Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
CHARLES E. DANDO. History is made rapidly in these latter days, representing ceaseless toil and endeavor, the proudest achievements and the most potent progress in all lines, and thus it is gratifying to mark the records of those whose influence has impressed itself along the various channels through which the swelling tide of accomplishment makes its way. If the present volumes are to contain the names of the men who have "done things" in Springfield and Greene county, the name of Charles E. Dando will necessarily have to be included within their pages. For many years he was a widely known railroad man, an engineer and passenger conductor, after the usual preliminary positions, and was also a skilled machinist and worked in many different railroad shops. Later we find him owner and manager of a number of noted horses, then he was in the moving picture business, and now is living in retirement. He enjoys the distinction of having driven the engine that pulled the first passenger train from Kansas City to Springfield, which was over the old "Gulf road."
Mr. Dando was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 8, 1850. He is a son of Joseph M. and Mary (Ball) Dando, both long since deceased; and he is the youngest of four children, two of whom are deceased; Mrs. Harriet Prichard, the eldest, and Joseph and William were the brothers.
Charles E. Dando received a limited education, but in later life became a well informed man by contact with the world and wide reading. When only fourteen years of age he began his railroad career, securing employment with the old Atlantic & Great Western railroad, now owned by the Erie railroad. He started in the shops at Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he remained two years, and from there went to Galion, Ohio, where he began firing a switch engine in the yards; six months later he entered the railroad shops of the Atlantic & Great Western, learning the machinist's trade, which he worked at for three and one-half years, then left Galion and went to New Orleans, Louisiana, where he went to work in the Shakespeare & Gettys foundry, remaining there about a year, then went to Litchfield, Illinois, and worked for the Illinois & St. Louis Railroad Company as a machinist in their shops there, remaining a year and a half. He then went to Kansas City, in the spring of 1872, and worked in the machine shops of the Missouri River, Ft. Scott & Gulf railroad for about four months, when he began firing, which he continued about a year when he was promoted to engineer and assigned to a locomotive which ran as both freight and passenger. When the Kansas City, Ft. Scott & Memphis road was built between Kansas City and Springfield, Mr. Dando ran the engine that pulled the first passenger train from Kansas City to Springfield. Judge John G. Newbill rode in the cab with him from Ft. Scott to Springfield. Mr. Dando was later made a conductor and worked in this capacity a few years, then went back to running a locomotive. He finally retired from railroading and purchased some fine race horses, including the famous "Black Dick." He took his horses all over the Eastern states, engaging in a large number of races, and was very successful. Of late years he has been engaged in the moving picture business in Springfield, but has lived in retirement during the past four years, owning a good home on South Main street.
Mr. Dando was married, March 23, 1884, to Lizzell Davis, of Fort Scott. Kansas, a daughter of Dr. and Sarah F. (Hulse) Davis, whose family consisted of four children, namely: James, Faustien, Lizzell, and Josephine; the last named is deceased. Doctor Davis was born in France. Mrs. Dando grew to womanhood in Ft. Scott and received her education there, making excellent grades in all branches. Our subject and wife had two children, one living: James Edward was born April 19, 1886, and died October 24, 1904; Charles Joseph was born February 19, 1896, and is in a military school at Ashville, North Carolina.
Politically, Mr. Dando is a Democrat. He is a member of the Eastern Division of the Order of Railway Conductors, No. 321, and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. Fraternally, he belongs to the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He was also made an honorary member of the Grand International Division of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, No. 378.
Springfield-Greene County Library