Local Figures

Among the thousands of residents during Camillus' history, here are a few who have achieved acclaim, according to Wikipedia.

Erie Canal Historical Figures

Nathan Roberts


Teacher at 16 years old with outstanding math ability

Land speculator

Surveyed central canal route including Montezuma Swamp

Designed and built the original Flight of the Five Locks at Lockport

Engineered other state canals

Judge for Oneida County

John Jervis


Axman to cut trees from canal route

Promoted to the surveying team

In charge of building carious sections of the canal

Invented the best way to stop leaks

Designed new train locomotives

Chief engineer for railroads, canals, and water systems

Benjamin Wright


Lawyer and surveyor

Chief canal engineer

Became chief engineer for canal construction in other states

Worked to start a society for civil engineers

Honored as the "Father of American Civil Engineering"

State Legislator and judge

James Geddes



Developed the salt industry in Syracuse

Adopted into Onondaga Nation

Surveyor for Syracuse area and the canal route

Lawyer and Judge

Engineer for the canal

NY Legislator/ US Congressman

Canvass White


Measured levels of proposed canal route and made alterations to original route

Sent to England to learn about canals and tools

Got a patent for hydraulic cement that cures underwater to waterproof stone

Went on to engineer canals in other states