Temple, Bernard Moore (1843–1901)

By: Weldon G. Cannon

Type: Biography

Published: July 1, 1995

Updated: April 30, 2016

Bernard Moore Temple, civil engineer, was born at Berclair Plantation, Spotsylvania County, Virginia, on November 4, 1843, the tenth of twelve children of Benjamin and Lucy (Robinson) Temple. After serving in the Confederate artillery in Virginia and North Carolina, he entered railway engineering as chairman for a Kansas railroad in 1868. While working in Kansas, Nebraska, and eastern Texas, he became an expert engineer under the tutelage of Octave Chanute and Grenville Dodge. In 1875 he settled permanently in Galveston, where he was employed by the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway Company as surveyor. After being appointed chief engineer in 1878, he supervised construction of 359 miles of track from Arcola to Fort Worth and Lampasas. Temple built his lines to high standards and pushed construction rapidly. At a line juncture in Bell County the railway established a new town in 1881, named after him. From 1884 until 1888 and from 1892 until 1895 Temple worked privately as an engineer in Galveston. He was employed by the Southern Pacific Railway Company or one of its subsidiaries from 1888 until 1892, during which time he oversaw construction in South Texas and served as resident engineer for building the Pecos High Bridge. In 1895 the Galveston City Council elected him city engineer for two years, then made him superintendent of waterworks in 1899. Temple was an Episcopalian and a member of the United Confederate Veterans. In 1882 he married Ida May Shipman, daughter of a pioneer Texas businessman and Methodist minister. They were the parents of two children. Temple died on October 5, 1901, in Galveston, and was buried in the Old City Cemetery.

Weldon G. Cannon, B. M. Temple: Master Railroad Engineer in Texas (Temple, Texas, 1981).

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

Weldon G. Cannon, “Temple, Bernard Moore,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 11, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/temple-bernard-moore.

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July 1, 1995
April 30, 2016