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Edwin Harrison McHenry (January 25, 1859 – August 21, 1931) was the fourth vice-president of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad and first vice-president of the Consolidated Railway of Hartford, Connecticut. Prior to joining the New Haven, McHenry had been chief engineer and a receiver of the Northern Pacific Railway and later the chief engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Edwin Harrison McHenry
Born(1859-01-25)January 25, 1859
DiedAugust 21, 1931(1931-08-21) (aged 72)
EducationPennsylvania Military College
Occupationcivil engineer, railroad official
EmployerNorthern Pacific Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
Known forcivil engineering railroad official
Titlechief engineer, receiver, vice-president
PredecessorJohn William Kendrick
SuccessorWilliam Lafayette Darling


He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on January 25, 1859. He attended the Pennsylvania Military College at Chester, Pennsylvania.

He first started working on the railroad in 1883 as a rodman doing surveying on the Black Hills branch of the Northern Pacific Railroad. He progressed from rodman to chainman, draftsman, leveler, transitman, assistant engineer, division engineer, principal assistant engineer, and from November 1, 1893 to January 1, 1896, he was the chief engineer.

Starting on October 1, 1904 he was the first vice-president of the Consolidated Railway. He was also in charge of construction, operation and maintenance of the trolley lines owned by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. He was the fourth vice-president, New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, in charge of the electrical department.

While working for the Northern Pacific, McHenry performed two notable engineering feats, and made one memorable marketing suggestion:

McHenry died on August 21, 1931 in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.[1]


McHenry, North Dakota was named by the Northern Pacific for him. Frances, Washington was named by McHenry for his wife, whose middle name was Frances.



  1. ^ "Edwin H. McHenry, Engineer, Is Dead. Prominent in Construction of Railroads. Began Career as Northern Pacific Rodman. Supervised Electrification of New York, New Haven & Hartford Line as Its Vice President". The New York Times. August 22, 1931. Retrieved 2008-07-28. Edwin Harrison McHenry, a retired engineer who was prominent in the construction and development of railroads, died of a cerebral hemorrhage today at his residence in Ardmore after a month's illness. He was in his seventy-third [sic] year.

Publications and papersEdit

  • McHenry, Edwin H. Rules for Railway Location and Construction Used on the Northern Pacific Railway [with a chapter on] Estimating Overhaul in Earthwork. New York: Engineering News Publishing, 1901.
  • McHenry's papers as chief engineer of the Northern Pacific are held by the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul, Minnesota. Some additional papers and correspondence are held by the University of Montana's K. Ross Toole Archives in Missoula, Montana.

Further readingEdit

  • Biographical Directory of the Railway Officials of America, 1906 edition, pp. 381–82.
  • Dakota Dateboook, May 26, 2006, "Moving Date." The story of McHenry and the Northern Pacific moving a massive bridge pier for the railway's crossing of the Missouri River at Bismarck, North Dakota. Available on the Web at:
  • Frances, Washington, history, available on the Web at:
  • Krapp, Connie Allen. "The Loop That Has No End." North Dakota Horizons, Spring, 2000. Available on the Web at:
Preceded by
Vice President of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Succeeded by
Preceded by
position created
Vice President of the Consolidated Railway
Succeeded by