Biography of Morris W. Mead
Allegheny County, PA Biographies

MORRIS W. MEAD, superintendent of the bureau of electricity, Pittsburg, was born at Underhill, Vt. (now New Burlington), Oct. 28, 1854. He is a son of the late Daniel C. and Naomie E. (Terrel) Mead, and a grandson of Josiah Mead, a farmer of Underhill and a member of one of the old Vermont families. Daniel C. Mead, born in Underhill in 1828, was a prominent man in his day, and was an early oil prospector and promoter of manufacturing enterprises. He died in 1874, and his wife in 1875. Morris W. Mead, whose name heads this article, received his education in the public schools of the fourteenth ward, Pittsburg, and at the Pittsburg high school, graduating from the high school in 1873. He also attended the University of Underhill. He read law two years with J. H. Baldwin, then, after his father's death, spent two years in the oil business, and returning to Pittsburg in 1877, became head salesman in the establishment of J. R. & A. Murdoch. Shortly after this Mr. Mead entered the city fire alarm office as operator, was made chief operator a year later, and two years after that was appointed superintendent of the Fire Alarm telegraph While holding this last position he was also made secretary of the fire commission, and for two years held both offices. It was Mr. Mead who introduced the police telephone system of the department of public safety. When the new city charter went into effect in 1887, Mr. Mead became head of the newly established bureau of electricity, a bureau which has charge of all the electrical interests of Pittsburg, including the control of electric railroads, safety arrangements for electrical propulsion, inspections of all electric power and light wires, and so forth. In performing the duties of his office, Mr. Mead has shown such rare judgment and unusual ability that he has won the confidence of the public. Under his supervision there has been installed in Pittsburg as fine a system of police and fire alarm and electrical inspection as can be found in the United States. He is also the inventor of a scheme for protecting underground wires by means of a rubber covering. Mr. Mead married Johanna E. Ecker, sister of H. P. Ecker, city organist of Allegheny, and lives with his wife in Oakland, East End. They are members of the Bellefield Presbyterian church. Mr. Mead is an enthusiastic member of the Masonic fraternity, in which he has attained the thirty second degree, and is a Shriner, a member of the I. O. O. P., Knights of Pythias, B. P. O. Elks, Jr. O. U. A. M. and a past master of the A. O. U. W. He was, in 1900, chairman of the board of directors of the International association of municipal electricians, was president of the association in 1901 and is still a member of the board of directors of the organization. He is also an honorary member of the National electric light association, and of the electrical committee of the International association of chief engineers of fire departments. In 1893 he was one of the three assistants to the manager of the electrical department of the World's Fair at Chicago.


From:
Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
personal and genealogical with portraits.
Publishers: Northwestern Historical Association
Madison, Wis. 1904.


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