THE LATE PETER MILNE.
On the afternoon of Monday last, June 9, Peter Milne, consulting engineer and secretary of the American Water Works association, died at his home, 32 St. James place, Brooklyn, New York, in the sixty-fifth year of his age, after an illnes of a fortnight.
Readers of FIRE AND WATER who were acquainted with Mr. Milne will be deeply shocked at the above announcement of his death. He was a man widely known in engineering circles, and not least among waterworks men, so many of whom were indebted to his long experience and wise counsel, when they needed advice or hints as to the management of their systems or the laying out and inauguration of a plant. None knew better than he the practical part of such work, and none was more ready to impart his knowledge freely and willingly to such as asked for the solution of some difficulty or the best means of achieving the end they had in view.
By the American Water Works association, which he had served so long, so faithfully, and so lovingly as member, president, and secretary, his loss will be felt most poignantly. His was the master mind that kept the conventions going, that grappled with, and overcame whatever obstacles came in the way of obstructing the work or progress of the organisation; his, the guiding hand that did so much to bring the association to the front and keep it there—for Peter Milne was nothing, if not progressive and aggressive. His Scottish ancestry was evidenced throughout ; he placed before his eyes a certain end, and with proverbial Caledonian grit and perseverance he never ceased working till he reached the goal purposed.
One of the earliest members of the American Water Works association, his abilities were so quickly recognised that in 1885 he filled the presidential chair at the fifth convention of the organisation held at Boston in that year, and in May, 1892, at the 12th convention, held in the city of New York, he served as its secretary—an office which he filled till his death, dying in harness on the very eve of the twenty-second convention of that body, which owed so much to his fostering care for, and faithful and continuous watchfulness over its interests. Besides the members of the American Water Works association, there are those outside its ranks who will sorely miss Mr. Milne. Among these are the readers of FIRE AND WATER, whose columns he so often enriched with the products of his brain, and of which, in years past, he was a valued associate editor. Mr. Milne wielded a facile and a trenchant pen, and was ever ready to afford to those less gifted and less well informed than himself the fruits of that knowledge which he had stored up during long years of study and experience—valuable at all times, and rendered doubly valuable bv the clearness and conciseness with which he put his ideas on paper.
By his many friends (and their name is legion) Mr. Milne’s death will he sincerely mourned. He was in all respects a wholesotiled man, true all round in thought, word, and deed. His abilities were of the highest order, and his great conversational powers were seasoned with bright, pungent and epigrammatic sayings, mingled with that dry Scottish wit, which rendered him a most agreeable companion and the centre of attraction in whatever circle he moved. His was a most kindly disposition, and of him it may be truly said that he made no enemies and never lost a friend.
As a municipal official, his hearing was ever courteous and attentive to all comers, and his whole course in office was marked by intelligence, strenuousness, and strict attention to duty. Socially, he was extremely popular and as a member of the Bedford Heights Baptist Church, Brooklyn, was highly esteemed as a sincere and active worker for the advancement of the cause.
Mr. Milne, who was a native of New York city, was for many years in partnership with his father, Peter Milne, sr., as a plumber—a calling which the latter was one of the earliest to follow in Brooklyn. The deceased made his home in that city long before consolidation, and up to the day of his death had lived there for more than forty years. During that time he had served as water purveyor to the city under Mayors Low, Schieren, and Wurster. He served for two years under Mayor Low and was reappointed to the same position for Mayor Low’s second term. He likewise filled that office under Mayors Schieren and Wurster, and was chief engineer of the department of city works under Commissioner Theodore B. Willis, when the city became a part of Greater New York.
In each capacity as well as in his vocation as a consulting engineer in the construction of waterworks, Mr. Milne was universally recognised as an expert in the highest branches of his profession, and today Atlanta, Ga., among other cities, is reaping the benefits of his judicious and practical recommendations for the improvement of its waterworks
After consolidation Mr. Milne practised as a civil engineer, in which calling his knowledge of waterworks plants and his good judgment in estimating their value enabled him not only to succeed in obtaining for his clients the amounts they claimed, hut also to serve as an arbitrator in the disputed cases in which he was professionally consulted. He served in that capacity in many waterworks cases, including those of Kansas City, Mo., Syracuse, and Long Island City, N. Y., Covington, Ky., Manistee, Mich., and others. This excellent judgment in all things was conspicuously shown while acting as secretary and treasurer of the American Water Works association for the last eleven years, during which time he widely increased his already large circle of friends.
Mr. Milne was a Republican in politics, and an active member of the Union League club, in whose ranks he will he sadly missed, He was also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
He leaves a widow, three daughters, and a son, to whom FIRE AND WATER tenders the expressions of its deepest sympathy in their heavy bereavement.
The funeral services, which were largely attended, were held at his home on Wednesday evening, and among the floral tokens of respect and affection not the least conspicuous was a very handsome one from the American Water Works association, with another from the employes of the Brooklyn department of water. The interment was in Greenwood cemetery, Brooklyn.