General Thomas Thompson Eckert



Publication: The New York Times

New York, NY, United States
p. 11


Ex-President of Western Union Telegraph

Co. Was 85 Years Old.

Special to The New York Times.

LONG BRANCH, N. J., Oct. 20. Gen. Thomas T. Eckert, for ten years President of the Western Union Telegraph Company, died at his summer home on Ocean Avenue, in this city, at 7:30 o'clock this morning, aged 85 years.

Gen. Eckert met with a singular accident on Sept. 2 which hastened his death. He was preparing to retire, and in turning around suddenly fractured his right thigh.

The funeral will be held in New York.

Gen. Thomas T. Eckert was born April 23, 1825, at St. Clairsville, Ohio. Before he was 21 he had become a telegraph operator. He served for a time as Postmaster at Wooster, Ohio, and then in 1852 supervised the construction of the telegraph line from Pittsburg to Chicago and became the Superintendent of this line. Later this line was taken over by the Western Union Telegraph Company, and Gen. Eckert entered the service of that company.

He resigned the position he held with the Western Union in 1859 and went South to engage in a gold-mining venture in North Carolina. He was there when the war broke out and narrowly escaped hanging on the charge of being a Northern spy. In 1862 he entered the service of the Federal Government, and later was appointed Assistant Secretary of War by President Lincoln, and was brevetted Brigadier General.

After the war he again associated himself with the Western Union Telegraph Company. In 1881 he became General Manager of the Western Union, and in 1892 was elected President of the company. He retired from the Presidency of the company in 1902, and was made Chairman of its Executive Committee.

Keywords:Thomas Eckert : Western Union Telegraph Company : American Union Telegraph Company
Researcher notes:Gen. Thomas T. Eckert was President of the American Union Telegraph Company in 1880.
Supplemental information:Article: 7912
Researcher:Glenn Drummond
Date completed:December 8, 2007 by: Glenn Drummond;