John Frank Stevens: An American Civil Engineer

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John Frank Stevens John Frank Stevens was born April 25th, 1883 near West Gardiner, Maine. Stevens went to Maine State Normal School and later moved west due to a small economy in the local area. Stevens found a job at the Minneapolis city engineer's office. Here he gained a great amount of experience doing tasks in engineering, like building railroads, which helped him start his career as a civil engineer. Stevens became one of the best engineers due to his dedication. He was mostly self-taught which shows that he is one of the most intelligent engineers for what he did in his time. In 1878, Stevens married Harriet T. O’Brien. The couple had five children, but two of the children died during early childhood. When Stevens was 33, he was principal assistant engineer for the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway, and head of constructing the line from Duluth, Minnesota to Sault St. Marie, Michigan, across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Stevens mostly was there to review, but he did contribute to building the railroad. Three years later, Stevens was hired as a locating engineer for the Great Northern Railway. Stevens was noticed nationwide in 1889 when he discovered Marias Pass, Montana, was suitable for a railroad. He discovered Stevens Pass through the Cascade Mountains. Stevens also set railroad construction criteria in the Mesabi Range of northern Minnesota, and watched over the building of the Oregon Trunk Line. He was later promoted to chief engineer in 1895, and later to general manager. Stevens has a monument built in his honor in Stevens pass, which is named after him. Stevens left the Great Northern in 1903 for the Pacific Railroad, where he was appointed to vice-president. In 1905, his old employer from the Gre... ... middle of paper ... ...ontinued to work as an engineer, ceasing his career in Baltimore in the early 1930s. He was presented the Franklin Institute's Franklin Medal in 1930. He then retired to Southern Pines, North Carolina, where he died at the age of 90 in 1943. I chose John Frank Stevens because he is considered one of the best civil engineers in history. I admire Stevens because he came from a place that is not very well known and made something out of himself. As stated before, Stevens had little education in the engineering field, but went through his own personal studies and his own experiences to become one of the most renowned engineers in world history. Not to mention he was the head of building something that is still in use today and is a big source of income. The fact that his legacy lives on through all of his achievements that still impact the world the way they do today

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