Adolphus Gustavus Trost
1876 – 1957
Birthplace – Toledo, Ohio
I was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1876. My father worked as a carpenter and my mother ran the local grocery store along with taking care of eight kids. My brother Gustavus and I were identical twins and people would often confuse us. I attended school and graduated in 1894 from the Manual Training School a branch of the Toledo Public Schools. I later graduated from Toledo University. My first job after high school was with Lloyd Brother Monument Company, who crafted mausoleum and monuments for the Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo. I was employed as a bookkeeper for the company for around a year. In 1899, I joined the architectural firm of C.A. Longdon, as a draftsman. The firm is credited for designing the Plymouth Church (1894) and the First United Church of Christ (1915). Both later nominated for the National Register of Historical Places. In 1903, I was hired as a supervisor at Donovan Wire and Iron Company in Toledo. That same year my sister Matilda, my father and I moved out of our family home on Bush street and into a house on Bancroft Street. My father Ernst passed away in 1908. The following year my sister Matilda and I decided to move to El Paso to be with the rest of the family.
Soon after getting my sister and myself settled at the family home, I joined my brothers at the architectural firm of Trost & Trost. The firm was already established as a first-rate architectural firm. I held the position of structural engineer within the firm. I had no official degree in the field except for my extensive knowledge in the field of mathematics. In the early 1900s, the use of reinforced concrete design was just emerging within the architectural community. As the structural engineer my job was to calculate the stability and strength of these multi-story structures built by the firm. From 1909 to 1910, the firm designed three concrete buildings. The first multi-story reinforced concrete building in the downtown area was the five story Richard Caples building. The seven-story Rio Grande Bank building then followed it and then the five story Robert Banner building. In 1910 the firm received its largest commission, the twelve-story Anson Mill building. When the building was completed in 1912, it stood as one of the largest all-concrete building in downtown El Paso.
I was nominated, as an Associated Member of the American Society of Civil in 1913, but I wasn’t officially a member until 1917. Then in 1947, I became a Life Member. In 1922, I registered as a professional engineer in the state of Arizona and then later became licensed professional engineer in 1939 within the state of Texas.
The White House Department Store is where I met my wife Carolyn Lea Hayes. On October 20, 1915, we were quietly married at the home of the bride’s cousins, mayor and Mrs. Tom Lea. My new wife and I moved into a home designed by my brother on Tularosa Street. We were never blessed with any children. I became a member of the Scottish Rite of the Freemasonry, along with my brother Gustavus. I liked to spend of my leisure time traveling with my wife and working on math/engineering problems. I also enjoyed helping my niece or nephew with their math homework.
I passed away on July 27, 1957 and was buried at Evergreen Alameda Cemetery in El Paso with the rest of the family. While serving as a structural engineer for firm from 1908 to 1948, my reputation in the field of structural engineering can be see in such buildings as the Hotel Paso Del Norte, Mill Building, El Paso High School and Bassett Tower, in addition to buildings in New Mexico and Arizona.
On October 20, 2006, Adolphus Trost was inducted into the Texas Structural Engineering Hall of Honor in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of Structural Engineering in the State of Texas.