A member of the firm of Teilman & Jensen, Chris P. Jensen is justly accorded a high place among the civil engineers of this section, and is named among the representative citizens of Fresno. He is a native son of the state, his birth having occurred in the vicinity of Antioch, November 9, 1873. His father, Martin Jensen, came from Slesvig, Germany, to America, locating first in Ohio, where he engaged as a mechanical engineer. He held a position of stationary engineer until 1870, when he came to California and found employment in the coal mines near Antioch, Contra Costa county.
He remained in that location until 1875, when he removed to Fresno and purchased twenty acres in Central Colony and engaged in the cultivation of a vineyard and orchard. Since his location here he has bought and sold many pieces of valuable property, purchasing thirty-one acres of the old Frolich place and laying it off in lots, which he sold to good profit. He now resides in Fresno with his wife, formerly Adelheid Jorgenscn, a native of Slesvig. They became the parents of two children, Chris P., of this review, and Andrew.
Chris P. Jensen was reared in Fresno county, where he attended the district school, after which he graduated from the Oakland high school in 1891. He then entered Van der Naillen's School of Engineering, of San Francisco, graduating therefrom in 1.893, with the degree of C. E. His first work was in San Francisco, where he was employed by the Sanborn Map Company, remaining in that city until 1895, when he came to Fresno and became associated with I. Teilman, the firm name being Teilman & Jensen, surveying and civil engineering occupying their time and attention. They have been associated in the surveying and construction of many important enterprises, among them the Madera Flume, the logging railroad for the Madera Sugar Pine Company; the Fresno Canal and Irrigation Company; the Consolidated Canal and Irrigation Company; the Alta Irrigation District; the '76 Land and Water Company ; the Balfour Guthrie Company, from Napa to Porterville, and many others. They are very successful in their work and have done not a little toward the development and upbuilding of this section of the state.
From 1901 to 1904, Jensen worked for the Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company, building small gauge railways and flumes to transport lumber from the east county forests to the saw mill in Madera. This work would lead to his next position as Chief Engineer for the Fresno Traction Company (electric street cars) from 1904 to 1908. In 1908, Jensen went to work as an engineer with the City of Fresno, also providing consulting services for various valley towns. In 1919, Jensen was elected to the position of Fresno County Surveyor and Engineer, a position he would win in the next four elections.
He was a formidable figure in the early days of motorized transportation in Fresno County. As county surveyor and chief road builder, Jensen led a long court fight against the patented paving interests, scoring a win for Fresno County and eliminating the paying of high royalties for highway pavement. He developed the Jensenite paving process, which was widely used and eliminated the payment of
royalties to private paving concerns, saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in various sections of Fresno County roads.
Jensen directed the reconstruction of Tollhouse grade, the General Grant highway, and supervised the reconstruction of many bridges which had been previously built to support only the weight of horse and wagon. He reinstituted the roadway construction bidding process, which helped eliminate "sweetheart deals" in the county.
Christopher Jensen was a member of Las Palmas Masonic Lodge No. 366 and served as its Master in 1933.
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