Robert Gillespie Reid ~ Bridge and Railway Builder

A Scottish financier and bridge builder who was born in c1840 in Coupar Angus, Robert Gillespie Reid trained as a bridge builder with his uncle and then set up his own business. After some travel, Australia (1865) he settled in Montreal in 1871. There he built the International Bridge across the Niagara River – the first of several Canadian bridge projects. In the United States, Robert Gillespie Reid was involved with the design and build of bridges across the Rio Grande, Colorado and Delaware River. In 1889, he began to build railway bridges and 1890 saw a series of railway constructions in Newfoundland. In Newfoundland he was granted by the local state a 50 year tax-free monopoly to operate the railways – this began in 1898 and laid the foundation of his sizeable fortune. In Newfoundland he was known by the name, Czar Reid. He died in 1908.