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James Dix Schuyler

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James Dix Schuyler (1849-1912)


1914 Obituary [1]

JAMES DIX SCHUYLER, born at Ithaca, New York, on the 11th May, 1849, died at Ocean Park, California, on the 13th September, 1912, aged 63.

He was educated at the Friends’ College, New York, and subsequently gained practical experience on railway surveys and construction in Colorado and other Western States.

In 1878 he was appointed Chief Assistant State Engineer of California, and was placed in charge of irrigation work, a branch of engineering in which he attained high distinction. He left the State Department in 1882 to become Chief Engineer of the Sinaloa and Durango Railway in Mexico, and on his return to California he constructed a portion of the sea-wall and sewers of San Francisco. His most important work at this time, and one which brought him rapidly to the forefront of his profession in America, was the design and construction of the Sweetwater Dam for San Diego, California. Among other works which he constructed were the Hemet dam, waterworks at Portland and Denver, the Bear River canal, Ogden waterworks, and a number of irrigation works throughout the West.

As a consulting engineer he was associated with works of magnitude in all quarters of the western hemisphere. He was a member of the second Engineering Commission on the Panama Canal project, Consulting Engineer to the Government of Hawaii, to the Monterey Waterworks and Sewer Company, to the Kobe Syndicate, Japan, to the Mexican Light and Power Company, to the Vancouver Power Company, and to many other organizations and local bodies, chiefly in connection with water supply, power, and irrigation works.

He was the author of many scientific and technical memoirs and papers, probably his best-known work being “Reservoirs for Irigation, Water Power, and Domestic Water-Supply,” which ran through several editions, and was recognized as a standard text-book upon the subject. He was a member and vice-president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a member of the American Geographical Society, the Franklin Institute, and other societies. Bold yet prudent as an engineer, tolerant, kindly and patient, his sterling personal qualities endeared him to a large circle of friends in professional and social life, and his death is a loss to engineering both in America and in this country.

Mr. Schuyler was elected a Member of The Institution on the 3rd February, 1891.


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