January 1918, No. 239 Canadian Railway and Marine World (Toronto) Page 22, col. 1

The death of Joseph Hobson.

Joseph Hobson, M.Can.Soc.C.E., Consulting Engineer, G.T.R., who died at Hamilton, Ont., Dec. 19, after a prolonged illness, was an outstanding figure in railway engineering for very many years and was associated with four of the great works undertaken on the Great Western and Grand Trunk Railways, these being the International bridge over the Niagara River between Fort Erie and Buffalo, the St. Clair tunnel under the St. Clair River, connecting Sarnia, Ont., and Port Huron, Mich., the replacing of the suspension bridge across the Niagara River at Niagara Falls by the present arch structure, and the rebuilding of the Victoria bridge at Montréal.

He was born in Guelph Tp., Ont., on Mar. 4, 1834, and educated in the local schools and at Toronto. He served an apprenticeship as an Ontario land surveyor at Toronto, and eventually qualified for both Ontario and the Dominion. He then entered the service of Gzowski & Macpherson, who had a construction contract on the G.T.R., between Toronto and Guelph, and later practiced as a land surveyor for some time, in Berlin (Kitchener) and Guelph. He returned subsequently to railway work, and until June, 1869, was engaged as assistant engineer on various lines in Nova Scotia, Ontario and Michigan. From June, 1869, to Apr. 1870, he was engineer on construction, Wellington. Grey & Bruce Ry.; Apr., 1870, to Nov., 1873, Resident Engineer, International bridge, Buffalo, N.Y.; Nov., 1873, to June, 1875, Chief Assistant Engineer, Great Western Rv., Hamilton, Ont.; June, 1875, to Feb., 1896, Chief Engineer, same road, Hamilton; on the absorption of the G.W.R. by the G.T.R. Aug. 22, 1882, he was appointed Chief Engineer, G.T.R. lines west of Toronto, Hamilton, Ont., and on Feb. 1, 1896, Chief Engineer, G.T.R. system, Montréal continuing to live in Hamilton, and retaining that position until Aug., 1907, when he became Consulting Engineer for the company.

As before stated, he was Resident Engineer on the International Bridge across the Niagara River between Fort Erie and Buffalo, he was Chief Engineer of Western Lines, G.T.R., when the Sarnia, Port Huron tunnel was built and the bridges across the Niagara River at Niagara Falls and across the St. Lawrence River at Montréal were built, while he was Chief Engineer of the whole G.T.R.

He was one of the first members of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers, of which he was councillor in 1888, 1891 and 1892. He was also a member of the American, Society of Civil Engineers and of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Eng. Robert Hobson, President, Steel Co. of Canada, Hamilton, and J. I. Hobson, Treasurer, Canada Steamship Lines, Ltd., Montréal, are sons.

The funeral, which was private, took place at Hamilton, Dec. 21, and was attended by the following G.T.R. officials: U. E. Gillen, Vice President; H. R. Safford. Chief Engineer; M. S. Blaiklock, Engineer, Maintenance of Way; W. McNab, Engineer of Valuation, Montréal; H. E. Whittenberger, General Superintendent, Ontario Lines; E. G. Hewson, Division Engineer; G. A. Mitchell, Superintendent of Bridges and Buildings, and D. McCooe, Superintendent of Track, Toronto.

The Hamilton Spectator says:—His life was full of the noblest and grandest conquests over the conditions and forces f nature. At a ripe old age, well earned repose came to him in comparative retirement; yet still the benefit of his accumulated knowledge and sound judgment was sought and cheerfully yielded. Most God-like among men are the rare spirits to whom is given in large degree a power approaching that of creation.

Joseph Hobson, M.Can.Soc.C.E., who died at Hamilton, Dec. 19, 1917.

Railways: G.T.Ry., G.W.Ry., W.G. & B.Ry.

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