The varied and interesting career of Dr. Elwood Mead suited him
perfecting for his role in the creation of some of this nations greatest
reclamation projects which included Hoover
Dam, Grand Coulee Dam and Owyhee Dam.
He was born in 1858 in, appropriately named, Patriot, Indiana. He was an
undergrad at Purdue and received his B. S. in 1882. Remarkably he earned his
Doctorate in Civil Engineering from Iowa State College one year later in 1883.
Anyone who has completed, contemplated or attempted this line of study is
readily aware of substantial this feat would be.
This level of skill would lead to numerous opportunities and successes.
The year he received his doctorate, he taught mathematics at Colorado
Agriculture College. His career would lead him from Wyoming to Australia in the
academic and public positions.
Ultimately, he was appointed as head of the Bureau of Reclamation in 1924, a
position which he occupied until 1936. We suspect that he preferred this
position most from all his previous posts as he stayed there the longest and had
his greatest influence.
To the left is the bronze plaque in Dr. Meads honor at Hoover Dam.