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Charles Benjamin Knorpp

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Charles Benjamin Knorpp (1838-1894)

1895 Obituary [1]

CHARLES BENJAMIN KNORPP, born at Benares, India, on the 19th of September, 1838, was the only child of a German missionary stationed there, who, with his English wife, died from cholera a year or two after their marriage.

The subject of this notice, after passing through the curriculum prescribed for Civil Engineers at the Royal Polytechnikum of Stuttgart, was engaged in 1859-60 on the works of the East Kent Railway, now part of the London, Chatham and Dover system.

In April, 1861, he was appointed an assistant engineer in the service of the Madras Irrigation and Canal Company, and for five years was engaged in making the surveys, plans and estimates of nearly 100 miles of main canal from Rajoli to Someshwaran.

He was then in charge of the Kurnool head-office from July, 1866, to June, 1867, and of the Ulloor Division for twelve months. He next assisted Mr. John Carruthers in designing, laying out and preparing estimates for the Distribution Works of the Dhoor Division and in the construction of the lower portion of the Main Canal in that division.

In July, 1870, he was appointed Executive Engineer, and was then for nearly three years engaged in completing the works of the Main Canal and Distribution from Jootoor to Cuddapah, a distance of 100 miles.

On the 4th of February, 1873, Mr. Enorpp was appointed Superintending Engineer for the North Island of New Zealand, and the whole of the extensive public works then being carried out in that Island by the Government of the Colony were placed under his charge. Thus he was responsible for the location and construction of nearly 500 miles of railways and of the Prances Water-race, 10 miles in length, capable of carrying 40 cubic feet of water per minute.

In 1880 Mr. Knorpp resigned his appointment and retired to a property he had purchased at Ngarawahia in the province of Auckland, where he occupied himself energetically in improving the land and in planting trees.

In 1889-91 he took charge for Messrs. Perry, Cutbill, De Lungo & Co. of the construction of the northern section of the Cordoba and North Western Railway in Argentina. On the completion of the works Mr. Knorpp returned to New Zealand and resided at Ngarawahia until his death, which occurred after a short and painless illness from paralysis on the 3rd of September, 1894.

Mr. Knorpp was of a retiring disposition, but those who knew him well esteemed him for the openness and straightforwardness of his character, for his varied and extensive knowledge, and for the kindness and unselfishness of his disposition.

He was elected an Associate on the 6th of April, 1869, and was transferred to the class of Member on the 3rd of December, 1878.

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