Biography of Harry G. Butler
San Francisco, CA Biographies





HARRY GOODING BUTLER
As a consulting engineer, Harry Gooding Butler, whose offices are situated at 111 Sutter street in San Francisco, rates as an able member of his profession on the Pacific coast, his reputation being based on his services in a number of important positions, his wide experience in this country and in a foreign land, and a particularly brilliant knowledge of the intricate science of engineering. He was born in Lockport, Illinois, July 19, 1881, and is a son of the late A. H. and Jennie (Gooding) Butler. A. H. Butler was of Irish descent and a merchant by vocation, while his wife was of American lineage.

Harry G. Butler attended the grade schools of Lockport, Illinois, and the high school in Joliet, that state, from which he graduated in 1900. Later he became a student at the University of Illinois as a member of the class of 1906. During the interval between his graduation from high school and his matriculation in the university, he obtained some very valuable and practical experience in surveying work. Then, after leaving the university he was first employed with the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad. His next step was to proceed to Panama for work in the construction of the Panama canal. He was the first man to assist in the chief engineer's office in that country, after the office was moved there from New York, and he was subsequently transferred to the Panama Railroad as engineer in charge of the actual construction of the railroad. This road at that time had to be moved and relocated to make way for the canal. After two years spent in Panama on this assignment, Mr. Butler returned to Joliet, Illinois, where he was affiliated with the Joliet Traction and Allied Electrical Lines for one year. Thereafter he was employed by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad for a period of eighteen months, while his next position was with the William P. Carmichael Company as an engineer and general superintendent in the construction of the Kansas City Terminal. On August 1, 1913, he came to the state of California as assistant engineer with the state railroad commission, and in 1915 he was appointed assistant chief engineer. In May, 1918, he was made state power administrator, a position of great importance entailing distribution of all electric power in such a way that sufficient current was retained for war purposes. His success in this capacity was recognized as unusual. Later, as engineer, he had complete charge of the reorganization of the Southern Pacific Auto Ferry Company, the Northwestern Ferry and the Golden Gate Ferry, which were consolidated as the Southern Pacific-Golden Gate Ferries, Ltd., the project being handled entirely by Mr. Butler. His private practice in San Francisco dates from June 30, 1921, and during his engineering career in this city he has fulfilled duties of real importance and significance in the development of the region. His ability as an engineer is a proved fact through numerous channels, and he is a constant and assiduous student of the modern progress of his science.

Mr. Butler was married in 1907 to Miss Alice Hays of Lockport, Illinois, and they have become the parents of the following children: Martha Jane, Alice Hays and Harry G., Jr.

In politics, Mr. Butler has held affiliation with the republican party. During his collegiate career he joined Phi Gamma Delta, and he has also become a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Orina Club, the. Engineers Club and the Commonwealth Club. Golf is his favorite diversion from the strenuous cares of his work.

From:
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931


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