Samuel Spencer Monument
After Samuel Spencer, the first president of Southern Railway, was killed in a Virginia train collision in 1906, the railroad's employees contributed funds to build a memorial. Crafted by the renowned sculptor Daniel Chester French, the seated bronze figure was completed in 1909.
The monument originally graced a small plaza in front of Atlanta's Terminal Station. When that imposing structure was torn down in 1972, it was moved to a tiny park along the south wall of Peachtree (Brookwood) Station, better known as Atlanta's Amtrak Station. In the 1990s it moved again, this time to Hardy Ivy Park at the intersection of Peachtree, West Peachtree, and Baker streets. Today it stands (sits?) in front of Norfolk Southern's Atlanta offices at 1200 Peachtree Street. (For photos of its 2009 relocation to the present site, see atlantapublicart.com).
Spencer, a native of Columbus, Georgia, earned a degree in civil engineering in 1869 and soon thereafter went to work as a railroad man. He eventually became president of six railroads, including the Baltimore & Ohio in 1887-88 and the Southern beginning in 1894.
For Further Reading:
Online at Internet Archive is a commemorative booklet issued shortly after the unveiling of the monument in 1910.
RailGa.com. Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. © Steve Storey