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REED, ST. CLAIR GRIFFIN (1867–1948). St. Clair Griffin Reed, railroad official and historian, was born on March 26, 1867, in Franklin Parish, Louisiana, the son of Isaac Alexander and Ellen Addison (Griffin) Reed. He entered Madison (now Colgate) University, Hamilton, New York, in 1885, but left at the end of his sophomore year because of the death of his father. He returned to Texas and taught in Victoria High School but later went back to Madison University, from which he graduated in 1888. He began his railroad career immediately after graduation by taking a position as freight clerk in the office of the New York, Texas and Mexican Railway. In 1889 he became chief clerk to the general freight and passenger agent, the first of many rapid promotions. In 1905 Reed was promoted to division freight and passenger agent of the Louisiana and Texas Railroad (see MORGAN LINES) in Lafayette, Louisiana; in 1906 he was transferred to the Houston and Texas Central Railway; both companies had become part of the Southern Pacific lines. In 1911 he was promoted to assistant general freight agent, and the following year he became assistant general freight and passenger agent of Southern Pacific. He remained in Dallas until 1918, when he was assigned to Houston as a corporate land and tax agent. In 1920 he was appointed assistant general freight agent of the Southern Pacific lines in Texas, and in 1924 he was promoted to assistant freight traffic manager of Southern Pacific in Texas. In 1928 Reed's jurisdiction was extended to Louisiana; he later became freight traffic manager. He retired in 1937 after forty-nine years of continuous service with the Southern Pacific lines in Texas and Louisiana. Reed was a member and president of the Association of Interstate Commerce Practitioners, an honorary member of the Eugene Field Society, and a contributing member of the Texas State Historical Association. He also belonged to the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society, headquartered in Boston, and was a member of the Episcopal Church. In 1941 he published A History of the Texas Railroads; he also wrote numerous articles concerning Texas railroads for various periodicals, and his contribution of railroad articles to the first edition of the Handbook of Texas was enormous. On February 20, 1895, Reed married Carrie Pye in Port Lavaca; they had three sons and one daughter. He died on March 22, 1948, in Houston and was buried in Forest Park cemetery there.


Houston Post, March 23, 1948. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Clarence R. Wharton, ed., Texas under Many Flags (5 vols., Chicago: American Historical Society, 1930).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "REED, ST. CLAIR GRIFFIN," accessed August 21, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on November 7, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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