1881 – 1952
After an early career at contracting, survey work and construction (one of his earliest works being the design and construction of the Incline Railway up Mt. Manitou in Colorado) he entered the paving field as a maintenance engineer for the city of Los Angeles. During World War I, he served as Captain of the 23rd Engineers and his paving experience proved to be an invaluable aid.
Upon his return from France, McKesson took a post in the Bureau of Public Roads as Senior Highway Engineer in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. In 1922 he joined the California State Highway Department as Materials and Research Engineer. During this time he published and presented numerous technical articles before engineering societies. He later traveled the European continent making a survey of low cost road construction at which time he became interested in the then new “emulsified asphalt” made under the name “Bitumuls”.
In 1928, McKesson went with the American Bitumuls Company of San Francisco as Vice President in charge of engineering and Director of Research. He was an active member of this company and its successor, the American Bitumuls & Asphalt Company, until March 1946 when he retired as a Research Consultant.
Mr. McKesson held memberships in the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society for Testing and Materials, Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists, American Road Builders’ Association and the U.S. Military Engineers. He was a nationally recognized authority on bituminous paving and fifteenth President of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists.