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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum

Re: Union News Company (Railroad)

My best friend worked for Union News during the summers in high school in the early 1960's. He mostly worked as a "news bucth" on the Man O' War passenger train between Atlanta and Columbus. It went down to Columbus in the morning and came back up in the afternoon.

He sold newspapers, soft drinks, snacks, sandwiches, pillows (actually rented pillow cases and pillows), and sometimes would illegally sell liquor when there were troop movements from Fort Benning. The conductor would buy cases of half pints and they would split the profits.

During the layover in Columbus he also would work both the "down" and "up" Seminole during the Columbus station stops. The Seminole had a diner north of Columbus, so they would often run him off the "up" train. Southbound had nothing until another news butch worked the train between Albany and Jacksonville. That was listed in the timetable as "Sandwich and Beverage Service."

He also worked the Kansas City-Florida Special and other trains as needed out of Atlanta.

The employees and managers were notorious for "working their own goods in" and thus the company was not especially profitable. In Columbus, my friend would visit the Coke bottling plant, the local newspaper office and I forget where else restocking his supplies on his own nickle and pocketing the profits.

I think the company finally declared bankrupcy when their sales followed the fate of the demise of the privately run passenger train.

I have no idea who owned the company, but it operated on most railroads.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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