with the Pennsylvania Company 40 years ago in the humble capacity of a rod-man in the corps of civil engineers. His first position of importance was that of assistant engineer of the Allegheny Summit division, including the great tunnel on top of the mountain. He was employed for a decade in the construction of new railroads in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including the North Pennsylvania, the Allantown, the Mabanoy, and Broad Top Mountain, and the West Jersey roads.
In 1862 he was made assistant to the president, and thus early demonstrated the qualities that have since contributed to his elevation to the highest honours. He was elected fourth vice-president in 1869, and he proved such an invaluable aid to President Scott that he was promoted to the first vice-presidency in 1874. In the discharge of the duties of this office, he had charge of all engineering questions in relation to the extension and improvement of the various lines of the company, and exercised a general supervision through the comptroller of the accounts of the corporation. He was also the president's assistant in regard of all business connected with other lines leased or controlled by the Pennsylvania. In this he especially distinguished himself and when Colonel Scott laid down the reins of power as president, in 1880, Mr. Roberts was chosen as successor. Since then Mr. Roberts more than justified the reputation he had previously earned. He was firm, just and exact in all his dealing, a skilful organiser, and a most successful manager."