Montgomery "Monty" Meigs

Civil engineer, Deceased Person

1847 – 1931


Who was Montgomery "Monty" Meigs?

"Major" Montgomery Cunningham Meigs was an American civil engineer.

The son of U.S. Army General Montgomery C. Meigs, he was born in Detroit, Michigan, and educated at Harvard University and in Germany. He worked for a few years for the Northern Pacific Railroad, before taking the post of a civil engineer in Keokuk, Iowa, in 1882. He is best known for his management of the canal and locks at the Des Moines Rapids as well as for his involvement in the construction of that same dam, between 1910-1913.

"Major" Meigs – so called as a courtesy, as the man who preceded him in his position in Keokuk had been a military man, though Meigs himself was not – took his position of responsibility in Keokuk in 1882. So well did he design traffic control for the canal and locks, that in 1924 Captain F.A. Whitney told the Saturday Evening Post that he could not recall a single incident occurring in passing through the locks, so long as the rules were obeyed. "Major" Meigs was an accomplished riverboat pilot. One of his six daughters, noted author Cornelia Meigs, wrote this of him in an article in the Keokuk Daily Gate newspaper, dated July 30, 1966:

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Feb 27, 1847
  • Harvard University
Dec 9, 1931

on July 23, 2013


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