The majority of the collection consists of correspondence sent by American civil engineer Montgomery
Meigs Jr. (1847-1931) to his parents, Montgomery Cunningham Meigs and Louisa Rodgers
Meigs, while he worked as an engineer on the Northern Pacific Railroad in Minnesota
and the Dakota and Montana Territories from 1870-1873. Also included are sketches
made by Meigs during the same period and his own later typescripts of his letters,
along with a few pieces of family ephemera.
Montgomery Meigs Jr. (1847-1931), known as "Monty" Meigs, was born in Rouses Point, New York, in 1847. His father,
Montgomery C. Meigs (1816-1892), was a civil engineer and Quartermaster General of
the U.S. Army during the Civil War. Meigs Jr. attended the Lawrence Scientific
School at Harvard University, as well as the Royal Polytechnic School in Stuttgart,
Germany, and completed his college education in 1869. From 1870-1873 he worked as
resident engineer surveying the Northern Pacific Railroad before becoming an
engineer for the U.S. government. The majority of his career was spent working to
improve the Mississippi navigation system from St. Paul to the mouth of the Missouri
River. Meigs retired in 1926 and died in Keokuk, Iowa, in 1931.
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