Photograph of William Herbert Bixby.
William Herbert Bixby was a native of Massachusetts, born in 1849. He was the first District Engineer in Wilmington, NC, a post he held from 1884-1891. As District Engineer, Bixby supervised all river and harbor improvements and fortifications in the District, which included Fort Macon, the Cape Fear river above and below Wilmington, as well as the harbors of Beaufort and Georgetown in SC, the Neuse, Trent, and New rivers in NC, and the Santee, Wateree, Great Pee Dee and Waccamaw rivers in SC.
While in Wilmington he became a great supporter of the library. When the Wilmington Library Association could not raise enough money to run the library, Captain Bixby volunteered to manage the library, and he donated over $1,000 dollars to update the collection and hire a professional librarian. He also installed electric lights and extended library hours.
Captain Bixby died in 1928 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Bixby, William Herbert, 1849-1928; New Hanover County Public Library (Wilmington, N.C.); United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Wilmington District
Tetterton, Beverly. A Century of Stories, 1906-2006. Wilmington: New Hanover County Public Library, 2006.
Permission for use granted by the United States Army Corps of Engineers