Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Howard Verden Platt collection
MS 414  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
Papers highlighting the professional and personal accomplishments of Union Pacific railroad executive Howard Verden Platt.
Howard Verden Platt was born in Lynn, Indiana on July 27, 1865. In 1885, he moved from Indiana to Idaho to become a brakeman for the Union Pacific. H.V. Platt married Laura Barnes on February 2, 1888. Mr. and Mrs. Platt had two daughters, [Helen] Virginia and Dorothy Elizabeth. In 1892 Platt became Freight and Passenger Agent at Pocatello, Idaho. In 1902 Platt was transferred to Salt Lake. In 1904 he became Superintendent there, then in 1905 transferred to become the Superintendent of the Los Angeles division of the Southern Pacific Company. In 1908, Platt was promoted to General Superintendent of the Southern District of Southern Pacific and in 1915 he was promoted to Assistant General Manager. Platt did a great deal to establish a good relationship between Southern Pacific Company and the community. In one interview, he stated that "the interests of the people and the railroads lie in the same direction and the greatest prosperity can be secured only through united action." He was also closely associated with the development of property in the San Fernando area, particularly the development of Van Nuys and nearby residential property. In 1916, Platt left his position as Assistant General Manager of the Southern Pacific to return to the Oregon Short Line unit of the Union Pacific System as its Vice-President. At this time, he was also elected First Vice-President of the Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad Company. He became General Manager of the O.S.L. unit after World War I. After retiring in October, 1928, Platt returned to Southern California with his wife, Laura and his daughter Dorothy. Remaining active in community affairs, he was elected President of the Van Nuys Chamber of Commerce. Shortly after he retired, Platt's wife Laura died. In 1933, he married Violet May. He died on February 27, 1945 in Los Angeles, California.
1 box + 1 oversize box
Copyright has not been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the CSRM as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
This collection is open for research at our off-site storage facility with one week's notice. Contact Library & Archives staff to arrange for access.