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Welcome to the Hobo pages
St Louis Frank

c/o Riverside Hotel-Suite #101
615 Sunflower Ave  Clarksdale, MS 38614

e-mail St Louis Frank at


Congratulations 2016 Queen Sunrise & King Ricardo


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Upcoming Events:

Britt, IA - August - 2017
National Convention

In 2010, trains moved more than two billion tons of freight a year on 140,000
miles of track.  Almost all of that track is privately owned.
Coal accounts for 40% of all freight transported by train.  200,000 people are employed averaging a $70,000 annual salary with nine companies accounting for 90% of the North American railway revenue, estimated at $50 billion.
The big 5 of railroads are; Union Pacific, BNSF, Norfolk Southern, CSX, and Canadian National Railway.  Industry people project that the US will face a calamity in the next ten years as demand is expected to double for a system already groaning under congestion.


UP 3985-Challenger rolls thru St Louis - January 2004

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More Hobo pics?  Click the EVENTS button (left side of this page), and then HOBO CONVENTION-Britt, IA
You can see Preacher Steve doing the Hobo Shuffle!

Hobo Musician pics?  Click the MUSICIANS button (left side of this page), and then choose from Alphabetical List.

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Golden, Colorado Railroad Museum - October - 2014

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In Memory of Ohio Tom - Tom Curtis

b January 19, 1955 Sherwood, OH    d March 26, 2016 Antwerp, OH

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In Memory of Hobo Santa - Dennis LeCount
b August 9, 1940 Taylorville, IL
d February 26, 2016 Homosassa, FL

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In Memory of Stretch - John M. Wilson
b January 20, 1968 - d November 9, 2015 Wilcox, AZ
King of Hobos in 2008

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In Memory of Hobo Minstrel-Fran DeLorenzo
b Oct 9, 1927 - d Aug 13, 2013

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In Memory of Milwaukee Mike-Michael M. Hobbs
b January 7, 1939 - d July 4, 2014

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In Memory of Be Gone Norm-Norman E. Guthrie
b March 29, 1932 - d July 21, 2014

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In Memory of Iowa Blackie-Richard Allan Gage
b Sep 21, 1948   -  d Feb 24, 2011 New Hampton, IA
King of Hoboes in 1993

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Blackie was an Iowa Original catching out in 1963 and the RR became his life.  He didn't leave Iowa much in the later years and his health had been failing since 2007.  He remained in New Hampton mostly, but traveled to Britt, IA each year for the Hobo Convention; even though he was LOUDLY & OPENLY critical of Britt's treatment of the Hoboes.  In addition, Blackie did not get along with many of the younger "Kids" on the road.  He was considered cantankerous and his overall appearance was scary to mothers and children alike.  None of the Iowa Librarians cared to see him park at a library table for the day while he did his research for his annual calendar.  His poetry was published and he would sell his poetry along with his calendars for an income.  I always looked forward to receiving a post card from Blackie just to admire his handwriting.  His writing was very very small, but perfectly readable and he could pack a story onto a small postcard.  While standoffish at times, he was enjoyable when in private.  I fondly remember my visits to Blackie's house in New Hampton on my way to Britt.  I remember being with Blackie in Mt Pleasant, Iowa in Sep-1993  at The Old Thresher's Reunion right after he became King in Britt, Iowa in Aug-1993.  Fond memories of a good Hobo Friend.  



In Memory of Road Hog USA-Don Desimone
b Nov 26,1940    d Jan 13, 2011-Reno, NV
King of Hoboes in 1992

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RoadHogUSA.jpg (26957 bytes) Road Hog USA, a great friend.  Road Hog came out of California as a young man due to family problems.  He teamed up with some fellows in a hobo jungle as a teenager and with their help, got the right clothes and built a bedroll and headed North.  Road Hog told me that when he saw Mt Shasta from the train, he knew this was the better life he wanted.  He said I never looked back.  I was always glad to run into Road Hog as he could brighten your day just being around him.  No matter what town you were in Road Hog knew the ins & outs; where to get a shower, cheap food, and a safe place to bed down.  I remember being up early one morning as the sun was just coming up for the day and walked uptown to maybe find something to eat and as I approached a small cafe, I could hear a harmonica playing and then I heard Road Hog singing "You Are My Sunshine."  No one was around, Road Hog was just playing for himself and the joy of being on the road for another day and being free to carry on as he pleased.  Always a big smile and a kind word.  A joyous man to be around and he will be missed by all who knew him.




In Memory of Little Hobo-Harold Tim Kuhn
b Mar 6, 1916  -  d Jul 13, 2010 Coalport, PA

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In Memory of Hobo Duane Lee Tonsager
b Jan 23, 1938 Eagle Bend, MN  d Apr 12, 2010 Staples, MN 

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In Memory of Hobo Great Grand Duke of Historians
Larry "Loco Larry" O'Briant
b Mar 1, 1948     d Aug 29, 2008 Amory, MS

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In Memory of Hobo "Preacher Steve" Stewart
b Dec 11, 1948 Iowa  d Aug 28, 2008 MN
King of Hobos 1999

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In Memory of Hobo Jerry "Liberty" Justice
b July 12,1935    d April 23, 2008 Raytown, MO
Hobo King in 1996

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In Memory of Hobo John F. O'Connor
The Sidedoor Pullman Kid
b June 4, 1917 - New Haven, CT
d February 8, 2008 - Phoenix, Arizona
King of Hobos 1994

