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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

PROVOOST, Benjamin B.

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PROVOOST, Benjamin B. (New York, NY, Feb. 15, 1813--Dubuque, IA, Oct. 22, 1881). Proovst helped built the Catskill and Canajoharie railroad crossing from the Hudson River to the headwaters of the Mohawk. He was later hired as an engineer on the Housatonic Road until it was completed from Bridgeport on Long Island Sound to a connection with the Albany and Boston Railroad. He then worked on building the Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana Railroad under the direction of Col R. M. Mason. (1)

When Col. Mason of Chicago was appointed the chief engineer of the ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD, Provoost traveled east with him and was appointed the division engineer. In this position he had charge of the survey and building of the road fro the Rock River to Dunleith. (2)

In 1854, Provoost came to Dubuque after being appointed Chief Engineer of the DUBUQUE AND PACIFIC RAILROAD. He located the road to Sioux City and had charge of building the road as far west as Manchester. He afterward located and helped build the Western Union Railroad from Freeport to Lanark. (3)

Settling in Dubuque after his days as an engineer, Provoost was for many years one of the directors of the SECOND NATIONAL BANK. He was also a large stockholder in the DUNLEITH & DUBUQUE BRIDGE CO. (4)

See: Roswell B. MASON



1. "Sudden Death," The Daily Herald, October 23, 1881, p 4

2. Oldt, Franklin T. The History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880, p. 859-860

3. "Sudden Death..."

4. Ibid.