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George Neumann

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George Neumann (1817-1898), railway engineer

Died 1898 aged 81. [1]

1898 Obituary [2]

GEORGE NEUMANN, born in Liverpool on the 8th August, 1817, was the youngest son of Mr. Charles William Neumann, of Dantzig, a merchant.

In 1831 he went to Orbe, Canton Vaud, Switzerland, to study under Mr. Burtin, where he remained until 1833.

Having decided on an engineering career, he entered the office of Mr. Joseph Locke, Past-President, and in 1836 was that gentleman’s senior pupil.

In 1840 Mr. Neumann went to France as Resident Engineer to the Paris and Rouen Railway, for which Mr. Locke was the Consulting Engineer. For nine years he was engaged on the lines between Paris and Rouen, Rouen and Havre, and Paris and Cherbourg, and was subsequently for six years Engineer-in-Chief on the Rouen-Dieppe Railway.

From 1853 Mr. Neumann was engaged in making the line of railway from the French frontier to Modane - a length of about 60 miles through Savoy, which was then under King Victor Emanuel.

In June, 1847, he was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour by King Louis Philippe, in recognition of his services on the French railways. During the Revolution of 1848 he served in the National Guard, taking his turn as sentry at the Tuileries.

On his retirement in 1858 Mr. Neumann bought the property of Tracey, in the parish of Awliscombe, Devon, where he resided until his death, which took place on the 28th July, 1898. He was made a County Magistrate in 1867; and he was the first County Councillor elected as representative for his division. He was for many years a Member of the Board of Guardians and at all times took great interest in county and parish matters. He always made his own plans for building the farms and cottages and other improvements on his property, and within two days of his death was personally superintending the erection of some new cottages.

He was chiefly instrumental in restoring the parish church of Awliscombe, in placing a clock in the tower and in enlarging the churchyard. Mr. Neumann. had a remarkably good constitution and was active until the last. At the age of eighty he would go for a long day’s partridge shooting, and even surmounted the difficulty of riding a bicycle. He was most accurate and painstaking in all he undertook, keeping his affairs in excellent order.

Mr. Neumann was elected a Member on the 4th May, 1858, his connection with the Institution thus lasting upwards of forty years.

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