W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 => Original Railway => Topic started by: Jason M Lamontagne on March 17, 2017, 05:13:53 PM

Title: Fred Fogg
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on March 17, 2017, 05:13:53 PM
What was up with Fred Fogg????

I've been re-reading the common Maine two foot books, or more so, reading between the lines.  Bob Jones' books, Crittenden's book, etc.  There are subtle lines of potential connection that are not directly called out in the books.  Note that as of now, I've not done any original research, though I've talked to Linda and she plans to do some, as she's interested in the topic.

Fred Fogg shows up many times thoughout a certain period of Maine two foot history.  Though each is handled as stand-alone occurrences by our go-to books, there may be a theme to this man when one considers his interaction linearly.  I have some reason to think he may be the man who actually got the W&Q built.

Mr. Fogg showed up as a principal player in the Franklin & Megantic Railroad in the 1880's.  Clerk, passenger and freight agent, conductor, etc.  He was credited as a lawyer, partnering with Phillip Stubbs out of Strong.  Fair enough.

Next, in the early 1890's, he is practicing out of Waterville and is George Crosby's lawyer.  He helps make the connection between Crosby and the W&Q principals at the time, when Crosby subscribes to $100K of stock.   Many of Crosby's associates are apparently talked into subscribing, maybe as much as an additional $50k or so.  As one of Crosby's associates, he subscribes to $5K worth of W&Q stock.  Fogg is also heavily promoting the Farmington connection, even before the W&Q is built. 

Crosby is relieved of his subscription liability on the basis that he was owed substantial wages for his activities in promoting and managing the railroad for a brief period of time.  Following this- Fogg does the same thing for his $5K.   

Next:  In an 1896 director's meeting, Fred Fogg, as general counsel, forces then-president Rundlett (an old Wiscasset head), as well as a general management shakeup, on account of the poor financial condition.  We're led to believe he felt the financial problems were the root cause of Fogg's concern, and he squarely blamed mismanagement on the part of Rundlett (and a few others, including treasurer Patterson) for these problems.  Fogg got his way, and ended up as General Manager.

All of that is straight out of Bob Jones' books.  Crittenden's "The Maine Scenic Route" tells us that the F&M was a financial failure, on account of over-ambitious expectations of its promoters. 

Now- between the lines. 

Fogg was a promoter of the F&M.  Right around when things weren't looking good, he bailed.

Fogg plainly was interested, and believed in the two foot gauge concept.  He plainly had thought of joining the Franklin County system to the Wiscasset effort even before the W&Q got built, likely with Phillip Stubbs and others.  It seems likely that it was Fogg who suggested and pushed the use of two foot gauge, first to George Crosby, and ultimately to the W&Q directors.  Crosby is credited with estimating the cost of the W&Q to Burnham at $300K.  How would he know?  With Fogg's experience at the F&M, was that Fogg's estimate? 

The choice of two foot gauge made the project reachable, when combined with Crosby's $100k.  Fogg was in the right place, with the right background, to realize that and weave a web that made it happen.  Thus- Fogg may really be the man who got the W&Q built (as opposed to Crosby).  In such a case, Crosby certainly would get credit for being receptive; this is consistent with Boston "money" being receptive to the narrow gauge concept in general.

Next, Crosby, Fogg, and others don't pay their subscriptions, which in turn apparently sink the company.  As such, what business did Fogg have blaming Captain Rundlett for the mess, when Fogg was such a party to the loss of expected income?

Why did Crosby promise $100k, which has been calculated at half his net worth?

Another between the lines:  did Crosby and Fogg never plan to pay their subscription?  Did they promise to pay in order to get the railroad built, then knowing the lack of income would crash the company, plan to come in a pick up the pieces? This would amount to a free railroad, which if coupled with the planned connection to the Sandy River, would become a real money maker (or so they thought). 

I don't like to be this negative, and if Fred Fogg indeed put the pieces together to get the railroad built, I don't want to see him branded in a negative light.  I can't envision a happier explanation of his lack of paying his subscription, combined with forced near-complete takeover of the road's management.  Maybe he was just frustrated.

Anyway, if I've gotten some of the facts wrong, especially directly out of the books, I apologize and am open to correction.  I'm busy with plate flangers and boiler components and Easter ops and and and.  This is just a fascination I've gained lately; I've made a habit of staying up past bedtime, quietly so as to not wake anyone, re-reading these passages and trying to draw straight lines. 

Discussion is welcome!

Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Ira Schreiber on March 17, 2017, 05:28:49 PM
That is an interesting hypothesis but no real emperical data seems to be available.

Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on March 17, 2017, 05:35:48 PM
That's why Linda is going to do some research.  She's going to try to find a record of that 1896 meeting, for starters.

Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: John McNamara on March 17, 2017, 06:22:28 PM
According to on-line calculations, 100K in 1896 was equivalent to about $2.5M today.
-John M
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: James Patten on March 17, 2017, 06:40:05 PM
what business did Fogg have blaming Captain Rundlett for the mess, when Fogg was such a party to the loss of expected income?

It's called blame shifting, focusing attention away from yourself.
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on March 17, 2017, 06:43:44 PM
what business did Fogg have blaming Captain Rundlett for the mess, when Fogg was such a party to the loss of expected income?

It's called blame shifting, focusing attention away from yourself.

Perhaps, and perhaps that's a more optimistic view of the man than the conspiracy theory I unfairly blurted out earlier.  I suppose the conspiracy was still possible, however at that stage I'm sure everyone involved was extremely frustrated.  

I'm still fascinated by the prospect that it may have been Fred Fogg who quietly, behind the scenes, brought the pieces together and actually got the line built.  MAYBE.  I'm offering unsubstantiated conjecture, for the sake of discussion.  

See ya
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Wayne Laepple on March 17, 2017, 08:59:27 PM
I'm staying out of this one, except to note that during much of the history of the United States, even up to and including today, many a man manipulated his business associates, friends and family members for his own benefit. Nothing surprising at all in that.
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on March 17, 2017, 10:10:23 PM
I was trying to peg Fogg as a good guy or a bad guy.  He may have gotten the railroad built, behind the scenes, and never gotten appropriate credit.  He also may have orchestrated an extremely underhanded, intricate transaction to get a free railroad.  For all that black and white, people's personalities and motivations can be complicated.  The answer probably isn't a simple "he was a good guy" or "he was a bad guy."

I suppose if Fogg's motivation at that 1896 meeting were indeed "pure," then he was acting out of frustration.  If he were concluding a vast conspiracy to take over, then the frustration he showed was a front.  In his favor- he only ended up as GM, not president or other higher position.  Good old Wiscasset Henry Ingalls ended up as president after the fiasco.  That Fogg didn't end up president may dissuade the conspiracy theory. 

$2.5M (today's money) wasn't chump change.  One thing is for certain:  the risks were huge.  One must assume that they assumed the potential gains would be as high.

I still think he was the man who got the railroad built, and he had Farmington in mind.

See ya
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Philip Marshall on March 18, 2017, 05:39:22 AM
This is a really interesting web of connections that I hadn't noticed before. Thank you Jason for bringing it to our attention.

I have several questions/comments:

1. Jones implies in Two Feet to Tidewater (p. 18) that Fred Fogg didn't leave the F&M voluntarily but was "forced out by Maxcy interests" in 1892. I find this statement confusing, because while I know that Josiah Maxcy and Weston Lewis gained control of the Sandy River RR in 1892, I didn't think they had any substantial interest in the F&M and K&DR until the sheriff's sale of 1897 which set the stage for the 1908 consolidation. (Like Fogg, Weston Lewis is another curiously omnipresent figure of this era who was somehow president of both the Sandy River and the Kennebec Central at the same time.) Indeed, from the lists of F&M directors and officers in the annual Railroad Commissioners' Reports, it appears that Fred Fogg may have separated from the F&M as early as 1889. This would be consistent with him practicing as a lawyer in Waterville in the early 1890s.

2. Whatever Fred Fogg was trying to do, his sometime law partner Philip Stubbs appears to have been involved as well at every stage of the game. In addition to being a director and officer of the F&M, Stubbs was also a major shareholder in the Sandy River and appears to have remained on good enough terms with Lewis and Maxcy, even if Fogg wasn't (as Jones implies). While Fogg was working for the W&Q, Stubbs was involved in the Waterville & Wiscasset and FS&K, along with Leonard Atwood.

3. Were Fogg and Stubbs also involved in the mysterious Franklin & Somerset RR project (I don't mean the FS&K) that was supposed to connect with the Sandy River at South Strong but was disallowed by the Railroad Commissioners in 1883? I've never been able to find any information on who was behind this proposal, but they seem like prime candidates. Was the F&S a forerunner of the FS&K?

