Title: St. Louis: The Fourth City
Author: Stevens, Walter B.
Publication date: St. Louis/Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909
Library: Columbia University: Butler Library
Call number: 977.1Sa2 St47
Submitted by: Tara Key
John Franklin Hinckley (Captain) was a railroad man, Chief Engineer of the Frisco (St Louis and San Francisco Railroad).
Notice of his death in 1911 in the Washington Herald (Washington, D.C.) included the following headline:
“Dies Amidst His Books”
and text: “Surrounded by 4,000 volumes, first and last editions of the great authors of the world which had been his pride through life, John Franklin Hinckley, for forty years chief engineer of the Frisco system, a bachelor, aged sixty-two, died this morning.
His bed was surrounded by books, the floor of his room was covered with them, they were piled on tables, mantels, and even shared his pillows with him. Perhaps his favorite author was Mark Twain.”
An article reporting his death from pneumonia in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch further reported that he had agreed to pay $6000 for a first edition of Byron, but he refused to accept the book because “he suspected that the publisher’s representations were not accurate.”