Employee Record Cards, 1902-1946
When the Pullman Standard Co. closed in 1982, the employee record cards were discovered strewn on the floor in an abandoned office. Recognizing the historical and genealogical value of the records, individuals from the community salvaged them, and the cards were distributed to: Butler County Historical Society, Butler Area Public Library, Depreciation Lands Museum, and private individuals. The collection from the Depreciation Lands Museum was eventually transferred to the Butler County Historical Society as well as a collection from the Franko family. The Butler County Genealogical Society has microfilmed most of the cards currently held by the Library and Historical Society. The Franko collection has been scanned and indexed as a separate collection. A small number remain in the hands of private individuals and family members. Today, we are currently in the process of transferring all cards to the Butler Area Public Library.
The Standard Steel Car Co. broke ground on April 4th, 1902 on the western edge of the Butler City limits. When production began on September 1st, 1902, 2,500 men were turning out sixty steel-bed railroad cars daily. When the company closed its doors as Pullman Standard in 1982, it had manufactured over 350,000 cars. As the Standard Steel Car Company grew, it needed workers, and the workers needed homes. John Hansen, the company entrepreneur, spawned the Lyndora Land Company that laid out the town of Lyndora to provide housing for the employees and their families.
This collection now contains over 26,000 employee record cards. The cards held by the Depreciation Lands Museum and the Library have been placed in alphabetical order. They provide a wealth of genealogical information as they note the places and dates of birth for employees. In some cases, family data is provided. Migration can also be discerned from information about previous employment. While the fields of data are standardized, the depth of response by the employees varies considerably.
Specific fields of data relating to the employee include: name, place and date of birth, marital status, race, age, address, check/badge number, date of employment, occupation, pay rate, if previously employed by Standard Steel Car, reason for leaving, wife’s or parents’ address, number of children with their dates of birth, previous employers and their addresses, education, citizenship, and if land is owned. Signatures include those of the employee, witness, foreman, and superintendent.
Some cards were stapled to dated safety instruction certificates and are signed by the employee and foreman. These certificates have also been microfilmed. Employees may have generated a number of record cards, one for each time they were hired. Interestingly, spellings and dates varied for employees and their family members. While many of the employees were emigrants from Eastern Europe, Italians, Greeks, and Mexicans were also hired as were people from all over the United States.
Not all employee record cards are contained in the collection. Some may have been lost when the company closed and others were given to family members or kept as souvenirs.
Surnames A - Z (Excluding X)
The cards contained in these indexes are preserved by the Butler Area Public Library
The handwriting on many of these cards is hard to read and index due to various dialects and poor handwriting. We have done our best to decipher each signature and have indexed the names with as many spellings as possible so that you have the best chance of finding your relative. Please use your imagination and search under any possible variation of the names you are researching.
Please contact the Genealogy Department at the Butler Area Public Library for more information.