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WILSON, JOHN [1841-1921]

WILSON, JOHN (1841–1921). John Wilson, engineer and Texas water commissioner, was born in Cambridge, England, on January 23, 1841, the son of John and Sarah (Fisher) Wilson. He graduated from Cooper's Hill Civil Engineering College in 1865 and was employed in the public works department in India from 1869 to 1882. In 1882 he immigrated to the United States and from 1883 to 1888 was construction engineer of the Philadelphia Street Railway Company. He had a private practice in Pittsburgh until 1892, when he moved to Texas and made his home in El Paso. Between 1895 and 1898 he surveyed more than two million acres of land in Mexico, chiefly in the Sierra Madre. In 1899 he built an electric railway in El Paso. Wilson married Elizabeth Ellen Barrow on December 26, 1904. He constructed irrigation canals in West Texas from 1904 to 1906, was vice president and engineer of the Barstow Irrigation Company from 1906 to 1913, and was a member of the Texas Board of Water Commissioners from 1913 to 1919. He died on June 28, 1921.


Who Was Who in America, Vol. 2.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

"WILSON, JOHN [1841-1921]," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed December 18, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.