Documentary History of American Water-works

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Biography William C. Weir

William C. Weir

William Chatham Weir was born in Seneca Falls, New York on February 9, 1840.  He was living in Auburn, New York when that city built a Holly water works system, and he later worked as an engineer for them, although how that came to be is not known.  His later partner, Truman Cowell, worked with Weir's father producing lampblack in Auburn and he and his wife lived in the same house with the Weir family. Weir was involved in several Holly water works projects from 1868 to 1872.  He then severed his connection with the Holly company and next appears in Iowa in 1874, where he built five water works and proposed several others.  

Weir died on August 29, 1876 in Hot Springs, Arkansas and was buried in Muscatine, Iowa.

William C. Weir's Water Works Experience
City State Years Projects
Ann Arbor MI 1868 Proposal and estimate, February 1868
Milwaukee WI 1869 Proposal and estimate, November 1868
Dayton OH 1870 Engineer for Holly water works, completed March 1870
Atlanta GA 1871 Proposal with T. W. Yardley; December 1870; visit to Covington, completed September 1875
Covington KY 1871 Presentation, engineer for, completed March 1871
Columbus OH 1871 Prepared estimate and supervised construction of Holly equipment, completed May 1871
Portsmouth OH 1872 Engineer for Holly water works, completed February 1872
Ironton OH 1872 Engineer for Holly water works, completed May 1872
Evansville IN 1872 Engineer for Holly water works, completed June 1872
Clinton IA 1874 Designed and built water work, completed in December 1874
Keokuk IA 1875 Proposal and estimate
Lyons IA 1875 Designed and built water works, completed in March 1875
Council Bluffs IA 1875 Proposal and estimate, May 1875
Marengo IA 1875 Designed and built water works for fire protection
Anamosa IA 1875 Designed and built water works, completed August,1875
Designed and built water works, completed April 1876
Fairfield IA 1876 Visited and talked to local businessmen, January 1876

1865 Boyd's Auburn City Directory 1865-6
Page 114:  Cowell, Truman (M & T Cowell; also Weir & Cowell) h 62 Van Anden
Cowell M & T., grain dealers, Garden n the depot
Page 171:  Rublee, H.I. & Co. (W. C. Weir) photographic smalt background, 87 Genesee
Page 193:  Weir, Hugh S. (Weir & Cowell) h 62 Van Anden
Page 194:  Weir, William C (H. L. Rublee & CO.,) bds 62 Van Anden
Weir & Well, (H.S. Weir and T. Cowel,) lamp black manuf, Van Anden n Washington

1876 Anamosa Eureka, January 13, 1876, Page 3.
The hook and ladder company of this city has doped the name of "Weir" in honor of W. C. Weir, Esq., chief engineer of the Anamosa water-works.

1876 Anamosa Eureka, August 3, 1876, Page 3.
We are informed that W. C. Weir, the chief engineer of the water-works construction last summer, is at Hot Springs, Arkansas, under medical treatment for hemorrhage of the lungs.  He has had several attacks and is in critical condition.

1876 William Chatham Weir (1830-1876) grave

1876 "Obituary," Muscatine Weekly Journal, September 8, 1876, Page 4.
Death of W. C. Weir.

1876 "Funeral of Mr. Weir," Muscatine Weekly Journal, September 8, 1876, Page 6.

1876 Auburn Daily Bulletin (Auburn, New York), September 8, 1876, Page 4.
Wm. Chatham Weir, familiarly known in this city some years ago as "Chet," died at Muscatine, Iowa, last week, where he was engaged as engineer, in company with Truman Cowell, in constructing water works at various points west and south.

1876 "W. C. Weir," Anamosa Eureka, September 21, 1876, Page 1.
Associating with Truman Cowell in 1866, the following water-works were successfully built by this partnership:
Covington, Ky., cost $50,000; Portsmouth, O., cost $120,000; Ironton, Ohio, $115,000; Waynesville, Ind., $215,000; Clinton, Iowa, $115,000; Lyons, Iowa, $30,000; Anamosa, Iowa, $10,500; Marengo, Iowa, $6,500; Muscatine, $10,000.

2020 Morris A. Pierce