Captain John Jacob Gilbert died at his residence in the Iroquois Apartments, Washington, D.C., at 11 a.m. on October 7. Born on September 4, 1845, at Lewinsville, Fairfax County, Virginia, he attended school near there until 1860, when he entered Wilton Academy, leaving there in 1863 for Williams College, Massachusetts. Captain Gilbert was appointed in the Coast and Geodetic Survey on June 1, 1864, during the tenure of office of Professor A. D. Bache, having served under 10 heads of this bureau upon his retirement to inactive duty April 1, 1921. During his service of exactly 56 years and 10 months, he was active in surveys made in the Pacific Northwest and as Commander of the PATHFINDER on surveys in Alaska and in the Philippines. He served with distinction as chief of the division of hydrographic operations, including its vessels.
His genial disposition endeared him to all. The unparalleled record for continuous surveying operations in one locality was held by Captain Gilbert, who after about 22 years of work in the Georgia Strait, Washington, had won for himself the distinction of having made not only the pioneer, but the unchallenged, development of that region and of the waters south of it. His original records are as current now as then, except for water-front revisions resulting from the natural consequence of industrial growth. Although some of the modern-day methods and instruments were lacking, he was yet able to produce substantially as accurate and thorough results as are possible today.