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Howard George Kelley

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Howard George Kelley (1858-1928)

1929 Obituary [1]

HOWARD GEORGE KELLEY, born at Philadelphia, Pa., on the 12th January, 1858, was the son of Edwin A. Kelley and Mary B. Peterson.

He was educated at the Polytechnic College of Pennsylvania. Graduating in 1877, he spent the following 3 years as an assistant engineer on works on the Pacific Coast of the United States.

In 1881 he was appointed Assistant Engineer on the location and construction of the Western and Pacific divisions of the Northern Pacific Railroad, being engaged upon location between the Pacific Coast and the Rocky mountains and the construction of parts of the same divisions. He was subsequently in charge of the design and construction of timber viaducts and Howe truss bridges on the Clarke Forks division, Montana.

He then took charge of the field work for the survey of Tacoma harbour. Leaving the railway company in 1884, he was engaged for 3 years as superintendent of the Mapleton and Champion mines in Montana, after which period he returned to railway work, becoming Resident Engineer for Maintenance of Way and Superintendent of Bridges on the St. Louis South-Western Railroad, of which system he was appointed Chief Engineer in 1890.

During the period 1887-1898 this railway was extended from 720 miles to 1,228 miles, and steel bridges over the entire line were rebuilt. In 1897 he was retained as consulting engineer to the Gray’s Point Terminal Railroad, and in the following year he was appointed Chief Engineer of the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad, being retained as consulting engineer for the St. Louis South-Western and the Gray’s Point Terminal Railroads.

In 1899 he was made Chief Engineer of the Iowa Central Railroad as well as of the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad, being responsible for the maintenance of way and the construction departments of both companies.

In 1907 he was appointed Chief Engineer of the Grand Trunk Railway, Canada, and under his direction 10,000 miles of track, largely in practically unexplored country, was added to the system.

In October, 1911, he was promoted to the position of Vice-President in charge of operation, maintenance, and construction; and In September, 1917, he became President of the Grand Trunk and Grand Trunk Pacific Railways. The Dominion having taken over the control of the consolidated Grand Trunk and Canadian Northern systems, he retired in September, 1922.

He took up his residence in the United States in 1922, and died suddenly at San Diego, Cal., on the 15th May, 1928.

He was elected a Member of The Institution in 1920, and served as the representative Member of the Council in Canada from 1920 to 1922. He was elected a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1889, and was admitted as a Member of the Engineering Institute of Canada in 1907.

He married, in 1899, Cora, daughter of Mr. Lingo, of Denison, Texas.

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