New member - Frisco family connections

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by David Van Hook, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. My name is David Van Hook. I was born in Springfield, MO in 1940. I grew up around the Frisco RR and Frisco folks. My grandfather was James F. Van Hook who retired from the Frisco in 1932. At the time of his retirement he was a "Night Watchman" at the old North shops (I inherited his watch and Frisco watchman's badge).
    My uncle, John Wesley (Wes) Johnson, was a switchman in Springfield, and two of my cousins were either switchmen or brakemen. One of them was missing a finger or two from coupler "incidents"!
    I remember going down with my uncle Wes to meet soldiers at the "War Dads" in the Springfield depot during WWll.
    My father, Max Van Hook, had a business with a warehouse on East Brower St., next to Tindle Milling Co. When We werr kids we used to play around the tracks, cars & warehouse sidings for those places. One time I recall when my uncle Wes was working spotting cars at my dad's place, he got the engineer to let us ride in the switcher cab; what a treat!
    When I was stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, we lived in Rolla, another Frisco town. I witnessed the demolition of the Frisco depot there on 1984. I scratchbuilt a model of that depot and the Frisco is now the focus of my current steam/early diesel era HO scale layout (in progress) where we now live in Granville County, NC.
    I was fortunate to stumble upon this blog/site quite by accident while looking for Frisco RR photographs!
  2. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Welcome aboard. We are glad to have you .

  3. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    David, thanks for signing up and checking in - always neat to see and hear about individual's connections to the Frisco through their family. Hope that you'll find plenty of interesting stuff around here.

    One of my favorite Frisco nighttime photos is in the book Frisco Power. It shows the "Meteor" sitting at the Springfield depot in a drizzly rain, with the glow of the neon "War Dads" sign off to the side.

    Best Regards,
    gjslsffan likes this.
  4. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    David - Welcome to the group! My special interest area on the Frisco is similar to yours - the Cuba-St James-Rolla-Newburg-Jerome-Dixon stretch ..... some of the neatest Ozark railroading area there is. I graduated from MSM in Rolla in 1964. Like you, my son Kurt and I were in Rolla when the BN knocked down the Rolla depot. Was it that long ago - 1984? Wow! I got a few bricks from the station platform, which are now part of our back patio here at our home in Frontenac, a suburb of St Louis.

    We all look forward to chatting with you on; it's a great group. Don't hesitate to ask questions, or offer answers!

    gjslsffan likes this.
  5. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    David, I too, extend a hearty Welcome Aboard. I have been a participant here since 2009 and I have to say that you have joined a fantastic fraternity in this group. Don't hesitate to ask questions, but especially share what you can as others here have done to make this such a valuable site for Frisco Folk.
    gjslsffan likes this.
  6. Thanks to you all for the warm welcomes! What great luck finding this place!
    I hope you all are having a joyous Advent season!

    gjslsffan likes this.
  7. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member Supporter

    Indeed welcome we will enjoy your Frisco stories!!
  8. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
    gjslsffan likes this.
  9. DanHyde

    DanHyde Member

    Welcome, David! My McGilvry family , worked at the Springfield shops for over 100 years.
    Frisco is a very special history for me!
  10. The "welcomes" are heartwarming and appreciated. I'll try to get some photos of my small layout post before long.
    I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas.
  11. motiger74

    motiger74 Member

    David, Welcome. I'm a Rolla boy. All my kinfolk live between Rolla & Salem. My family moved to Columbia in 1964. When I was off with the Navy in the mid 70's my parents moved to Springfield. I spent some time at the museum while visiting them. They have both passed away now. Besides seeing the Frisco running thru Newburg and Rolla (I carried the Rolla Daily News for a while as a boy and picked up my papers next the the track about a block from the old station) my other memories are riding the train to Monett a few times to visit my aunt and uncle.

    I now live in Fayetteville, NC. I also have a little HO layout in progress in our attic. It is mostly Frisco (a few other Missouri lines like MKT & Wabash) and I have some streetcars running as well. It is a busy little set up.

    Thanks for joining.
  12. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson Supporter

    David my grandfather worked as a boilermaker at the North Shops. He started in the 20's in Monett and followed the railroad to Springfield where he retired about 1967. He had two brothers that worked out of Momett as Switchman. My grandfathers father drove supplies for the railroad and cut grade with a skiff of mules. Settled in Monett. I went to work for Fricso in 1970 out of High School. I worked 30 years for them and 10 more with other rail lines. Retired in 2011.

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