Charles T. McElvaney (1832–1932)
T. McElvaney was a retired master mechanic on the
MKT Railroad. On April 1, 1913, he defeated Dr. Alexander W.
Acheson and became
mayor of Denison. It fell to him to lead the city to complete the new
High School on Main Street. As McElvaney had seven children, at least
whom took high honors at high school graduation, the new mayor had a
interest in education.
is a biography published in
B. B. History and
Biographical Record of North and West Texas.
Publishing Co., 1906.]
It is one of the appropriate events for
the closing years of a long
career of service that the mature experience of life should be honored
public office, of the dignity such as executive of a city enjoys. In
of 1913 the citizens of Denison elected as their mayor Charles T.
who was for many years master mechanic with the Missouri, Kansas
Railway at Denison, and whose service in that department of railroading
with other industrial concerns covers a period of forty-five years. He
of the veterans of railroad circles in the Southwest, and a man of the
probity of character and standing as a citizen.
Charles T. McElvaney was born
September 4, 1851, at Hornell, New York,
the oldest in a family of five children of Charles T. and Alta Palmer
McElvaney. He is now the only one of the immediate family in Texas. On
mother's side, the Palmers have a large descent in New York State. His
who was born in New York, the mother being a native of Vermont, was
railroad man, and for twenty years held the post of locomotive engineer
the Erie Railroad. Later he was for about eight years master mechanic
M. K. & T. Railroad in the Southwest. From the M. K. &
T. he went to a
similar position with the Northern Pacific and after about ten years
from service, and died in Oklahoma in 1907 at the age of about
years. His wife passed away about 1865.
Mayor McElvaney got his education in the
New York public schools. He was
seventeen years old when his experience in the mechanical department of
railroading began. He was a machinist's apprentice in the Erie shops at
Buffalo, from 1868 to 1872. From the latter year until 1880 he worked
machinist for different railroad companies, was locomotive engineer on
different lines, principally the Erie, from 1880 to 1883, from the
1887 was superintendent of machinery for the Osage Coal & Mining Company in Oklahoma,
and then came to Denison,
Texas, where he was general foreman in the M. K. & T.
Promoted to master mechanic, he
served continuously in that capacity
at Denison from 1888 to 1899, and finally resigned to accept the
superintendency of the mechanical department of the American Cotton
with headquarters at Denison. The general offices of this company are
York City. His work for this well-known corporation continued from 1899
1902, a little more than three years. However, with comparatively brief
exceptions, Mr. McElvaney has always been identified with the railroad
and resigned his position with the American Cotton Company to return to
K. & T. as master mechanic. He finally
resigned that position on
February 1, 1913, about forty-five years from the time he had begun as
machinist's apprentice back in New York.
510 West Crawford Street
Courtesy of Gretchen Holmes Garrett
1913, Mr. McElvaney was elected
mayor of Denison, and has made a very popular and efficient official.
political views he is liberal and votes for the man rather than the
Fraternally his membership is with the Woodmen of the World, the
of United Workmen, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He
been a member and is now a steward in the Methodist Episcopal Church
On May 15, 1889, at Pilot Grove,
was solemnized his marriage with Miss Maud Davis, a daughter of Joseph
Davis, her father a grain dealer for many years, and also judge in
courts in Missouri. To Mr. and Mrs. McElvaney have been born a fine
seven children, as follows: Charles, now twenty-three years, is a
with the M. K. & T. R. R. at Denison;
Lyle, aged twenty-one, is a
stenographer in the M. K. & T. Offices at Dallas; Estelle, aged
graduated from the Denison High School in 1912 and lives at home;
sixteen, is in school; Marie, aged twelve, is also in school; Maud is
old and attending the Denison public school; and Lucie Avis is the
is eight years of age. Mr. McElvaney has always thoroughly appreciated
climate and resources, as well as the social advantages of life in
He has lived in Denison for many years, and has done all he could to
the growth of the city along substantial and permanent lines.
Holmes Garrett wrote : 510 Crawford I though is the house where my
mother grew up. In fact, all seven McElvaney Children were
born in that house. My parents and I lived upstairs for
awhile before we moved into the little house next door.
Amazing how one can have something stuck in your mind. This
morning I looked up a picture of the Crawford Street house that my
mother grew up in, and it clearly says 512 Crawford.
Jim Sears wrote : I like the original number that was stuck in
Gretchen's mind. City directories from 1938 to 1951 list the
McElvaneys at 510 West Crawford. 'The little house next door' may be
H. Garrett wrote : Had dinner with my cousin Bill McElvaney last night.
The house is definitely 510 Crawford.
Note : Gretchen's mother was one of the seven McElvaney children.
The McElvaneys are buried in Fairview
Cemetery, Denison, Texas