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Aycrigg, William Anderson, 1859-1936



  • Existence: 1859-1936
  • Existence: 1859 - 1936

Biographical Note

William Anderson Aycrigg was born on April 26th, 1859, in Passaic, New Jersey, to parents Benjamin B. and Catharine E. (Anderson). He was prepared in 1879 at D.S. Everson’s Collegiate Institute in New York City with the hopes of attending Princeton, though he was unable, due to health issues. He worked as a machinist from 1878-1879, and also worked in the Passaic Novelty Works. In 1880, he entered Rensselaer, where he led a very active student life. He was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity, he was on the Crew team as a bowman, and he was the captain of the football team. Aycrigg was popular and well liked on campus, and in 1883, he was elected Grand Marshal, the highest office in the student government. He served as Grand Marshal in his senior year. In 1885, he also became the president of Rensselaer’s baseball association. Aycrigg graduated in 1884 with a civil engineering degree, and worked on numerous railroads and bridges across the country. In 1885, he began work as an assistant engineer on the Union Pacific railroad. He was an engineer on the Birmingham Bridge and Bolt Company in 1888, was an assistant engineer on the Edge Moor Bridge Works from 1889 to 1891, and he worked as a consulting engineer in New York City between 1892 and 1898. Beginning in 1899, and lasting through 1905, he was the supervising bridge engineer on the Union Pacific railroad. He also worked as a bridge engineer on the Western Pacific railroad from 1906 to 1908, he was a city engineer in Omaha in 1909, and he worked as a consulting engineer in Omaha between 1910 and 1912. In 1912, he moved to Stamford, CT, where he worked as a consulting engineer. Though the date is unknown, he was also in charge of an extensive topographical survey, where he surveyed portions of southwestern Idaho and western Montana. Aycrigg married Jessie Kelsey Wilcox on October 20th, 1887, and the couple had two children; Edward Wilcox and Jeanie Aycrigg. When the family moved to Stamford, Aycrigg stayed active, joining the yacht club as well as the Freemasons. He had an interest in politics and identified as a Democrat, though he never ran for political office. Aycrigg worked as a consulting engineer until his death, on May 30th, 1936. He was 77.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

William Anderson Aycrigg scrapbooks

 Collection — Box 1
Identifier: MC 45

William Aycrigg’s three scrapbooks contain a variety of materials, primarily reflecting his student days in Troy from 1881 to 1884.

Dates: Created: 1880-1909