Finding aid created by California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives staff using RecordEXPRESS
California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives
111 I Street
Sacramento, California 95814
(916) 323-8073

Descriptive Summary

Dates: 1937-1983
Collection Number: MS 628
Creator/Collector: King, Robert Lee (1923-1982)
Extent: 2 boxes
Repository: California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives
Sacramento, California 95814
Abstract: This collection documents Robert Lee King's distinguished 38-year career with the Southern Pacific Company.
Language of Material: English


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.

Publication Rights

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.

Preferred Citation

ROBERT LEE KING FAMILY PAPERS. California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives

Acquisition Information

Gift of Stephen E. Drew, 2006.

Biography/Administrative History

Robert Lee King was born on December 15, 1923 in Auxvasse, Missouri. He joined SP in 1944 at El Paso, Texas as Secretary to the Rio Grande Division Superintendent and rose through positions of increasing responsibility. Mr. King’s occupations during 38 years of service for Southern Pacific Company also include: Trainmaster, Rio Grande Division (1948), Tucson Division (1949) and Sacramento Division (1954), Assistant Superintendent, Salt Lake Division (1959) and Sacramento Division (1962), Superintendent, Western Division, Oakland (1965), Assistant General Manager of the Operating Department, San Francisco headquarters (1967), General Manager, San Francisco headquarters (1969), Vice-President, Traffic, San Francisco headquarters (1978), and Senior Vice-President, Traffic (1982). While working for Southern Pacific, Mr. King completed Harvard Business School's program for management development in December, 1961. In 1945, Mr. King married Irma Ruth Rountree. The Kings had two children, Beverly and Bruce. The Kings were long-time members of the Park Boulevard Presbyterian church in Oakland, where Mrs. King was President of the Women’s Association. Mr. King died on November 27, 1982 at the age of 58.

Scope and Content of Collection

Includes correspondence, telegrams and cards congratulating Robert King on his numerous promotions, SP circulars announcing his promotions, clippings from newspapers and magazines in which Mr. King has appeared, black-and-white and color photographs of business colleagues, family, friends, and trips, including one to Germany and several to Mexico, a scrapbook of an inspection trip, mailing lists for the SP traffic and operating departments, a few pay stubs, a certificate from Harvard Business School, and some material collected by his wife Irma Ruth Rountree (1921-1986) about her interests and accomplishments. Personal papers include a high-school transcript and correspondence about the possibility of obtaining work as a congressional aide out of high school. Northwestern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe train orders from 1909 collected by Robert King predate the collection, which spans the dates 1937-1983. Arranged alphabetically by type of material. Correspondence, clippings, motivational messages, newsletters and programs collected by Robert King's wife, Irma, are arranged alphabetically by the type of material.

Additional collection guides