The Mount Diablo Surveyors Historical Society





In Memorial


Leroy Martin, (73)

California Licensed Land Surveyor: L 2578

California Registered Engineer (Civil) C 7996,

Born; October 12, 1921 Died; November 9, 1994



Click for larger photo image


Leroy Martin was born to Julia Florence Chittendon-Martin of California and Benton Martin of Tennessee on October 12, 1921 and was a California native.


In 1942 Leroy enrolled as a junior at the College of Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley but left school to serve his country during World War II and served in the United States Navy from 1943-1946.


After his discharge from the Navy, Lee picked up his engineering studies again at Berkeley. He was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers University of California Student Chapter during his senior year. In that year, 1947, he graduated and received his degree in Civil Engineering.


Mr. Martin was licensed as a California Land Surveyor in 1949 and was registered as a California Civil Engineer the following year.


In 1957, he founded AAA Engineering Company in Hayward, CA, which he owned and operated until his retirement in 1989 after 44 years as a surveyor and engineer, selling his business’s “good will” but retaining his records, maps and equipment.


Leroy was proud of his duel licensure, first as a Land Surveyor and second as a Civil Engineer. So much so that even though not required under state law, Leroy had property boundary marker tags made with both his Land Surveyors (LS 2578) and his Civil Engineer’s (RCE 7996) license numbers on them like this redwood hub & tag found in 2008 at the south corner of this 1966  AAA Engineering Co. survey on Mission Boulevard in Hayward, CA (shown at end of arrow).


In 1980 Leroy and his firm was one of twenty-nine San Francisco, CA East Bay area surveying firms that contributed money and/or personnel in support of a cooperative program with the National Geodetic Survey (N.G.S.) and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping, Northern California Section (A.C.S.M.-N.C.S.) to establish a five monumented baselines in central California suitable for checking and calibrating electronic distance measuring instruments. (E.D.M.’s) as well as surveyors measuring tapes.


Leroy’s firm specifically supported the baseline known as the “Concord CBL”, adjusted distances were published by N.G.S. on January 22, 1981, re-measured and adjusted results published on February 12, 1990. The latest re-measurements were made in 2010. These latest adjusted results were published by N.G.S. on December 22, 2010, and can be found at


The 30-year continues use of this calibrated baseline attest to the forward thinking of Leroy and other like-minded land surveyors of his time.


The history of the establishment of this and 4 other baselines can be found by downloading the Northern California Section of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping publication EDM CALIBRATION BASE LINES here: ACSM_BASE_LINE_1980.PDF (5MB)


Lee was a true professional, expended considerable effort and energy towards the improvement of the land surveying and engineering professions in California.


Leroy was a member of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) and was listed as retired in its 1991 membership directory as an Associate (NSPS) member with Land/Boundary Surveying, Land Information Systems and Municipal Planning/Surveying specialty areas of expertise He was also listed in the 1987/188 membership directory with additional specialty areas for Engineering/Construction Surveying and Subdivision Design.


Leroy was an early supporter and charter member of the California Land Surveyors Association (CLSA), which was established in 1966. On October 25, 1986 at the CLSA Board of Directors meeting held at the Grosvenor Airport Inn, South San Francisco, CA; a motion was introduced by Harold Davis, seconded by Gene Rutledge and passed on a voice vote to grant Leroy a Life Membership in the Association to recognize of his contributions to the land surveying profession. With the passing of the motion Resolution 86-14 was adopted.


Leroy was a long time member of the East Bay Chapter of CLSA and in 1978 served on the chapter’s Map Review Committee, later becoming today’s Joint Professional Practice Committee, a land surveyors peer review organization.


In 1988, Leroy lent his support to the Land Surveying Profession by serving on independent review committees for selecting qualified land surveying firms for public projects such as Alameda County’s Survey Monument Preservation Fund – Category A Major Project #2; The retracement of a portion of the easterly boundary of the city of Fremont, and Major Project # 3; The retracement of a portion of the eastern boundary of the Rancho San Lorenzo (Castro).


Leroy was a big believer of promoting the Land Surveying profession, and especially it’s history. Leroy often ventured out into the public to do just that. In 1988 he accompanied Surveyors Historical Society president Myron Lewis to be interviewed by a feature reporter for the Oakland Tribune newspaper, he even got his photograph in the paper for his efforts! Newspaper photo


Leroy was member number 39 of the Surveyors Historical Society, a California nonprofit public benefit corporation formed during the 1977 ACSM conference in California, later incorporated on March 26, 1981.


In 1990 Leroy Martin became charter member number one of the Mount Diablo Surveyors Historical Society (MDSHS) and remained a member until the time of his death.


Upon his death, Leroy donated his surveying and engineering records and maps he retained from his business after he retired to MDSHS, which included the records of John A. Mancini, R.C.E. 1592; Thomas B. Russell, C.E. and Robert H. Goodwin, R.C.E. 473.


Leroy also donated his surveying and engineering equipment to MDSHS including a K&E Alidade & Plane Table, HP 3800A EDMI, K&E 42nd Edition (©1955) Part 2, Surveying and Optical Tooling, Equipment and Materials, Measuring Tapes Catalog and his Old West Wire barb-wire display among other items.


Leroy was a 38-year resident of Alameda County and was a resident of Fremont, CA at the time of his death. Leroy died at Washington Hospital, Fremont California of carcinoma of the prostate. His remains are buried at Oak Grove Cemetery, Glenville (Kern County), California. Leroy was survived by his wife, Evelyn Elizabeth Smith-Martin.



Portions of this memorial were originally published in the winter 1995 edition of The California Surveyor. No. 107. All rights reserved, The California Land Surveyors Association. Portions written by Michael J. Foley, PLS. © 2012, The Mount Diablo Surveyors Historical Society.


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Website designed by and maintained by Michael J. Foley, PLS.
Page last edited; March 5, 2013
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