J. P. HASELTON,
agent and yard-master at Effingham for the Vandalia Railroad Company, has held that position since July, 1884,
and has been an employe of the company since July, 1869. That he is trustworthy and capable is indicated by his
long continued service. He is a man of sterling worth and many excellencies of character, and well deserves representation
in the history of his adopted county.
Haselton was born in Orford, Grafton County, N. H., March 31, 1834, and is a son of John and Mercy (Phelps) Haselton.
His parents were also natives of the old Granite State, and both were members of old New England families of English
origin. The father was born in Westmoreland, N. H., and the mother in Grafton County.
subject was reared to manhood upon the home farm, and began his education in the district schools of the neighborhood,
after which he attended the Orford High School. In 1857, like many another enterprising young New Englander, he
left home for the Great West, seeking fields of greater promise for a fair reward for industry and energy. He came
at once to Illinois, and made his home in Charleston, Coles County. In October of that year he secured a position
with the Terre Haute & St. Louis Railroad, a part of the Big Four, on construction, and was in charge of construction
and track work on that line until 1859, when he engaged in farming and stock-growing. Not finding that business
to his taste, he abandoned it after two years' experience and returned to railroading. He became an employe of
the Illinois Central Road in the capacity of brakeman in the spring of 1861. After five months spent in that line
of work he was promoted to conductor, and continued with that company until the 1st of July, 1869, when he changed
to the Vandalia Railroad, running as freight conductor until the spring of 1881. At that time he was promoted to
passenger conductor, in which capacity he served until July, 1884, when he was appointed Station Agent at Effingham,
which position he now holds. Mr. Haselton comes by his taste for railroading very naturally, as his father was
a railroad contractor on construction, and his son, the subject of this sketch, assisted him while a youth in his
operations on the Connecticut River & Pasumpsie River Railroad.
Piermont, N. H., on the 7th of October, 1857, Mr. Haselton was united in marriage with Miss Sarah C. Messer, who
was born in Piermont, and is a daughter of Peasley Messer. They have one child, a son, Frank W.
subject and his estimable wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, while in political belief he is a Democrat.
Socially, he is a Master Mason, belonging to Western Star Lodge No. 240, Champaign, Ill., and also to the Knights
of Honor. Mr. Haselton has been employed in railroad work in the West for thirty-three years, twenty-four years
of which service have been with the Vandalia Railroad, or more properly speaking, perhaps, with the Terre Haute
& Illinois Railroad, of which the Vandalia is a division. His long continuance with that company and his promotion
to the responsible position he now holds speak in no uncertain manner as to his high standing with the company.
He is a man possessed of good executive ability, understands his business thoroughly, and always attends to his
duties with promptness and fidelity.
mercantile or manufacturing corporations it is sometimes the case that men are assigned to responsible positions
through moneyed influence, but with railroad corporations promotion is rarely made except for merit, and fitness
and faithfulness are the only standards considered in continuance in positions of responsibility. Judged on this
basis, which is the only true one, Mr. Haselton has good reason to feel satisfied with his record.
and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago:
Chapman Brothers, 1887), p. 382. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.