Print | Back to e-WV The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Frank Duff McEnteer

Engineer Frank Duff McEnteer (May 23, 1882-September 4, 1957) was born in Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard engineering school in 1905 and moved to Clarksburg in 1911 to supervise the construction of the Palace Furniture Company building. The concrete-frame building, still in use, is one of the earliest reinforced concrete buildings in West Virginia. It launched McEnteer upon a career in building reinforced concrete structures, then essentially a new engineering material and form.

In 1914, McEnteer was appointed to superintend the multi-span concrete arch bridge on Fourth Street in Clarksburg. In the same year, with P. M. Harrison, he incorporated the Concrete Steel Bridge Company. The company showed steady growth and by 1924 had 52 separate construction teams in the field. Branch offices were established in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Huntington, and Knoxville, with a subsidiary company in Florida.

Although the intention of the firm was to build short to medium span bridges, in its later years several large bridges were built, including the Alderson bridge across the Greenbrier River in 1915. On the eve of the Great Depression, in 1928–29, the company encountered unexpected difficulties with a Pennsylvania bridge project. The company was forced into bankruptcy and was liquidated in 1931.

Following the demise of the company, McEnteer joined the State Road Commission until World War II. He arrived in the Middle East in 1942 and in 1943 was made chief engineer of the construction division of the U.S. armed forces in the entire region.

Upon his return to Clarksburg following the war, he opened a consulting firm which he headed until his death. Frank Duff McEnteer’s handiwork is evident throughout West Virginia and surrounding states, with many of his bridges still in service.

Written by Emory L. Kemp


  1. Kemp, Janet K. & Emory L. Kemp. "Frank Duff McEnteer," in American Public Works Association, Reporter. : (Feb. 1984).