Mr William Hull Botsford
Mr William Hull Botsford was born in Binghampton
Botsford grew up in Millport NY. A picture from 1897 shows young William Hull standing on the porch of his childhood home.
As a boy he was educated at Horseheads High School one of only two boys in a class of eight
After leaving school at the age of sixteen Botsford worked for two years in the architectural office of Pierce and Bickford in Elmira
After his work experience Botsford went to study at Cornell University College of Architecture. He demonstated great drawing ability, indeed one of his works was hung in the library there. His skills also led to a commission for the cover of The Cornellian, the University yearbook in 1910. While at college William developed an interest in wrestling. A lightweight, he gained national and state honours in YMCA tournaments after leaving college. He was also a keen singer.
After graduating Botsford become chief designer for the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. He designed many stations in the New York and New Jersey area including those at Elmira, Bath, New Village, Hopatcong, Basking Ridge, Watessing, Bloomfield, Syracuse, Utica, Hoboken and Ithaca. The last station Botsford would design was at Montclair. After his death a memorial stone and window was erected there.
During his time with the DL&W Botsford lived in Orange, New Jersey. He taught night classes sponsored by the YMCA and occasionally contributed to architectural magazines.
Botsford's last and most substantial work was the Tunkhannock Viaduct (aka Nicholson Bridge) near Nicholson, PA. Half a mile long and 100 feet higher than the Brooklyn Bridge the viaduct was designed to carry the Lackawanna railroad. The design was only accepted by the railroad board just as Botsford was leaving for home. His ship was the Titanic.
William had taken leave to travel in Egypt, and Turkey and throughout Europe to study architectural design and techniques. For the return journey he boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second class passenger. He held ticket number 237670, price: £13.
According to his sister Talitha
Mr Botsford died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, never was identified
A memorial service was held at the Orange, NJ YMCA. A. G. Hallock a friend from Cornell made the following address:
1. Eva Taylor (Undated) William Hull Botsford - Ill Fated Genius. Chemung Historical Journal. pp. 1728-1730
References and Sources
Passport Application (January 1912)
Philip Hind (Editor)
Talitha Botsford, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
John Pulos, USA
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Related Articles and Documents
Titanic Passenger and Crew Summary
Name: Mr William Hull Botsford
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