GEORGE B. AHN 1908 - 1949 REMARKABLE ARCHIVE OF THIRTEEN  MANUSCRIPT DIARIES HANDWRITTEN BY RAILROAD EXECUTIVE, EVANGELICAL REVIVAL CHURCH SERVICE ATTENDEE, SHREWD POLITICAL PROGNOSTICATOR AND FATHER OF FIVE
ELMIRA NEW YORK WILLIAMSPORT PENNSYLVANIA 1908 Very Good Manuscript
On offer is a remarkable archive of thirteen  manuscript diaries handwritten by railroad executive George B. Ahn of Elmira New York and later Williamsport Pennsylvania. Collectors and historians of Pennsylvania and New York State railroad Americana will find a treasure trove of details in these diaries spanning forty-one years between 1908 - 1949 [1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1918, 1920, 1924, 1925, 1926 and 1949]. The reader will see a man and his family mature before one's eyes. Most of the diaries are 80-90% full with about 4 years half full but overall George does a fantastic job relating the events of his life in specific detail [except for his own age! We know from the first diary in 1908 his wife is 30 years old and then we learn they were married in 1902. It would appear since there is one child born well prior to the wedding Helen could be his second wife the first having died or been a divorce within the last ten months. Local historians and researchers will undoubtedly discover the prior events with some small effort.] The books are small format diaries but George writes in tiny perfectly legible script typical of an engineer. His life breaks down into four areas: family, Church, politics and the Railroad. We believe P. and E. Railroad is his specific employer but he travels so many numbered trains and lines on a daily basis it is hard to be certain. Living in Elmira he often takes daily trips to Baltimore, Buffalo, Harrisburg, Williamsport +++ and as in the case of emergencies he would go to the far reaches of Pennsylvania as he did when the Austin Dam burst. The family is large and growing: wife [Helen] nee McClosky [b. Jan.28.1878, married in Dec. 27th 1902], her sick mother, their five kids Harold Daniel [b. Feb. 3rd 1902], Georgie, Bertha [b. Oct. 25 1897] and baby Helen Elizabeth [b. Nov.22 1907], Eloise [b. Jan. 30 1913]. Executive level meetings, the Austin Dam disaster clean up, Charlie Snyder crushed under train wheels, passenger train inspections, heads investigations into loss and damage claims, worked on instructions for New Car Distribution Blanks and revised Loading Instructions, other investigations and committees are all matters for George's attention. Then there is the Church. If George is not working or dealing with family matters he is attending Church Revival Services, going to meetings for different missions, appealing to 'seekers', going to lectures etc. [In the 1949 diary we learn that George preaches almost exclusively most certainly long retired as he must be in his seventies by then.] Lastly there is politics which George has a keen interest: he notes on a mayoralty race: "Wolfe being elected by landslide of Republican votes. Unfortunately he was backed by the base element…Wolfe is a stock broker - gambler." George also gives a tremendous amount of family and area history and genealogical information noting births, deaths and other local events. Online research provided this following interesting note that validates the claim further research is required to flesh out the missing years of this interesting gentleman and his family. ONLINE REFERENCE: "D. F. Ahn and wife, of Williamsport, spent Monday evening with Mrs. Sallie Roath, in this place. Mrs. Ahn was formerly Miss Jane Billow, of this place. She with her husband formerly resided in Sunbury, but have moved to the above city to take charge of the orphaned children of their son, Geo. B. Ahn, who has been promoted to the General Superintendent's office of the P. & E. Railroad." Overall VG.