Henry Bertram Watters. - Prominent in the business life of Columbus is Henry Bertram Watters, general contractor,
with offices in the Atlas Building, 8 East Long Street. He was born in Muscatine County, Iowa, May 18, 1880, the
son of Hanson B. and Ruth Hannah (Parker) Watters.
Hanson B. Watters was born in Belmont County, Ohio, in December, 1840, and died in June, 1910. He is buried in
West Liberty, Iowa. His wife was the daughter of Lot Parker, a successful farmer of Muscatine County, Iowa. Their
children were: Allen Parker, assistant postmaster, San Diego, California; William Leslie, druggist, West Liberty,
Iowa; Vernon Gregg, vice president of the Savannah River Lumber Company, of Savannah, Georgia; and Henry Bertram,
the subject of this sketch.
Henry Bertram Watters grew up at Atalissa, Iowa, where he attended the public schools. He later was a student at
Iowa City Academy and spent four years at Iowa State University, where he studied civil engineering. Mr. Watters
began his professional career as a civil engineer in the Panama Canal. He then assisted in the survey of the Southern
Pacific Railroad along the west coast of Mexico. During 1906-8 he built 125 miles of railroad in Peru, South America,
which was at an elevation of eleven thousand feet in the Andes Mountains. While in Peru he also completed a contract
in Canon DePato, which was seven miles in length and eight thousand feet deep. Mr. Watters considers this the most
hazardous piece of work ever attempted by him. It was carried to completion by native labor and stands as a memorial
to the great skill and ability possessed by Mr. Watters in the engineering field. This contract had been attempted
by a party of English engineers just 35 years before Mr. Watters took it over, but they had failed completely after
having completed only two miles of railroad. This vast project was part of a railroad system 350 miles in length
through the Andes Mountains.
In 1918 Mr. Watters located at Springfield, Ohio, as chief engineer for the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad,
now a part of the Pennsylvania Railroad System. Two years later he came to Columbus and opened offices opposite
the Union Station on North High Street. Mr. Watters does general contracting, excavating, road building, and bridge
construction work. He built the extension of the Sandusky Street Bridge over the Scioto River in Columbus, and
also had the contract for Highway No. 7, in Belmont County, Ohio, which was a difficult piece of excavating and
construction work. He is also connected with the Minerva Park addition, Columbus, and has the contracts for the
road building, and sewer system in this large tract of land.
On January 18, 1911, Mr. Watters married Miss Jennie Schroeder, the daughter of James and Jennie (McDonald) Schroeder,
of Guttenburg, Iowa. He has served as postmaster of Guttenburg for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Watters have no children.
Politically, Mr. Watters is a Republican. He holds membership in the University Club and Engineers Club. The family
residence is at 1039 East Broad Street.
History of Franklin County, Ohio
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka - Indianapolis 1930
Franklin County, OH
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