John R. Smith, 1870-1958 [RG6253.AM]

HISTORY NEBRASKA MANUSCRIPT FINDING AID

RG6253.AM:  John R. Smith, 1870-1958

Project book: ca. 1924-1934
Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb.: Architect
Size:  1 volume

BACKGROUND NOTE

John R. Smith was born May 4, 1870 in Wisconsin to Richard H. and Mary Smith.  The U. S. Census listed his father as a lead miner in 1870 and as a farmer in 1880.  The family moved in the 1880s to Pierce County, Nebraska, where John married Florence Watson on December 31, 1899.  John was identified as a farmer in Willow Creek, Pierce County, Nebraska in the 1900 census.  Florence and John had three children, the last a daughter born in 1905, the year her mother Florence died and was interred in Pierce County. 1905 was also the first year John R. Smith was listed in a Lincoln, Nebraska city directory as a draftsman for architect J. H. Craddock.  Smith was a draftsman for a Lincoln millwork company in 1906 and 1907, then in 1908 was a draftsman for F. C. Fiske in the Lincoln office of Fiske & Dieman.

He married Rose Inez (Wilson) Sheetz in 1908 and in 1909 began to be listed as an architect in University Place (now Lincoln), Nebraska.  While he continued to reside in University Place for many years, his office was in downtown Lincoln as early as 1911.  He designed residences, several schools and other public buildings in University Place and elsewhere in Nebraska, and made a specialty of church design, publishing a brochure “Modern Church Architecture” that listed 100 churches in five Midwestern states “for which we have furnished architectural services.” His son Rolland practiced with him as John R. Smith & Son from 1921-1934.  John Smith was a WPA administrator in Lincoln in the late 1930s, but was no longer listed in Lincoln city directories after the early 1940s.  He died in Denver on February 11, 1958, and was interred at Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

The collection consists of a project book containing photographs and drawings of buildings in Nebraska designed by John R. Smith & Son, Architects.

INVENTORY

Project book, ca. 1924-1934

Subject headings:

Architectural design
Architectural drawings
Architects
Architecture
John R. Smith & Son, Architects
Smith, John R., 1870-1958

 

TMM 12-20-2023

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