Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Engineers

Edited by
Rod Millard



MACDONALD, Charles, b. 26 Jan. 1837, Gananoque, Upper Canada; d. 8 July 1928, Gananoque. Educated at Queen's College preparatory school, Kingston, in 1852 Macdonald joined the Grand Trunk Railway survey between Kingston and Brockville. Two years later, he entered the engineering program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, returning to the GTR upon graduation (1857). He built bridges in the United States, Canada, South Africa and Australia, notably the Hawkesbury River Bridge, Australia (1889), and the Poughkeepsie Bridge across the Hudson River (also1889), then the world's longest bridge. In 1907, he was called out of retirement to help reconstruct the Quebec Bridge, which had collapsed mid-construction earlier that year killing 75 men. He served on the board determining the new design, later becoming its chairman. A member of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (renamed Engineering Institute of Canada, 1918), he was elected vice president in 1896. He belonged to the American Society of Civil Engineers (president 1908), and the American Institute of Mining Engineers. In 1894, Queen’s University awarded him an honorary LL.D. He married Sarah L. Willard.

                                                                                                Jonah Kotzer