Research@Mines Archive:
October, 2020

High Impact Hardrockers: Valentine McGillycuddy

Valentine T. McGillycuddy

This mini-biography of Dr. Valentine T. McGillycuddy, first to hold the title of President of the South Dakota Mines, was authored by Mines alumnus Dr. Donn Lobdell, (ME 58).  It’s part of our High Impact Hardrockers series looking at Mines alumni who have had an impact on history.

Valentine T. McGillycuddy was born on February 14th, 1849, in Racine, Wisconsin, to an Irish immigrant couple who met on the ship, bringing them to the USA. In the tradition of the Irish and the times, he was christened for the Patron Saint of his birthdate. We know little of his early life other than he had education well beyond the average of the time. He was to go on to become one of those larger-than-life characters who seem to have been more places, known more people, and done more things than most.

He attended university and qualified as a physician at the age of 20. He worked for several years as an attending physician at a municipal hospital in Detroit. His health suffered, and doctors recommended that he find outdoor work to recover it.

He had taken some engineering courses during his university training.  He joined the Great Lakes District engineering staff just in time to work on the rebuilding of Chicago following the great fire. His work being of high order, he was given the opportunity to join the Northern Boundary Survey (NBS). This was probably because he represented a “double-dip....

Last Edited 9/12/2023 05:57:52 PM [Comments (0)]

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