Scope and Content
Title: John Debo Galloway Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1905-1940
Collection number: GALLOWAY
Galloway, John Debo, 1869-1943
Extent: ca. 11 linear ft. (22 boxes)
Water Resources Collections and Archives
Shelf location: Water Resources Collections and Archives.
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Water Resources Collections and Archives. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head
of Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Water Resources Collections and Archives as the owner of
the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], John Debo Galloway Papers, GALLOWAY, Water Resources Collections and Archives, University of California,
Hetch Hetchy Project (Calif.)
Hydroelectric power plants --California
Los Angeles Aqueduct (Calif.)
Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, Calif.)
San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (Oakland and San Francisco, Calif.)
John Debo Galloway, the son of James and Emily Myers (Hoover) Galloway, was born on
October 13, 1869, at San Jose, Calif. His ancestors were residents of Maryland, New
Jersey, and Pennsylvania prior to the American Revolution. His parents died when he was
still quite young. Left to his own resources, one of his dominant characteristics,
self-reliance, early came to the fore. His boyhood experiences, some of which were
acquired at Virginia City, Nev., bound, when that city was the center of the great mining
activity incident to the discovery and development of the famous Comstock Lode, made a
deep impression upon him. At the age of eight he was taken to live with friends in Napa
His technical education was gained at Rose Polytechnic Institute, Terre Haute, Ind., and
was graduated in 1889. Upon graduation he was employed in railroad work in the Pacific
Northwest. From 1892 to 1896 he was chief engineer for Healy-Tibbitts Construction
Company of San Francisco. In this capacity he personally directed the construction of
important bridges, harbor works, sewers, and difficult foundation work. From June 1896 to
September 1897, he was employed in the engineering department of Pacific Rolling Mill
Company of San Francisco, on designing and detailing steel building frames.
From September 1897 to October 1899, he was an instructor in drawing and mechanics at
California School of Mechanical Arts in San Francisco. In this capacity he made a deep
impression on his students, many of whom became leaders of the engineering profession.
Among them was Arthur H. Markwart, who later became Mr. Galloway's partner. From October
1899 to May 1900, Galloway was chief engineer for Colusa Stone Company. After May 1900,
he maintained an independent practice as a consulting engineer.
For the California Gas and Electric Company, predecessor of the Pacific Gas and Electric
Company, he directed the design and construction of the cable span across the Straits of
Carquinez. This span, which was a part of the world's then longest transmission line, was
also the then longest cable span.
From 1900 to 1906, the period just prior to the San Francisco earthquake and fire of
April 18, 1906, he designed and supervised hydraulic and structural construction for
several hydroelectric plants which were later absorbed in the system of the Pacific Gas
and Electric Company. He also designed the hydraulic and structural features for the
first two hydroelectric plants of the system later owned by the California Electric Power
Company; and the structural elements of some of the city's principal buildings including
the Mutual Savings Bank Building, the St. Francis Hotel, the Shreve Buildings, the
Schroth Building, the Syndicate Building of Oakland, etc. He was one of the earliest
advocates of earthquake-resistant design, and the merit of his reasoning was fully
demonstrated by structures designed by him, when they were subjected to the effects of
the great earthquake.
Immediately after the earthquake he formed a partnership with John Galen Howard, as
Howard and Galloway, Architects and Engineers. William C. Hays and Mr. Markwart were
junior partners. This firm took a leading part in the design of San Francisco's
reconstructed commercial district. The firm also designed and supervised the construction
of buildings and grounds for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition at Seattle, Wash.
At this time he also served with Charles D. Marx and Wynne Meredith on the Board of
Advisory Engineers on the design and construction of the Stanislaus Hydroelectric Power
From 1908 to 1920 he was associated with Mr. Markwart on consulting work. Galloway and
Markwart designed and built several railway and combined highway and railway bridges in
the Sacramento Valley, California, a hydroelectric power plant in Yosemite National Park,
and a number of important buildings. The firm made investigations and reports upon
utility properties, including those of Oro Electric Corporation, Butte and Tehama Power
Company, City Electric Company, Yolo Water and Power Company, and Santa Barbara Gas and
Electric Company. Galloway investigated and reported on existing and possible additional
power developments on the Menominee River, Michigan and Wisconsin; on power possibilities
on Deschutes River in Oregon; on power developments on the Feather River and Yuba River
in California; on development of hydroelectric power on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada;
and on power projects on Pit River, California. He also conducted extensive examinations
and reports, in many instances including appraisals on irrigation systems. Among the
properties concerned were those of Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation
District; Honcut-Yuba Irrigation District; Fresno Canal and Land Corporation; Mendota
Irrigation District; Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District; and Sutter Butte Canal
Company. With J. B. Lippincott, B. A. Etcheverry, F. C. Herrmann, W. L. Huber, and F. H.
Tibbetts, he was a member of the Board of Advisory Engineers on the Sacramento Valley
Division of the Central Valley Project in California. This board made studies of dams on
the larger rivers giving special consideration to the Shasta (Kennett) Dam and the use of
water in the Sacramento Valley.
Galloway rendered extensive service to Great Western Power Company-first in connection
with the design and construction of extensions and additions to its Las Plumas Plant on
Feather River; and later in connection with the design and construction of its Caribou
Plant on the same stream. As consulting engineer, he represented the company on the
construction of the Bucks Creek hydroelectric power plant.
With Frank G. Baum and W. F. Durand, Galloway was a member of the Board of Consulting
Engineers on the location and design of the Moccasin Creek hydroelectric plant on the
Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct of the City of San Francisco. For Pacific Gas and Electric Company
he served as consulting engineer in connection with the concrete masonry dams for Pit No.
3 and Pit No. 4 power plants on the Pit River, the enlargement of Fordyce rock-fill dam
on Yuba River, and the design and construction of the 328-ft. Salt Springs rock-fill dam
on Mokelumne River. With Robert Ridgway, Arthur N. Talbot, and M. M. O'Shaughnessy, he
was a member of the first Commission of San Francisco on the location of the San
Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
He was married on April 19, 1894, to Nettie Mabel Barnes whom he had known since early
childhood in Napa Valley. Mrs. Galloway died on June 14, 1941. He had two daughters, Mrs.
E. Ronald Foster and Mrs. Alice Wilder, and three grandchildren, John D., Margaret Ellen,
and Rosemary Foster.
John Debo Galloway died on March 10, 1943 in Berkeley, California.
Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers.Vol. 109 (1944).
Scope and Content
Correspondence, reports, photographs, and miscellaneous material, relating to various
bridges, dams, water supply systems, and hydroelectric power installations in California,
including the Hetch Hetchy Project, the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the Golden Gate Bridge, the
San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and to electrical distribution systems in California
and British Columbia.
John Debo Galloway Papers,
Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 67/40 c
0.5 linear ft (1 box)