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A History of the Barney & Smith Car Company
"The Old Guard" (Part One)







     Justice would not be done in this narrative, without a fitting tribute to the men who for many years have been termed “The Old Guard”-men who, by their mechanical ability,, devotion and fidelity to the work in which they were engaged, and who devoted the major portion of their lives to the promotion of the ever increasing business of the Company, and through whose intelligent and conscientious efforts always to improve the character of work, have gained for the Company a reputation throughout the entire American Continent, of which it may be justly proud.

     It is marvelously interesting to scan the names of the faithful men given below, and one must pause to fully comprehend the true import of the long terms of service performed under one employer, and it is perhaps quite likely that no other concern in America can boast a similar record.




     Benjamin Bradford Childs was born in Livermore, Mass., August 29th, 1825.  In 1855 he came to Dayton to enter the service of Barney, Parker & Co., as an expert car builder, and was placed in charge of the erection of passenger and freight cars.  In 1882 Mr. Childs was given the title of General Foreman of the Works, in which position he served faithfully until he was retired with pay March 17th, 1898, after forty-three years of continuous service.  After enjoying the peace and quiet to which his ripe years entitled him, Mr. Childs passed peacefully away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Wm. D. Huber, No. 25 Linden avenue, at 4:00 P. M., May 14th, 1908.  The funeral services were held Saturday after-noon at 3:00 o’clock and the funeral cortege of 463 of his old associates and co-laborers at the Car Works, followed the remains to Woodland Cemetery where the body was interred.




     Henry A. Billings was born in Sharon, Massachusetts, July 7th, 1827.  At the age of fourteen years he went to Boston to learn the molder’s trade and having completed it, went to Providence, R. I., to enter the employ of The Hope Iron Foundry and in the course of time became foreman.

     In 1869 he went to Portland, Maine, taking charge of a Locomotive Works, and it was while here that Mr. E. E. Barney learned of him and induced him to come to Dayton to take charge of the Foundry at the Car Works, which position he occupied until November, 1898, when he was succeeded as Foreman by his son, but remaining in an advisory capacity until the death of his son, at which time he again took charge of the Foundry and retained the position until his death, which occurred March 2nd, 1903,-a continuous service of thirty-four years.




     John Tesseyman was born in Manchester, England, August 3rd, 1832.  When a boy, he became an apprentice in the machinist’s trade in the Platt’s Shop in Oldham, Lancashire, England.  The work in this shop was the building of flax machinery.  In 1857 he came to America, landing in Quebec, Canada, and from there went to Toronto, Detroit and Chicago in search of work.  After varied experience, Mr. Tesseyman came to Dayton in 1861 and entered the employ of the McGregor & Co. Machine Shop, now W. P. Callahan & Co.  After some time in this shop, he was employed by Mr. John Combley to build some flax machinery.  From there he went to work for Mr. Davis, building flax machinery and cotton presses.  About this time Mr. Davis had secured a patent on what is known as a taper core, gimlet pointed wood screw and Mr. Tesseyman and Mr. Davis invented the machines for manufacturing these screws and a company was formed and known as The Davis Screw Company-now owned by the Corbin Screw Corporation.  Mr. Tesseyman left the Screw Company and entered the employ of the Car Works as Master Mechanic in July, 1872.  Shortly after his connection with the Car Works, he patented what was known s the Dayton Cam Pump, which was taken by the Car Company and manufactured by them until they sold it to The Smith & Vaile Co., now The Platt Iron Works Company.  Mr. Tesseyman continued in his position as Master Mechanic until the date of his death, November 10th, 1892 - a continuous service of twenty years.




     Charles H. Billings was born at Providence, R. I., January 13th, 1864, and came to Dayton with his parents, at the age of five years.  After receiving his education in the Dayton schools and at the old Cooper Academy, he entered the Foundry under his father in February, 1877, to learn the molder’s trade.  In October, 1892, he was made Assistant Foreman of the Foundry, which position he occupied until he succeeded his father as Foreman in November, 1898, which position he held until the date of his death, August 23rd, 1902- a continuous service of twenty-five years.




     Charles Cox James was born in England and came to the Car Works in 1860 in charge of the Pattern Room.  Mr. James also made the first drawings from which cars were constructed.  He remained in charge of the Pattern Room until a separate Drawing Room was established in June, 1883, when he was given charge of this Department, in which position he served until the date of his death, July 17th, 1885-a continuous service of twenty-five years.




     Charles W. James entered the service of the Company in March, 1864, to learn the pattern maker’s trade. Shortly after this he left to enter the Union Army as a drummer boy, and returned the latter part of 1865, and resumed his position in the Pattern Room.  In 1885, upon the death of his father, he was made Foreman of the Pattern Room, which position he held until he was given charge of the Drawing Room in November, 1887, which position he held until he left the employ of the Company in June, 1890,-a continuous service of twenty-six years.  Mr. James died in Dayton, March 27th, 1907.




