The Lexington Group in Transportation History


Lexington Group, Inc. is a non-profit educational organization (501c3) that concentrates on all aspects of transportation history, particularly railroads. The group has been active ever since its founding in the early 1940's. For years the sparkplug was Professor Richard "Dick" C. Overton (1907-1988), a long-time faculty member at Northwestern University and a prominent railroad scholar. "The chief characteristics of the Lexington Group are its informality, its spontaneity, and the fact that it is kept together by a common interest in railway history," explained Overton. "True to the tradition it has followed ever since, the group originated in a purely spontaneous fashion. After one of the MVHA [Mississippi Valley Historical Association] dinners at Lexington [Kentucky], in May, 1942, some of us [individuals interested in transportation scholarship] gravitated to a coffee shop to swap information about the state of railway history." The Lexington Group remains true to its original intent.

The Richard C. Overton Research Fellowship

In 2006 the Lexington Group established the Richard C. Overton Research Fellowship to honor one of the organization's founders and a leading scholar of America's railroads. To promote the study of transportation history, the Overton Fellowship will provide grants from $1,500 to $3,000 to underwrite travel expenses to conduct research at archives and libraries. Annoucements for the 2012 awards will be made later.

2014 Annual Meeting

The 2014 Annual Meeting will be held in St. Louis, MO from Wednesday through Saturday, October 1-4. More details to be announced.

Membership Information

To apply for membership a candidate must fill out Lexington's application form (available from the Treasurer below) and provide a biographical sketch as well as one-page recommendations from two current members in good standing. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate an enthusiasm for, and interest in, railroading, or other form of transportation past or present, and also demonstrate proficiency or experience in one or more of the following areas:

  1. Employment currently or previously as an academic in the fields of history, business, economics or similar discipline that includes some coverage of transportation history or current development.
  2. Production of a reasonable body of published research or other transportation-related history.
  3. Employment currently or previously as an executive, officer, member of upper management,or as an employed professional, of a railroad or other transportation company or of a governmentally operated railroad or transportation entity.
  4. Currently or previously employed in a management level position by a state or federal Department of Transportation or a transportation regulatory agency.
  5. Other as might be determined by the Board of Directors.

The package of application materials (including check in payment) should be forwarded to Professor Don L. Hofsommer who will pass it along to the membership committee which, meeting quarterly, will make the decision to accept or reject. In the event of rejection, checks will be returned.

Officers: The Lexington Group, Incorporated

H. ROGER GRANT
President
Department of History
Clemson University
Clemson, SC 29634-0527
ggrant@clemson.edu

BYRON (BARNEY) OLSEN
Vice President & Secretary
1543 Grantham Street
St. Paul. MN
byronolsen@comcast.net

DON L. HOFSOMMER
Treasurer/Editor, LEXINGTON QUARTERLY
Department of History
St. Cloud State University
St. Cloud, MN 56301
320-308-4906