This Story in History | From the July 6, 1965, Eagle Gerry B. Studley retires from B&A, ending family's 110 years on railroad


For the first time in its history, the Boston & Albany Railroad will not have a Studley on its payroll. A family stretch of 110 years in railroading ends today when Gerry B. Studley, 635 Hancock Road, retires at age 66. He was in charge of the Pittsfield car service department, and youngest of the Studley brothers. His job was to direct freight cars to their local destinations.

Railroading entered the family blood more than a century ago when James J. Studley became the first station agent at Claverack, N.Y., for what was known at the time as the Western Railroad. This line also ran through Pittsfield, between Boston and Albany. Starting Sept. 1, 1855, he received free rent and $5 a month in pay. He retired on Dec. 1, 1895.

On the day of retirement, his son, Albert L. Studley, succeeded him as Claverack station agent, after a career that had started April 15, 1873, on the coal trains that operated between Hudson and Pittsfield.

Anthracite was shipped up the river on boats in those days, and transferred to trains at Hudson. Every day, 16 to 20 coal trains chugged into Pittsfield where the fuel was redistributed to various parts of the East. This line existed until a couple of years ago, when a section of the track was torn up.

After three years on the trains, Albert transferred to the depot at Claverack as assistant to his father as station baggage master. After he succeeded his father, he remained as station agent until he retired June 30, 1925, at age 70. Also, Albert's brother, Charles D. Studley, was station agent at Ghent for 20 years.

Ralph J. Studley, a son of Albert and brother of currently retiring Gerry, succeeded his father at Claverack, having started in 1910 as telegrapher. He died in August 1961. Meanwhile, another son of Albert, Lincoln H. Studley, left the family home at Claverack on Sept. 6, 1909, to work in the freight office at Pittsfield. On Feb. 28, 1959, he retired when nearing age 67. He was in charge of the car service department, the same post held by his brother, Gerry, at retirement yesterday. Gerry started at the local freight office in August 1918.

In addition to the Studley brothers, their sister, Miss Elisabeth R. Studley, came here in March 1915 to take a job in the B&A freight office, where she remained until her death in February 1939.

— Selected by Jeannie Maschino



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