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William H. Paine
Date: 1828 - 1890
Remarks: William Henry Paine was a prominent civil engineer who worked on most major engineering projects in the U.S. in the last half of the 19th century. He was a descendant of Moses Paine of Kent county, England, who came to Massachusetts colony in 1638. He was educated at district schools but was self-taught in mathematics and the rudiments of engineering. In 1853 he surveyed the Johnson Route of the Pacific Railroad, and it was during this period that he brought into use the flat steel tape line and its accessories in place of the link chain. He raised the 4th Wisconsin Regiment at the start of the Civil War. He was transferred to the army of NE Virginia as Civil Assistant to Gen. Whipple, chief topographical engineer. He was made captain as assistant aide-de-camp April 28, 1862. He was breveted Major "for faithful and meritorious service in the field" August 1, 1864. Promoted to Lt. Colonel March 2, 1865, and to Colonel April 9, 1865. He was mustered out Aug. 5, 1865, honorably, for gallant and meritorious service during the operations resulting in the fall of Richmond, VA., and the surrender of the insurgent army under Gen. Robert E. Lee. After the war he settled in New York City. He served as chief engineer of the Flushing and Northern Railroad, construction engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge, surveyor of construction of the New York and Brooklyn caissons and the New York Tower, consulting engineer of the Hundson River Tunnel, the Detroit River Tunnel, and safety advisor of the Niagara suspension bridge.