John William Kidd was born in Atkins, Arkansas, December 11, 1880.
He attended public schools in Arkansas and received a B.S. degree from Oklahoma A. and M. College, Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1904. In 1909, he received the E.E. degree from A. and M. College of Texas, College Station, Texas.
When the Texas School of Mines and Metallurgy opened for business in September 1914, "Cap" Kidd was one of the original three full-time members of the instructional staff, which also included the Dean of the School.
His various positions with the School and College were as follows:
In addition to his teaching and administrative duties, Dean Kidd was in charge of the Physical Plant of the College. Much of the present campus plan is a result of his foresight and engineering. He personally designed and superintended the building of the original Engineering Building, the addition to Seamon Hall, and the Geology Lecture Room.
Dean Kidd died in El Paso, Texas, December 29, 1941.
The Seismic Observatory was dedicated to his memory the Eleventh day of November 1961.