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Veteran Leaves Rail Service After 42 Years
A familiar figure along the Southern Pacific Main Line in this area, E. J. Wink of Eagle Lake, left service on Monday after forty-two years with that Company.
Mr. Wink was born in New Ulm, Austin County and will be 70 years old next September. At the age of three he accompanied his parents to Columbus where his father operated a large farm. At his death Mr. Wink succeeded in managing this farm, but although he staid with the soil until he was 27 years old, he finally found his way into the important Glidden Yards of the Southern Pacific Lines in 1906, working with the Motive Department.
The Signal Department of the Company, then in its infancy, beckoned and Mr. Wink started working out of Glidden in 1907. For 20 months he traveled out of Seguin and for four years out of Flatonia before coming to Eagle Lake on September 24, 1924 where he and his family, his wife and two daughters, Mrs. Lena Gus Milby and Miss Alyne Wink , have resided since.
When he began with the department the present system of complicated railroad signals were just being installed along the Southern Pacific and during the intervening years Mr. Wink has been a part of their development and has become an authority on the work.
In recent years he has taken care of 20 miles of automatic signals and interlocking plants, caring for those on the Cane Belt of the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad in this vicinity as well as those of the Southern Pacific Lines.
The alert attention that must be given to track and signals by a signal maintainer on a railroad requires vital use of eyesight. A few years ago Mr. Wink began having trouble with eyes, and has been a patient in the Company Hospital on occasions in an effort to correct the trouble. Although his health was bad and his eyesight failing he stayed with the Company during the war years when the services of experienced rail men were so urgently needed.
The veteran railroad man expects to go to the hospital in Houston for further care of his eyesight before taking his final retirement some time before September 1948 when he will reach his 70th birthday. He will have completed forty-two years of service in February.
He stated this week that his job will be bulletined, and bids will have to be received before his successor can be announced.
The familiar figure on the motor car will be missed along his route, but his many friends join in wishing him improved health and eyesight, and many happy years in retirement from his work on the railroad.
Eagle Lake Headlight, January 9, 1948
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