DEVEREUX, JOHN H. (5 Apr. 1832-17 Mar. 1886), a civil engineer and leading Midwest railroad manager, was born in Boston, son of John and Matilda (Burton) Devereux. He attended Portsmouth Academy in New Hampshire, and at 16 came to Cleveland as a construction engineer on first the Cleveland, Columbus & Cincinnati Railroad, then the Cleveland, Painesville & Ashtabula Railroad. From 1852-61 he worked in Tennessee, joining the Union Army when the Civil War began. In 1862, as a colonel, he was in charge of all Union rail lines in Virginia, in disarray because of damage inflicted by Confederates and conflicts between various Army and government departments using the lines. Devereux improved efficiency, organized inspection and repair units, obtained equipment, enforced use rules, and smoothed differences between departments. Under his supervision, the trains moved large amounts of troops, artillery, and the sick. Devereux resigned as a general in the spring of 1864.

After the war, Devereux returned to Cleveland as general superintendent, and later vice-president, of the Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad. In 1868 he became vice-president, then president, of the Lake Shore Railroad, and became general manager when that consolidated into the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern. In 1873 he became president of the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railroad and the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad Co. and several smaller companies. The Devereux residence, built in 1873, was part of "Millionaires' Row" on EUCLID AVE. Devereux was twice defeated for Congress. In 1851, Devereux married Antoinette Kelsey. They had 4 children: Mary, John, Antoinette, and HENRY K. DEVEREUX. Devereux is buried at LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.

Black, white and red text reading Western Reserve Historical Society

Finding aid for the Devereux Family Papers, WRHS.

Finding aid for the Devereux Family Photographs, WRHS.

Article Categories