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William Barclay Parsons

William Barclay Parsons, American civil engineer. Awarded Distinguished Service Medal (United States), also citation for conspicuous distinguished service and victory medal and 5 clasps; D.S.O. (British); Officer Legion of Honor (French); Order of Crown (Belgian). member Isthmian Canal Commission, 1904; Fellow American Academy Arts and Sciences.


  • Parsons, William Barclay was born on April 15, 1859 in New York City. Son of William Barclay and Eliza Glass (Livingston) Parsons.

  • Education

    • Bachelor of Arts, Columbia, 1879, C.E., 1882. Doctor of Laws, St. John’s, Maryland., 1909. Doctor of Science, Princeton, 1920, Trinity, 1921.

      Doctor of Engineering, Stevens, 1921.


    • Barclay. Consulting engineer, New York City, 1885. Deputy chief engineer, 1891-1894, chief engineer, Rapid Transit Commission New York, 1894-1904. Survey Chinese railways, 1898-1899.

      Member Isthmian Canal Commission, 1904. Board of consulting engrs., Panama Canal, 1905. Advisory engineer Royal Commission London Traffic, 1904.

      Chief engineer Cape Cod Canal, 1905-1914. Chairman Chicago Transit Committee, 1916. Also many other engineering works Lecturer Cambridge U., 1929.

      Chief of engrs. (brigadier general Ngakkan Nyaagu), Spanish-American War. Major, lieutenant colonel, colonel 11th United States Engineers, World War. Now brigadier general engineer R.C., United States of America.


    • Author: Turnouts, 1883. Track, 1885
    • Rapid Transit in Foreign Cities, 1895. American Engineer in China, 1900.

      The American Engineers in France, 1920. Robert Fulton and the Submarine, 1923.


    Member Isthmian Canal Commission, 1904. Fellow American Academy Arts and Sciences.


    • Married Anna DeWitt Reed, May 20, 1884. Children: Mistress.
    • father: William Barclay Parsons
    • mother: Eliza Glass (Livingston) Parsons
    • spouse: Anna DeWitt Reed
    • child: Mrs Parsons
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    Born April 15, 1859
    Died March 9, 1932
    (aged 72)