William Herbert Bixby : biography
William Herbert Bixby (December 27, 1849 – September 29, 1928) graduated first in the United States Military Academy class of 1873 and was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers.
After serving with the engineer battalion at Willets Point and as Assistant Professor of Engineering at the Military Academy, Bixby graduated with honors from the French Ecole des ponts et chaussées. He received the Order, Legion of Honor, for assisting French Army maneuvers. Bixby headed the Wilmington, North Carolina District from 1884 to 1891.
He oversaw improvements on the Cape Fear River, modernized the area's coastal forts, and responded to the earthquake that hit Charleston, South Carolina, in 1886. Bixby served next as District Engineer in Newport, Rhode Island. From 1897 to 1902 he oversaw improvements on the Ohio River and its tributaries from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati.
After two years in charge of the Detroit District, he became Chicago District Engineer and Northwest Division Engineer. Bixby was president of the Mississippi River Commission in 1908-10 and 1917-18. As Chief of Engineers, he oversaw the raising of the battleship . He retired August 11, 1913, but was recalled to service in 1917 as Western Division Engineer.
He died September 29, 1928, in Washington, D.C., aged 78.
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