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George Washington Goethals Photograph by Arnold Genthe, 1913. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G432-0358-A).


Goethals, George Washington (29 June 1858–21 January 1928), engineer and military officer, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of John Louis Goethals, a carpenter, and Marie Le Barron. At the age of fourteen he entered the College of the City of New York. In April 1876, after three years of college, Goethals won a cadetship to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He graduated second in his class in 1880, a distinction that won for him a commission as second lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers....


Squier, George Owen (21 March 1865–24 March 1934), soldier and electrical engineer, was born in Dryden, Michigan, the son of Almon Justice Squier and Emily Gardner, occupations unknown. The family split up after his mother’s death when Squier was seven. He went to live with his grandfather, while his only sister Mary was sent to live with family friends. Squier never married, and he remained devoted to his sister throughout his life. He won admission to West Point by competitive examination and graduated in 1887, seventh in his class (first in merit of discipline), with a commission in the Artillery Corps....