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Edward Wilthew Jackson

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Edward Wilthew Jackson (1838-1895)

1896 Obituary [1]

EDWARD WILTHEW JACKSON, born in London in September, 1838, was the eldest son of the late Mr. Thomas Jackson, who, in his day, was known as an enterprising contractor.

Edward early in life entered his father’s office, and from 1856 until January, 1863, was engaged under him on the construction of the Smyrnah-Aidin Railway in Asiatic Turkey.

He then acted for eighteen months as superintendent of the works for the extension of the Keyham Dockyard, which were carried out under the charge of the late Mr. Richard Townshend.

In the autumn of 1864 Mr. Jackson proceeded to Mexico, in which country he spent the remainder of his life. He was first employed for nine years as Assistant Agent to the late Mr. George B. Crawley, the contractor, on the construction and equipment of the Mexican Railway, a line 263 miles in length from the city of Mexico to the sea-port of Vera Cruz, with a branch from the latter to Jalap, a distance of 70 miles.

In December, 1873, he became Assistant Manager, and in September, 1875, was promoted to the post of Manager, to the Mexican Railway Company. Mr. Jackson performed the duties of that office for ten years, when he resigned in order to accept the appointment of General Manager to the Mexican Central Railway, in September, 1885. This was an important post, for he was responsible for the administration and working of nearly 1,900 miles of railway, of which 1,224 miles were main line.

In December, 1694, Mr. Jackson transferred his services to the Interoceanic Railway of Mexico (Acapulco to Vera Cruz) as General Manager. This was apparently a less onerous position, as there were only some 530 miles in operation, but disaster seemed to follow this step. Although he surrounded himself with tried subordinates, unforeseen difficulties arose and unpreventable accidents on the line added to his distress. The sudden death of his wife was a shock from which he could not recover, although he threw himself into work with closer attention than ever.

For some years he had suffered from liver complaint, but his death, which took, place suddenly on the 2nd of September, 1895, was attributed to heart disease. Mr. Jackson’s services were greatly appreciated in Mexico, where his strong personality evoked admiration and esteem.

He was elected an Associate Member on the 7th of December, 1880.

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