3. Was there any connection between Fred Fogg and the mysterious Albert Fogg of Philadelphia who tried to sell the Laurel River & Hot Springs 2-6-0 to the W&Q before it eventually went to the Sandy River (becoming "Old Star"/SR&RL 16)?

4. Does Guy Rioux's new book on the F&M shed any light on Fogg? I haven't seen it yet, but I suspect he's looked into many of these same questions already.
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on March 18, 2017, 12:57:24 PM
Hi Phillip, everyone,

Great series of questions.  Let's see...

1.  I agree that any interaction between Maxcy and Fogg seems suspect, due to timing.  Taking all reports at face value, Fred Fogg was practicing out of waterville, and representing George Crosby, by 1893. 

2.  I noticed Stubbs too.  I've wondered if Stubbs and Fogg were actually close friends, and all of these efforts were well discussed between the two.  If they remained friends after Fogg moved to Waterville, while Stubbs remained in Stong, maybe there are letters between the two.

It does appear that Stubbs and Maxcy had a direct interaction, with the foreclosure on the ordinal F&M by its bond holders.  Seems Stubbs tried to save the original company, but the bond holders sold to Maxcy.  There's some implication that Stubbs agreed to it, as opposed to fighting all the way.  It's probably fair to say he was forced out in some fashion. 

As it is, I think it was Maxcy that got the MEC interested in the Sandy River, including talks of standard gauging.  Thus Maxcy, collectively with MEC, maybe equally responsible for stonewalling the FS&K connection st Farmington.  The railroad commissioners pretty much said that if Sandy River applied for formal permission to locate tracks through the MEC yard, they'd accept on the basis that the tracks already existed; they said this in regard to the FS&K connection.  The Sandy River could easily have made the connection; they didn't.

 I guess that's already pretty well understood, but it may show a rivalry and division in views of Maxcy/MEC and Fogg/Stubbs.  That rivalry may have stemmed from the distasteful reorganization of the Franklin & Megantic.

3.  I had forgotten about the F&S; had to go looking.  I bet your right!  In 1883 there was still talk of the W&Q using the Somerset Railroad as a link.  The F&S was to interline with another two foot road and reach the somwrset at north anson.

If that's the case, someone had two foot gauge in mind for the W&Q much earlier...  WOW!

4.  I'm really sorry i didn't think to look in Rioux's book st the railroad yesterday.  I will asap.

Cool stuff!

Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Philip Marshall on March 19, 2017, 12:35:09 AM
3.  I had forgotten about the F&S; had to go looking.  I bet your right!  In 1883 there was still talk of the W&Q using the Somerset Railroad as a link.  The F&S was to interline with another two foot road and reach the somwrset at north anson.

The reasons the Railroad Commissioners gave for not allowing the Franklin & Somerset to be built (see Appendix, 1883 report) was that (1) they didn't think there would be enough local traffic to justify it, and (2) it would infringe on the rights of the Somerset RR.  The only way the F&S-Anson & New Portland combination could make sense is as a bridge route connecting to another Two-Footer, presumably the W&Q.

The report notes the F&S board met in Strong, so Stubbs and Fogg had to have been involved. Who else could it be?
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on March 20, 2017, 08:43:13 PM
So I took a breeze through Guy Rioux's book: The Next Stop is Kingfield. 

Turns out the F&S was decidedly not Stubbs and Fogg; if you recall the F&M was in a heated battle with a completely different entity trying to build a two foot connection from the Sandy River to Kingfield: the Farmington & Carrabasset Railroad.  The F&S lost to the F&M when the town of Kingfield voted to offer financial support to the latter.

Rioux found extensive evidence that the Franklin & Somerset was a direct descendent of the F&C effort- with largely the same cast of characters.  It's purpose was to build to New Portland, and it was vehemently opposed by the Somerset Railroad, about to build through nearby Anson.  In fact (get ready for this), the proposed narrow gauge Anson &a New Portland Railroad was a competing interest to the F&S and was sponsored by the standard gauge Somerset Railroad!  (I think I read that right...). I guess the A&NP's plan was to leave the Somerset RR at North Anson, go through North New Portland, and end up in Kingfield for a connection (I think???)

At the time the Somerset RR was in talks with the W&Q, though it seems they were thinking standard gauge.  So there may still be some slight connection here between Wiscasset and Franklin County, but a lot more would need to be known about the A&NP RR to really find out.  It seems that the F&M/ Stubbs/ presumably Fogg were opposed to the F&S crowd on account of bad feelings from the Kingfield go around- so maybe the F&M/ Stubbs were talking with the Somerset RR, who were talking to the W&Q.

