Mr. Packer was the son of Asa and Sarah Blakslee Packer, and born on the 19th of November, 1842, at Mauch Chunk, Pa.  After receiving a fair English education he became a member of a corps of engineers of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, then locating a portion of the Wyoming division, between White Haven Junction and Wilkesbarre.  On its completion he was appointed superintendent of that division, and acted in that capacity until a short time after the completion of the Pennsylvania and New York Canal and Railroad Company’s line, when Mr. Packer, upon the death of John P. Cox, became superintendent of this railroad.  On entering upon the duties of the office he removed to Towanda, and afterwards to Sayre, Pa., making the latter point his permanent abode.  He was elected, in 1881, president of the latter road, and also to the responsible office in connection with the Geneva, Ithaca and Sayre Railroad, which was a part of the Lehigh Valley system.  He was also president of the Lehigh Valley Transportation Company, owning a line of lake steamers plying between Buffalo and Chicago, and president of the Lehigh Valley Railway Company (running from Lancaster to Buffalo).  Mr. Packer was also a member of the board of directors of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, chairman of its executive committee, a trustee of the Lehigh University, and one of the trustees of the estate of his father (deceased).  In 1883 he was appointed managing director of the Southern Central Railroad.  Mr. Packer possessed a natural tact for railroad management, and directed the affairs of several lines with which he was connected with marked ability.  He was in politics a Democrat, and active in the political contests of the day as a defender of the principles of his party, and not from ambition for office.  Although several nominations for office were tendered him he steadfastly refused their acceptance, preferring rather to join the excitements of a campaign in behalf of some other candidate.  Mr. Packer possessed a genial, whole-souled nature that won him many friends and added greatly to his popularity.  He did much to build up and beautify the town of Sayre, where he resided, and was no less identified with its material than its religious and educational advancement.  He was united in marriage to Miss Emilie Piollet, the only daughter of Hon. Victor E. Piollet, who survived him.  The death of Robert A. Packer occurred on the 20th of February, 1883 at his winter home, in Jacksonville, Fla.








The History of the Counties of Lehigh & Carbon, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,


Alfred Mathews & Austin N. Hungerford

Published in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1884

Page 705


Transcribed from the original in March, 2003


Jack Sterling


Web page by

Jack Sterling

March 2003