FLGenWeb Digital Library and Archives
Miami-Dade Co. Biographies
Conklin, Samuel D.
Author: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1923, Vol. II pg.171
CONKLIN, JESSE I., of Miami, the fine capital city and metropolis of
Dade County, is an engineer and contractor who has been identified with large
and important construction contracts, including government works along the
Mississippi and other rivers, in Louisiana.
Mr. CONKLIN was born in the City of Syracuse, New York, in 1867, and
when he was four years of age his parents established their home near Jackson,
Michigan, where he was reared to adult age and was afforded the advantages of
the public schools. In 1896 he was graduated in the engineering department of
the great University of Michigan, with the degree of Civil Engineer. His
first professional work was in connection with the construction of the
government locks of the important ship canal at Sault Ste. Marie on the upper
peninsula of Michigan. He continued his services in this connection about
eight years. The experience which he there gained was fortified by further
practical engineering work along the same line, with the result that he is
widely known in engineering circles as an expert and authority in the
construction of canals and locks for navigation purposes. It was after
leaving Michigan that he was identified with government construction work in
Louisiana, as noted above, and this service covered a period of a few years.
At the solicitation of the engineering department of the State of Florida Mr.
CONKLIN came to this state in 1911, to supervise the construction of the locks
in the Fort Lauderdale canal and other canals in the southern part of the
state, from Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic coast. He has since found it
expedient and a matter of satisfaction to maintain his home in Florida, and
since 1913 he has resided and has had his professional and business
headquarters in the City of Miami. As a construction engineer and contractor
he has completed a number of the largest engineering and construction projects
at Miami, Miami Beach, and other points in southern Florida. Among the most
noteworthy of these have been the Miami Beach projects headed by CARL FISHER.
For the Fisher interests Mr. CONKLIN built all of the sea-wall at Miami Beach-
extending for a total of about eleven miles and involving a large amount of
bulkheading. He built also the Collins bridge across Biscayne Bay to Miami
Beach and likewise the foundation for the Flamingo Hotel at that fine resort.
For the Fisher and associated interests Mr. CONKLIN did all of the bulk
heading and foundation work in the developing of the islands in this bay.
Some of his more recent constructions have been the building of Islands No. 1
and No. 2, for the Biscayne Bay Improvement Company. In the past few years,
in fact, his specialty has been the building of sea walls and bulkhead works
on a large scale.
Mr. CONKLIN and his wife are prominent and influential members of the
First Methodist Episcopal Church (The White Temple) of Miami, he being
treasurer of its board of trustees and having previously served about ten
years as teacher of the Young Men’s Bible Class in its Sunday school. In
June, 1922, he was appointed a member of the board of education of the
Methodist Episcopal Church of the United States of America at a conclave held
in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Mr. CONKLIN married Miss LUCY ADELE MERRILL of Kalamazoo, Michigan,
and they have three children, MARIAN is a student in the School of Osteopathy
at Kirksville, Missouri; DORIS was graduated in Albion College, at Albion,
Michigan, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and is now at the parental
home; and FLORENCE is a student in the Miami high school.
Transcribed by Nancy Rayburn
©2010 Fran Smith
This page presented August 14, 2010