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Walthew Clarance Barton

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Walthew Clarance Barton (1834-1903)

1903 Obituary [1]

WALTHEW CLARANCE BARTON, born on the 29th August, 1834, at Dartford, Kent, entered the Public Works Department of the Government of India in 1855 as a Covenanted Civil Engineer.

After being employed for six years as an Assistant Engineer in the Bombay Presidency, and for two years as Executive Engineer in charge of the district of Ahmedabad, he was transferred in 1863 to Travancore, and appointed Chief Engineer of that province in 1873.

As head of the Public Works Department of that important state, Mr. Barton had to contend at the very outset with difficulties from want of trained subordinates, skilled labour, and facilities of every description. These difficulties, however, were overcome by his powers of organization, and by the zeal and energy he brought to bear upon his work. He opened up the country in every direction with a well-devised network of roads extending from the Ghauts to the seaboard, by which transport was facilitated and cheapened, and vast tracts of inaccessible forest and waste land were opened to habitation and cultivation. Dangerous and impassable rivers were bridged, works of irrigation and inland navigation were carried out, and the capital, Trivandrum, was supplied with good roads and with suitable public offices, courts, schools and hospitals.

Mr. Barton retired from the service of the Travancore State in 1880, from which time he ceased, owing to ill health, to undertake professional work.

He died at Ilkley, Yorkshire, on the 16th January, 1903, at the age of 68.

Mr. Barton was elected a Member of the Institution on the 7th April, 1868.

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