Louis W. Menk

Louis W. Menk

Louis Wilson Menk was the last president of Northern Pacific Railway 1966-1970, before the railroad was merged into Burlington Northern Railroad. Menk was also selected as "Modern Railways" magazine's "Man of the Year" for 1967, an award that has continued annually and is now known as Railroader of the Year.


Menk, Louis Wilson (April 8, 1918, to November 27, 1999).

President, Director.

Office: St. Paul, Minnesota.

Born: Englewood, Colorado, April 8, 1918.

Son of: Louis Albert and Daisy Deane (Frantz) Menk.

Married: Martha Jane Swan, May 30, 1942.

Children: David Louis, Barbara Ann.

Education: Attended Denver University, Harvard Business School (Advanced Management Program), Northwestern University (honorary LL.D. 1959); Drury College (honorary LL.D. 1965), Denver University (honorary LL.D. 1966), Monmouth College.

Career: 1937 to 1940, telegrapher, Union Pacific Railroad; 1940 to 1965, telegrapher, dispatcher, chief dispatcher, trainmaster, vice-president, president, St. Louis-San Francisco Railway; 1965 to 1966, president and director, Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad; October, 1966 [to March, 1970] , president and director, Northern Pacific Railway. Also director Chicago, Burlington and Quincy; Colorado and Southern; Northern Pacific Transport; Cuyuna Realty; Monad Company; Association of American Railroads; First National Bank of Chicago; American Investment Company; Servomation Corporation; First Trust of St. Paul; Hunt Foods; General Mills; Brown Shoe Company.

Clubs: St. Paul; Metro; Improvement Commission Greater St. Paul United Fund; Upper Midwest Development Council; St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce; Government Council on Executive Reorganization; Advisory Committee, Minnesota Department of Economic Development; Transportation Center, Northwestern University; Chicago Area Council; Boy Scouts of America; Indianhead Committee; Summit School; Minnesota Club of St. Paul; St. Paul Athletic Club; Somerset Country Club; Transportation Club of St. Paul; Traffic Club of Minnesota; Traffic Club of Chicago; Union League of Chicago; Glen View Country Club; Chicago Club; Noonday; Bellerive Country Club; Masons; Presbyterian.

Osthoff, Frederick C., editor. "Who’s Who in Railroading in North America". New York: Simmons-Boardman, 1968, p. 341.

President of St. Louis San Francisco Railway Co. 1962-1966, succeeded by Jack W. Gilliland


* St. Louis [Mo.] "Post-Dispatch", November 27, 1999.


Louis Menk papers, 1953-1981.

Correspondence, speeches, scrapbooks, memorabilia, printed matter, and related papers documenting the career of this railroad executive who was president of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company (1962-1965), the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company (1965-1966), the Northern Pacific Railway Company (1966-1970), and Burlington Northern Inc. (1970-1978, and chairman 1978-1981). He was also one of the principal architects of the 1970 merger that created the Burlington Northern; 21.5 cu. ft. (18 boxes and 4 microfilm reels).



*Menk, Louis W. "A Railroad Man Looks At America; Excepts from the Speeches of Louis W. Menk". No place: privately published, n.d. [circa 1974] .

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