Ted Wurm 1

Theodore Grover "Ted" Wurm (January 5, 1919 – February 23, 2004) was a railroad historian, social activist, and author of five books on the history of Western railroads. The longtime resident of Oakland was also an avid runner who ran 13 marathons at the age of 60.

Among the books he authored or co-authored are “The Crookedest Railroad in the World,” “Narrow Gauge to the Redwoods,” “Hetch Hetchy and its Dam Railroad,” “Silver Short Line” and “Mallets on the Mendocino Coast.”

He wrote numerous articles, including the history of St. Leo’s Church in Oakland entitled "St. Leo's parish : Christian service 1911-1971." 2, 3

He was also very involved with railroad, neighborhood and preservation organizations, as well as Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco.

In 1969, he resigned from the Elks because the group at that time excluded African Americans from membership, and he felt that did not represent the true concept of Americanism.

Wurm was friends with labor leader César Chávez and helped build the Visalia hospital for farmworkers in Tulare County.

During the 1960s and 1970s he participated in anti-Vietnam War marches in Berkeley and threw his WWII medals over the fence into People’s Park.

Links and References

  1. Ted Wurm -- historian of the Western railroad San Francisco Chronicle February 29, 2004
  2. St. Leo's parish : Christian service 1911-1971 Published by St. Leo's Parish, 1976 OCLC WorldCat

  3. Ted Wurm, railroad historian, runner dies at 85 Yahoo Groups/Oakland Tribune