Treasures of The Henry Ford: "The President." Henry Ford's collection of historic locomotives would not be complete without an example of the locomotive type that literally built America: The 4-4-0 "American." The example he chose was a classic product of the Rogers Locomotive Works in Patterson, NJ. Built in 1858 for the Georgia-based Atlantic & Gulf Railroad, this engine was originally named "Satilla", in an era when railroads named their locomotives rather than number them. "Satilla" had a rather long career, mostly hauling timber for a living. With a boiler pressure of 125 psi and a tractive effort of just 7,450 lbs, its amazing how long she lasted. Henry Ford found her still hauling logs for the J. J. McDonough Lumber Company in 1925! Henry had her restored at his Rouge Factory and named her "Sam Hill" after an Engineer he admired as a boy. The engine became part of the collection at Ford's newly opened Edison Institute.
The engine's last major operation was in 1929, when she pulled a special train carrying Henry Ford, his friend Thomas Edison, and the President of the United States, Herbert Hoover, from Detroit, to the dedication of the Edison Institute in Dearborn, which is today known simply as The Henry Ford. For this last hurrah, Henry Ford renamed the locomotive for the 3rd and last time. He called her "The President" and she carries a brass plate with that name on her smokebox and a smaller one on her headlamp.