Friday, December 11, 2015

William Durbin, Former Railroad Superintendent

William Durbin was born in Carroll County, Maryland in 1813. He studied the art of civil engineering. As a young man he worked as an Assistant Engineer on the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad. He lived in Sandusky, Ohio from the late 1830s through 1851, when he left to survey the Wabash Valley Railroad from Fort Wayne to its western terminus. Then, from about 1852 to 1855, he was involved in the management of the Lafayette & Indianapolis Railroad. In 1856 he returned to Sandusky and entered into a partnership with F.T. Barney and L.S. Hubbard in the banking business. An ad from the Union Bank appeared in the Sandusky Register of June 13, 1857.

In 1858 Durbin was elected president and superintendent of the Sandusky, Mansfield & Newark Railroad. His name appeared in the Low’s Railway Directory in 1862.

William Durbin died after a brief illness on May 21, 1863. An article which appeared in the May 22, 1863 issue of the Sandusky Register stated about Mr. Durbin, “Mr. Durbin was one of our most active, energetic and public-spirited citizens. He was the life and soul of the S.M. & N. Railroad, managing its affairs and caring for its interests in a manner unexcelled. He will be a sad loss to the city and its interests and an irreparable one to the Railroad.” 

William Durbin’s funeral was held at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Lester Hubbard, and burial was at Oakland Cemetery.

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