Biography of Fred W. Claflin
Cambria County, PA Biographies

Fred W. Claflin, a member of the firm of Gray & Claflin, consulting civil engineers, is an enterprising and progressive citizen of Johnstown. He was born at Hopkinton, Mass., Aug. 8, 1879, and is a son of Winslow Weld and Susan I. (Belknap) Claflin.

Winslow Weld Claflin was born in Hopkinton, Mass. He began his business career in the employ of B. E. Harris & Company, furniture dealers of Milford, Mass., and after his father's death engaged in farming. He was also interested in the lumber business. For many years Mr. Claflin served as inspector of cattle for the State of Massachusetts, being a veterinary surgeon. He also was water commissioner and served as a member of the town water board. He was a Republican and a member of the Congregational Church. Mr. Claflin died in 1921, and his wife, a native of Westboro, Mass., died in 1892. Mr. and Mrs. Claflin had four children: Frank and Fannie, both deceased; Fred W., the subject of this sketch: and Jennie, married Louis Blanchard, lumber dealer, who lives at Leominster, Mass.

Fred W. Claflin attended the public schools of Hopkinton, Mass., was graduated from high school in 1897, and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1901. He served as instrument man with Alex H. French of Brookline, Mass., doing city engineering work, and from May, 1901, until January, 1905, was with the engineering department of the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad, Boston & Albany Division as surveyor and inspector of construction in charge of separation of grades at Chester, Mass.; Niverville, N. Y.; East Chatham and Chatham Center, N. Y. He was later in charge of installing block signals between Chicago and Buffalo on the L. S. & M. S. Railroad, and from 1905 until 1906 was associated with F. C. Greene, mining engineer of Cleveland, a special engineer in charge of two large stadium surveys in Belmont and Jefferson Counties, Ohio. He was later connected with the Brilliant (Ohio) Coal Company, and from May, 1906, until October, 1907, was in charge of surveying parties on Stadia and Topographical Surveys for location of Quemahoning dam and pipe line. From January, 1907, until May he was also in charge of surveys and preliminary plans of two water supply schemes in the vicinity of Johnstown. From October, 1907, until January, 1909, he was in charge of surveying and inspection of all construction work in the lower plant of the Cambria Steel Company, including the setting of heavy engines, rebuilding of blast furnaces, building of two condensing systems, erection of blast furnaces, stock bins, etc. From January, 1909, until December, 1913, he was resident engineer and superintendent of construction of Quemahoning Dam and a portion of the pipe line, a $5,000,000 force account work. From December, 1913, until June, 1914, he was superintendent of construction in charge of all forces remodeling No. 5 blast furnace and hot blast stoves, as well as general improvement of the Cambria plant of the Cambria Steel Company of Johnstown. Mr. Claflin suffered a breakdown in health in 1914 and until 1916 was confined in a hospital. From October, 1916, until February, 1917, he was field engineer in charge of all field operations in connection with the Nickel Plate Railroad, elimination of grade crossings, work on the west side of Cleveland. From February, 1917, until September, 1917, he was engineer in charge of erection of 10 six ton Herault electric blast furnaces at Toronto, Canada, for the British government, this being the largest electric steel plant in the world. From September until November, 1917, he was engineer in charge of the dismantling of the Battelle (Alabama) blast furnace, and loading same on ship at New Orleans for export to India. From November, 1917, until December, 1921, Mr. Claflin was general superintendent of construction of the Tata Iron and Steel Company, Jamshedpur, India, the cost of these improvements amounting to $65,000,000. In December, 1921, Mr. Claflin returned to Johnstown, where he has since been a member of the firm of Gray & Claflin. They are consulting, civil and mining engineers and specialize in sewerage and sewer disposal, water supply and purification, development of town sites, municipal engineering valuations, examinations and reports of mining properties, and the design of industrial and mining plants, highways and bridges.

On January 24, 1914, Mr. Claflin was married to Miss Amelia W. Wertz, the daughter of George M. and Louisa (Glitch) Wertz. Mr. Wertz has served as congressman from this district and as a leader of the Senate at Harrisburg. He resides at Arbutus Park, Cambria County. Mr. and Mrs. Claflin have a daughter, Louisa W., born in February, 1919.

Mr. Claflin is a Republican, a member of the Congregational Church and is identified with the American Society of Civil Engineers, Johnstown Builders' Exchange and Chamber of Commerce.

History of Cambria County, Pennsylvania
By: John E. Gable
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis, 1926

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