Erie Railroad Biography - August Gerhart

August Gerhart was born in Fairview, Erie County, Pennsylvania, October 14, 1860. His father is August Gerhart, Sr., an employe of the Erie at Galion. At the age of 15 he left school and for a while worked in a bakery at Galion. In June, 1880, he went to work as a section hand on the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio at Galion and remained one year. In 1881 he secured a position as brakeman and in 1882 went to work in the shops of the old "Bee Line," where he remained until 1884, when he returned to the N. Y., & 0. as an employe in the shops. In 1886 he secured a position as fireman for the same company and worked in that capacity until September, 1891, when he was promoted to night engine dispatcher. In January, 1893, he was promoted to engineer, and made his first trip to Kent on engine 126 with through freight. He continued as engineer till the spring of 1894, when he was returned to firing, owing to lack of business. In August, 1894, he was re-promoted and ran until the Summer of 1896, when he was again set back on account of slack business, and owing to sickness contracted in September, 1897, he has not run since. In April, 1898, he was promoted to engine dispatcher, which position he continues to fill to the satisfaction of his superiors.

On September 10, 1888, he was in a serious accident at Rittman, Ohio. He was firing local freight on engine 124, which ran into the fourth section of train No. 5. As a result of his injuries he was laid up for eleven months.

He was married in September, 1891, to Miss Cora Helfrich, daughter of J. P. Helfrich, who was an engineer on the Erie. They have two children; Cleora M., aged 6 years, is attending school, and Cora M., the baby, is 4 years of age. Mr. Gerhart owns fine property at 311 First avenue, and is a highly respected and influential resident of Galion. He is a member of Division No. 16, B. of L.E.; was Master of B. of L. F., Lodge 107, for ten years, and is now President of the Board of Education of Galion.

Excerpted from: "American Locomotive Engineers, Erie Railway Edition," H.R. Romans Editor; Crawford-Adsit Company Publishers, Chicago, IL 1899.

From the November, 1914 issue of Erie Railroad Magazine:
Engineer August Gerhart was one of 42 active and retired engineers invited to a chicken dinner given at Galion, OH by Cincinnati Division engineer John Cronenwett for those Division engineers who did not move from Galion, OH to Marion, OH when the Division headquarters were moved there beginning in 1912. Click here for more on the festivities.

From the January, 1919 Issue of Erie Railroad Magazine:

Retired Erie engineer and engine dispatcher Augustus Gerhart of 423 Cherry Street, Galion, died November 23, 1918 at age 58. Per the death certificate available online at, he was born October 14, 1860 in Erie, Pa to August Gerhart and Katherine Klein. He was married, and his occupation at the time of death was real estate agent. He was buried at Fairview Cemetery in Galion on Nov. 26, 1918.

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