Alabama Academy of Honor

Glen Porter Brock

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1978.

Glen Porter Brock, a mobile railroad executive, was born near Alden, Iowa, November 22, 1896, the son of Loren Ellsworth and Mable L. (Porter) Brock. He graduated from public school in Palestine, Illinois, in May, 1918, and enlisted in the United States Army in June serving in the Infantry at Columbus Barracks, Ohio, until the Armistice was signed November 11, 1918. Mr. Brock attended Central Business College in Indianapolis, Indiana, and graduated from University of Illinois in railway administration in 1922. He began his railroad career at the age of sixteen as call clerk on the Illinois Central Railroad. In his 65 years of service to the railroad industry, he worked in fifty-two jobs.

In December, 1922, Brock moved to Mobile to work with the Gulf, Mobile & Northern Railroad as cost accountant. In 1940 he was elected vice president and general manager of the combined system of the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad and in 1947 was elected to the Board of Directors. From 1952 to 1957 he served as executive vice president and general manager of the GM&O. In 1957 he was elected president and in 1972 he became chairman of the Board of Directors for the newly merged Illinois Central Gulf Railroad. In 1976 he became honorary chairman and retired in 1977, retaining that title.

His railroad career includes his being a director for the Illinois Central Industries, president and director of the GM&O Land Company and the New Orleans Great Northern Railroad Company, director for the Gulf Transport Company and alternate director for the Kansas City Terminal Railroad Company, and a member of the National Freight Traffic Association.

In the banking and financial field Mr. Brock was a director for the Protective Life Insurance company of Birmingham, the Home Savings & Loan Association, the American National Bank & Trust Company and the National Merchants Bank of Mobile.

Mr. Brock's civic interests were packed with activities which included his serving as committee chairman, vice president and president of the Mobile Rotary Club, as well as being appointed to head committees and elected to major offices for the Mobile Chamber of Commerce. He was a director of the Alabama State Chamber of Commerce and has held committees status with the Chamber of Commerce of the United States.

Since the Community Chest and the United Funds Agency have been of very great interest for him, Mr. Brock served as chairman for various committees, as director and was the 1953 General Chairman for the Community Chest Campaign. He was on the board of directors for both, and was secretary and president for the United Funds of Mobile.

He was involved as a member of advisory boards and committees for the Mobile County Hospital, the Providence Hospital, the Mobile Mental Health Center, the Southwest Alabama Council on Alcoholism as well as director or trustee for the Mobile Association for the Blind, Mobile Heart Association, Mobile Chapter Red Cross, Mobile Mental Health Association and Moblie Rehabilitation Association.

Mr. Brock's energies were directed as trustee of the Illinois Wesleyan University of Bloomington, member of the Advisory Committee of the University of Alabama Center of Mobile, and to the Mobile Area Foundation for Higher Education, an associate member of the Alabama Education Study Commission, Task Force II; and chairman of the Founder's Committee, Mobile Baptist College.

He was on the Mobile County Board of the Department of Pensions and Security; the Alabama State Docks Advisory Board, member of the Council of Youth Oppurtunity, a member of the Council of Youth Oppurtunity, a member of the Water Works Board of the City of Mobile, and the Mobile Urban Renewal Agency.

As a result of his cultural interest he was appointed to the Alabama Civil War Centennial Commission and to the Mobile Civil War Centennial Commission as advisory to the Board of Commissioners regarding the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay. He was trustee for the Mobile Art Association and a member of the Advisory Board of the Mobile Symphonic Society, as well as on the advisory committee of the Friends of the Mobile Public Library. In 1961 he was chairman for the National Library Week for Mobile and in 1969 he was the Industry Chairman for the 29th National Bible Week.

Mr. Brock received the M.O. Beale Scroll of Merit from the Mobile Press-Register three times for civic activities. He was the 1961 "Mobilian of the Year" and received the "Golden Anniversary Award" for 1961 from the honorary fraternity of Beta Gamma Sigma, University of Alabama Chapter, for distinguished ability in the field of business. In 1959 he received the honorary doctor of laws degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and the "Illini Achievement Award" from the University of Illinois Alumni Association in 1969.

He was affiliated with the Seaman's Club of Mobile, the Alabama Business Research Council, University of Alabama; Southern States Industrial Council (U.S. Industrial Council), the Alabama Royal Association of Kansas City, the Mississippi Research & Development Council, and the Citizens' Conference of Alabama State Courts. He served on the Army Advisory Committee of Mobile; as a member of the Avisory Board of the Ordnance District Chief, Birmingham, and as capital civilian chairman of the 1960 Armed Forces Week.

He participated in fund raising activities for the Florence Crittenton Home in Mobile as well as serving with the Finance Committee of the Mobile Boy Scouts of America.

Mr. Brock was a member of Pi Kappa Phi, the Navy League of the United States, the Newcomen Society of North America, and the Shrine. Mr. Brock's religious affiliation was with the Dauphin way United Methodist Church where he served as chairman of the Board of Stewards.

He was married to the former Ester Goodwin of Palestine, Illinois, and they had two sons, Paul Warrington and Glen Porter Jr., and six grandchildren. He is now deceased.