Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Engineers

Edited by
Rod Millard

ANDERSON, William Patrick b. 4 Sept. 1851, Levis, Que.; d. 1 Feb. 1927, Ottawa. Educated at Bishop’s College, Lennoxville, and, for one year, Manitoba College, Winnipeg, he was apprenticed to a land surveyor in 1872. Two years later, he entered the Department of Marine and Fisheries as an assistant engineer, and, in 1880, was promoted to chief engineer and superintendent of lighthouses. He designed and constructed over 500 lighthouses and 50 fog alarm stations. The use of concrete and flying buttresses in lighthouse and fog horn construction was his main engineering innovation. A charter member of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (renamed, Engineering Institute of Canada, 1918), he served as a councillor (1890, 1891 and 1901), was elected vice president (1902) and became president in 1904. He was also a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Great Britain. He joined the militia in 1864 and fought the Fenians in 1866 and 1870 in N.B. and served as lieutenant-colonel of the 43rd Ottawa and Carleton Rifles (1882-1892). He established and edited the first two years of the Canadian Military Gazette. A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, he was also a naturalist, marksman and sportsman. In 1913, he was created a C.M.G. He belonged to the Rideau Club and the Royal Ottawa Golf Club. An Anglican, he married Dorothea S. Small in 1876 and they had four sons and one daughter.

Lauren Waters