Author Topic: Fred Fogg  (Read 2665 times)

Jason M Lamontagne

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Fred Fogg
« 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!
Jason



Ira Schreiber

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Re: Fred Fogg
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2017, 05:28:49 PM »
That is an interesting hypothesis but no real emperical data seems to be available.




Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: Fred Fogg
« Reply #2 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.

Jason

John McNamara

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Re: Fred Fogg
« Reply #3 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

James Patten

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Re: Fred Fogg
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2017, 06:40:05 PM »
Quote
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.

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: Fred Fogg
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2017, 06:43:44 PM »
Quote
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
Jason

Wayne Laepple

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Re: Fred Fogg
« Reply #6 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.

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: Fred Fogg
« Reply #7 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
Jason

Philip Marshall

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Re: Fred Fogg
« Reply #8 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.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 05:43:48 AM by Philip Marshall »

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: Fred Fogg
« Reply #9 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!





Philip Marshall

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Re: Fred Fogg
« Reply #10 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?

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: Fred Fogg
« Reply #11 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
Jason

Philip Marshall

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Re: Fred Fogg
« Reply #12 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.

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: Fred Fogg
« Reply #13 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
Jason

Ben Rockney

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Re: Fred Fogg
« Reply #14 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