H. K. Vedder House, 447 Charles St. (c. 1920)
H. K. Vedder House, November 2003. Photo Credit: Kevin S. Forsyth.
Herman Klock Vedder (1866–1937) graduated from Cornell University and worked as a civil engineer, focussing mainly on bridges and hydraulics, before becoming Professor of Civil Engineering at M.A.C. in 1891, which at the time was a seat within the Department of Mathematics and Civil Engineering. During his tenure Vedder tirelessly sought to expand the program and was instrumental in separating civil engineering from mathematics with the creation of the Department of Civil Engineering in 1909, which he then headed until his retirement circa 1925.[Beal, p. 433. Kuhn, p. 151.]
“During his service at M.A.C. he constructed a sewer system, directed numerous surveys, constructed bridges, designed systems of plumbing; for outside parties inspecting and building bridges, plotted city subdivisions [including the Oakwood plat], investigated the water power of streams; engineering for electric and steam railroads; planned railroad for Lansing manufactures; state examiner of plots 1907 to 1910.”[Beal, p. 433. Towar, p. 44]
H. K. Vedder and his wife, née Kate Humphrey Dodd (1866–1923), raised two daughters. At one time he also served as president of the East Lansing school board.[Beal, p. 433.]