About Benjamin Morgan Harrod
Benjamin Morgan Harrod (February 19, 1837 – September 8, 1912) was an American civil engineer who from 1895 to 1902 directed the construction of the water and sewerage systems in his native New Orleans, Louisiana.
The son of Charles Harrod and the former Mary Morgan, Harrod was educated in New Orleans by private tutors. He graduated with two degrees in 1856 and 1859 from Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1861, he enlisted in the Crescent Rifles during the American Civil War. As a first lieutenant, he was captured by the Union Army in 1863 during the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi. He was paroled and then joined the Second Regiment of Engineers in Petersburg, south of Richmond, Virginia. Harrod was part of the Confederate staff with General Robert E. Lee in the final surrender after the battle at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9, 1865.
After the war, Harrod from 1877 to 1880 was the chief engineer for the state of Louisiana. He was a member of the Louisiana River Commission from 1879 to 1904. As chief engineer of the city of New Orleans from 1888 to 1902, he directed the water/sewerage project. He was thereafter named by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt to the Panama Canal Commission but did not live to see the completion of the canal in 1914. Harrod shared Roosevelt's interest in conservation of natural resources through his work in the Audubon Society. Harrod was a member of the Society of Civil Engineers and the Louisiana Engineering Society.
He maintained a notable collection of art and was consulting engineer for the construction of the New Orleans Museum of Art, then known as the Delgado Art Museum. The first Mrs. Harrod was the former Harriet Uhlhorn; upon her death, he married Eugenia Uhlhorn, Harriet's sister. He had no children. Harrod was Episcopalian. He died in New Orleans and is interred there at Metairie Cemetery.