John L. Heavner's B & O Railroad police uniform preserved at the Maryland Historical Society

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John Lester Heavner
February 14, 1910 – September 5, 1974

Though he is not buried in a Baltimore cemetery, John Heavner was a career B&O Railroad police officer and lived in the Baltimore area. After his death, John’s wife, Pauline, donated his B&O Railroad police uniform and kit to the Maryland Historical Society (MHS) where it will appear on display in the upcoming Spectrum of Fashion, opening on October 6, 2019. The exhibit features 100 examples of men’s and women’s attire and accessories, worn by everyday working residents as well as famous Marylanders.  

john Heavner’s B & O Railroad police uniform. Photo courtesy of Maryland Historical Society

john Heavner’s B & O Railroad police uniform. Photo courtesy of Maryland Historical Society

Since Mrs. Heavner’s 1974 donation, the MHS preserved the uniform, along with Heavner’s nightstick, blackjack, handcuffs, flashlight, and even his pencils, with the MHS’s other collection of fashions that cover four centuries. 

John Heavner was born and grew up in Elkins, West Virginia. He began his employment with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1941.  

In December 1942 he left his wife, his home and his job at the railroad to serve his country and enlisted in the U.S. Army. Upon his discharge at the end of World War II, he resumed employment with the B&O Railroad as a railroad police officer, a position that he held until his death on September 5, 1974.

John and his wife Pauline are buried in Maplewood Cemetery located in Elkins, West Virginia.

Spectrum of Fashion will open with an Opening Gala on October 5th.  www.mdhs.org/fashion-gala

Richard BerglundComment