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Wesley Winans Horner Papers

Identifier: WUA-04-wua00337

The Wesley Winans Horner Papers consists of material related to Horner’s consulting work on sewer design projects including Belleville Aviation Field [Scott Air Force Base] in Shiloh, Illinois; Trinity River Flooding in Dallas, Texas; River Des Peres Drainage Project in St. Louis, Missouri; and additional sewer projects in Louisville, Kentucky and St. Louis, Missouri. In addition, the collection includes Horner’s thesis, The Gingrass Valley Sewer System, as well as other publications by Horner.


  • 1908-1944


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


3 linear feet

3 boxes

Biographical Information

Wesley Winans Horner was an expert in sewer design. Born in September 22, 1883 in Columbia, Missouri, Horner studied at Washington University in St. Louis and graduated with a BSE degree in 1905 and a Civil Engineering degree in 1909. He joined the City of St. Louis as an assistant engineer, becoming chief engineer in 1919, where he stayed until 1932. He then became a consultant and senior partner in Horner and Shifrin until he retired. From 1934-1942, he was also lecturer and later professor of sanitary and hydraulic engineering at Washington University, and water consultant and member of the national water commission within the National Resources Planning Board.

Horner was a member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Public Works Association, serving as president in 1923. He was also active in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), serving as director in 1933 and President in 1946. He received the 1937 Rudolph Hering Medal and the 1955 Gold Achievement Award of the Engineers Club of St. Louis.

During his civil engineer work with the city of St. Louis, Horner was involved in the design and supervision of an extensive program of street widenings, traffic aids, and sewer work. He played a major role in planning a comprehensive sewer system and in designing the East Side Levee and Sanitary District. He was also involved in the extensive design of the River Des Peres Drainage Project, constructed in nine phases between 1924 and 1933. His specialties include sanitary and municipal engineering, and water supply. Earlier in his career he developed the rational method for sewer design. He also worked in culvert hydraulics, an important hydraulic structure in flood defense that often fails under high discharges. In 1953, former president Hoover named him to a 26-man task force to study federal activities in the field of water resources and power development. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of engineering by Washington University in St. Louis in 1952.

He died on September 22, 1958 in St. Louis, Missouri.

~Hydraulicians in the USA 1800-2000 by Willi H. Hager

Method of Acquisition

Accession number WUA2014-071. Gift of David A. Horner, Sr., August 28, 2014

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Schnuriger and Caroline Riffle in August and October 2019.

Wesley Winans Horner Papers
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 March 5: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the University Archives Collecting Area

Sonya Rooney
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495