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William Thomas Lambie

Portrait with text William Thomas Lambie City Surveyor & Engineer(1887-1888)

William Thomas Lambie was born on November 9, 1837, in Williamsport, Maryland and was entirely self educated.

On April 20, 1861, he enlisted in the Confederate Army at Covington, Virginia, and served throughout the Civil War, being in the First Virginia Brigade, which was initially commanded by Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson.

Mr. Lambie came to California in 1869 and worked as an engineer for the Central Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroads. He was the engineer in charge of the construction of the Newhall Tunnel, which was finished in 1876 for the Southern Pacific Railroad.

That same year he moved to Los Angeles and became division engineer for the Southern Pacific, engaging in civil engineering works in southwestern territory as far as El Paso, Texas.

From 1883 to 1890, Mr. Lambie was associated with the Southern Pacific Railroad as resident engineer and division roadmaster. In 1883, he was elected to the City Council from the 1st ward, and served one year. In December of 1886, he was again elected to the council and served until March of the following year.

Beginning December 5, 1887, he also served concurrently one year as City Surveyor and City Engineer, the offices being separate at that time.

After retiring from public office Mr. Lambie was in private business as a civil and hydraulic engineer. He died January 21, 1900, as the result of injuries sustained in an earth slide during the construction of the Third Street Tunnel.


Chronological Record of City Officials: 1850-1938

R92, L224, VF: Biographical Data, Municipal Reference Library. Data obtained in Summer, 1936 interview with a daughter – Mrs. William F. Goble.

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