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Dealey, George Bannerman (18 September 1859–26 February 1946), Dallas civic planning pioneer and newspaper publisher, was born in Manchester, England, the son of George Dealey, Sr., a shoeshop manager, and Mary Ann Nellins, the daughter of Dublin’s William Nellins, one of Wellington’s officers at Waterloo. Dealey’s family moved to Liverpool, where he attended primary school and worked in a grocery, but after the family’s bankruptcy in 1870, they sailed on a cotton windjammer freighter, the ...

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Filson, John (10 December 1753?–01 October 1788), author, historian, and land surveyor, was born in East Fallowfield Township near Brandywine Creek in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the son of Davison Filson and Eleanor Clarke, farmers. After attending common schools in the vicinity of his birthplace, Filson studied Greek, Latin, mathematics, and surveying at West Nottingham Academy in Colora, Maryland. He inherited part of a modest estate following his father’s death in 1776, but, eschewing life on the farm, he taught school and surveyed lands in the area during the American Revolution....

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Kocher, A. Lawrence (24 July 1885–06 June 1969), architect, editor, and scholar of American colonial architecture, was born Alfred Lawrence Kocher in San Jose, California, the son of Rudolph Kocher, a Swiss-born jeweler and watchmaker, and Anna (maiden name unknown). He received his B.A. from Stanford University in 1909 and his M.A. from Pennsylvania State University in 1916. He studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1909 to 1912. In 1910 he married Amy Agnes Morder. She died of cancer prior to 1932, the year of his marriage to Margaret Taylor. He had two children....

Article

Longfellow, William Pitt Preble (25 October 1836–03 August 1913), architect and author, was born in Portland, Maine, the son of Stephen Longfellow V, a lawyer, and Marianne Preble. His parents’ marriage was not a happy one, and at the age of three William went to live with his maternal grandmother Nancy Gale Tucker Preble. The Longfellows divorced in 1850, and William’s mother eventually remarried. Graduating from Harvard College with a B.A. in 1855 and from Harvard’s Lawrence Scientific School, where he was also an instructor in engineering, with an S.B. in 1859, Longfellow received his architectural training through study abroad and while employed in the offices of Edward Clarke Cabot. Both Cabot and Longfellow were among the founders of the Boston Society of Architects, of which Cabot served as president and Longfellow as secretary in 1868–1869. From 1870 to 1872 he worked in Washington, D.C., at the Office of the Supervising Architect of the Treasury Department under ...

Article

Maclay, William (20 July 1737–16 April 1804), surveyor, legislator, and diarist, was born in New Garden Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, the son of Charles Maclay and Eleanor Query, farmers, both of whom had emigrated from Lurgan in County Antrim, Ireland, three years earlier. In 1742 the family moved to what became Lurgan Township in Franklin County, three miles north of what is now Shippensburg. John Blair presided over an academy there at which William began his formal education. To further his studies he was sent to ...

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Thornton, William (20 May 1759–28 March 1828), architect, civil servant, and essayist, was born on the island of Tortola in the West Indies, the son of William Thornton, a planter, and Dorcas Zeagers. The senior Thornton died when his son was five years old, and the boy went to live with relatives in Lancashire, England. He served a medical apprenticeship in Lancashire, studied at the University of Edinburgh, and received a medical degree from the University of Aberdeen in 1784. After his graduation he traveled in France and the British Isles before returning to Tortola in 1786. Enamored of the republican ideals of the American Revolution, he emigrated to Philadelphia in 1786 and became a citizen of the United States in 1788. He established a medical practice in Philadelphia but soon abandoned it, finding the practice boring and the fees unsatisfactory. Thornton enjoyed a creditable income from his West Indies plantation, which allowed him to pursue his intellectual and artistic interests. His education and European background won him admittance to intellectual circles in Philadelphia, including election to the American Philosophical Society. Thornton married Anna Marie Brodeau, a well-educated and cultured girl of fifteen, in 1790. They spent two years on Thornton’s plantation on Tortola, returned to Philadelphia, and in 1794 made their home in the new city of Washington, where they resided for the remainder of their lives. They had no children....

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Walter J. Travis. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-102319).

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Travis, Walter John (10 January 1862–31 July 1927), golfer, golf course architect, and golfing magazine editor, was born in Malden, Victoria, Australia, the oldest child of John Travis and Susan Eyelet. He was educated in Melbourne, Australia, attending a public school and Trinity College. Depending on what source one reads, he came to New York City as a boy or around 1886 as a representative of an Australian importing firm. In 1890 he married Anne Bent, and the couple would have two children....