Married 1950's to Florence Wyckoff - Syracuse, NY

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SideDoor.jpg (23961 bytes)Sidedoor caught out in 1930 and traveled & worked the land for the next 25 years.  He lived in most of the established hobo camps at one time or another as he traveled the country.  He took time out in the 1950's to get married and worked as a regular married man as a merchant marine and highway laborer until moving to Phoenix in 1977.  When his wife died in 1985, Sidedoor hit the road again meeting up with old friends around the country.  Sidedoor was elected King of the Hoboes in 1994 in Britt, Iowa at the annual National Convention.  I last talked to Sidedoor at the 2003 Pennsburg Hobo gathering and he recounted his travels through one of his favorite stops in Dubuque, Iowa.   Pennsburg brought together four of the most senior of the Old-time Hobos in Overland Slim-1919, NY Greenie-1918, Sidedoor-1917, and Little Hobo-1916.  Sidedoor referred to the foursome as the 'stair steps' due to their ages being one year apart.  Sidedoor represented one of the last of the depression era independent hoboes and is missed by all.


In Memory of Hobo Benita Sankey
Slo Freight Ben
b March 23, 1911 - d September 28, 2007

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Grand Duchess in 1981
3 time Queen of Hoboes 1984, 1989, 1999
Queen Mum in 2006
Hobo Queen for Life in 2007


In Memory of Hobo Maurice W. Graham
Steam Train Maury
b June 3, 1917 - Atchison, Kansas
d November 18, 2006 - Napoleon, Ohio

Married April 30, 1938 to Wanda Marion Matyanczyk
b May 11, 1918   d June 17, 2011

Two daughters:
Alice L. b 9-12-1939 & Karen S. b 1-11-1944

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SteamT.jpg (25110 bytes)Maury first caught out in 1931 at the age of 14 to live out on the Iron Road and was known to his other hobo friends as "Idaho".  In the early seventies, he was referred to as "Steam Train" because of his fondness of the earlier steam engines.
Steam Train made his way to Britt, Iowa for the first time in 1971 for the National Hobo Convention.   Two years later, "Steam Train Maury" was elected King of The Hobos.  Due to his colorful personality and great knowledge of trains, hobos, nature, and the countryside, Maury would eventually be elected King an additional four times in addition to becoming a National celebrity.  At STwanda.jpg (38366 bytes) the 2003 National Hobo Convention held in Britt Iowa, Steam Train was named "Grand Patriarch For Life" by the hobo family.
He made appearances on radio programs and was the topic in newspaper articles numerous times throughout his life.  Several cities claimed "Steam Train" as their adopted son and welcomed his visits to their annual fairs and celebrations.  Most often, he was the honored guest of the mayor and rode in the local parade as an honored guest.  Maury appeared on the TV program - "To Tell The Truth" and also appeared on the late night "Tom Synder Show" in the mid-seventies.
He served in World War II, was a cement mason and a member of Local 886 for 65 years, and will be sadly missed by the Hobo family.


In Memory of Hobo Euan K. Greene
New York Greenie
b October 14, 1918 - d June 11, 2005

Married June 11, 1949 to Kathleen V. Vaughn
b March 31, 1920 - d November 5, 1992

Greenie was a 1949 graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Science Degree.
He served his country in three major campaigns.  Greenie was a Ham Radio Operator-KA2FTU.  Outside of these and other accomplishments, Greenie was just a cool dude, spoke a few foreign languages, had a great sense of humor, and Greenie was liked by everyone that knew him.

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In Memory of 2001 Hobo Queen

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  Sharon "Derail" Fahey
  born - April 4, 1942
  died - December 31, 2003



In Memory of Hobo Geo May - Author

HBOmayBK.jpg (16860 bytes)     George W. May
     born - November 1, 1909 Metropolis, IL
     died - April 29, 2003 Metropolis, IL in the same house he was born in.

        Hoboed USA, Cuba, Europe, & Mexico



Well, there are a lot of different ideas of what makes a person a Hobo.  A consistent theme throughout the years relates to INDEPENDENCE and TRAVELING around the country.  A dysfunctional family situation has put youngsters on the road and other unfortunate circumstance has made a Hobo out of many men.  As the nation's economy went through periods of decline, people moved about the country seeking a way to make a living.  Those circumstantial Hoboes caused by the hard times of the 1930's that are still alive are now in their 80's and 90's and provide a link to those earlier days.  After the economy picked up, many Hoboes moved back into a more conventional life, got permanent jobs, raised a family, and have not ridden the rails in over 50 years.  In other cases, the Hobo continued to be more comfortable "On the Road" and away from mainstream society.  Hobo Gatherings held in such cities as Britt-IA, Pennsburg-PA, Amory-MS, Jackson, TN, Baldwin, KS, and elsewhere across the country, draw up to 100 Hoboes from age 20 to 90 years.  Most are not actively living on the rails or road, but many remain fiercely independent and still travel the country on a regular basis.

TrainBridge.jpg (49239 bytes)The Hobo of the 21st century may very well have an e-mail address along with a cell phone and probably travels by auto, train (with & without a ticket), plane, bus, or by hitchhiking.
If you're interested in more complete info on Hoboes, click on the Hobo Links below, buy a Hobo book, or better yet, attend one of the Hobo Gatherings and visit with a real, live Hobo.

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