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Curtis B. Skouby, P.E.
Director of Public Utilities

Curtis B. Skouby, P.E.
Water Commissioner

City of St. Louis Water Division
Dept. of Public Utilities
1640 S. Kingshighway
St. Louis, MO 63110

(314) 633-9000

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James Pugh Kirkwood

James Pugh Kirkwood was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1807. He attended schools in Scotland and Holland, worked in his father's store, and was apprenticed in 1821 to a local firm of civil engineers. He came to the United States in 1832 and was appointed resident engineer for the Western Railway of Massachusetts.

He arrived in St. Louis in April 1850 as Chief Engineer for the Pacific Railroad. In March of 1865, the first Board of Water Commissioners appointed him as Chief Engineer of the St. Louis Water Division. In May of 1865, Mr. Kirkwood submitted a plan to place low service pumps at the Chain of Rocks. This plan was rejected by the City Council in May of 1866, which recommended that the plant be located at Bissells Point.

Later in 1866, Kirkwood submitted the Bissells Point plan, which was accepted by the City Council. In his 1866 report on Bissell Point, he explained the advantages of slow sand filtration. For the next year, Kirkwood fought for the installation of these filters in the Bissells Point Plant. These filters were finally installed in early 1867. Months later, Kirkwood declined any further service as Chief Engineer of the Water Division.

He moved to New York later the same year, and was elected president of the Society of American Engineers and served in that capacity until 1868. James P. Kirkwood died April 22, 1877. The town of Kirkwood, Missouri is named after him.

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