The First Transcontinental Railroad: Central Pacific, Union Pacific

By John Debo Galloway | Go to book overview

PREFACE

John Debo Galloway will ever be rated as one of the great engineers who had an important part in the development of Western America. A recital of the list of important engineering projects with which he was associated through more than half a century and the many honors bestowed upon him may not be so interesting to the readers of The First Transcontinental Railroad as is a word as to his personality and the interests which led him to write on this subject.

Mr. Galloway, the son of James and Emily (Hoover) Galloway, was born on October 13, 1869, at San Jose, California. His ancestors were residents of Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania prior to the American Revolution. His boyhood experiences, some of which were acquired at Virginia City, Nevada, when that city was the center of the great mining activity incident to the discovery and development of the famous Comstock Lode, made a deep impression upon him, as is evidenced by his Early Engineering Works Contributory to the Comstock, published by the University of Nevada. His parents died when he was quite young. At the age of eight he was taken to live with friends in Napa Valley, California. His technical education was gained, not without some financial struggles, at Rose Poyltechnic Institute from which he was graduated in 1889.

After a brief period of employment in railroad work in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Galloway returned to California and for more than fifty years maintained his headquarters in San Francisco, although his practice often took him far afield. He was an authority on the design of dams, hydroelectric works and structures generally. He took a leading part in the recontruction of San Francisco following the great fire and earthquake of 1906. He served his country in both World Wars.

Mr. Galloway was a life member and past president of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific; a member of the Society of Military Engineers; a member of the Seismological Society of

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