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RG1709.AM:  Ivan F. Conaway, 1909-2011

Papers:  1897-1974

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb.:  Railroad dispatcher

Size:  0.5 cu.ft.; 1 box


Born in Washtucna, Washington on October 15, 1909, Ivan Conaway graduated from Comstock High School in 1929. He married Merle Rutten on April 27, 1935. He was a railroad worker for 46 years. Conaway started with the Burlington Northern (formerly the CB&Q Railroad) in May of 1928. He served one year as an agent operator, moving from station to station as a “reliever,” working out of Loup City. He was appointed to the Dispatcher’s Office in 1939 and served as Chief Day Dispatcher, Lincoln, Nebraska, from 1951 until his retirement in August of 1974.

Conaway joined the Masons in 1932. He was a member of North Star Lodge #227. In December of 2010 he was presented the Gold Jordan Medal as the longest serving Mason in Nebraska. Conaway was a member of Saint Paul United Methodist Church and the Railroad History Association. Ivan Conaway died in Lincoln on March 14, 2011.


This collection consists of railroad items relating to Ivan Conaway’s career as a railroad worker, primarily as a dispatcher, and is arranged in four series: 1) Schedules & Timetables, 1897-1970; 2) Locomotive Diagrams; 3) Magazines, 1940-1951; and 4) Journals, ca. 1951-1974.

Series 1 consists of different types of schedules including time tables with special instructions, 1897-1970; a sheet of tonnage ratings, 1931; a volume of class rates and tables of distances, 1914; and dispatchers’ time sheets, 1912-1920. The timetables are primarily for the Lincoln Division of the CB&Q, although the McCook and Alliance Division of the CB&Q are sometimes included, as well as a Union Pacific timetable for 1968. The tonnage rating sheet pertains to a district in the Wymore Division. The two Dispatchers’ timetable sheets in this series are worksheets used for assigning track numbers. The Class Rate and Distance Table of this series provides distances between all stations on the Chicago & Northwestern, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, the Chicago, Rock Island, & Pacific, and the Missouri Pacific Railroads in Nebraska.

Volumes 1 & 2 of Series 2 provide locomotive diagrams, including information such as builder, date built, and conversions. The magazines in Series 3 are issues of Quiz on Railroads and Railroading. Series 4 is the sketchy journal of Ivan Conaway containing information on his runs, the last days of certain trains, weather conditions, and the abolishment of certain offices.


Series 1 – Schedules and Timetables, 1897-1970

Box 1


  1. Timetables & Special Instructions, 1897-1970

    Tonnage ratings, 1931

    Dispatchers’ Timetables Sheets, 1912-1920 (see oversize)

  2. Class Rates and Tables of Distances, 1914

Series 2 – Locomotive Diagrams

  1. Locomotives, undated (owned in 1936)

  2. Locomotives, undated

Series 3 – Magazines, 1940-1951

  1. Quiz on Railroads & Railroading, 1940-1951

Series 4 – Journal, ca. 1951-1974

  1. Ivan Conaway’s personal journal, ca. 1951-1974



Conaway, Ivan F., 1909-2011

Locomotives — Design and construction

Railroads — Engineering

Railroads — Nebraska

Railroads — Rates


AIF/pim   06-22-1979

Encoded TMM   03-12-2010

Revised TMM   03-18-2011