Scotland native lends name to Todd Park

Published 1:23 pm Saturday, May 19, 2012

Austin’s Todd Park was named after William Todd, a native of Scotland and Austin’s first full-time City Engineer. His work in the city is closely linked with the utilities including water and electricity. His personal story is outlined in the Oct. 13, 1931 ,Austin Daily Herald article published on the date of his death. Mr. Todd died about two weeks after the plane crash involving Arthur Wright. I was researching the crash when I found this article.

“William Todd, seventy-four years of age, half century resident of this city, connected with the water and light system for thirty-one years, and creator and superintendent of the most successful municipal plant in the Northwest, died at his home, 419 East Mill Street [Ed: now 1st St NE], this morning at 1:40. Funeral services will be at the First Presbyterian Church at 2:30 Thursday afternoon followed by Masonic services at Oakwood cemetery.

Superintendent Todd was born near Glasgow, Scotland, September 1, 1857, and grew to be a young man of twenty-two before deciding to come to America. With his brother, John, he came to Cresco, Iowa, where the brothers resided for a year and coming to the little, but growing, village of Austin in 1880. Being a stationary engineer, Mr. Todd found work with the C. M. and St. P. railroad company. The next year he sent to Scotland for Miss Elizabeth Morrison to whom he was engaged before he left Scotland. They were married by Rev. C. E. Wright at the old Mansfield House, now called the Grand.

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They made their home in a house on Mill Street in the same block which Mr. Todd has lived ever since and where he died this morning.”

The headline of this article tells where the tale will go next: “William Todd, Father of Municipal Plant, Dies After Years of Service to Austin: Directed Destiny of Water, Light and Power System Here.”

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