LIONEL S. LEVERSEDGE, a well known civil engineer and contractor at Fort Worth, for over thirty years identified until this line of business in Texas, was born in Taunton, England, April 3, 1853. The family line goes back for generations in English history, and it is noteworthy that some of the ancient members were prominent participants in the early English revolutions, notably the Jack Cade rebellion, and many persons intertwined with the stirring events of early English history are reckoned among the ancestors of the present Leversedge family. One of Mr. Leversedge’s sister, while on a visit to Europe and England, spent considerable time and labor in unearthing the ancestral history of her family. Members of the ancestry were among those who founded the town of Taunton in the Massachusetts colony.
Mr. Leversedge’s parents were John and Elizabeth (Hunter) Leversedge. His father, who is now deceased, was a civil engineer of distinction in his profession and very successful. On coming to America he located an Danville, Virginia, and the Leversedge home was in that city for several years. He was assistant city engineer of Danville, and later, going into railroad engineering department, was connected with the engineering department of the Western North Carolina Railroad, now a part of the Southern Railway System. He was also at one time connected with the Central North Carolina Railroad. The mother was of Scotch parentage.
Educated at Fox College, Taunton, England, when sixteen years old Mr. Leversedge came to America to join his father, who had come over some time previous. It was under his father’s tutelage, that he received his technical education largely, fitting himself to follow a career of similar usefulness to his father’s. He came to Texas in 1874 with the expectation of going to work in the engineering department of the Texas and Pacific Railroad, but on account of the financial stringency, following the panic of 1873 the construction of the road was discontinued for some time, and Mr. Leversedge had to look for employment in other lines, temporarily. During this time he lived in Fort Worth, and in 1876 became attached to the county surveyor’s office under W. A. Darter, then county surveyor. On the expiration of Mr. Darter’s term Mr. Leversedge was elected county surveyor, in 1878. He resigned this office, however, in 1879, and took a position in the engineering department of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad, under Chief Engineer B. M. Temple, which position he held for five years. He then went into the engineering business as a contractor for and builder of bridges, railroads and municipal works. Since then his son, J. H. Leversedge, who is also a civil engineer, a representative of the third successive generation to follow the profession, has come into the business, the firm name by which they are known being the Leversedge Bridge Company, who have made a most enviable reputation as civil engineers and contractors, designers and builders of steel and concrete-steel bridges, wood and concrete piling, concrete foundations, granitoid pavements and curbing, etc.
Mr. Leversedge was married at Fort Worth, April 21, 1878, to Miss Bettie T. Newcomer. J. H. Leversedge, who is their only living child, was born in the old Mansion Hotel at Fort Worth.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 154-155.