Wendell Trenton Miller
N&W Steam Locomotive Engineer
Shenandoah Division

Wendell operated a large, coal fired steam locomotive as an employee of Norfolk & Western Railway Company providing passenger service between Hagerstown, MD and Shenandoah, VA.  Mr. Woods, his firemen, worked with Wendell exclusively.

As best as we can tell, Wendell operated a non-streamlined class K-1 "Mountain" steam locomotive.  During the summer of 1935 Wendell would have driven one of four engines providing passenger service between Hagerstown and Shenandoah; Number 100 - a large Class K1 4-8-2 Mountain type, number 103 - also a K1 4-8-2, number 116 - a K2 4-8-2, and number 124 - also a K2 4-8-2.  Smaller Class E2 4-6-2 engines (numbers 577 and 579) were used for secondary passenger trains #13 and #14.
The Norfolk & Western Railway built its first eight "Mountains" in it's shops in Roanoke, Virginia during 1916.  These locomotives (class K-1, road numbers 100 through 107) had 29 x 28 cylinders, 70" drivers, a boiler pressure of 220 psi, exerted 69,920 lbs of traction effort and weighed 347,000 pounds. The following year another eight (road numbers 108 through 115) duplicates of the first class K-1s, were built. All of these 4-8-2s entered passenger service. (source: www.steamlocomotive.com).  None of the original 4-8-2 engines survive today, as they were all dismantled in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Trains Nos. 1 & 2 operated with an express car, baggage car, two and sometime three coaches, and two Pullman sleepers.  A dining car was switched in at the Shenandoah yard for the Number 1 train passengers headed to Roanoke.  The dining car was switched out at about 10 PM in Shenandoah as the Number 2 train headed North.

According to oral history from Richard Miller, his grandson, Wendell died suddenly on the back porch of a Norfolk & Western Railroad boarding house in Shenandoah, VA during a layover between runs.  His flag draped casket was returned to Hagerstown on a flatbed car pulled by the steam engine he had operated for so many years. 


US Federal Census:

  • 1900 - Page County, VA
  • 1910 - Hagerstown, MD
  • 1920 - Hagerstown, MD
  • 1930 - Hagerstown, MD

Birth date: 28 Mar 1887
Birth place: Rileyville, Virginia

Death date: April 23, 1937.
Death place: Shenandoah, VA

Occupation: Locomotive Engineer (Norfolk & Western Railway Company)

Father: Benjamin Wesley Miller
Mother: Isabella B (b 1853 d 1914)

Spouse: Edna M. Conrad
Marriage: about 1906


  • Edwin Wendell Miller

More Details:

  • Reported in the "Innumerable Caravan" column of the June 1937, page 219. Wendell T. Miller, Fireman Shenandoah Division, passed away on April 23, 1937.
  • He always worked with the same firemen -- Mr. Woods.
  • Residence at 2 East Washington St., Hagerstown, MD, 13 Apr 1910
  • Residence at 605 North Mulberry St., Hagerstown, MD, 1917 & 1920
  • Residence at 35 South Potomac Street, Hagerstown, MD, 1923 
  • Residence at 165 South Potomac St., Hagerstown, MD, April 1930
  • Last residence was 841 Virginia Avenue, Hagerstown, MD
  • It is believed he worked for N&W for 30 years.
This may have been a Norfolk & Western boarding house in Shenandoah, Virginia.  Wendell Trenton Miller is believed to have died on the back porch of this building.  More photos of the boarding house are below.  Note: you can see the camera and tripod in the shadows. 

You will notice this is a Y.M.C.A. building.  At that time there was a strong relationship between the nations railroads and the Y.M.C.A.  The railroad Ys provided practical things such as clean beds, good meals, and hot showers, but also addressed the educational, spiritual, and recreational needs of the workers with Bible study, instructional courses on a variety of subjects, organized sports, and other activities. 

Located on Front Street, just North of the station, this Y.M.C.A. is where Wendell is believed to have suffered a fatal heart attach on the porch during a routine layover in Shenandoah, Virginia.