I found my grandfather’s employment record from the Panama Canal Zone! The Panama Canal Museum at the University of Florida has Canal records as well as displays, and much of the research material on line.
Will Hobby’s employment and resignation dates, his position titles, monthly pay, and vacation dates are there. Notably, he took no vacations in 1912 or 1913. He married Linnie Coon during his 1911 vacation home to Iowa City: imagine train and steamship travel to Panama as a honeymoon trip for a young woman who, as far as I know, had never been out of Iowa. Even if she had traveled, Panama would have been not only an immediate adventure, but a long-term commitment to life with a man whose courting, over at least three years, had been mostly by snail mail.