Frank Henry Olmsted (1858-1939) was born in Ripon, Wisconsin. He attended Northwestern
University in Illinois, where he received his education and training in civil engineering.
In 1877, he moved to southern California and eventually served as a member of the
construction-engineering firm, Olmsted and Gillelen, in Los Angeles. He was elected Los
Angeles city engineer in 1898 and held office until 1900. Olmsted held numerous appointments
during his long career in the engineering field. He was a chief draftsman for the Chicago
Sanitary District, assistant hydrographer for the U.S. Geological Survey, and engineer for
the United Sugar Companies of Los Moches in Sinaloa, Mexico. Olmsted was also a member of
the United States Army engineers and provided flood control work for the Mississippi River
in Louisiana. His projects included the Santa Fe, Santa Ana, and Newport railroads in
California, the Coeur d'Alene Railroad in Idaho, and the Mexican Central Railway. Olmsted's
civic activities included participation in the American Board of Foreign Missions in central
and northern Mexico, the American Society of Civil Engineers in New York, and the student
chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers of the California Institute of Technology
in Pasadena, California. Olmsted resided in Glendale, California and was active in civic
affairs until his death in January 1939.
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