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Male, US, born 1869-08-02, died 1947-04-20

Associated with the firms network

Willcox and Sayward, Architects; Willcox, W.R.B., FAIA, Architect


Professional History

Résumé

Partner, Willcox and [H.J.] Sayward, Burlington, VT and Seattle, WA, c. 1905,1908-1912; worked in Oregon, 1906-1908. In 1908, Willcox and Sayward had an office in Room #343 of the Arcade Annex. (See R.L. Polk and Company’s Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1908, p. 1376.)

Principal, W.R.B. Willcox, Architect, Seattle, WA, c. 1915-1922. In 1919, Willcox occupied Room #400 of the Boston Block in Seattle. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, p. 1853.)

Principal, W.R.B. Willcox, FAIA, Architect, Eugene, OR, c. 1922-1940.

Teaching

Professor and Chair, University of Oregon (U of O), School of Architecture and Design, Eugene, OR, 1922-c. 1942. His office was in Room #1272 of Kincaid Hall in 1940.

Professional Activities

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), 1905-1947.

Member, Seattle Architectural Club, Executive Board, 1910; Willcox became active in the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects soon after his arrival in Seattle in 1907.

Secretary, AiA, Washington State Chapter, before 1911.

Member, CIty of Seattle, Municipal Plans Commission, Seattle, WA, c.1910-1912. This committee published the Plan of Seattle: Report of the Municipal Plans Commission, (1911), popularly called the "The Bogue Plan."

President, AIA, Washington State Chapter, for two terms, 1911-1913.

Willcox was elected Washington's first delegate to the AIA national convention;

Member, AIA, Board of Directors, 1915-1918. Los Angeles architect Octavius Morgan was also made a member of the Board of Directors for this three-year term. (See "With the Architects and Engineers," Architect and Engineer of California, vol. XLI, no. 1, 04/1915, p. 106.)

Second Vice-President, AIA, c. 1916-1917. Willcox served as Second Vice-President of the AIA in 1917. This was the highest office any architect from the Pacific Northwest had achieved up to this point in the national organization. Serving as officers of the AIA at this time were John Lawrence Mauran of Saint Louis, MO, as President, and C. Grant La Farge, of New York, NY, First Vice-President. Others included W. Stanley Parker of Boston, MA, Secretary, and D. Everett Waid, of New York, NY.

Professional Awards

Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA), 1910. Willcox was one of the first two architects from Washington State to have been elected to Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects in 1910.

Archives

Willcox's photographs have been preserved in the W.R.B. Willcox Photographs Collection, University of Oregon Libraries, Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Collection #PH110; size of Collection: 12 linear feet; number of Containers: 23.

Education

College

Coursework at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA.

Coursework, University of Pennsylvania (Penn), Philadelphia, PA, 1894.

Coursework, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.

Personal

Relocation

Willcox was born in Burlington, VT, where his family had moved from Newtown, Queens County, NY, (now part of the Borough of Queens). His father, Monson WIllcox, was the Pastor of Burlington's Baptist Church on Saint Paul Street, founded in 1830. He arrived in this position on 04/25/1867. (See Burlington, Vermont, City Directory, 1869, p. 13.). In 1880, the Willcoxes resided on the south side of Bank Street in Burlington. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Burlington, Chittenden, Vermont; Roll: 1343; Page: 47D; Enumeration District: 065, accessed 04/11/2020.)

While most of his family had moved to Holyoke, MA, by 1893, Walter remained in Burlington, where he lived at 475 South Willard Street in 1900. He wed Evalyn Porter in that year, and her widowed mother, Maria Kirk Porter, (born c. 11/1834 in OH) and sister, Edna C. Porter, (born c. 09/1873 in IL), lived with the newlyweds when the census was taken on 06/12/1900.

He continued to work as an architect in Burlington until the summer of 1907. On 0725//1907, he and his wife applied for US passports in order to make a 6-month trip abroad. He applied for the passport in Holyoke, MA, where Franklin G. Willcox, his brother resided at 7 Lawler Street. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 44; Volume #: Roll 0044 - Certificates: 38214-39113, 19 Jul 1907-08 Aug 1907, accessed 04/11/2020.)

Soon after returning from this trip, the architect came to Seattle, WA, in 1907. He lived in various locations in Seattle during the fifteen years he stayed in the city. In 1908, Willcox and his wife lived at 1620 13th Avenue. (See R.L. Polk and Company’s Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1908, p. 1376.) He and Eva had a house at 402 10th Avenue North in 1910. Edna, Eva’s younger sister, lived with them. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Seattle Ward 7, King, Washington; Roll: T624_1660; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0138; FHL microfilm: 1375673, accessed 04/20/2020.) In 1919, the Seattle, Washington, City Directory, (p. 1853), indicated that he lived at Cedarhurst Landing on Mercer Island, WA.

