William Jackson (engineer)

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William Jackson
Born March 13, 1848
Brighton, Massachusetts
Died June 30, 1910 (1910-07-01) (aged 62)
Occupation Engineer
Spouse(s) Mary Stuart MacCorry
Parent(s) Samuel and Mary Wright (Field) Jackson

William Jackson (March 13, 1848 – June 30, 1910) was the Boston, Massachusetts city engineer from 1885 to 1910. He was responsible for a number of the major bridges in the city, including Harvard Bridge, Longfellow Bridge, and Charlestown Bridge.[1]


Jackson was born in Brighton, Massachusetts, to Samuel and Mary Wright (Field) Jackson. He was educated at the public schools of Brighton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he took the full course with the Class of 1868 but left without degree on May 4, 1868, when he received employment on the staff of the City Engineer of Boston. His first work was on the construction of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir of the Boston Water-Works. In 1870 he became Engineer for the Town of Brighton, and also engaged in private practice until Brighton was annexed to Boston in 1873, when he again entered the office of the Boston City Engineer. During the next three years he was engaged on various works, including surveys for the introduction of water into Brighton and West Roxbury. From 1876-1885 he was Assistant Engineer on the Boston Main Drainage Works, an important and difficult engineering undertaking.

In April 1885, upon his predecessor's death, Jackson was appointed City Engineer, which position he occupied continuously until his death. In addition to his civic duties he was engaged in other important engineering works at various times. From 1887-1891 he was Chief Engineer for the Harvard Bridge Commissioners; from 1896 to 1900, Chief Engineer of Charlestown Bridge; and from 1898 until his death Chief Engineer for the Cambridge Bridge Commission. In 1891 and 1892 he was a member of the Boston Rapid Transit Commission; and a member of the Boston Statistics Commission from 1898 until his death. From 1902 to 1904 he was a member of the special commission on the abolition of grade crossings in Attleboro, Massachusetts, and at his death had been for three years a member of commissions on the abolition of grade crossings in Foxboro, Westwood, Canton, Sharon, and Mansfield, Massachusetts. He was Consulting Engineer to the Cambridge Water Board on the construction of the Hobbs Brook Conduit, in 1904; to the Shore Road Commission, in Brooklyn, New York, in 1896 and 1897; and to the Massachusetts Harbor and Land Commission on the Commonwealth Dock, South Boston, in 1899. He was also a member of the Approving Board appointed by the Legislature in 1907 to pass upon plans for the development and extension of Boston's drainage systems.

Mr. Jackson was elected a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1884, and served on its Board of Directors from 1902-1904. He was also a member of the following organizations: Union, Art, and Technology Clubs, of Boston; Boston City Club, Point Shirley Club, Boston Driving Club, Strollers' Club of New York, Allston Golf Club, Commonwealth Riding Club, the Masonic Fraternity, Boston Chamber of Commerce, Technology Alumni Association, Society of Arts, American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Geographical Society, Bibliophile Society, National Municipal League, American Civic Alliance, American Civic Association, New England Historical and Genealogical Society, Bostonian Society, and the Society of Colonial Wars. He was also a member of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers, and of the New England Water Works Association.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hawley, Monica E. (1984). "Historic American Engineering Record, Longfellow Bridge (Cambridge Bridge)". p. data page 2. Retrieved 2009-04-27. The chief engineer was William Jackson (1848-1910). City Engineer since 1885, Jackson had been responsible for most of Boston's major bridges in this period, among them the Charlestown, Northern Avenue, and Harvard bridges. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Obituary, "WILLIAM JACKSON, M. Am. Soc. C. E", Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Volume 74, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1910, pages 504-505.

External links[edit]