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Julius Walker Adams
File:File:Julius Walker Adams portrait.jpg
Born (1812-10-18)October 18, 1812
Boston, Massachusetts
Died December 13, 1899(1899-12-13) (aged 87)
Brooklyn, New York
Place of burial Green-Wood Cemetery
Education United States Military Academy
  • Civil engineer
Board member of American Society of Civil Engineers
Military career
Allegiance Union
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1861–1862
Rank Union Army colonel rank insignia.png Colonel
Commands held 67th New York Infantry

Julius Walker Adams (18 October 1812 – 13 December 1899) was a United States civil engineer, military leader, and railroad engineer, who designed the Starrucca Viaduct.[1]


He was born at Boston, Massachusetts. He was the second cousin of John Quincy Adams, an eminent and successful 19th century railway and bridge engineer;[2] and he was a nephew of George Washington Whistler, who was also a prominent American railroad engineer in the first half of the 19th century.[3] In 1830, he entered the United States Military Academy, where studied for two years, but didn't graduate.

From 1832 to 1844, he acted as assistant engineer of various railroads. Then he was at Cochituate water works, Boston, in 1846, and in the same year became superintending engineer of the Erie Railway, where he worked with Daniel McCallum. With James P. Kirkwood Adams designed the stone arch Starrucca Viaduct, which was built in 1847-1848 by New York and Erie Railroad. In 1851 he also was editor of Appletons' Mechanics' Magazine.[1]

Starrucca Viaduct.

In 1852 he moved to Kentucky, was chief engineer of the Central Railroad, and in 1855 of the Memphis and Ohio Railroad. He had charge of the establishment of a system of sewers in Brooklyn, New York, in 1856, and in 1860 was engineer of the water works at New Haven, Connecticut.[4]

During the Civil War, he for a time commanded the 1st Long Island Volunteers (67th New York Infantry). He was wounded at Fair Oaks. During the New York City draft riots of 1863, he commanded the troops at Printing House Square.

From 1869 to 1878 he was chief engineer of the Brooklyn board of city works, and from 1878 to 1889 consulting engineer of the board of public works of New York City. A suggestion of his led to the formation of a company which eventually had charge of building the first bridge over the East River at New York.[5]

He was president of the American Society of Civil Engineers in the year 1874–75, and published Sewers and Drains and various scientific papers.


His son, Julius W. Adams (born in Westfield, Massachusetts, in April 1840; died in Brooklyn, New York, 15 November 1865), graduated at West Point in 1861, served there as assistant instructor of infantry tactics until June 1862, was wounded and taken prisoner at Gaines's Mills, promoted captain in August 1862, and served at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, where he commanded a regiment, and the Second Battle of Cold Harbor, where he received wounds that caused his death.[4]

Selected publications

  • Adams Julius W.; et al. (1875, ed.) Templeton's Engineer, Millwright, and Mechanics' Companion: Report on the Pollution of Rivers, New York Academy of Sciences
  • Adams, Julius Walker (1881). Sewerage of Elmira
  • Adams, Julius Walker; Hering, Rudolph (1884). Report on the Improved Sewerage System



External links


  • Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900) "Adams, Julius Walker" Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography New York: D. Appleton 

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