"SIXTY YEARS AGO -- This photograph was taken at Argenta, Nev., three months before the last spike was driven in the first trans-continental railroad. The gentlemen seated on the cowcatcher of the engine are United States commissioners inspecting the road. (International Newsreel)"But the gentlemen were not identified in that story. Research answered some of the questions, and located a beautiful copy of the photo:
With grateful appreciation to Don Snoddy at Union Pacific Corporation for the above graphic (scanned from their copyrighted glossy) -- a cropping shows a good close up of Jacob Blickensderfer (on the left) and Mr. Clement, February, 1869 at Argenta, Nevada.
According to family tradition, Jacob chose to ride on the cowcatcher, saying something to the effect that the rails could not be inspected from inside the car. The photo lends credence to that story.
I would love to include that day's transcription from Jacob's diaries to complete the story. Would welcome that information if it's available.