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William I. Baucus papers



Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

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William I. Baucus papers, 1903-1919

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Collection Overview

Title: William I. Baucus papers, 1903-1919Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Baucus, William I. (1866-1936)

Extent: 0.5 Linear Feet

Subjects: Civil Engineering, Cuba - History - 20th century, Dominican Republic - History - 20th century, Municipal engineering, Panama - History - 20th century, Panama Canal (Panama), Water-supply engineering

Forms of Material: Photographs, Postcards

Languages: English

Collection processed by: S. Kennick


The Baucus papers contain a photograph album and several postcards reflecting the travels and the engineering work in which Baucus was engaged.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The William I. Baucus papers (MC 36) contain a small collection of postcards and a photograph album reflecting the travels and the engineering work in which Baucus was engaged. The postcards, collected or posted, include images of Panama (1903-1904), such as the Culebra cut, Cuba (1908), Grand Turk Island (1912), and the Dominican Republic (1912).

The photograph album contains images of engineering work sites in Panama, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico as part of Baucus’s work, responsibilities, and travels as a civil engineer for the United States Army Corps of Engineers between 1905 and 1913. The album highlights key individuals responsible for the construction of the Panama Canal: John F. Stevens, Theodore Shonts, President Theodore Roosevelt, and William Gorgas. Also included are images of key locations within the Canal Zone such as Gatun Lake and dam, Corozal, Culebra Cut, Pedro Miguel Locks, Ancon, and the Chagres River. Images of engineering equipment used by the French and Americans are included such as the Bucyrus Steam Shovel, and the Lidgerwood Unloader. Panama natives and town folk are also highlighted where water systems, roads, and wharves are concerned.

Additional notable geographic locations included within the album are Santo Domingo, Cuba, and Dominican Republic all of which highlight indigenous populations, homes, cities, harbors, engineering work, customs and festivals. Baucus includes numerous photographs that highlight the various battlegrounds and landmarks during the Spanish American War in 1898 as well. For example the Siege of Santo Domingo, Battle of San Juan Hill, Chiriqui Fortress, El Morro Castle, and El Caney Battlefield are all well documented throughout.

Biographical Note

William I. Baucus was born in Hoosick, N.Y. in 1866. Upon graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1887 he accepted a position in Boston, M.A. where, for the next three years he was engaged in the construction of the Clinton reservoir. For the next two years Mr. Baucus was connected with the Hoosac Marble Quarry in North Adams, M.A. Baucus then became a member of the civilian staff of the United States Army Corps of Engineers and was sent to Panama City. Here he designed and built the Ancon Reservoir, which was constructed in connection with the building of the Panama Canal. Upon its completion he was sent to Havana, Cuba, where he was also engaged in water works projects for the United States Government in connection with the American intervention. Subsequently, Baucus went to San Domingo, where military intervention had also been found necessary, as a government engineer. After spending nine years in this service, he returned to the United States and was assigned to an intercoastal waterways survey, where he was in charge of the work along the coast between Boston and Narragansett Bay, R.I.. Upon completion of this work Baucus returned to North Adams for a vacation in 1919 and while there was induced by the commissioner of public works to accept a temporary appointment to the position of city engineer. Upon insistence of members of the city government he agreed to remain as city engineer and served in that capacity until March 1924, when he resigned to accept the corresponding position in Northampton, M.A. Baucus died in Northampton on Nov. 6, 1936.

Subject/Index Terms

Civil Engineering
Cuba - History - 20th century
Dominican Republic - History - 20th century
Municipal engineering
Panama - History - 20th century
Panama Canal (Panama)
Water-supply engineering

Administrative Information

Repository: Institute Archives and Special Collections

Preferred Citation: William I. Baucus papers, MC 36. Institute Archives and Special Collections. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY.

Box and Folder Listing

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[Box 1],

Box 1Add to your cart.
Item 1: Photograph album, 1904-1914Add to your cart.
Item 2: Souvenir postcard album, undatedAdd to your cart.
Envelope  : PostcardsAdd to your cart.
21 loose postcards

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