1900 Bourbon Twp, Douglas Co, IL. In the census he was still living with his parents and listed as a day laborer.
2/5/1903 Arthur, IL, byline. The newspaper carried the following headlines and story:
"Saved from Fiery Death
Conductor and Brakeman Helpless in Burning Car
Train Ditched but Engineer Went Ahead
Bad Wreck on C. & E.I. near Villa Grove
A wreck occured on the C. & E.I. railroad near Villa Grove yesterday morning at 11 o'clock. A rail broke under the southbound through freight about a half mile south of that village and six cars and the caboose were ditched. The conductor, Jake Scoles of St. Elmo, and his rear brakeman, Sylvan Powell of this city, were in the caboose when it left the track and with it were hurled down a fifteen foot embankment.
The engineer knew nothing of the wreck for some time and ran on for some distance before the cars were discovered missing.
In the meantime the caboose caught fire and had it not been for the arrival of an old gentleman named William Richman, who saw the wreck, the conductor and brakeman, both of whom had been rendered unconcious, would have burned to death. The old man barely succeeded in rescuing them from the burning car.
The wounded men were taken to Villa Grove and medical attendance at once summoned. They were both seriously hurt. Mr. Scoles is injured internally and it is feared will die. He was still unconcious at 4:20 o'clock when he was taken through here enroute to his home. Young Powell was brought here and is at the home of his brother-in-law, H.M. Rigney. He had several bad cuts on his head and is terribly bruised about the body, but he is resting easy this morning and it is thought he will recover.
The men were in the lookout when the rail broke, saw the cars in front of them begin to tremble and realizing their peril attempted to escape but were caught before reaching the door. The wreak occurred near a small stream and one car which left the track at the bridge was half buried in the water. Trains were delayed several hours."
1910 Denver, Denver Co, CO, was the address given by the newspaper when reporting his parents' anniversary celebration. Sylvan was still there when his father died in 1932. While at this address he completed 31 years of employment on the Colorado & Southern Railroad as a conductor. Son Robert remembers 353 S Clarkson St as his first home.
1/8/1920 Same place. The census listed Sylvan Z, 39, with Effie, 33, and 2 children, Reed, 14, and Helen, 11. He was a freight conductor on the railroad, owned their home but it was mrotgaged.
4/24/1930 S Gilpin St, Denver, Denver Co, CO. It is unknown why the census taker should have listed him as Chas W, 50, married for the first time at age 28 to Effie M, 43, who was 18 at the time. He was a brakeman on the railroad that year, owned the home which was worth $7000, and owned a radio as well. At home with them were Helen, 21, typist in a mining office, and Robert, 7. Also living there was brother Earl O, 45, who had married at 20, and was a railroad switchman.
1941 1218 High St, near Washington Park, Denver, CO, where he worked another few years after retiring at age 65 from the railroad. There he took care of the gardens and oversaw the hockey rink and tennis courts.
The funeral was held at the Washington Park Community Church on Monday at 12 PM with Rev Richard E Halbert officiating with music provided by the Olinger Male Quartet.