Flimsy at best without more info.

In other news- Fogg barely pops up in F&M history- compared to W&Q history.  We was plainly a player- but Stubbs took the lead on the F&M by far. 

See ya
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Philip Marshall on March 20, 2017, 10:26:37 PM
Well I stand corrected then!

This is such fascinating stuff, and the historical reality is always much more complicated than the stories we want to tell about it.
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on March 20, 2017, 10:42:01 PM
I tried to google around and find some general stats for Fred Fogg; I *think* he was born in 1859 and died around 1935.  If that's the case, he would only have been around 25 when the F&M got established.  It seems unlikely that a 25 year old would have been very deep into any schemes.

It's more reasonable that as a near 40 year old, he jumped knee deep into the affairs of the W&Q.

Did Fogg instigate the W&Q's choice of 2-foot gauge?  Given his immediate involvement in efforts to establish a Franklin County - W&Q connection, I still believe there's a good chance, and an equally good chance that he convinced the W&Q of two foot gauge with the connection already in mind.

A way to test that hypothesis is to rake through the newspaper reports of the 1880's and 90's and see when the first mention of a two foot gauge out of Wiscasset was mentioned.

As to the possibility of Fogg doing all this to stage a takeover after the company faltered for lack of realized subscription income, I tend to think that's less likely.  That's an elaborate scheme to only end up as GM, and Crosby ushered out.  It's possible that his intentions were malicious, I suppose, but I have a stinger sense that he had clear intentions and his questionable actions were merely par for the course in that era.

As to the possible Franklin County two foot outlet in Wiscasset being discussed as early as 1884- I suppose that's remotely possible too- through the W&Q/ Somerset RR connection, and the Somerset Rr's interest in building a two foot gauge from Anson to Kingfield.  As remote as that possibility is, it seems even more remote that it would have been a Franklin County effort.

Where do you even start looking to figure any of this out?

See ya
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Ben Rockney on March 21, 2017, 01:48:12 AM
Here are some names, dates, places of residence, and occupations for Fred H. Fogg from the US Censuses.  The first date is the date of the census, which was collected every 10 years starting in 1790.  The 1890 census for the entire country was lost in a fire and so is missing.  Numbers in parentheses are ages at the time of the census.

1860 Jordan L. Fogg (28) and Sophronia P. Fogg (27) Richmond, Sagadahoc County, Maine [Fred H. Fogg should have been recorded but was omitted from the family for some reason]

1870 Fred H. Fogg  (11) Bowdoinham, Sagadahoc County, Maine Parents: Jordan L. Fogg (37) and Sophroniah Fogg (36)

1880 Fred Fogg (21) Topsham, Sagadahoc, Maine, Farmer, Wife: Etta Fogg (22)

1900 Fred H. Fogg  (41) Gardiner Ward 6, Kennebec County, Maine, Baggage Master RR, Born January 1859, Wife: Etta M. Fogg (42)

1910 Fred H. Fogg  (52) Gardiner Ward 6, Kennebec County, Maine, Yardmaster/Railroad, Wife: Etta Fogg (52)

1920 Fred H. Fogg  (60) Gardiner Ward 6, Kennebec, County, Maine, Crossing Tender/Railroad, Wife: Mary C. (59)

Fred H. Fogg Birth January 6, 1859, Death November 18, 1926 Buried South Gardiner, Kennebec County, Maine
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on April 21, 2017, 02:20:47 PM
Linda has just found a W&Q promotional booklet from 1872 (then Kennebec & Wiscasset) in the Wiscasset Library called NARROW GAUGE RAILROADS: THE KENNEBEC & WISCASSET RAILROAD.

It appears that about half its content is directly lifted from Fleming's NARROW GAUGE RAILROADS of the same year.

I've yet to read it word for word, but there is a section titled "The Superiority of the Narrow Gauge."  LOVE IT!!!!

The booklet includes cost estimates for building a road from Wiscasset to Augusta in both standard gauge and three foot gauge.  It does have a section on the Festiniog; ill have to go over it carefully to see if two foot gauge was being considered as early as 1872. 

This detail will lend a hand as to the importance of Fred Fogg coming on the scene, with his two foot background, in 1892.

Bear in mind that 1872 was the bare beginning of the narrow gauge movement, and predates the B&B by 5 years.  In 1872, 3 foot or 3-6 was the most heavily promoted narrow gauge in this country.

