ROBERT GILLHAM (1895-1899) #11 As part of #KCParks125, we are featuring all 104 Park Board Commissioners in order of their service.Robert Gillham (1855-1899) was a well-respected engineer who had designed and established a cable car system for Kansas City. In 1895, Kansas City had the third largest cable car system in the United States, behind San Francisco and Chicago.Robert Gillham was born in New York City. He studied engineering at the Classical and Mathematical Institute in New Jersey and graduated in 1874. He made a stop in Kansas City on his way to Colorado in 1878. He became interested in the crude but developing city with its almost impassable streets and set about designing a cable railway system to address the steep terrain of parts of the city. He raised money to build the Ninth Street incline connecting the Quality Hill area at the top of a bluff with the Union Depot train station and businesses in the West Bottoms. He also created the Eighth Street Tunnel that connected a cable line from the West Bottoms to the city at Delaware Street. He worked on building other street car lines in Kansas City. The first use of cable railways in the United States was in the late 1860s and Kansas City was only the third city in which it was tried.He worked with other cities and railway lines, eventually becoming Chief Engineer and General Manager of the Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Gulf Railroad and expanding its lines.Mr. Gillham married Amanda Marty in 1881 and they had three children.Mr. Gillham was a very hard-working individual. When he became ill in May 1899 it was thought by those who knew him that he had exhausted himself and pushed himself too much. He died on May 19th of pneumonia and effects of appendicitis at the age of 44. There was true sadness throughout the city for the man who had accomplished much at such a young age and had worked hard on Kansas City’s behalf. The Park Board named a developing major roadway for him, Robert Gillham Road. #TBT #throwbackthursday #KCParks #FromTheArchives | KC Parks Instagram Photos

ROBERT GILLHAM (1895-1899) #11 As part of #KCParks125, we are featuring all 104 Park Board Commissioners in order of their service.Robert Gillham (1855-1899) was a well-respected engineer who had designed and established a cable car system for Kansas City. In 1895, Kansas City had the third largest cable car system in the United States, behind San Francisco and Chicago.Robert Gillham was born in New York City. He studied engineering at the Classical and Mathematical Institute in New Jersey and graduated in 1874. He made a stop in Kansas City on his way to Colorado in 1878. He became interested in the crude but developing city with its almost impassable streets and set about designing a cable railway system to address the steep terrain of parts of the city. He raised money to build the Ninth Street incline connecting the Quality Hill area at the top of a bluff with the Union Depot train station and businesses in the West Bottoms. He also created the Eighth Street Tunnel that connected a cable line from the West Bottoms to the city at Delaware Street. He worked on building other street car lines in Kansas City. The first use of cable railways in the United States was in the late 1860s and Kansas City was only the third city in which it was tried.He worked with other cities and railway lines, eventually becoming Chief Engineer and General Manager of the Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Gulf Railroad and expanding its lines.Mr. Gillham married Amanda Marty in 1881 and they had three children.Mr. Gillham was a very hard-working individual. When he became ill in May 1899 it was thought by those who knew him that he had exhausted himself and pushed himself too much. He died on May 19th of pneumonia and effects of appendicitis at the age of 44. There was true sadness throughout the city for the man who had accomplished much at such a young age and had worked hard on Kansas City’s behalf. The Park Board named a developing major roadway for him, Robert Gillham Road. #TBT #throwbackthursday #KCParks #FromTheArchives

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