Pueblo County, Colorado

Contributed by Karen Mitchell.

Norval Wilson Wall, a civil engineer and architect of marked ability, practicing his profession in Colorado with offices and residence in Pueblo, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, September 13, 1848, a son of Jacob and Sarah Anne (Deems) Wall, the latter a daughter of Colonel Jacob Deems, who won fame as an officer in the War of 1812. Frederick Deems, great-grandfather of our subject, served throughout the Revolutionary war with the Third Pennsylvania Regiment, thus actively assisting in winning independence and liberty for the colonies. The Deems family comes of Holland ancestry. To Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Wall were born eleven children, six sons and five daughters, of whom Norval Wilson is the youngest. In the city schools of Baltimore he pursued his education, and also under private instruction, and with natural talent and inclination for engineering work, he early specialized in that direction. He acquainted himself with the major points of civil engineering by practical work under the directions of Major Nathaniel H. Hutton and John Murdoch. He attained a high degree of efficiency and became an assistant to the officers of the engineer corps of the United States army, after which he rendered extensive service in connection with river and harbor work. His father was an architect and he also developed ability in that direction. In 1874 he accepted a position with the Baltimore Bridge Company, but at the same time opened and maintained a private office until July, 1876, when he decided to remove from Maryland to Colorado. On coming to this state Mr. Wall first settled in Trinidad, where he filled the office of United States deputy surveyor, and in that connection subdivided public lands both in Colorado and New Mexico. He was also employed in mining work, mostly in the coal mines of southern Colorado, and has located and constructed irrigating ditches and reservoirs. He has been engaged in the location and construction of various railroads in Colorado and New Mexico, and has furnished plans and specifications for public and private enterprises. In a word, there came to him ready recognition of his ability as a civil engineer and as an architect, and the work entrusted to him was of a most important character. Recognition of his power and skill came to him in his election to the office of county surveyor of Las Animas county on two different occasions. He was also city engineer of Trinidad at various intervals through a period of ten years. During 1898 and 1899 he was connected with the engineering department of Colorado Springs, and then removed to Pueblo, where he has since resided. He is regarded as an expert on hydraulic work, and his cooperation and opinions along that line are much sought after. Moreover, he is a student of archaeology and is thoroughly informed concerning Colorado's early history. He has many interesting old views of the state and has been a close student of its development and of those sciences which have had to do with the formation of the natural resources of the state. In November, 1883, Mr. Wall was married to Miss Elizabeth Henderson, who was born in Renfrewshire, Scotland. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and his religious faith is that of the Episcopal church. Mr. Wall is a member of the Colorado Society, Sons of the American Revolution, to which his distinguished war ancestry entitles him, and is secretary and registrar of Pueblo Chapter, and also on the board of managers, taking a deep interest in this historical organization. He is regarded as a man of sterling worth in all matters of citizenship. Nothing can cause him to deviate from a course which he believes to be right between himself and his fellowmen. He is just, fair and impartial, and there are none who know him who do not have the most implicit trust in him. His post graduate work in the school of experience has placed him in the front rank of professional men in the state, and he is a pioneer of Colorado who for more than forty years has rounded out an active and useful career in every field of civil engineering and is considered one of the oldest civil engineers in the state, in point of practice and residence. History Of Colorado Illustrated Volume III Chicago The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 1918

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