Orville Whitmore Childs (December 29, 1803 - September 6, 1870) was an American civil engineer and surveyor active in New York State during the middle part of the 19th century. Childs worked on the Champlain Canal (1824 - 1825), the Oswego Canal (1826 - 1828), and navigational impor9vment to the Oneida River (1829 - 1830). In 1840, he was appointed chief engineer for New York City, a position he held until 1847. He was the Democratic candidate for the office of State Engineer in 1848. He is known to have worked with other significant civil engineers in New York, including John D. Fay, Ver R. Richmond, and Sylvanus H. Sweet. He left Civil Service in 1848 to work as Chief Engineer for the construction of the New York Central Railroad from Syracuse to Rochester. In 1850, he became involved with Cornelius Vanderbilt's American Atlantic and Pacific Ship Canal Company's attempt to build an interoceanic canal through Nicaragua. When efforts to build a Nicaragua canal got sidetracked, he became chief engineer of the Terre Haute and Alton Railroad, a position he held from 1855 to 1858. In the 1860s he returned to work for New York State, completing a survey to determine the limits and boundaries of the city of New York.

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