William F. Nast

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William F. Nast
Born William Frederick Nast
(1840-06-14)June 14, 1840
Cincinnati, Ohio
Died 1893
Occupation American attache, railroad executive and inventor
Spouse(s) Esther A. Benoist
Children Louis, Condé, Ethel, and Estelle
Parent(s) William Nast

William Frederick Nast (1840–1893) was an American diplomat and entrepreneur. He was the third president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.[1]

Nast was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 14, 1840, the son of Methodist religious leader William Nast.[2] From 1861 to 1865 he served at the American Consulate in Stuttgart, Germany.[3] Upon his return to the United States, Nast entered the brokerage business in New York, New York.

On September 2, 1868, Nast became president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, a position he held for less than a month, ending on September 24, 1868.

Also in 1868, he married Esther A. Benoist,[3] a daughter of pioneer St. Louis banker Louis Auguste Benoist. They had four children: Louis, Condé, Ethel, and Estelle.

While living in Europe, William Nast filed for several invention patents, including one for "improvements in the treatment of stable manure, and in the manufacture of paper" on July 6, 1876, awarded February 22, 1878,[4] and one for "improvements in the manufacture of dextrine, sugar and the like, from cellulose and ligneous materials" on November 4, 1880,[5] and US 374618  "Obtaining ammonia from manure", awarded on December 13, 1887.[6]

He died in 1893, and was buried at Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis.[7]


  1. ^ Various dates and other biographical information in this article are drawn from Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography 1887-89.
  2. ^ Wittke (1959), p. 197.
  3. ^ a b "Husband and Wife Reunited". New York Times. October 14, 1890. p. 3.
  4. ^ "(untitled public notices)" (PDF). The London Gazette. February 22, 1878. p. 886.
  5. ^ Commission for Patents (1881), p. 1008.
  6. ^ "U.S. patent 374,618". Google Patent Search. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  7. ^ Wittke (1959), p. 208.


  • "William L. Dayton Papers; a finding aid". Princeton University Library. 2002. Retrieved 2005-07-13.
  • Waters, Lawrence Leslie (1950). Steel Trails to Santa Fe. University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, Kansas.
  • Wittke, Carl (1959). William Nast: Patriarch of German Methodism. Wayne State University Press.
  • Commission for Patents (1881). The Commissioners of Patents' Journal, 1880. II, July to December. London: George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode.

Business positions
Preceded by
Samuel C. Pomeroy
President of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
Succeeded by
Henry C. Lord

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