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Henry, Philip Walter, 1864-1947



  • Existence: 1864-1947
  • Existence: 1864 - 1947

Biographical Note

Philip Walter Henry was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania on March 24, 1864, son of Eugene Thomas and Emma Elizabeth (Walter) Henry. He descended from Robert Henry, a native of Scotland who settled in Chester County, Pa. in 1722. Philip W. Henry was educated in the public schools of Oxford, New Jersey. After spending 3 years in railway surveying, in 1883 he entered the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York and graduated in 1887. After graduation Henry was employed by the Barber Asphalt Paving Company for fifteen years, first as foreman, then became assistant superintendent for the company at St. Joseph, Montana and Omaha, Nebraska. Then in New York City, he eventually became vice-president of the company. Beginning in 1902 Henry was a consulting civil engineer and actively involved in various companies and corporations. From 1904-1909 Henry was Vice-President of the Pan-American Company of Delaware. From 1906-1909 he was president of the South American Construction Company, which in 1907-08 built 125 miles of railroad in Bolivia. From 1909-1917 he was president of the Central Railroad of Haiti. In 1910 Henry made a reconnaissance of 700 miles of proposed railways in Spain. From 1916-1923 Henry was vice-president of the Siems-Carey Railway & Canal Co. as the civil engineer in charge of selecting the engineering organization for making canal and railroad surveys in China. From 1916-1923 Henry was Vice-President of the American International Corporation in charge of engineering investigations all over the world that were brought to the organization for financing. Henry was secretary of the American Institute of Consulting Engineers from 1924-1943 and was President in 1940. Henry served both the Pan-American Society and American Geographical Society as councilor, vice-president and chairman. Henry was also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers. In 1898 Henry studied Spanish to assist in his business and enjoyed the language so much he translated several plays of Calderon de la Barca, a noted dramatist of the 17th century. The most notable of de la Barca’s plays translated by Henry is “La Vida es Sueno” (Life is a Dream) translated in 1921 and staged by the RPI players in March, 1939. Mr. Henry conducted the majority of his business in New York City at 75, West and lived in Scarborough, New York.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Philip Walter Henry papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MC 75

This collection consists of personal and business papers and memorabilia beginning with a scrapbook created by Philip Walter Henry during his days as a student at R.P.I. through his career as a civil engineer.

Dates: Created: 1881-1947