Adam (Addie) Sweezey

Adam (Addie) Sweezey.  Photo courtesy of Patrick Sweezey.Adam (Addie) Sweezey was born on May 10, 1890 in Verner, Ontario and started working on the railroad at the age of 13. In 1913, he became a conductor with the CNR and would work the trains that ran to Foleyet; the end of the railway line in those days.

When the Transcontinental line was completed in 1915, Sweezey became the first conductor on the first train from Port Arthur to Hornepayne.

He married Alice Fraser of Sudbury in 1916 and moved to Capreol in 1923. The couple had seven children: Verna, Norma, Doris, Geraldine, Gilmour, Donald, and Ronald.

Addie was a very active member in St. Alban's Church, as well as the Order of Railway Conductors of America, Capreol Lodge and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge.

Throughout his illustrious career, Addie Sweezey was often chosen to serve as conductor on the trains that would carry Royal visitors or other dignitaries, however, this is not the reason he is so well remembered.

Sweezey worked "The Mixed", a train that went three times a week from Capreol to Foleyet, traveling 148 miles and making 20 stops on its eight and a half hour journey west. Addie worked this stretch for thirteen years and at every stop, he served as a connection to the "outside world" for the residents of the small settlements. On every trip, he would receive requests for various items that the townspeople could not obtain in their area. He would collect the requested items in Capreol or Foleyet and deliver them to the townspeople on his next trip. Sweezey never turned down a request, no matter how large or small, whether it was from a wealthy operator or a Native trapper.

When "The Mixed" began taking on American passengers, Sweezey's good nature and sense of humour won him many friends. Upon his retirement, Sweezey received countless letters from all over Canada and the United States, wishing him well in his retirement.

Addie Sweezey was known as a dedicated railroader who always went above and beyond the call of duty to provide people with a friendly smile, a quick joke, or a much needed necessity.

In 1967, Addie Sweezey died at the age of 77, however, he will always be remembered as one of Canada's best Good-will Ambassadors.

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