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Male, US, born 1864-05-18, died 1933-12-04

Associated with the firms network

Fitzhugh and Fitzhugh, Architects; Fitzhugh, Krucker and Deckbar, Associated Architects; Fitzhugh, Thornton, Architect

Professional History


The Press Reference Library (Southwest Edition)of 1912 indicated that, before coming to CA in 1895, Fithugh spent "...about eight years in well-known Eastern offices." This source stated that he practiced in Cincinnati, designing buildings for the American Cotton Seed Oil Company, Russell-Morgan Printing Company, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis (aka the CCC&St or "Big Four") Railway, and the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Railway., (SeePress Reference Library (Southwest Edition), [Los Angeles: Los Angeles Examiner, 1912], p. 105.)

Partner, [S.E.] Locke and Fitzhugh, Architects, Los Angeles, CA, 1895. In 1895, this tandem leased office space in Room #410 of the Bradbury Building. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1895, p. 1507.)

Principal, Thornton Fitzhugh, Architect, Los Angeles, CA, 1896- . Fitzhugh had several offices in Los Angeles. In 1896, he had space in Room #206 of the Byrne Building. From 1902-1908, it was located in the Tajo Block at 315 South Broadway. In 1902, he occupied Room #204, and operated in Room #218 by 1908. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1902, p. 1324 and Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1908, p. 1599.) In 1912, he maintained his office in Room #482 of the Pacific Electric Building, a large block that he designed for the street railway company.

Apparently, Fitzhugh became an establshed architect in Cincinnati; the 1913 Who's Who on the Pacific Coastindicated that he had "...drafted the first building ordinance in Cincinnati." Once in Los Angeles, he became part of the Los Angeles Building Ordinance Commission in 1905-1906. (See Who's Who on the Pacific Coast,Franklin Harper, ed., [Los Angeles: Harper Publishing Company, 1913], p. 198.)

Partner, Fitzhugh and Fitzhugh, Architects, Phoenix, AZ, and Los Angeles, CA, c. 1912-1919. The firm of Fitzhugh and Fitzhugh had a Phoenix office in Rooms #1 and #2 of the Board of Trade Building from 1912-1913, and Room #10 of the same building in 1914. It moved to Room #210 of the Noll Building in 1915 and remained there until 1919. (See Phoenix, Arizona, City Directory, 1915, p. 126, and Phoenix, Arizona, City Directory, 1919, p. 187.) Lee M. Fitzhugh, Jr., headed the Phoenix office, Thornton, the Los Angeles one.

Associate, Fitzhugh, Deckbar and Krucker, Associated Architects, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1923; Partner, Fitzhugh and Teal, Architects, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1924.


Fitzhugh taught architecture for four years at the Ohio Mechanics Institute in Cincinnati, OH. According to his biographical blurb in Who's Who on the Pacific Coast, he also taught a "...special course in structural steel, [in] Chicago." (See Who's Who on the Pacific Coast, Franklin Harper, ed., [Los Angeles: Harper Publishing Company, 1913], p. 198.)


The Charles Francis Saunders Papers, 1680-1954, included correspondence from Thornton Fitzhugh to Saunders dating from 1928-1929. (See Subseries 2 Correspondence. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Blaksley Library, 1212 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105; tel: 805-682-4726 ext. 107.)



The Who's Who on the Pacific Coast(1913) indicated that Fitzhugh had "...studied art under Charles J. Fiscus of Indianapolis." (See Who's Who on the Pacific Coast,Franklin Harper, ed., [Los Angeles: Harper Publishing Company, 1913], p. 198.) Charles Joseph Fiscus, born in Indianapolis, IN, on 05/26/1861, painted portraits, genre studies and landscapes in Indianapolis. His died in the same city quite prematurely at age 24, on 02/06/1884. (See Pioneer Painters of Indiana, "Charles J. Fiscus," accessed 11/28/2016.)



Born in Indianapolis, IN, Thornton Fitzhugh lived in that city's Third Ward in 1870, according to the US Census of that year. His father, Lee, was listed as a retired dry goods merchant, who had earned a comfortable income in the business. He was listed as owning $10,000 worth of real estate, and having $1,000 in savings. He had several boarders living in his house in 1870, including two men who clerked in a store, presumably Fitzhugh's dry goods establishment, George D. Fitzhugh (born c. 1808 in MD) and Edward Thornton (born c. 1851 in OH). Perhaps it was coincidence, but Lee's two sons had first names that corresponded to these two men. Another woman, Hannah Fitzhugh (born c. 1818 in MD), also boarded with the family, as did two domestic servants, sisters Catherine Curran (born c. 1844 in Ireland) and Julia Curran (born c. 1852 in Ireland). (See, Source Citation Year: 1870; Census Place: Indianapolis Ward 3, Marion, Indiana; Roll: M593_340; Page: 149A; Family History Library Film: 545839, accessed 02/15/2018.)

According to the 1880 Census, Fitzhugh lived in the 2nd Ward of Indianopolis, IN, and was a student. His father was back in business, working as a tea and tobacco merchant. The Fitzhughs lived at 417 College Avenue in Indianapolis in 1880; their household included two servants, Agnes Redmond (born c. 1857 in Ireland) and John Sprague (born c. 1857 in OH). (See, Source Citation Year: 1880; Census Place: Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana; Roll: 294; Page: 60A; Enumeration District: 108, accessed 02/15/2018.)

In 1900, Fitzhugh lived with his family near Cherry Street in the 4th Ward of Vicksburg, MS. (See, Source Citation Year: 1900; Census Place: Vicksburg Ward 4, Warren, Mississippi; Roll: 831; Page: 19A; Enumeration District: 0124; FHL microfilm: 1240831, accessed 11/29/2016.)

Fitzhugh lived in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA, in 1906.

Between 1907 and 08/1910, Fitzhugh spent time in the Phoenix, AZ-area, undertaking at least two, large, public commissions: the Arizona Territorial Penitentiary and the Insane Asylum of Arizona. The Southwest Contractor and Manufacturerindicated that "Mr. Fitzhugh's reputation as a designer of ability has been equalled by the reputation he has built up as a reinforced concrete engineer. In Arizona his chief work was in the design and construction of reinforced concrete structures, notably the Territorial penitentiary at Florence, and a reinforced concrete county hospital building near Phoenix. Both these structures are of a design calculated to meet local climatic conditions and are of the radial type in arrangement--wings radiating from a center to give the interiors as much advantage of air circulation as possible and counteract the strenght of the direct sunshine." The US Census of 1910 indicated that he boarded with the family of Martha E. Garnett, a 66-year-old widow, at 619 North 3rd Avenue in Phoenix, AZ. (See, Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Phoenix Ward 2, Maricopa, Arizona; Roll: T624_40; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0060; FHL microfilm: 1374053, accessed 02/15/2018.)

Following his time in AZ working on these two large commissions in the Phoenix area, he and his brother, Lee, set up an architectural practice that had two offices, one in Phoenix and the other in Los Angeles, between 1912 and 1919.

By 1912, he resided at 1421 Winfield Street in Los Angeles.

From at least 1920 until 1930, Fitzhugh lived at 401 North Avenue 50 in Los Angeles's Highland Park neighborhood. In 1920, he lived with his wife Mabel and her step-daughter Anna. (See, Source Citation Year: 1920; Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 61, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T625_105; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 114, accessed 02/15/2018.) Ten years later, he resided with Mabel and their son, Thornton Fitzhugh, Jr. They also had a lodger living with them in 1930, an elderly man named C. Lawrence (born c. 1848 in KS), who had worked as a stenographer for a steam railroad. He owned a residence worth about $9,000 according to the US Census of 1930. (See, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 162; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 0681; FHL microfilm: 2339897, accessed 12/19/2017.) The Fitzhugh residence was torn down, and replaced with the Villa Imperial Apartments at 415 North Avenue 50.


His father, Lee Mason Fitzhugh, Sr., was born in Indiana (c. 11/1838) and died 03/12/1906; Lee Mason Fitzhugh's father and mother were born in Maryland. Lee Mason Fitzhugh, Sr., married twice. According to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Thornton Fitzhugh's birth mother, Anna Harrison Thornton (1835--1883) was born in OH. She passed away prematurely on 01/17/1883 in Indianapolis, IN. Following her death, Lee Mason Fitzhugh, Sr., wed his second wife, Laura D. Fitzhugh, in 1885; Lee Mason Fitzhugh, Sr.'s sister, Elizabeth, lived with him in the 6th Ward of Los Angeles, CA, in 1900.

Thornton Fitzhugh had a sister--Anna Thornton Fitzhugh (1873–1954)---and two brothers--George Lee Fitzhugh (1866–1902) and Lee Mason Fitzhugh, Jr., (1876–1937). Lee, Jr., became an architect, in the Phoenix, AZ, area, and designedthe Gothic First Methodist Church of Glendale, CA. Thornton, Anna and Lee, Jr., were born in Indianapolis, but George was born in MI.


Thornton Fitzhugh married Anna McClung Fitzhugh (born 06/08/1868 in MO-d. 01/23/1909 in CA) in 1888 in Hamilton County, OH. Anna was born in MO, and her parents were from OH.

Following his wife's death in 1909, he married Mabel Adelaid Lum (born 05/30/1885 in VA-d. 06/02/1964 in San Jose, CA) on 08/09/1911. Thornton was about 21 years older than his second wife. In 1940, Mabel worked in her own private practice as a physical therapist. (See, Source Citation Year: 1940; Census Place: Oakland, Alameda, California; Roll: m-t0627-00434; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 61-146, accessed 12/19/2017.) A brief biography in Find a, said of Mabel: "The daughter of Martin Luther Lum and Maryetta Fairchild Hawley, Mabel Adelaide Lum Fitzhugh was trained as an architect, receiving a Diploma in Architecture from Pratt Institute in 1907. She was the chief draftsman at one time for her husband, Thornton Fitzhugh, who was also an architect. Her husband died in 1933 during the Great Depression when architects were not as needed and so she retrained herself and became a physical therapist . She eventually became known as the 'Johnny Appleseed of Childbirth Education' developing methods and equipment to assist pregnant woman during childbirth. She is also considered the 'Grandmother of the International Childbirth Education Association.' She had one child, a son, with Thornton who was a widower and who had children previously that Mabel also helped to raise." (See Bill Gregory, Find A, "Mabel Adelaid Lum Fitzhugh," accessed 02/15/2018.)


In 1900, he had had two sons, James M. Fitzhugh (born 01/1890 in Ohio) and Lee M. Fitzhugh (born 09/1894 in Washington). The 1920 US Census recorded that he also had a daughter, Anna (born c. 1902 in CA).

He and Mabel had a son, Thornton Fitzhugh, Jr., (born 07/25/1924 in Los Angeles, CA). After Thornton, Sr.'s death in 1933, Mabel and her son moved to Oakland, CA, where they lived at 501 Haddon Road in 1940. The US Census indicated that Mabel lived in San Francisco, CA, in 1935, while Thornton, Jr., continued to reside in Los Angeles.

Biographical Notes

Fitzhugh was a registered Republican in 1921, 1924 and 1932, as was his wife, Mabel. (See, Source Citation California State Library; Sacramento, California; Great Register of Voters, 1900-1968, accessed 02/15/2018.)

Associated Locations

  • Indianapolis, IN (Architect's Birth)
    Indianapolis, IN

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PCAD id: 168