Historic homes and places and genealogical and personal memoirs ..., Volume 4 edited by William Richard Cutter
Daniel Washington Sanborn, son of Daniel Hall Sanborn (6), was born in Wakefield, New Hampshire, February 27, 1834. He attended the public schools of his native town and Wakefield Academy. Between the short terms of school he worked with his father on the homestead, and besides farming learned how to make shoes. He left home at the age of twenty years to work at the ship carpenter's trade at Portsmouth, New Hampshire; left this position five years later, and May 9. 1859, began his career as a railroad man at the bottom of the ladder, doing station work on the old Portland, Saco & Portsmouth railroad, now part of the Boston & Maine system. Between August, 1862, and April 4, 1864, he was brakeman in the passenger service, and from the latter date to November 15, 1879, as the Somerville Journal puts it, "His genial face became well known to travelers on the road, as he gathered up tickets in his capacity of passenger train conductor.'' As a conductor his first regular run was between Portsmouth and Great Falls, now Somersworth. and his train was well known bv the other railroad men of the day as the "tin kettle" train, because one of its greatest uses was in carrying the workmen to and from the Kittery navy yard. This was during the civil war, and at that time so many men were employed at the navy yard that the boarding houses of Kittery and Portsmouth could not accommodate all of them and this train was chartered to carry the men to and from their work. Mr. Sanborn's next train was between Portland and Portsmouth, and he was on that train until 1871, when the Eastern railroad leased the old Portland, Saco & Portsmouth line and his run was then extended to Boston. In 1873, when the Eastern railroad acquired the control of the Maine Central system, his run was extended the other way through to Bangor, and for about five years he had the through trips from Boston to Bangor. During this period there was strong competition between the Eastern railroad and its rival, the Boston & Maine railroad, and in 1877 a compromise was made whereby the through trains to Bangor were discontinued on the Eastern. During the following two years Mr. Sanborn's run was between Boston and Portland. From November 15, 1879, to December 10. 1884, he was master of transportation of the Eastern railroad, since merged with the Boston & Maine system. He was promoted December 10, 1884, to superintendent of the Eastern Division of the Boston & Maine, a position for which his native ability, thorough knowledge of the territory and his varied experience in the business admirably fitted him. Another promotion due to his constant zeal, his proved ability and successful record, came July i, 1890, when he was appointed superintendent of the larger Southern Division, and again February 16 of the following year was promoted to the position of general superintendent of the Boston & Maine railroad system. After nearly fifteen years in this office he resigned September 1, 1906. and retired. He was succeeded by the present general superintendent, Charles E. Lee. Mr. Sanborn had been in the railroad business for nearly fifty years. He served under the following presidents: Ichabod Goodwin, George M. Brown, Thornton K. Lothrop, John Woolbridge, General Samuel C. Lawrence, A. P. Rockwell, E. B. Phillips, George E. B. Jackson, Arthur Sewall. George C. Lord. Frank Jones, A. A. McLeod and Lucius Tuttle. In the same period he worked under the following general managers: Charles F. Hatch. Payson Tucker. James T. Furber. John W. Sanborn, T. A. MacKinnon and Frank Barr, the latter being the only one of the list now living. Of the superintendents of the road under whom he worked, John Russell, Francis Chase, Jeremiah Prescott and George Batchelder, all are now deceased. The ripe experience he brought to his executive positions and his sunny nature and easy method of controlling men, made him uniformly successful and popular with superiors and subordinates alike. The general order of President Lucius Tuttle announced Mr. Sanborn's retirement as follows: "Mr. Daniel W. Sanborn, general superintendent, who has for nearly half a century faithfully discharged every duty committed to his care and who has, during that period, risen by promotion through the different grades of employment to his present position, is now, at his own request, retired from active service." The Sanborn Genealogy says of him: "A man of great energy and undaunted ability, who has devoted his life to railroading, and stands today as one of the best examples of the practical railroad officials of America."
He attends the Universalist church of Somerville. In politics he is a Republican, influential in the councils of his party, though never holding public office. He is a member of Ermmie Lodge, Daughters of Rebekah; Sons and Daughters of New Hampshire; Candia Club of Candia, New Hampshire; a New Hampshire lodge of Odd Fellows; and Strawberry Bank Encampment; Soley Lodge of Free Masons, Somerville; Signet Chapter, Cambridge, Order of the Eastern Star; Royal Arch Chapter; Orient Council, Royal and Select Masters; De Molay Commandery, Knights Templar; the Webcowit Club of Somerville. He is president of the Somerville Children's Home Association. He owns a handsome home at 382 Broadway, Somerville.
Mr. Sanborn married, September 28, 1856, Lucy M. Lydston, of Eliot, Maine, born July 9, 1836, daughter of John and Minerva (Keene) Lydston, the former born in Eliot, Maine, February 22, 1808, died in Portland, May II, 1886, the latter born in Kittery, Maine, 1814, died in Eliot, Maine, October 10, 1841. Children of Daniel W. and Lucy M. Sanborn: i. Carrie Etta, born January 7, 1860: married, May 24, 1882, James M. French, of Northampton, Massachusetts; ticket agent at North Station, Boston; they reside at 60 Adams street, Somerville. Children: i. Edward Sanborn, born December 11. 1883, graduate of Latin high school. Somerville. 1902, and Dartmouth College, with honors, in 1906; ii. Lucy Emeline, born June 10, 1887. graduate of Latin high school, 1906, now a student in Bradford Academy; iii. Helen Clark, born November 2, 1889, student in Somerville Latin high school, class of 1908; iv. Carrie Brackett, born December 19, 1891, died May 12, 1903; v. Marjorie, born January 6, 1897. 2. Fred Everett, born November 15, 1865, mentioned below. Mr. Sanborn's first wife, Lucy M. (Lydston) Sanborn, died January 10, 1900. He married (second), May 19, 1904, at Lake Mohonk, New York, Ellen Newell Rhodes, born in Montville, Maine, daughter _of Samuel J. and Nancy Dearborn (French) Newell. She is an untiring worker in church, educational, charitable and other meritorious causes—Erminie Aid Society; Children's Home Association; Home for the Aged; Hospital Aid Association; Visiting Nurses' Association; Rescue League; Daughters of the Covenant; Industrial and Educational Union; First Needlework Guild; Helping Hand Society; Y. M. C. A. Auxiliary; Signet Chapter, No. 22, O. E. S.; Erminie Lodge, Daughters of Rebekah; Martha Washington Chapter, D. A. R.; Woman's Club; Old Powder House Club; Sons and Daughters of New Hampshire; Candia Club of New Hampshire; Spanish Female College of Madrid. She is an attendant at the Park Street Church, Boston.