The Gulf, Mobile and Ohio
By James H. Lemly

 

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THE School of Business of Indiana University took the initiative in this joint research project with the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad. The reasons were simple but important. First, GM&O was one of the bright spots of railroad history in this century. Few companies and no railroads had displayed such growth. Second, the transition of bankrupt short lines into a progressive, dieselized major system surely offered lessons in business enterprise for other companies. And last, but not least, James H. Lemly was available for the project. He had been reared within whistling distance of the line. Lemly has drawn heavily upon his academic and business background to chronicle and to analyze the rise of the GM&O. He was given unlimited access to records of the company and to the memories and judgment of employees from I. B. Tigrett down, through all levels of the organization. No part of the research or writing was censored by any official of the company.

L. L. Waters, Professor of Transportation and Business History of Indiana University, started and organized the study, supervised the three-year research, and contributed greatly to its scope and scholarly treatment.

I take special pride in the release of the publication as Indiana Business Study No. 36 and call attention to the fact that courage, integrity, imagination, and the common touch are still the essentials of business enterprise.

A. M. WEIMER

Dean, School of Business Indiana University

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA July, 1953

 

 

Acknowledgement

 IT is a pleasant duty to state that many people have assisted in the preparation and completion of this volume, even though the finished product is entirely my own responsibility.

As Dean Weimer stated in the foreword, the idea for the project originated in Bloomington, Indiana, in the fertile mind of Professor L. L. Waters, who has offered continuous inspiration as the study progressed. Dean Weimer, himself, gave constant and strong support and Professor R. C. Turner was most helpful in putting the earlier version of this work in final form.

The Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad Company was hesitant at first to allow the project to be undertaken. Mr. Tigrett was not “sure that the history of the GM&O was worthy of special study, because it was still a new company which had not yet accomplished much” in its field of action. Once these objections were overcome, the Company and all of its employees offered wholehearted co-operation. All records and files of the Company were made available for unrestricted and unsupervised use. Many of the official family of the railroad as well as many of the operating employees have given freely of their time to answer questions which often may have seemed foolish to them. It is impossible to mention all who were of help to me but I cannot fail to thank Mr. Berney Sheridan, Assistant Vice-President in charge of public relations and his assistants who have been ready at all times to provide information or to suggest others who had more specific knowledge.

My two children, Mary Morrison and Jim Hutton, have been very patient while I spent many hours at work which to them seemed endless. My wife, Onice W. Lemly, has served splendidly as typist, tabulator, editor, grammarian, and auditor.

                                                                                                 JAMES H. LEMLY

 

 

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