Henry Flagler

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Henry Flagler

Post by CHomko »

I'm surprised Henry Flagler wasn't posted yet. Henry built the Florida East Coast RR and helped develop the entire east coast of Flordia from St. Augustine to Key West. He is most noted for buiding the "overseas railroad", his Key West extension, some of which still exists today.

Henry was born on Jan 2nd, 1830 in Hopewell NY. He grew up poor and by the age of 14 decided to move to Bellvue OH where he found work in his half brothers grain store. Henry eventually grew to become half-partner in the Grain Business. After a failed attempt in investing in a salt mining business in Michigan, Henry returned to the grain business in Bellvue. It was there that he became acquainted with another commission grain agent, John D. Rockefeller. In 1867 Rockefeller purchased an interest in an oil well and approached Flagler to help invest in the business. Henry invested $100,000 to became half-partner with Rockefeller to start the Standard Oil Company. By 1872, Standard Oil was producing 10,000 barrels of oil a day. To read more about his history click here http://www.flagler.org/biography.html which I refered to to create this bio.

Needless to say Henry became incredibly wealthy because of Standard Oil. One of his purchases which was a wedding gift for his third wife was an extravagently decorated private car.


This car, which was his 2nd, was known as the Florida East Coast (FEC) No. 90 built in 1898 by Jackson & Sharp of Wilmington Delaware on an open check. Most private cars were built for railroad executives with costs limited by the ever watchful stockholders. Very few were built for royalty or millionaires with no restrictions on expense. FEC No. 90 served as a rolling hotel suite for. Henry sold his interest in Standard Oil in the 1880's for $200 million and used his profits to build the Florida East Coast Railroad and the hotels that opened Florida for development. FEC No. 90 was designed on a luxurious scale to reflect Mr. Flagler's wealth and tastes and is considered to be one of the world's most beautiful rail cars ever constructed. While most private cars during the 1880's and 1890's were paneled in dark varnished oak or mahogany, FEC No. 90's interior has the bright, sunny look of it's Florida home base. All interior walls are paneled, in the finest satin wood and framed with intricately hand carved white mahogany. Empire ceilings are painted in two-tone green and decorated with an elaborate gold leaf floral pattern. Carpeting, curtains, and upholstered furniture designs reflect the decorative tastes of the period and are color coordinated with the ceiling. Chandeliers and lamps are made of bronze and fitted with cut glass globes. An unusual feature of the car is a working fireplace located in the dining room. FEC No. 90 continued to serve the Florida East Coast Railroad until the late 1950's when it was purchased by Ike Duffey of Carmel, president of the Central Indiana Railroad. Mr. Duffey painted the car dark green and named it "Duchess" after his dog. Collector / restorer Reuben Darby of Hagerstown, Maryland bought the car in the 1960's after Mr. Duffey's death. Upon completion of a meticulous $100,000 restoration in 1969, Mr. Darby delivered FEC No. 90 to Mr. & Mrs. Anton (Tony) Hulman, Jr. The car remained in Terre Haute until it was placed on permanent loan to the Indiana Transportation Museum. http://www.itm.org

bill haithcoat

henry flagler

Post by bill haithcoat »

Henry Morrison Flagler, my hero!

First train I was ever taken on (at age 3) was named for him.

Actually the Henry M. Flagler began operating between JAX and MIA about 1939, as a streamliner.

A year later, 1940, it was renamed the Dixie Flagler. It began operating all the way from Chicago to Miami every third day in conjunction with two other new streamliners, the City of Miami and the South Wind. They each operated every third day, in rotation with each other.

In 1947 I was taken overnight between Chattanogoa and Daytona Beach, Fla., round trip. That is when and where my lifelong fascination with passenger trains began.

About 1949 or so, these three all coach streamliners got pullman cars. Such cars were heavyweight at first but later replaced by streamlined. The Flagler was slower than the other two to get completely steamlined pullmans on a year-round basis.

In Dcember 1954 it was re-equipped and re-named the Dixieland. New sleepers with a distinctive four section, four roomette, five double bedroom, one compartment format were built for it.

Just under three years later in November 1957 it was sadly, so very sadly, discontinued. Much of its equipment, less than three years old, went to enhance the Georgian(an overnight Chicago to Atlanta streamliner) and the South Wind.

Long live Uncle Henry( or his spirit)!



Post by b&m617 »

One of Mr. Flagler favorite slogans was: "I'd be rich if it wasn't for Florida". I'm a fan of the Key west extension, the Overseas railroad; there are some great books on the subject by Seth Bramson and Les Standiford.

Truly an amazing man!!

Work safe
Derail :P

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