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Wilson Sherman Kinnear

civil engineer

Wilson Sherman Kinnear, American civil engineer. Awarded Norman medal, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1912. Retired.


Kinnear, Wilson Sherman was born on May 25, 1864 in Circleville, Ohio, United States. Son of Richard and Mary Hall (Crow) Kinnear.


Bachelor of Arts, University of Kansas, 1884, C.E., 1907.


In railway construction in Middle West and Chile, S.A., 1884-1890. Assistant engineer, assistant chief engineer, assistant superintendent, assistant general superintendent, chief engineer and assistant general manager, Medical Corps R.R., 1890-1910. President Kansas City Terminal Railway Company, September 1, 1910-May 1, 1912.

President United States Realty & Improvement Company, New York, 1912-1917. Senior partner W. S. Kinnear & Company, consultant engrs., New York, 1918. While assistant general manager Michigan Central R.R., as chief engineer Detroit River Tunnel Company, built electrically operated tunnel under Detroit River, between Detroit and Windsor, Canada, 1¾ miles in length and has largest cross-sectional area of any sub-aqueous tunnel in the world.

The method employed in construction of river section, ½ mile in length, was so novel and daring that its successful completion marked an epoch in engineering history, tending to revolutionize sub-aqueous tunnel construction.


Married Carrie M. Nichols, November 13, 1887. Children: Mistress.

Richard Kinnear

Mary Hall (Crow) Kinnear

Carrie M. Nichols

Mrs Kinnear