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British Industrial History

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John Dees

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John Dees (1815-1875)

1876 Obituary [1]

JAMES DEES was born at Meldon near Morpeth, Northumberland, on 14th March 1815.

Having chosen the profession of civil engineer, he went in 1845 to Whitehaven, Cumberland, as Resident Engineer of the Whitehaven and Furness Railway then being constructed under Mr. George Stephenson, Mr. Robert Stephenson, and Mr. Longridge.

After completing that line, extending from Foxfield to Whitehaven, and also the Whitehaven Tunnel connecting the Furness line with the Whitehaven Junction Railway, he was appointed engineer of the first wet dock at Maryport, which he successfully finished.

He was one of the promoters of the scheme for making a railway from the hematite district in that neighbourhood, which resulted in the opening in 1856 of the Whitehaven Cleator and Egremont Railway, Mr. Dees being chief engineer and subsequently a director.

About 1853 he commenced the Whitehaven brick and tile works, of which he was sole proprietor; and he was one of the most energetic promoters of the Solway Junction Railway, of which he was a director and deputy chairman.

He was also a partner in the Parkside Mining Co., whose extensive operations are well known.

He was a magistrate for the counties of Cumberland and Northumberland.

He died at his residence, Riverdale, Bellingham, Northumberland, at the age of 60, on 19th September 1875, after but a few hours' illness of internal hemorrhage.

He became a Member of the Institution in 1858.

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