Paul D. Kauffman
of Reading, Pennsylvania
Paul D. Kauffman may have launched his contracting career with the bridge at Farmersville Road. He is listed in city directories as "student" from 1905 until 1909, when his occupation changes to "civil engineer."25 None of the five Berks County colleges currently offers a civil engineering degree, but Kauffman may have been studying via a correspondence course. He did not advertise in the directory, so it seems likely that he was working for someone else, perhaps an engineering or contracting firm. He began bidding on concrete bridges under his own name in Lancaster County in 1917, Big Conestoga No. 12 being his first. While constructing two similar three-span cantilever bridges, one just over a mile downstream on the Conestoga and another over Cocalico Creek, he ceased bidding for several months.
Kauffman's last recorded bid in Lancaster County was the high bid on Pequea Creek Bridge No. 14, in April 1918. Either his pricing was no longer competitive or business elsewhere distracted him. Historic Highway Bridges ofPennsylvania credits "Paul Kaufman" (one "f') with the design of the Second Street Bridge, an 84'-long Marsh-type concrete arch in Chester.27 Assuming this is a misspelling, Kauffman was building bridges as far east as Delaware County. In 1919, his occupation changed again to "contractor"; he is listed as such in city directories for two years thereafter.28 Kauffman then disappeared from Reading until 1927, and returned as president of Reiffton Development Corporation. Advertised as "The Smokeless Suburb," Reiffton was an early subdivision east of Reading on U.S. Route 422. Kauffman and the Reiffton Development Corporation disappeared from city directories after 1929, evidently ruined by the stock market crash.
- Historic American Engineering Record http://lcweb2.loc.gov/master/pnp/habshaer/pa/pa3600/pa3671/d...
Second Street Bridge
(Delaware County, Pennsylvania)Architect, 1919Lost Bowstring arch bridge over Chester Creek on East Second StreetReplaced by a new bridge
West Farmersville Road Bridge
(Lancaster County, Pennsylvania)builder, 1917Concrete curved chord through girder bridge over Conestoga River on West Farmersville Road (PA-1010)Demo started Feb, 2019. Replacement underconstruction.