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History of the Formation of the Fort Worth Branch A.S.C.E.

(The following description of the formation of the Fort Worth Branch A.S.C.E. is reprinted here from “The History of the Fort Worth Branch, Texas Section, American Society of Civil Engineers for the Years 1931 to 1970”, by H. H. Hester. Harlen Hester was a former Branch Historian & a Life Member, A.S.C.E.)

On May the 8 and 9, 1931, the Texas Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers held its Spring Meeting in Fort Worth. The men largely responsible for this meeting were Major John B. Hawley, Simon W. Freese, Mr. Charlie Davis and Mr. Marvin C. Nichols. Two of these men, Major John B. Hawley and Mr. Charlie Davis, were instrumental in organizing the Texas Section in 1913, according to the history of the Texas Section by Dr. I. W. Santry published in 1963 on the occasion of the Texas Section’s 50-Year Anniversary.

The subject for the Fort Worth meeting was the "Trinity River." Mr. Freese discussed the Trinity River Watershed resources and possibilities. Mr. E. L. Myers discussed the proposed Trinity Canal, Mr. B. F. Williams discussed the economical bases of reclamation and canalization in the Trinity Watershed, and Mr. Nichols discussed the Water Control and Improvement District in the Fort Worth Area. This meeting was a very successful one, and the members in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the discussions and the entertainment.

Many are of the opinion that the Fort Worth Branch was organized for this meeting, but the actual records that are available reveal that the Fort Worth Branch was organized on June 18, 1932, when a meeting was called at the Blackstone Hotel for that purpose. Mr. J. C. Carpenter was elected Temporary Chairman of the Branch. A Constitution was submitted to the Board of Directors for approval. A Nominating Committee was appointed, and the election of officers was to be held on the second Saturday in July. Names at this meeting included Charlie Davis, Harry Friedman, Marvin Nichols, J.C. Bliss, F. E. Lovett, Fred Porter, Eddie Ailes, J. H. Brillhart , J .C .Carpenter, Dan Lipscomb , W . M. Powell and M .C . Welborn.

At a meeting at the Blackstone Hotel on July 9, 1932 a .committee composed of Charlie Davis, Chairman, Marvin Nichols and M. C. Welborn presented the name of J.C. Carpenter for president! and Harry Friedman for Treasurer. Those officers served for three years. At this meeting the following committees were appointed -Membership : Charlie Davis, Chairman, J. H. Brillhart and Dudley Lewis. Public Relations: Simon Freese, Chairman, F. B. Porter, M. C. Wel born, and W. O. Jones. Professional Welfare: P. M. Geren, Chairman, G. D. Fairtrace, Eddie Ailes, and .J. C. Bliss. Succeeding officers for the Fort Worth Branch are shown in the appendix.

The main objective of the Fort Worth Branch as set out by the founders was to acquaint the public and community with the part that the Engineer plays in public life. The scope of engineering activities as set out covers -Airport facilities, City planning, all types of streets, and storm sewer construction, Highway Construction, sanitary Engineering, water systems, surveying and mapping, all types of buildings, bridges, overpasses, dams and levees.

- John P. Wier, P.E., R.P.L.S., Historical Chair, Fort Worth Branch ASCE, August 2008

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