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Richard Oglesby Marsh


Richard Oglesby Marsh, American engineer. Awarded resolution of thanks from American and British associations for advancement of science for contributions to ethnology. Fellow American Geographic Society etc. Honorary staff; Club: Explorer (New York).


Marsh, Richard Oglesby was born on March 27, 1883 in Washington, District of Columbia. Son of Benjamin Franklin and Jennie Elizabeth (Coolbaugh) Marsh.


Student Massachusetts Institute Technology, 1901-1905, Universite de Lausanne, Switzerland, 1905-1906.


Of Legation and charge d’affaires United States Legation, Panama, 1909-1910. Attache Latin-American Division of State Department, 1910, near East Division, 1911. Secretary United States Embassy at St. Petersburg, Russia, 1912.

Made engineering and scientific exploration trips, 1907-1932, in Rio Mesquital Canyon in W. Mexico, from Bolivia over Andes in Amazon headwaters, from Peking, China, into Mongolia, in Arabia, Somaliland, Morocco and the Riff. Also leader of Darien expedition, sponsored by Smithsonian Institute, American Museum Natural History and University of Rochester, and in Nicaragua. Has done engineering work in the United States, Mexico, Bolivia, P.L.

Junior partner General G. W. Goethals, 1923-1927. Research engineer Éleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours, 1927-1929. President Richard O. Marsh & Company, Inc., New York, 1929-1933.

With Public Works Administrn., 1933-1935. With Land Utilization Division, unites states department of Agriculture as chief engineer, 1935-1939. Construction engineering Federal National Defense Board, 1939-1940.

Appointed hydro electric expert Federal Power Commission 1940. Consultant War Department, 1941. Reconnaissance engineer for United States Military N. African Mission, December 1941-April 1943, with field service in N. Africa.

Returned United States, April 1943, for convalescence from wound received in N. African campaign. Construction engineering to the United States Rubber Development Corporation. Chief United States Special Mission to Ethiopia, January 1944 consultant to the United States war and Navy Depts. and various foreign goverments since 1944.

Commissioned admiral of the Flagship Fleet, American Airlines, Inc. for “meritorious service to air transportation,” July 1941.


  • Author: The White Indians of Darien, 1934. Contributor articles to mags and journals Officially credited with responsibility for design and construction of over 3,000 impounding dams for flood control, waterpower, water conservation, irrigation, recreation, wild life.*.


Fellow American Geographic Society etc. Honorary staff; Club: Explorer (New York).


Married Helen Louise Cleveland, September 15, 1909. Children: Helen, Richard Oglesby, Jane, Gladys, Secretary.

Benjamin Franklin Marsh

Jennie Elizabeth (Coolbaugh) Marsh

Helen Louise Cleveland

Helen Marsh

Richard Oglesby Marsh

Jane Marsh

Gladys Marsh

Sec Marsh