Veterans’ Association

of the

Chicago & North Western Railway


Organized December 9, 1924


West Chicago – 1956

A Look Back to 50 Years Ago.

Photos contributed by Charlie McLaughlin

Now, what was the occasion that got all of these men together?  Charlie explains most of these photos were taken on Friday. June 8, 1956, the same day as an early morning freight train derailment blocking all three tracks in Wheaton, IL.  Everyone reported, the scoots could not operate and there was nowhere to go!  Later that morning, the trains operated to Chicago via Crystal Lake in order to have equipment in place for the evening rush hour. - 



(Kneeling, left to right) ?, ?, Clarence (Mac) McLaughlin (08/22/1941), Benny Solomon (08/02/1941); (standing) Charlie Vogel (08/25/1914), ?, Charlie Dietrick, ?, Jerry Berkes (08/12/1941), Clarence Johnson (09/01/1935), ?, ?, ?.  Does anyone recognize the unidentified men? 

(Left to right) Mac McLaughlin, Bob Decker & Art Swanson (06/01/1920).

(Left to right) Benny Solomon, Charlie Dietrick, ?, ?, Arnold Freund (08/13/1941) & Charlie McLaughlin

Don McCracken & Charlie.  Clifford McCracken was Don’s father.

Charlie’s father, mother & new baby brother – Mac, Mary & Michael McLaughlin.  Michael is about 3 months old.

Mac & Mary

Mac & Michael


Michael, Charlie & Mary

Mac & Michael


Engine 594

Engine 1155

Engine 642

Three others who frequented West Chicago in early 1956.



Revised:  02/04/10