HORACE W. OGILBE.
There is no class of men whose contribution to the development and upbuilding of a new region is more distinct
and valuable than is that of the civil engineer, who is called upon to face difficult and complex problems in his
constructive work and whose labors must be the forerunner of various other activities. In this connection Horace
W. Ogilbe made for himself a prominent name and place. He came to the northwest during the era of pioneer settlement
and for many years was prominently associated with the business life of Portland and the northwest, contributing
in large measure to the Jetty and harbor development of the Oregon coast and working as well on the Cascades, locks
and canals. He likewise executed many private contracts aside from his government work and his efforts were at
all times an important feature in Oregon's upbuilding.
Mr. Ogilbe came to the coast country from Pennsylvania, his birth having occurred in Germantown, that state, September
3, 1853, his parents being Samuel B. and Louisa (Williams) Ogilbe, both of whom were natives of Germantown and
were of Welsh descent. Horace W. Ogilbe acquired hips education in the public schools of his native state and in
the Pennsylvania University, from which he was graduated. He afterward went to Europe, where he studied for about
two years, thus gaining still broader knowledge concerning his chosen profession. Upon his return to America he
made his way to California, where he had a seat on the stock board. He became actively connected with important
interests in that state, being associated with Flood, Comstock & O'Brien as a mining engineer until 1879, when
he came to Portland and was made assistant under Colonel Wilson who had charge of rivers and harbors. Among his
first activities after reaching Oregon was his government work on the Cascades at The Dalles and later he was engaged
in coast work. About 1881 he opened an office in the Ainsworth Bank building in Portland, where he remained for
several years, during which time he was accorded and executed many important contracts and also did important work
as' consulting engineer. He was engineer for the firm of Leonard & Green when they changed their pumping station
to Rivera and he also was engineer on the location and construction of the Narrow Gauge Railroad and did civil
engineering work for the Northern Pacific on the Stampede Pass in 1880 and 1881. In 1903 he established an office
in San Francisco as mining and consulting engineer and he spent many years in professional work in Mexico and in
Alaska as representative of the American Tin Mining Company, remaining through one winter in Nome. In 1912 he gave
up his office and retired to his home on Palatine Hill in Portland, spending his remaining days in the enjoyment
of a well earned rest, death coming to him very suddenly.
It was on the 16th of November, 1881, that Mr. Ogilbe was united in marriage to Miss Sophia Holman, a daughter
of Charles and Mary E. (Huntington) Holman. They became the parents of two daughters: Belle, who is now the wife
of Carl V. Taylor of Palatine Hill, Portland; and Catherine, a teacher of language in the Franklin high school.
Mr. Ogilbe was a representative of the Masonic fraternity in early life. In politics he was a true blue republican,
giving unswerving allegiance to the party and its principles. Of the Episcopal faith he attended St. Stephen's
chapel, now the pro cathedral, and passed away in that belief April 28, 1920. Throughout his entire life he had
displayed many sterling traits of character. He had made wise use of his time, talents and opportunities and had
risen to a high position in his profession. He was, moreover, a man of kindly nature and genial disposition whose
life illustrated the truth of the Emersonian philcscphy that the way to win a friend is to be one.
History of Oregon Illistrated
BY: Charles H. Carney
The Pioneer Historical Publishing Company
Chicago - Portland 1922
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