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William J. Latta Resignation

William J. Latta

William J. Latta, General Agent of the Pennsylvania Railroad, when asked yesterday if it were true that he had resigned, was just as reticent about the report to that effect as he was when approached last week upon the subject. He replied that it would be best to see the general manager of the company. General Manager J. B. Hutchinson said he had nothing to say. It was learned from a friend of Mr. Latta, however, that the general agent had said to him that he had already handed in his resignation, and this was practically admitted by an officer high in the general office of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

As general agent for the great railroad has for many years occupied a unique, influential and important position in the City of Philadelphia, it being part of his duties, as everybody knows, to keep the political organizations in a favourable attitude towards his company. It was unique because the dominant political forces of the State and city have been part of the Republican party, while Mr. Latta himself has been a Democrat. In all his dealings Mr. Latta has been frank and unwavering without that ambiguity which sometimes is characteristic of the diplomat who wants to curry favor with opposing factions.

Mr. Latta began his career with the Pennsylvania Railroad when he was a youth, and by faithful service and trustworthiness he endeared himself to his superior officers, who rewarded him by rapid promotion to a position of great trust. He is reputed to have amassed a fortune, but rumor has it that he will not seek retirement from active work. It is expected that in the course of development of combinations of electrical companies he will be found at the head of an important company. No person has yet been selected to succeed him, and this probably accounts for the reticence of General Manager Hutchinson.

Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/29/1899