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John Pagan

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John Pagan (1842-1888)

1889 Obituary [1]

JOHN PAGAN was born at Maxwelltown, Dumfriesshire, on the 21st of May, 1842.

In 1860 he was articled for five years to Mr. George Mackay, County Surveyor of Invernesshire, with whom he remained, as pupil and assistant, for seven years.

In 1867 he became an Assistant Surveyor to the Corporation of Preston, and held the appointment for two years, when he was promoted to a similar office under the Corporation of Bradford. His career at Bradford was a busy one, for it embraced the period of the important street improvements carried out during the years 1869-72, which quite transformed the leading thoroughfares of that borough.

In 1872 Mr. Pagan became Deputy Borough Surveyor to the Corporation of Sheffield, and held the position until 1875, when he was unanimously, and without previous canvassing on his part, selected for the office. of Borough Surveyor of Wakefield. As holder of this office he was responsible for several works of interest in municipal engineering, among the most important being the main sewerage extension of the borough, and ventilation and improvement of the outfall.

In the early part of 1879 the office of Borough Surveyor of Bradford became vacant, and Mr. Pagan had resolved to try and obtain the post, and so return to his old friends and congenial work in the cloth metropolis, but when on the point of sending in his application he was appointed Surveyor General to the Gold Coast. In May of the year mentioned he proceeded to the West Coast of Africa to commence his duties. On leaving Wakefield Mr. Pagan was the subject of a complimentary dinner, and presentation on the part of the Corporation officials, when a most generous appreciation was manifested of his labours in that borough. Of his work at the Gold Coast little need be said. He held the office of Surveyor General for nearly ten years, during which time he designed and carried out various public works of an important character which greatly benefited and improved the sanitary condition of the Colony. He fulfilled his duties with a conscientious and assiduous thoroughness that was, perhaps, unjust to himself, having regard to the treacherous climate. To this he ultimately became a victim, dying of fever at Accra, on the 13th of December, 1888, respected by all his brother officers. As a mark of esteem, they erected to his memory a monument in the graveyard at Accra.

Mr. Pagan was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 2nd of February, 1875, and on the reconstruction of that class in 1878 became an Associate Member.

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