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Charles E. Wynes

Alexander, Archie Alphonso (14 May 1888–04 January 1958), engineer was born in Ottumwa Iowa the son of Price Alexander a janitor and coachman and Mary Hamilton The Alexanders were members of a tiny African American minority both in the town of Archie s birth and in Des Moines Iowa where they moved when he was eleven years old In Ottumwa the Alexanders lived in the section of town inhabited by the poor both black and white in Des Moines they lived on a small farm on the outskirts of town Since Iowa s public schools were not segregated young Alexander attended school with whites graduating from Des Moines s Oak Park High School in 1905 Then uncommon for the son of a janitor whether black or white he went on to further study By working hard at part time jobs and with some help from his parents ...

Article

Charles E. Wynes

engineer, was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, the son of Price Alexander, a janitor and coachman, and Mary Hamilton. The Alexanders were members of a tiny African American minority both in the town of Archie's birth and in Des Moines, Iowa, where they moved when he was eleven years old. In Ottumwa the Alexanders lived in the section of town inhabited by the poor, both black and white. In Des Moines they lived on a small farm on the outskirts of town. Since Iowa's public schools were not segregated, Alexander attended school with whites, and he graduated from Des Moines's Oak Park High School in 1905 Then uncommon for the son of a janitor whether black or white he went on to further study By working hard at part time jobs and with some help from his parents Alexander attended Highland Park College and the Cummins Art ...

Article

Donald Scott

the first African American U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was born John-Wesley Anthony Brown in Baltimore, Maryland, to William Brown, a truck driver, and Rosetta Shepherd, a seamstress. He was named after-John Wesley, the eighteenth-century founder of-Methodism from which the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) denomination was established. Owing to his parents’ demanding work schedules, Brown was raised in large part by his maternal grandmother, Katie Shepherd, sometimes called “Mother Shepherd,” a fierce disciplinarian with whom Brown and his parents lived. Through her, Brown developed a high regard for education, a respect for honesty, a quiet assertiveness, and a great work ethic. “You were always wrong if there was a complaint about your behavior,” Brown told the biographer Robert J. Schneller Jr. during a 19 December 1995 interview for the book Breaking the Color Barrier (2005), in referring to his grandmother's no-nonsense attitude.

Brown was taught to read by ...

Article

Roland Barksdale-Hall

civil engineer, educator, and inventor, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the fifth of eight children of Edward Dammond, a sailor and porter, and Lucy Dorsey. Edward Dammond served in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. The fastidious Lucy Dammond was a dedicated deaconess at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, the first AME church west of the Allegheny Mountains. William Dammond likewise benefited from the AME church connections and an exacting nature.

Dammond was recognized for mathematical skill, enrolled in the Park Institute, a preparatory school, and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in June 1893 He was the first African American graduate from the University of Pittsburgh and one of few African American civil engineers in America During the late nineteenth century civil engineers were at the forefront of innovative technology and structural advancements such ...

Article

Andrea Bennett

was born in Troy, New York. His mother, Mathilda Decker Kelley, was born in New York; his father Richard Kelley was an escaped slave from Virginia who fought for the Union Army in the Civil War.

Kelley studied at the Troy Military Academy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and finally the College of Civil Engineering at Cornell (1905–1908). At Cornell he and six others founded the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity in 1906 the first inter collegiate African American Greek fraternity in the United States He also contributed to the creation of the Alpha Phi Alpha handshake and ritual Kelley attributed his inspiration and drive for creating the fraternity to his father saying I saw my ancestors who had been in slavery my father who had escaped the despicable system and had gone back south as a soldier in the Union Army to help in subduing those who held him ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Nigerian political activist and journalist, was born Herbert Samuel Heelas Macaulay on 14 November 1864 in Lagos, Nigeria. He was the seventh child of Thomas Babington Macaulay, founder and principal of the Church Missionary Society Grammar School in Lagos, and Abigail Crowther Macaulay, daughter of the first Anglican bishop in West Africa, Samuel Ajayi Crowther. Macaulay received an outstanding primary and secondary education thanks to his affluent family, and he attended the renowned St. Paul’s school in Breadfruit. In 1881 he joined the Nigerian colonial administration as a clerk. He served in this capacity for the next nine years, and his intelligence and loyalty impressed his British superiors. Governor of Nigeria Alfred Moloney supported Macaulay’s efforts to further his education in England, and Macaulay received a scholarship to study engineering in Plymouth. From 1890 to 1893 the young Nigerian excelled in school and developed a lifelong interest in Western ...

Article

Influential political activist and founder member of the Nigerian National Democratic Party. The son of distinguished African missionaries, Macaulay was educated at the Church Missionary Society grammar school founded by his father. After completing his education in 1881, he entered the civil service. In 1890 he travelled to England, where he became the first Nigerian to qualify as a civil engineer. On his return to Lagos, he was appointed as a surveyor but soon became dissatisfied with the system, which discriminated against African civil servants. In 1898 he left the civil service to go into private practice as a licensed surveyor and architect but his business never proved to be a success In financial difficulties Macaulay misappropriated funds and was sentenced to two years imprisonment effectively barring him from public office Nevertheless he grew to be an influential figure in Nigerian politics through his staunch editorials for the ...

Article

Janine Richardson

engineer, tax expert, and U.S. State Department economic adviser to the Virgin Islands, Ecuador, Haiti, and Brazil, was born in a tent at Crow Creek Ranch, Cheyenne, in the Territory of Wyoming. Smith's mother, Melissa (Boulware) Smith, was the Missouri-born daughter of an African American mother and a Choctaw Indian father. Smith's father, Silas Peter Smith, was of Scottish-Irish parentage and had spent his early life in the trans-Mississippi West where he reputedly served as a scout for General George Armstrong Custer. Nolle pronounced in Choctaw fashion according to his mother Nulle was one of nine children raised principally on Smith owned ranches and dairy farms in the Cheyenne Chugwater and Casper regions of Wyoming Smith s parents had settled in the frontier zone of Wyoming with the hope that their mixed race children would there have a better chance of attaining the ...

Article

Juliette Bridgette Milner-Thornton

Zambian politician and civil engineer, was born in Ukmerge, Lithuania on 31 July 1925. In London, on 31 January 1954, Zukas married the artist, antiapartheid activist, and philanthropist Cynthia Robinson, daughter of Julius Robinson, a prominent Southern African businessman. The couple have two sons David (born 1955) and Alan (born 1959), (Zukas 2002, 81-108). Mrs. Zukas is chairwoman of the Lechwe Trust, an organization she founded to retain artworks of cultural significance in Zambia. She is also a board member of Zambia's National Arts Trust and National Museum, (Gabriel Ellison 2004, 35, 36).

Zukas's father, Chaim Zukas, a shopkeeper, changed his Jewish family surname “Segel” to “Zukas,” a Lithuanian surname, for political reasons. In 1936 Europe was in economic and political turmoil thus prompting Chaim to immigrate to South Africa to join his brother Joshua Segal sic and his Jewish wife s ...