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Male, born 1846-07-20, died 1916-10-14

Associated with the firms network

Bogue, Virgil G., Consulting Engineer; City of Seattle, Municipal Planning Director, Bogue, Virgil G.; Northern Pacific Railway Company, Engineer's Office

Professional History


Assistant Engineer, City of Brooklyn, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY, 1868-1869.

Civil Engineer, Callao, Lima and Oroya Railway (better known as the Oroya Railway), Peru, c. 01/1870-1878. Manager, Trujillo Railroad, Peru, c. 1879-1880. The Cyclopedia of National Biography indicated the following about his work in Peru: "He did not remain long here [in Brooklyn], however, for soon afterward he went to South America and assisted in the construction of the Oroya Railroad, the famous trans- Andean system, in Peru, an experience which covered eight years. Then, for a year, he was manager of the Trujillo Railroad, also in Peru." (See "Bogue, Virgil Gay," Cyclopedia of American Biography, James Grant Wilson, John Fiske, and James E. Homans, eds., vol. VIII, [New York: Press Association Compilers, Incorporated, 1918], p. 146.) In Peru, he worked for the New York-born lumberman/real estate speculator/railroad builder Henry Meiggs (1811-1877), who developed extensive holdings during the 1854-1877 period.

Assistant Engineer, Northern Pacific Railway, Idaho and Washington, -1886. In his obituary in the the Engineering Record, the journal said of his time with the Northern Pacific: "After two years in South America he returned to the United States to become assistant engineer of the Northern Pacific R.R. In locating this line across the Cascade Mountains in Washington he discovered and named Stampede Pass, through which the line is built. He remained with the Northern Pacific to supervise the construction of the road through Idaho and Washington until 1886, when he was appointed chief engineer of the Union Pacific R.R." (See "Virgil Gay Bogue," Engineering Record, vol. 76, no. 16, 10/19/1916, p. 768.) Bogue wrote an account of the Northern Pacific's construction of tracks through the Cascade Range. (See Virgil G. Bogue, "Stampede Pass, Cascade Range, Washington," Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, vol. XXVII, no. 3, 1895, pp. 239-255

Chief Engineer, Union Pacific Railroad, Omaha, NB, 1886-1891.

Principal, Virgil G. Bogue, Consulting Engineer, New York, NY, 1891- .

Vice-President and Chief Engineer, Western Pacific Railroad, San Francisco, CA, 1905-1909. The Cyclopedia of National Biographysummarized his many worldwide consultantships: "During these later years he led a very busy life, for by this time he had acquired an international reputation as one of the foremost civil engineers of the world. Among some of the big construction undertakings of which he was consulted were the railroad across South Island, in New Zealand, and the terminal of the Western Maryland Railroad, in Baltimore, the latter being built according to his plans and under his supervision. He has done considerable consulting work on the Canadian Pacific and the Grand Trunk Pacific, on the latter building the terminal at Prince Rupert, British Columbia, also for the Tehuantepec Railroad, Mexico. He was a member of the commission of experts appointed by President Harrison to survey the Columbia River and to devise means for deepening it for navigation." (See "Bogue, Virgil Gay," Cyclopedia of American Biography, James Grant Wilson, John Fiske, and James E. Homans, eds., vol. VIII, [New York: Press Association Compilers, Incorporated, 1918], p. 147.)

Adviser, City of Seattle, Municipal Plans Commission, 1910-1911. In regard to his efforts at revising Seattle's municipal plan, the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects honored him on 04/03/1911: "The Washington State Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, at its meeting in Seattle April 3, elected as an honorary member of the chapter, Virgil G. Bogue, C.E., of New York. Mr. Bogue has been adviser to the Municipal Plans Commission, which has under consideration an elaborate scheme for the development of Seattle, and the action of the architects is in recognition of what he has done in connection with that work." (See "General News Section," Railway Age Gazette, vol 50, no. 15, 04/14/1911, p. 910.

Professional Activities

Member, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1869-1916. Bogue was a member of the Finance Committee, American Society of Civil Engineers, c. 1915-1916. (See Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers, vol. XLII, no. 8, 10/1916, p. 644.)

Member, Western Society of Engineers, Chicago, IL.

Member, American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association, c. 1908. Bogue was a member of the Committee #XVI, Economics of Railway Location in 1908. (See "Organization of Committees," Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Convention of the American Railway Engineering and maintenance of Way Association, Chicago, IL, March 18-20, 1908, vol. 9, p. 836.)

Member, Engineers Club of New York, New York, NY.

Fellow, American Geographic Society, New York, NY.


High School/College

Bogue was educated in a local school in Norfolk, NY, and at two military academies, the Claverack School, Claverack, NY, and General Russell's School in New Haven, CT.

B.S., Civil Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, NY, 1868. At RPI, he was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity.

College Awards

Bogue graduated with honors in civil engineering from RPI.

Bogue was elected his class's Grand Marshal to serve as their RPI student body president in 1868.



Virgil G. Bogue was born in Norfolk, NY, in Saint Lawrence County, in 1846. He attended elementary and secondary schools in the Norfolk area, and in Claverack (Columbia County), NY, and New Haven, CT. His college years were spent at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY. Following graduation, he moved to Brooklyn, NY, where he worked as an assistant engineer in Prospect Park between 1868-1869.

From Brooklyn, Bogue chose the peripatetic life of a nineteenth-century railway engineer working in Peru and in various Western states of the US. He worked for several different railroads, Including the Northern Pacific, Union Pacific and Western Pacific lines. He created an engineering consultantship to New York, NY, from which he accepted civil engineering jobs around the country.

Bogue died at sea on the steamship, Esperanza, returning to his home in New Rochelle, NY, from work in Mexico at age 71.


His father was George Chase Bogue, his mother, Mary Perry Bogue.


Virgil G. Bogue married Sybil Estelle Russell of Canton, NY, in 1872.


Virgil and Sybil had four children, three of whom survived into adulthood, two boys--Samuel Russell, and Malcolm--and one girl, Virginia.

Biographical Notes

Member, the Union League Club, New York, NY.

Member, Pacific Union Club of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

The first steam tugboat constructed by the Craig Shipbuilding Company of Long Beach, CA, was christened the "Virgil I. Bogue," in 1909. (See Greg H. Williams, The United States Merchant Marine in World War I Ships, Crews Shipbuilders and Operators, [Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Incorporated, 2017], p. 235.)

Associated Locations

  • Norfolk, NY (Architect's Birth)
    Norfolk, NY

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PCAD id: 3849