Charles R. Barkdull biography

CHARLES R. BARKDULL. Among the employe[e]s of the Fort Worth & Denver Railroad who have served the station at Henrietta the subject of this notice holds the record of having given the longest continuous service, his long tenure of position being ample evidence of the confidence in which his company hold him. Although his appointment as agent dates from January, 1903, his connection with the station as its operator began in 1890 and the relations of both employer and employe[e] seem to be mutually pleasurable.

Mr. Barkdull came to Texas in December, 1879, from New Orleans, Louisiana, a cripple and alone and without a profession or influential friends. He stopped at Fort Worth, secured a place where he could learn telegraphy and when he was able to work on the line was sent out to Wills Point by the T. & P. Railway as its operator. A few months afterward he was recalled to Fort Worth to take a position in the freight office of the same company and remained there until he took charge of the station at Benbrook as its agent. In August, 1882, he went to work for the G. C. & S. F. Railway in Fort Worth and was with the company there till August of 1883. In November, 1886, he was sent to Justin as agent and terminated his services with it there two years later. After a visit to New Orleans and Florida he took work with the Fort Worth & Denver road and was sent to Henrietta as operator and cashier.

East Feliciana parish, Louisiana, was the birthplace of Charles R. Barkdull and the date was December 18, 1860. His father, Enoch J. Barkdull, identified himself with the south factor in Republican politics during and after the reconstruction period. His early life had been passed as a merchant in Akron and Massillon, Ohio, and he embarked in business at Jackson, Louisiana. He went south in 1858 in New Orleans at the age of seventy-two years of age. His birthplace was in Ohio and his ancestors were of German blood. The names of Barkdull, Barksdale and Barkdoll are all from the same origin, the change in the spelling occurring to suit the fancy or taste of some careless and indifferent member of the family.

Enoch J. Barkdull married Olive Robinson, born in Montpelier, Vermont, in 1820, and died in New Orleans in 1872. Their children were: Emma, who died in Henrietta, Texas, in 1892 as Mrs. George Goodwin; Laura, now Mrs. Everest Blanc, of New Orleans; Augustine and Enoch, Jr., of Chicago; Olive, who died as Mrs. W. F. Faulkner, of Fort Worth; Lucien H., of Chicago; Charles R. and John W.,of New Orleans.

Charles R. Barkdull was educated in the city schools of New Orleans. Between five and six years of age he was run over by a street car and both of his legs taken off below the knee, and was probably the first child to lose both feet in such an accident. He was about again in six months and was for a time in the employ of Dr. Bly, of New Orleans, in his artificial leg factory, as an advertiser for the place. He seems to have had no serious intentions or thought about the world until her twentieth year, when he left New Orleans and cast his lot with Texas and the west.

December 12, 1880, Mr. Barkdull married Rose Caldwell, a daughter of John Caldwell, of Zanesville, Ohio. Mrs. Barkdull met her future husband while on a visit to Fort Worth. The issue of their marriage are: Olive, deceased; Elise, wife of Frank Davis of Fort Worth; Earl, Rose, Charles, Jr., Inez, Laura and Lois, all still with the family circle.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, Vol. II (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), pp. 68-69.