The 1920 US Census found Willcox living in a house he owned on McGilvra Boulevard in Seattle with Eva and Edna in the household. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: McGilvra, King, Washington; Roll: T625_1925; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 47, accessed 04/20/2020.) When Willcox traveled to Hawaii in 06/1922, he listed his permanent residence as being in Seattle. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Honolulu, Hawaii, compiled 02/13/1900 - 12/30/1953; National Archives Microfilm Publication: A3422; Roll: 069; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 - 2004; Record Group Number: RG 85, accessed 04/20/2020.)

In 1922, he obtained a teaching position at the University of Oregon and moved to Eugene, OR, where he would remain for the rest of his life. While a Professor at the University of Oregon between 1928 and 1940, at least, Willcox had a residence at 764 Mill Race Drive, Eugene, OR. (SeeR.L. Polk and Company, Incorporated’s Eugene, Oregon, City Directory, 1928, p. 356 and Eugene, Oregon, City Directory, 1940, p. 479.)

He died in Eugene, OR, on 04/20/1947. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation: Oregon State Library; Death Index 1942-50; Reel Title: Oregon Death Index Km-Z; Year Range: 1942-1950, accessed 04/20/2020.)

Parents

His father was Monson Alvah Willcox, (born 08/1841 in Alton, NY-d. 11/12/1902 in Holyoke, MA), a Baptist clergyman, his mother, Sarah E. Mason, (born 06/1840 in New Hartford, NY- d. 12/16/1915 in Hartford, CT). They wed in c. 1865.

In 1880, Sarah managed a household consisting of her four children, Arthur B. Willcox (born c. 1866 in NY), Walter, Franklin Grenell Willcox, (born 08/07/1872 in Burlington, VT-d. 09/22/1955 in Springfield, MA), and Romelia Willcox, (born c. 1875 in VT-d. 11/02/1904 in Holyoke, MA), her father, Arnold G. Mason (born c. 1808 in NY) and mother, Maria B. Mason (born c. 1816 in NY). Prior to her marriage, in 1860, Sarah lived with her family in Jersey City, NJ, where Arnold Mason was a prosperous merchant. (The 1860 US Census indicated that he had a personal estate of $10,000.) She had six brothers and sisters, whose birthplaces indicated that they had resided in NY (c. 1847), Derby, CT, (c. 1850-1852) and NJ (c. 1854). (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: Jersey City Ward 4, Hudson, New Jersey; Page: 435; Family History Library Film: 803693, accessed 04/11/2020.)

In addition, Sarah and Monson had another child after 1880, Helen Willcox, (born 08/1884 in NY-d. 12/21/1949 in Montpelier, VT), who became a writer and teacher.

Frank G. Willcox, became a librarian at the Holyoke Public Library.

Spouse

He married Evalyn O. Porter (born c. 1871 in IL) in about 1900.

Biographical Notes

Willcox worked with engineer, Virgil Bogue (1846-1916), on the Municipal Plans Commission of Seattle in 1911, developing the so-called "Bogue Plan" of 1911.

Willcox traveled from Honolulu, HI, to San Francisco, CA, between 06/07/1922 and 06/13/1922, aboard the Matson Navigation Company's S.S. Wilhelmina. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Honolulu, Hawaii, compiled 02/13/1900 - 12/30/1953; National Archives Microfilm Publication: A3422; Roll: 069; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 - 2004; Record Group Number: RG 85, accessed 04/20/2020.)



Associated Locations

  • Burlington, VT (Architect's Birth)
    Burlington, VT

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  • Eugene, OR (Architect's Death)
    Eugene, OR

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PCAD id: 2370


"The Publisher' s Page", American Architect, CXXXII: 2526, 9, 08/05/1927. "West Coast Woods Architectural Competition", American Architect, CXXXII: 2524, 18, 07/05/1927. Willcox, W.R.B., "A Plea for Greater Freedom--Independence if You Will--in Architectural Design", Architect and Engineer of California, XXXV: 2, 77-82, 1913-12. Withey, Henry F., Withey, Elsie Rathburn, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased), 660, 1970. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 197, 1980. "Contemporary Regional Architecture", Journal of San Diego History, 8: 3, 114-119, 09/1947. Alden, Charles H., "Willcox, Walter R.B., Obituary", Journal of the American Institiute of Architects, 8: 2, 64-66, 8/1947. "News of the Educational Field", Journal of the American Institute of Architects, 8: 3, 110-111, 09/1947. Willcox, W.R.B., "Seattle and City Planning", Journal of the American Institute of Architects, IV: 3, 115-118, 1916-03. Pickens, Buford L., "Contemporary Regional Architecture", Journal of the American Institute of Architects, VIII: 3, 118-119, 09/1947. "Campus Loses Noted Figure: Professor Willcox, Emeritus, Dies", Oregonian, 9, 1947-04-21. Seattle Architectural Club Yearbook 1910, np, 1910. Seattle Architectural Club Yearbook 1910, np, 1910. "The Architectural League of the Pacific Coast", Seattle Architectural Club Yearbook 1910, np, 1910. "Wall, Aqueduct Nominated as Landmarks", Seattle Times, B4, 1975-04-03. Johnston, Norman J., "W.R.B Willcox", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 139-140, 1994.