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Starrett, William Aiken (14 June 1877–25 March 1932), engineer, building contractor, and real-estate financier, was born in Lawrence, Kansas, the son of William A. Starrett, a Presbyterian minister, farmer, and lawyer, and Helen Martha Ekin, a Quaker teacher, journalist, and editor. He attended the University of Michigan for two years, then returned to graduate with a degree in civil engineering in 1917. In 1900 Starrett married Eloise Gedney of East Orange, New Jersey; they had two children....

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Torrence, Joseph Thatcher (15 March 1843–31 October 1896), industrial engineer, entrepreneur, and developer, was born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, the son of James Torrence and Rebecca (maiden name unknown). He began his career working for a blast-furnace operator outside of Pittsburgh at Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania. From there he moved west to Youngstown, Ohio, where he became a blacksmith, and by the time of the Civil War, he had worked his way up to assistant foreman at a blast furnace....

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Washburn, Frank Sherman (08 December 1860–09 October 1922), engineer and industrial entrepreneur, was born in Centralia, Illinois, the son of Elmer Washburn, a politician and banker, and Elizabeth Knight. Washburn received a degree in civil engineering from Cornell University in 1883, after which he went to work for the Chicago and North Western Railroad. During 1884 he did graduate study at Cornell in economics, history, and political science and returned to the Chicago and North Western in 1885 as a bridge engineer and later a division engineer....