Great find by Linda...

See ya
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Philip Marshall on April 21, 2017, 05:10:28 PM
Wow, very neat! 1872 is indeed super-early, especially for Maine given that the MEC had only just finished converting from 5'6" broad gauge to standard gauge the previous year. Who is the author of the booklet?
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: James Patten on April 21, 2017, 06:49:35 PM
Ffestiniog Railway was opened in 1836 to freight traffic (as a horse & gravity railroad), and the first steam was 1863.  So at the time of writing steam was fairly new on the Ffestiniog.
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Philip Marshall on April 21, 2017, 07:20:16 PM
Yes, that's right. Narrow-gauge steam was still less than 10 years old in 1872.
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on April 22, 2017, 01:56:41 AM
The booklet is a response to a request from the city of Augusta to the Henry Ingalls, president of the K&W, to provide a statement on the present (May 1872) prospects of the road as well as the advantage of three foot gauge relative to standard gauge.  The letter from Augusta requests the statement specifically becasue the K&W was seeking the aid of the City of Augusta to complete the road. 

 Henry Ingalls delegated the writing of the response to the K&W's chief engineer, Col. A.W. Wildes. 

Col. Wildes examined a distance of 30-1/2 miles (Wiscasset to Augusta), with cost per mile at $22,073.69 for standard gauge and $17,141.64 for three foot gauge. 

The inquiry from Augusta is a single paragraph, typed letter, addressed to Henry Ingalls.  The response is an honest to goodness book.  It might as well be a prospectus.  It does appear to draw very heavily upon Fleming's Narrow Gauge Railways book.

There is no mention of two foot gauge in the 1872 booklet.

Linda also found an undated promotional booklet for the Wiscasset & Quebec Railroad, which looks to be dated around 1882 based on references in the text.  It is directly touting the prospect of building to Quebec and is plainly a general prospectus.  It is similar- but different- to the 1887 Wiscasset & Quebec Railroad promotional. Booklet- which has been reproduced.  Neither mentions gauge at all, though the 1882 book gives a cost per mile at $12,000, $15,000 or $20,000, depending on location.  Given Col. Wildes estimates from 1872, there's no way the 1882 could have been referencing standard gauge. 

Interesting to note that the 1882 book has some very negative things to say about the Maine Central and Boston and Maine, and their monopolistic ways. 

So, it seems the road was destined to be Narrow Gauge since the start of the narrow gauge movement, though the introduction of two foot gauge to the enterprise has yet to be pinned to a date.

See ya

Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on April 22, 2017, 02:30:40 AM
Col. Wildes repeatedly refers to 4' 8-1/2" gauge as "common gauge," not standard gauge. 

I need to start doing that.  The audacity to think that their 4' 8-1/2" is "standard."  As much gall as the "standard railroad of the world" Pennsylvania!

No offense to all you common gauge fans out there...

See ya
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Philip Marshall on April 22, 2017, 03:03:32 AM
I'm fond of "Stephenson gauge" for 4' 8-1/2", but I'm afraid no one will know what I'm talking about so I never use it.  Alternatively, I have a friend from grad school who grew up behind the Iron Curtain in the former Czechoslovakia who refers to it as "Western gauge".
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Jeff Schumaker on April 22, 2017, 02:22:37 PM
This is a very fascinating discussion. Linda's finds are particularly noteworthy.

On another note, is anyone aware that the Sheepscot Echo from 1904-1919 is on microfilm at the Lincoln County courthouse. I'm not sure if that goes back far enough to provide possible information.

Jeff S.
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Wayne Laepple on April 25, 2017, 12:28:18 PM
Those of us who have had the sometime dubious pleasure of working on Pennsylvania Railroad steam locomotives often add a bit to the company's slogan. The Pennsylvania may have been "the standard railroad of the world," but all the rest were deluxe!
Title: Re: Fred Fogg
Post by: Philip Marshall on September 12, 2017, 12:30:55 AM
Circumstantially related (or perhaps not) to the topic of Fred Fogg and Philip H. Stubbs and the early history of the W&Q, someone on Ebay is selling an 1880 Knox & Lincoln RR pass issued to none other than "P.H. Stubbs, Clerk, Sandy River RR".

http://www.ebay.com/itm/222641169207 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/222641169207)

(There is also an 1881 Bangor & Piscataquis RR pass issued to Stubbs for sale, but the Knox & Lincoln one is more interesting I think.)