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Emery Craw

Ulster & Delaware Railroad
"The Only All Rail Route Through the Catskills"


Name: Emery E. Craw
Birth: June 13, 1873, NY
Death:July 6, 1959, NY
Residence(s): Roxbury, NY; Oneonta, NY; Kingston, NY
Spouse: Emma C. Van Housen
Parents: George Craw & Elisa Cole
Date of Hire: 1894
End of Employment: 1941
Position(s) Held: Conductor, Brakeman

Note: 1897-1898 worked for Metropolitan Railways, NYC

Emery Craw

Emery E. Craw

Emery Craw and his wife, Emma.

From the Catskill Mountain News, November 7, 1941

Conductor Craw Completes Forty-six Years of Service

As the milk train on the former Ulster & Delaware railroad rolled into the West Shore depot Thursday evening, Conductor Emery E. Craw brought to a close his railroading career which has spanned 46 1/2 years. Most of this time has been spent on the railroad which runs through the Catskills.

Many of Conductor Craw's relatives and friends were present to congratulate the veteran railroadman at the end of his last run, and official recognition was represented through Trainmaster S.J. Keating of the River division, New York Central system.

When asked if he had any statement to make concerning his last run. Conductor Craw replied, "I sure am surprised to see so many people here to greet me. I did not expect such a reception."

Emery E. Craw's career as a railroader when he hired out as a brakeman on the Ulster & Delaware railroad.

"We didn't get far on my first trip," stated Mr. Craw, "for we had a wreck at Brodhead's Bridge. That was a fine beginning, wasn't it?"

In 1897, for a period of a year, Emery Craw was employed by the Metropolitan Street Railways in New York city, and then he returned to the Ulster & Delaware, where he was promoted to the position of conductor. In 1907 Mr. Craw became a conductor on Train 32, the Catskill Mountain Express.

When asked concerning his experiences on the railroad, Mr. Craw said he never had been in what he termed a serious wreck, "but I have had some queer experiences--- some of which I wouldn't tell you," he replied with a chuckle. The veteran conductor did remark about a wreck which his train had coming down Pine Hill. "We lost the ninth and tenth cars right out of the middle of our train and then teh train coupled together by itself. The cars went down the bank alongside of the track and never derailed the rest of our train."

In conjunction with the accident of losing two cars en route, Conductor Craw pointed out that when he "first went on the railroad we had few airbrakes -- the line and pin coupler holding the cars together. If you didn't watch out, you could have your hand crushed. You had to pull your arm down and not up; but Mr. Westinghouse made it safer."

Replying to a question by Trainmaster Keating concerning his long years of service, Conductor Craw remarked, "When I began railroading I remember you as a little, so high!" To which the trainmaster replied that he could remember "hanging on the fence and seeing Mr. Craw going past on the trains."

Amid the congratulations of his friends, Conductor Emery E. Craw trudged away from his train to register his last run. ---Kingston Freeman.

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