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Wilson, Thomas William - Erie County

THOMAS WILLIAM WILSON, General Manager of the International Railway Company, is one of the leading transportation men of the country, has a high reputation and a record of great achievement as an engineer in the field of railway construction, and has also won distinction as a military engineer.

Mr. Wilson was born in New York City in May, 1872. He is a son of David and Frances H. (Crichton) Wilson, the former a well-known merchant of New York City. He graduated from the Harrisburg High School at Harrisburg, Pa., in 1890, and from Lehigh University in 1894, with the degree of C. E.

While pursuing his university course, Mr. Wilson employed the vacations of 1892 and 1893 by working in the drafting room of the Pennsylvania Steel Company at Steelton, Pa. He also acted as draftsman for the same company from June, 1894, to December, 1896, when he entered the service of the Charleston City Railway Company of Charleston, S. C, as Assistant Engineer of Way, in which capacity he continued till February, 1897, when he became Chief Engineer of surveys. He was later connected with the Street Railway Department of the Pennsylvania Steel Company as Computer of special work and Engineer of Surveys.

When the Spanish-American War broke out, Mr. Wilson joined the army, in May, 1898, enlisting as a private in the 8th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He was soon detailed as Assistant to Major Pierce, Chief Engineer of the 1st Division, Second Army Corps, and was later appointed Chief Topographer of the Second Army Corps. He was mustered out of service in December, 1898.

After the war, Mr. Wilson resumed his connection with the Pennsylvania Steel Company. He remained till May, 1899, when he came to Buffalo as Assistant Engineer of Way for the Buffalo Railway Company, continuing until February 10, 1902. During the summer of 1899 Mr. Wilson handled about one thousand men and relaid in concrete more than twenty-nine miles of track. When the Buffalo Railway Company was merged in the International Railway Company, Mr. Wilson was appointed Chief Engineer of the latter corporation, assuming the duties of that office February 10, 1902. When, March 1, 1905, Mr. Henry J. Pierce assumed the presidency of the International Railway Company, he appointed Mr. Wilson General Manager, his present office.

Mr. Wilson is First Vice-President of the New York State Street Railway Association; is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, of the Engineering Society of Western New York, and of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association. He belongs to the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, and to the Buffalo, Ellicott and University clubs. He is also a member of the honorary society of the Tau Beta Pi, and of the general fraternity of Beta Theta Pi.

September 19, 1905, Mr. Wilson married Anna Beatrice Levi, daughter of Emanuel Levi of Buffalo.

SOURCE: Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York; Volume I