July 1! Fifty years! The staccato clicking of the untiring telegraph instrument pervaded the room – the operator's room in the Union Station in Henderson, Kentucky. Orders, messages streamed in and out in their ceaseless flow. The one who fingered the key was passing the meridian of his service record but the same loyal, conscientious service that had brought him thus far was needed to efficiently dispatch the day's work. So, there were no breaks, no “BK IS ” to permit of celebration.

CYRUS M. DAY, veteran telegrapher, sat at his typewriter. Intermittent with the multitude of telegraphic dispatches there came scores of dots and dashes of congratulations and assurances of friendship and good-will. There were gratefully acknowledged with a tap of the key and an inward smile of satisfaction and happiness. The day of his reward had come.

Among the various letters which he received, perhaps the following from Dispatcher WILLIAM DEVNEY will serve to illustrate the esteem in which those who worked with Mr. DAY held him:

“I want to congratulate you on both your birthday and your fifty years of service. It is consoling for any man to be able to show this to the world as there are so few among the many of us who can say the same. I wish you many more years of life and health and prosperity. During the long number of years you have worked with or under me, I have found you loyal, willing and competent, at all times and on all occasions and I am sure officials feel the same. In my estimation, and I think I am in a position to know, your services today are A-1 and far above many others. You have my best wishes through life.”

Commencing his railroad career as an operator for the old Southeastern Railroad at Bakers, Tennessee, in 1874, Mr. DAY remained at that post for some two years when the wanderlust – that alluring malady common to the tappers of the key – stirred his blood. Two years away from his first love sufficed, however, and on July 1, 1876, he returned to the Southeastern as agent at Crofton, Kentucky, where he remained for some twenty-eight years. He was transferred to the Union Station at Henderson, Kentucky in 1904 as an operator, remaining continuously in that capacity to the present day.

On the afternoon of August 17, Mr. DAY was interrupted in his tasks by the entrance of Ticket Agent L. W. ROGERS, who held in his hand a neat little package addressed to CYRUS M. DAY. Once opened, it was found the package contained a diamond-studded L & N Service Button, denoting fifty years of continuous loyal service with the Old Reliable. Accompanying the emblem was a letter from the Executive Vice President, Mr. GEORGE E. EVANS, congratulating Mr. DAY upon his record. In accepting these much treasured tokens, the following soliloquy is credited to Mr. DAY”

“Fifty years is a long time but time passes mightly rapidly. Why I've already started on my second service emblem. Forty-nine years and ten months from now, I'll have another emblem coming to me.”

And at the present rate he is going, we do not doubt it.

L & N Employes' Magazine, September Issue 1926, Page 10


Contributed by Netta Mullin, HCH&GS
Copyright 2005 HCH&GS