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Woolsey Finnell

Woolsey Finnell, American civil engineer. Awarded citation by General Pershing “for extremely meritorious service”; Legion of Honor (French). Mason (33°, Scottish Rite; Shriner).


  • Finnell, Woolsey was born on October 24, 1866 in Tuscaloosa, Company, Alabama, United States. Son of Adoniran Judson and Narsissa (Durrett) Finnell.

  • Education

    • Prep, education, Pleasant Hill Academy (Jefferson Company, Alabama) and Tuscaloosa Military Academy. Continuing education, University of Alabama, 1887.


    • As axeman on Knights of Columbus, M.&B.R.R. (now St. Louis-San Francisco Railway), 1887, continuing as assistant engineer, resident engineer, locating engineer and division engineer several railroads. Served as chief engineer various railway projects. Opened office as construction engineering, at Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1894.

      Served as judge of probate, Tuscaloosa Company. Became director State Highway Department, Alabama, February 1, 1927. Now with United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons.

      Commissioned major engrs., United States of America, June 19, 1917. Sailed for France with 501st Engineers and later made engineer officer of Intermediate Section, in command of 18,000 men. Lieutenant colonel September 14, 1918.

      Duty at Paris, 1919, with War Damage Board of Peace Conference, later field executive of Army Ednl. Corps; honorary discharged, September 16, 1919. Colonel Engineer Reserve Corps, January 20, 1920.

      Charter member American Society Military Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers.


    Party affiliation: Democrat


    Mason (33°, Scottish Rite.


    • Married Margaret Hagler, of Tuscaloosa Company, October 21, 1890. Children: Edward Judson, Lillian Margaret (deceased), Julia Judson (Mistress.
    • father: Adoniran Judson Finnell
    • mother: Narsissa (Durrett) Finnell
    • spouse: Margaret Hagler
    • children: Edward Judson Finnell
    • Lillian Margaret Finnell (deceased)
    • Julia Judson (Mrs Finnell
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    Born October 24, 1866