Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
RICHARD F. WHALEN, JR. An undeceiving, earnest man, self-assertive and self-controlling is Richard F. Whalen, Jr., superintendent of the reclamation department of the South Side Frisco shops, Springfield. He has owing to his Celtic blood, a number of the characteristics of his people, and thus he has "certain things to say" when occasion demands, which is no fault. Good nature beams through his features; a kind heart sits at the windows of his imagination, and his soul is pervaded with sympathy and good will. He is appreciative and sensitive to the opinions of others, though strong to himself in the trial hour.
Mr. Whalen was born March 21, 1875, at Hannibal, Marion county, Missouri. He is a son of Richard E. and Johanna (Cronican) Whalen, and a grandson of John Whalen, the latter born in Ireland, where he spent the first half of his life, finally immigrating to America, and spent the rest of his days on a farm near Quincy, Illinois. The father of our subject was also born in Ireland, in County Waterford, and he was brought to America by his parents when six years of age. He grew to manhood at Quincy, Illinois and was educated there, and in that city he served his apprenticeship as machinist in the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad shops, then worked there as a journeyman for many years. He later removed to Hannibal, Missouri, where he worked as machinist and later as gang foreman for the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad Company for many years. For some time he hold the position of master mechanic. He was subsequently employed by the St. Louis & Hannibal Railroad Company, and then the Texas Railroad Company. At this writing he is gang foreman at Hannibal for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy road, although he is in his seventy-third year. He has been very faithful in each of the positions with the several roads for which he has worked and is a highly skilled machinist. He is a Democrat and is a member of the Catholic church. His wife is now seventy years of age. To them nine children have been born, five of whom are deceased; those living are: Mary, who has remained single and lives with her parents; John is traveling out of St. Louis for the fuel department of the Frisco railroad; Richard F. of this sketch; Michael, of St. Louis, is manager of the Payton Lumber Company.
Richard F. Whalen, Jr., attended the common schools until he was sixteen years of age, when he began learning the machinist's trade with the St. Louis & Hannibal Railroad Company in their shops at Hannibal, Missouri. Later he went to the shops of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad as journeyman machinist, then became gang foreman and finally general foreman of the machine shop, of this road at Hannibal, remaining there until 1905, when he became general foreman for the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company at the locomotive shops at Sayre, Pennsylvania. Remaining there until 1907, he went to Topeka, Kansas, for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company, as assistant superintendent of the road's shops there. He then took a position with the Frisco system at Springfield as superintendent of the reclamation department in the South Side shops, which position he still fills, having two hundred men under his direction, whom he handles in such a tactful and diplomatic manner as to get the best results possible and at the same time retain their friendship and good will. During his career of twenty-four years in railroad service he has filled his many positions with the several roads mentioned above in a manner that has reflected much credit on himself and to the satisfaction of his employers.
Politically, our subject is a Democrat, and fraternally, he belongs to the Knights of Columbus.
Mr. Whalen was married in September, 1897, to Margaret Burke, who was born in Schomokin, Pennsylvania, December 23, 1874, and was a daughter of John and Ellen (Whalen) Burke, of Hannibal, Missouri, in which city she grew to womanhood and was educated. Mrs. Whalen died at her residence in Springfield December 23, 1914.
To our subject and wife eight children were born, namely: Anna and Francis are both attending the Springfield high school; Mary, Richard, Monica and Regina are all attending the ward schools; Ellen and Margaret died in infancy.
Mr. Whalen and family are members of the St. Agnes Catholic church.
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