John S. Seybold


John S. Seybold was born in Topeka, Kansas, on July 2, 1897, the son of John Henry and Emma States Seybold. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1920 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps. He transferred to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on September 4, 1920, and graduated from the Engineering School U.S. Academy in 1921. He earned his B.S. in civil engineering at the Renssealer Polytechnic Institute in 1922. In 1922 he married Mary C. Christman.

He was assigned to military survey of Panama from 1922 to 1925. Thereafter in 1928 was Assistant Professor of Military Science and Tactics, Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas until 1933. At that time he became Chief, USACE, Engineer Division, Vicksburg Engineer District. During the World War II John Seybold was appointed Chief, Procurement Division, Office of the Chief of Engineers in charge of procurement of engineer and construction supplies in all theaters of operation from 1938 to 1943. Served as Executive Officer and Chief of Supply for engineer operations in North African and European theaters of operations from 1943 to 1945.

Seybold was designated District Engineer, USACE, Syracuse Engineer District, New York, in charge of flood control work in the upper Susquehanna and Central New York from 1945 to 1946. Then he was designated as District Engineer, USACE, Baltimore Engineer District, Maryland, in charge of river and harbor improvements in the Chesapeake Bay, including Baltimore harbor, and flood control works in the Susquehanna watershed from 1946 to 1947.

Seybold became District Engineer at Garrison Engineer District, Bismark, North Dakota, in charge of construction of Garrison Dam and Hydroelectric Plant, largest earth filled dam in the world from 1947 to 1950. He was appointed Division Engineer, South Pacific Engineer Division, San Francisco California, in charge of river-harbor improvements at San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Hawaii, and Supervisor of flood control work in the states of California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona, together with military construction of Army and Air Force bases in those states from 1950 to 1951.

Seybold returned to the USACE Office of the Chief of Engineer, Washington D.C. in 1951 and 1952 as Assistant Chief of Engineers for Personnel. He was appointed Governor of the Canal Zone on May 27, 1952, and worked in that position until 1956. As governor, Seybold completed a program to stabilize the slope of Contractors Hill in Gaillard Cut, thus reducing the danger of slides in the Canal; a plan to make possible double-culvert operation of the canal locks during major locks overhaul; the conversion of the Canal electric system from 25 to 60 cycles. Seybold retired as Major General in 1955. He died on February 28, 1984.