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John James Robertson Croes

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John James Robertson Croes (1834-1906)


1907 Obituary [1]

JOHN JAMES ROBERTSON CROES, Past-President of the American Society of Civil Engineers, who died at his residence in Yonkers, N.Y., on the 17th March, 1906, after a brief illness, was the son of a clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and was born at Richmond, Va., on the 25th November, 1834. He received his education at the College of St. James, Maryland, where he graduated in arts in 1853.

On leaving college, he served for several years on the staff of the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Company, and subsequently assisted in the construction of the Ridgewood reservoir of the Brooklyn Waterworks, under the late Mr. James P. Kirkwood, chief Xngineer.

In 1860 he obtained employment, under Gen. George S. Greene, on the new Central Park reservoir of the Croton waterworks, and the High Bridge enlargement, and when Gen. Greene was called to the front in the Civil War, Mr. Croes became Resident Engineer of this work.

In 1863 he acted as Assistant Engineer on the Washington Aqueduct, under the Department of the Interior, and had charge of the completion of the Cabin John Bridge, the conduit and the Great Falls dam.

In 1865, he was engaged on investigations for a new water-supply to Cincinnati, and harbour improvements at St. Louis, under Mr. Kirkwood; and in December of the same year he returned to New York to take charge of surveys for the construction of storage reservoirs in the Croton Valley. The construction of the Boyd’s Corner Dam, the first high masonry dam built in the United States, was one of the results of Mr. Croes’s report upon this valley. For it Paper upon this dam, presented to the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1874, Mr. Crow was awarded the first Norman Medal.

From 1872 to 1878 Mr. Croes was in the service of the Department of Public Parks of New York as Chief Engineer of the Topographical Bureau, in which capacity he supervised the survey and laying out of the street system of a district of 13,000 acres annexed to New York City, now known as the Borough of the Branx. In conjunction with Mr. F. L. Olmsted, Mr. Croes also submitted plans for rapid transit in this district and subsequently acted as Chief Engineer for the construction of one of the lines suggested, the Suburban Rapid Transit Company, which constructed its elevated road in 1883-1891.

Mr. Croes later engaged in consulting practice, and the undertakings with which he was connected during the course of a long and active career were very numerous and important. They include investigations and reports on water-supply for Sewark and Syracuse, two reports on the water-supply of New York City, the design and construction of waterworks at Indianapolis, services rendered on rapid-transit commissions, and many other undertakings. He made many valuable contributions to engineering literature in the form of papers and discussions before engineering societies and contributions to engineering journals.

He also compiled and edited "The Statistical Tables of American Waterworks," which became a well-known work of reference in America.

Mr. Croes was elected a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1867, became a director in 1876, treasurer in 1877-87, a vice-president in 1888, and was elected president of that society in 1901. He was also a member of other American societies connected with waterworks and public health. In 1895 he was appointed by the Governor of New York a member of a commission to devise plans for the preservation of the Palisades on the Hudson River. Mr. Croes was engaged in active work up to within a few days of his death, being last employed as engineer of the Carnegie Lake and Bridges at Princeton University, New Jersey.

He was elected a Member of The Institution on the 7th March, 1882.



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Sources of Information

  1. 1907 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries