view all images ( of 8 shown)

Male, US, born 1857-09-13, died 1930-07-29

Associated with the firms network

Newsom and Newsom, Architects; Newsom, J.C., Architect

Professional History


Partner, Newsom and Newsom, Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1877. In 1877, the Newsom Brothers maintained their architectural office at 321 California Street. The pioneering San Francisco architect Seth Babson had his office located across the street in 1877 at 320 California Street. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1877, p. 465.)

They set up their office at 320 Sansome Street, Room #53 in 1878, Room #60 in 1879, and moved to Room #62 by 1880. (See the San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1878, p. 84, San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1879, p. 658, and San Francisco Directory for the year commencing April, 1880, p. 682.)

From 1883-1887, the Newsom and Newsom office was situated at 504 Kearny Street. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1883, p. 800 and San Francisco Directory, 1887, p. 889.) In 1887, the Newsoms also operated a Los Angeles office, at 108 North Main Street. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1887, p. 311.)

Principal, J. Cather Newsom, Architect, San Francisco, CA, 1907. In 1907, Newsom maintained his office at 943 Van Ness Avenue. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1907, p. 1744.)

The San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1925, (p. 1388), indicated that in 1925, J. Cather Newsom worked in real estate in Room #709 at 605 Market Street.

Professional Activities

Newsom and his brother, Samuel, were prolific authors, publishing about 10 books on architecture between 1884 and 1899. These titles included plan books such as J.C. Newsom, California Low-Priced Cottages, (published by J.C. Newsom in San Francisco, c. 1880s); J.C. Newsom, Picturesque Californian Homes (4 volumes, published by the Newsom Brothers in San Francisco, 1884-1887); J.C. Newsom, Picturesque and Artistic Homes and Buildings of California,(publishedby J.C. Newsom in San Francisco, 1890); S. and J.C. Newsom, Picturesque Californian Homes, (published by S. and J.C. Newsom in San Francisco, 2 vols., 1884/1885 and 1887); J.C. Newsom, Artistic Buildings and Homes of Los Angeles (c. 1888); S. Newsom, Some City and Suburban Homes, (published by Samuel Newsom in San Francisco, 1890); J.C. Newsom, Modern Homes of California, (published by J.C. Newsom B. Hessling, Berlin and New York, 1896); J.C. Newsom, Artistic City Buildings, Flats and Residences, (published by J.C. Newsom in San Francisco, 1895); J.C. Newsom, Artistic Country Homes (published by J.C. Newsom in San Francisco, c. 1895); J.C. Newsom, New Booklet on Churches (published 1897, also titled variously as Up-to-date Churches, by J.C. Newsom, published in Philadelphia, c. 1899); J.C. Newsom, Up-to-date Architecture, an Illustrated Journal of Modern Architecture, (2 vols, 1897-1899).

Newsom was a member of the California State Board of Architecture, Northern District, in 01/1919. He served with President Edgar A. Mathews, Secretary-Treasurer Sylvain Schnaittacher and member John Bakewell, Jr.


A letter from Joseph Cather Newsom to Charles Sumner Greene dated 08/05/1922 exists in the Greene and Greene Archives at the University of Southern California Libraries.



Joseph Cather Newsom lived a restless life, as he moved frequently within CA and at least once moved across the country. From at least 1878-1887, the San Francisco Directory for the year commencing April, 1880, (p. 682), noted that Joseph C. Newsom lived in "East Oakland." His brother, Samuel, also lived in East Oakland in 1880. (See the San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1878, p. 84, San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1879, p. 658, and San Francisco Directory for the year commencing April, 1880, p. 682, and San Francisco Directory, 1887, p. 889.)

Alameda County voting records of 1910 noted that he and his son Joseph Raymond Newsom lived at 2516 Haste Street in Oakland, CA. Both men were registered Republicans in 1910. (See, Source Citation California State Library; Sacramento, California; Great Register of Voters, 1900-1968, accessed 01/23/2018.)

Newsom resided with his wife, Nellie, daughter, Hazel A. Nelson, grandson, David A .Nelson (born c. 1913 in CA), and a lodger, Russell P. Schaff, a clerk in an automobile store, (born 1896 in MI) in a house at 518 28th Street in Oakland.

In 1925, Newsom lived in Oakland, CA. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1925, p. 1388.)

Newsom died and was buried in the Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA.


His parents were Levens Newsom (or Newsome [1815-1897]) and Jessie Livingstone (1821-1882). He had at least 11 siblings iand they included: John J. (b. 1837), Mary Ann (b. 1838), Jane (b. 1840), Isabella (b. 1842), James (b. 1844), Jessie (b. 1846), Levens (or Lavins) Mathewson, Jr., (b. 1848), Elizabeth (b. 1850), Samuel (b. 1852), Alex Livingstone (b. 1854), Thomas Dean (b. 1856).

Associated Locations

  • Los Angeles, CA (Architect's Office)
    Second Street and Spring Street
    Los Angeles, CA

    OpenStreetMap (new tab)
    Google Map (new tab)
    click to view google map
    J. C. Newsom Office, Offices 55 and 56 Bryson-Bonebrake Block, 3/9/1889;

PCAD id: 158

1407 Carroll Avenue House, Angelino Heights, Los Angeles, CA1888-1889Los AngelesCA
1st United Methodist Church #3, San Jose, CASan JoseCA
2470 Broadway House, San Francisco, CA1902San FranciscoCA
Bath House Project, Ocean Park, Santa Monica, CA1904Santa MonicaCA
Boyd, T.H., House, Eureka, CA1885EurekaCA
Bryson-Bonebrake Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 1886-1888Los AngelesCA
Carson, J. Milton, House, Eureka, CA1897EurekaCA
Carson, William McKendrie, House, Eureka, CA1884-1886EurekaCA
City of Berkeley, City Hall #1, Berkeley, CA 1884BerkeleyCA
Crenshaw, George C., House, Los Angeles, CA
Fort Street Methodist Episcopal Church, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 1870Los AngelesCA
Greenshaw, Charles H., House, Los Angeles, CA1906Los AngelesCA
Hildreth, Edward and Sarah Carpenter, House, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 1889Los AngelesCA
Hotel Glendale #1, Downtown, Glendale, CA 1886-1887GlendaleCA
Morgan, G. W., House, Los Angeles, CA1888Los AngelesCA
Murphy House, San Francisco, CA 1885San FranciscoCA
Nichols, Henry E., House, Oakland, CAOaklandCA
Pinney House Hotel, Sierra Madre, CA1887Sierra MadreCA
Posey, Oliver P. and Sara, House #5 Project, Los Angeles, CA1904Los AngelesCA
Sessions, Charles H., and Katherine E., House, Echo Park, Los Angeles, CA1888Los AngelesCA
Severance House, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CA1904Los AngelesCA
Spreckels, Rudolph, House, San Francisco, CASan FranciscoCA
Superior Court of California, County of Napa, Courthouse, Napa, CA1878NapaCA
Wells, Asa, House, San Francisco, CA1894San FranciscoCA