Haldimand S. Putnam

Captain James Hervey Simpson and Highway 50

Captain James Hervey Simpson of the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers laid out the Great Basin portion of modern U.S. 50 as part of a wagon road. Simpson, a West Point graduate (1832), became the Army's chief topographical engineer in Utah in 1858. He came to the assignment with experience in surveying and constructing roads in the West. Simpson was certain that a shorter route through the Great Basin to California was possible.

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