I was  curious as to who the author of “Along Came the Erie” was.  I had his name, but a simple Google search did not really help answer my question.  Reading the tenor of the articles, it seemed to me that Mr. Reineke MIGHT be centered around the Goshen/Middletown area of New York.

I found “Lawrence Reineke” on Social Security Death Index, all it gave me was his name, dates of birth and death, and place of death.

An inquiry about a local obituary to the Middletown Thrall Library brought this lovely obituary, a testimony to a loving husband, father and friend:

“LAWRENCE REINEKE Middletown, N.Y. Lawrence Reineke, a lifetime resident of Middletown, passed away September 18, 2003 at the age of 96. The son of Gustav and Catherine Nolan Reineke, he was born on August 7, 1907 in New York City. At an early age his family moved to New Hampton. In 1937 he founded Reineke Inc., an insurance, real estate, and tax consulting firm, and remained active until 1999. He served in World War II as a member of the Army Air Corps, and remained active in the Air Force Reserves, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was proud of his contributions as a World War II historian, and his service as an intelligence officer to the historical documentaries "Log of the Liberators"; "Thousand Mile War"; "Saga of the Super Fortress" and various collections in several university libraries. He was a member of the Reserve Officers Association, The Military Order of the World Wars, the 11th Air Force Association, the 20th Air Force Association, 73rd Bomb Wing Association, Air Force Association and the West Point Officer's Club, A 50 year member of the Middletown American Legion Post 151, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. His well known business led to his membership in the Orange County Board of Realtors, Professional Insurance Agency Association, Independent Insurance Agents Association, and the New York Society of Real Estate Appraisers. As a man dedicated to his community, he served four terms as a City Alderman for the City of Middletown, a long time member of the Town of Wawayanda Board of Assessment and Review, and took great pride in serving on Congressman Gilman's Congressional Board for Military Academies from it's inception to end. A 50 year member of the McQuoid Engine and Ladder Company #3, Middletown, The Knights of Columbus, the Historical Society of Wallkill Precinct and the Orange County Historical Society. Outliving most of his contemporaries, he continued to make new friends through work and family and as his grandchildren attended college and brought home their friends, he became known as "Grandpa" to the young men and women in many states. His physical presence will be missed but his spirit will remain an active participant in his community. .. Burial with full military honors will be in St. Joseph Cemetery, Middletown. Arrangements are under the supervision of Louis W. Morse, Morse Funeral Home, Inc.”

Well, it did not prove to me for sure that this was the Lawrence Reineke I was looking for. It seemed to me that there were a few years where Mr. Reineke COULD have been working as a reporter, but the obituary did not specifically say that he was.

A letter to the Orange County Historical Society, of which the obituary said he was a member, brought a response from Mr. Marvin Cohen, who was a friend of the above Lawrence Reineke.

“I am sure that Mr. Reineke was the author of the articles of the Erie R.R.  In his younger days he was a reporter for the local paper.  I have copied a number of the articles he wrote and used them in our Historical Society newsletter. “

That was enough information for me.  I believe Mr. Lawrence Reineke, born in Middletown NY in 1907 and died in 2003, is the author of the articles entitled “Along Came the Erie”.

I hope you enjoy the articles.  Mary Rhodes


ALONG CAME THE ERIE, by Lawrence Reineke