     James H. Stevens was born at Painesville, Ohio, July 5th, 1844, and came to Dayton with his parents in 1845.  On August 31st, 1863, he entered the service of the company with the intention of running a floor matching machine in the planing mill, but after a short time there he was transferred to work in the office and became connected with the Lumber Department.

     In the course of time he became the Lumber Buyer and had entire charge of the Lumber Department as well as the Yard Department, which he held until a Foreman was appointed for the Yard Department in 1884.  From this time Mr. Stevens devoted his entire attention to the Lumber Department until April 1st, 1908, when he voluntarily retired, after a continuous service of forty-five years.




     Henry Tesseyman was born October 5th, 1854, in Old-ham, Lancastershire, England, and came to America with his  parents in 1857.  He first entered the service of the Company in September, 1872, as a machinist and in this capacity he served until October, 1874, at which time he left and went to work for Smith & Vaile, who at the that time had their shop in the north end of the present Annex Shop.  In the spring of 1875, he left them and went to Springfield and worked for P. P. Mast  & Co., until March, 1877, at which time he returned to Dayton and resumed work with this Company, but on account of poor health, he was compelled to give up his work in March, 1878, at which time he located on a farm west of Dayton, where he remained until February, 1883, when he went to Virginia, where he remained until November, 1887, at which time he returned to the service of the Car Company in the capacity of machinist, where he remained until December, 1888, at which time he was transferred to the Drawing Room and after eighteen months in this position, he was made Chief Draughtsman, remaining in this position until November, 1892, when he was made Master Mechanic, in which position he served until Mach 17th, 1898, when he was appointed Mechanical Engineer, and on August 31st, 1907, his duties were extended to include supervision of all passenger car construction, which position he continued to fill until September 8th, 1910, when he resigned and retired from the service of the Company.  No successor was appointed, the duties being assumed by Mr. Martin Kalbfleisch as General Foreman of the Passenger Car Department.


     It is interesting to study the list of names given below, of men each of whom has performed a generation of service for the Company, and some a half century and more of service:


*Eliam E. Barney                                    1849-1881     32 years

*Edward E. Barney                                 1873-1888     15    

*B. B. Childs                                          1855-1900     43    

*Henry A. Billings                                  1869-1903     34    

*Charles H. Billings                                1877-1902     25    

*John Tesseyman                                   1872-1892     20    

*Charles Cox James                                1860-1885     25    

*Charles W. James                                  1864-1890     26    

*Ansel E. Stevens                                   1852-1882     30    

+James H. Stevens                                  1863-1908     45    

+James D. Platt                                      1865-1908     43    

+Eugene J. Barney                                  1866-1900     33    

+Frederick E. Smith                                1877-1900     23    

+Henry Tesseyman                                1872-1910     38    

+P. W. Klinger                                        1897-1910     13    

+H. R. Viot                                             1893-1909     16    

+Chas. Nagel, Sr.                                    1870-1909     39     

 A. M. Kittredge, President                    1884-             27    

 H. M. Estabrook, Vice-President          1885-             26    

 A. J. Stevens, 2nd Vice President          1897-             14    

 J. F. Kiefaber, Sec’y & Treas.               1891-             20    

 E. A. Oblinger, Asst. Sec’y & Treas.    1901-             10    

 W. D. Sullivan, Purchasing Agent          1892-             19    

 J. H. Horne, Designer in Chief               1888-             23    

 Martin Kalbfleisch, General Foreman   1880-             31    




 Henry L. Weitzel, Foreman                   1881              30 years

 James Fleming                                        1862              49    

 Patrick Fitzgerald                                   1866              45    

 *Patrick Leo                                           1866              45    

 John T. Pfieffenberger                           1868              43    

 Gottlieb A. Schulke                               1869              42    

 Henry P. Powers                                   1872              39    

 John Meyer                                           1876              35    

Christian L. Etz                                      1878              33    

 Michael Burns                                       1878              33    

 August H. Delscamp                             1878              33    

 John I. Fleming                                      1880              31    

 John Matt                                              1881              30    

 Nicholas Zitter                                       1881              30    

 Charles W. Redmann                             1881              30    

 Michael B. Sheeran                                1882              29    




 John Hahn, Foeman                               1882              29 years

*John McBride                                       1854              57    

 Henry Carter                                          1865              46    

 John Behm                                             1873              38    

 *William Burton                                    1876              35    

 John Fulmer                                           1879              32    

 Joseph Kunz                                          1881              30    

 William Hoborn                                     1882              29    

 Charles L. Wolfrath                               1873              38    

 Robert Frederick                                    1882              29    

 *Thomas Bentley                                  1856              55    

 John Henry Mans                                  1880              31    




 Philip L. Schwartz, Foreman                 1878              33    

 Peter Williams                                        1872              39    

 Jacob Schaeffer                                      1868              43    







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