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Male, US, born 1861-09-21, died 1961-06-02

Associated with the firms network

Dow and Hubbell, Architects; Dow, John K., Architect; Rand and Dow, Architects

Professional History


Dow worked as a carpenter in Minneapolis, MN, in 1881.

Foreman, Perry Brothers, Type Founders, Minneapolis, MN, 1882; C.H. and J.W. Perry operated this business at 216 1st Avenue South in Minneapolis.

Clerk, US Post Office, Minneapolis, MN, c. 1883, 1887.

mail carrier, Railway Mail Company, Minneapolis, MN, c. 1884-1886. The Minneapolis City Directories listed the following professions for J.K. Dow: "clk PO," 1883; "mail clk," 1884; "clk in mail car," 1885; "rr postal clerk," 1886; "US Postal clk," 1887.

Draftsman, A.J. Finnegan, Minneapolis, MN, 1888; the 1888 Minneapolis City Directory (p. 528) indicated that Andrew J. Finnegan operated a real estate, loan and insurance Company at 312 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis.

Partner, Rand and Dow, Architects, Spokane, WA, c. 1889-1895 .

Principal, John K. Dow, Architect, Spokane, WA, 1892-1907, 1910- c. 1936; Dow leased Room #614 in the Empire State Building in 1902, a building of his own design. (See R.L. Polk and Company's Spokane Directory, 1902, p. 857.) For architects, maintaining offices in buildings they designed proved to be excellent advertising.

Partner, Dow and Hubbell, Architects, Spokane, WA, 1907-1910. In 1917, Dow leased Room #924 in Spokane's August Paulsen Building, another office building he designed in 1908-1911 with Clarence Z. Hubbell. The US Census of 1930 indicated that John worked as a 69-year-old architect, and he seems to have been practicing in 1936, as well; he retired during or before 1940.


High School/Training

Dow attended two years of high school, before entering the workforce. He probably gained most of his knowledge of carpentry from his father, although he seems to have worked as an architect for the real estate firm of A.J. Finnegan in Minneapolis, in 1888-1889. He did not have a long apprenticeship to learn architecture in MN, as he worked as a postal clerk for at least four years there.



Dow was born in MN, and lived with his family at 724 North 12th Avenue in Minneapolis, MN, in 1880. In 1881, he resided on Plymouth Avenue North, between 8th and 9th Streets. A year later, he lived at 214 17th Avenue North in Minneapolis, with his parents. (See Minneapolis City Directory, 1882, p. 182 and Minneapolis City Directory, 1883, p. 212.) He lived with his parents on the corner of 9th Street (later renamed DuPont Street) and 17th Avenue North in Minneapolis in 1884-1885. (See Minneapolis City Directory, 1885, p. 257.) In 1886, he left his parents house, probably because he had gotten married, and lived with his wife at 2103 Bryant Avenue North in Minneapolis. (See Minneapolis City Directory, 1886, p. 267.) He lived at 1702 DuPont Avenue North in 1887, with his parents next door at 1700. (See Minneapolis City Directory 1887, p. 318.)

He relocated to WA in either 1888 or 1889, and his family joined him to move west. In 1900, he, his family and brother-in-law, Allen A. Goodrich (born c. 01/1879 in MN) lived at 1705 10th Street in Spokane, WA. Perhaps in reaction to the constant moves of his childhood, Dow resided in the same house until after 1930. In 1910, Sarah Dow's 80-year-old father, Allen Lemuel Goodrich (born c. 1830 in VT) resided with the family; the family was also prosperous enough to afford a servant, Clara Daly, (born c. 1890 in Sweden). According to the US Census of 1930, the Dows owned their house that had a value of $6,000.

At age 79, Dow lived with his wife, daughter and grandson, John P. Potter (born c. 1922 in IL), in a residence at 5531 29th Avenue in Spokane.


John's father, Leander Alfonso Dow (born 10/12/1833 in ME-d. 10/07/1914 in Kent, WA) worked as a carpenter/millwright in 1880, while his mother, Maria L. Chapin (born 1842 in NY- d. 1929 in WA), managed the household. Leander and Maria married in 1859 in Minneapolis, MN. As John grew up, the family moved frequently within in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis City Directory of 1867 indicated that L.A. Dow worked as a sawyer, and lived at the corner of Jefferson and Aspen Streets (p. 54). In 1869, he and his wife lived on 5th Street between Pearl and Smith Streets in Minneapolis (See 1869 Minneapolis City Directory, p. 46). Leander's name does not appear in Tribune's Minneapolis Directory of 1871. Two years later, L.A. worked as a laborer and lived on 18th Avenue North between 3rd and 4th Streets in Minneapolis. (See Tribune's Minneapolis Directory of 1873, p. 144.) He worked as a carpenter in 1879 living at 502 North Second Street in Minneapolis (See Minneapolis City Directory of 1879 , n.p.) The 1880 City Directory for Minneapolis (p. 123) indicated that L.A. worked as a carpenter for Frank Peteler, a "portable Ry. mfr" located at 41 SE Main Street in Minneapolis (p. 318); the family lived on 13th Avenue South near 14th. According to the US Census of 1880, Leander and Maria had four children, John the eldest, son "Edward," actually Edwin (born 1862 in MN-d. 1941)), and daughters Jessie B. Dow Berlin (born 1870 in MN-d. 1963) and "Gussie," Helen Dow Whitaker (born 1872 in MN-d. 1953). The family also lodged a boarder, gardener Amos Horton (born c. 1830 in RI), to supplement its income.

In 1882, L.A. worked as a millwright living on 17th Avenue North between 2nd and Washington Avenues; the next year he was listed as a carpenter living at 214 17th Avenue North, the same location as the year previous (p. 212). The number of times that Leander changed jobs and addresses suggests the transient nature of blue collar work and habitation in 19th century cities. Leander made a career shift in 1884, when he became a cattle dealer, (See Minneapolis City Directory, 1884, p. 222), but, during the next few years, he was back working as a building contractor. According to Leander's obituary in the Kent Journal, "For the most part of his life Mr. Dow was a contractor and many great buildings and structures in the east were built by him. Coming to Washington twenty-five years ago he took up farming and devoted himself to that line for some time but was compelled to retire a few years ago." (See "Death of L.A. Dow," Kent Journal, 10/08/1914, p. 1.) In 1914, Edwin lived in Olympia, WA, and daughters Mrs. A. N. Berlin of Kent, and Mrs. Helen Dow Whitaker, of Pullman. (The names listed in the 1880 Census differ from Helen's.)


Dow married Sarah Lydia Goodrich (born c. 03/1859 in MN-d. 04/25/1943 in Seattle, WA) c. 1885 probably in MN. Her father, Allen Goodrich, had come from VT, her mother, Ruth Pond, MN.


In 1900, Dow and his wife had had two children, a son, Leander Allen Dow, (born 11/29/1886 in MN d. 05/1973 in Seattle, WA), and Doris S. Dow Potter, (born 10/1889 in WA). By 1917, Leander, named for both of his grandfathers, had become an architect and was working in his father's office; that same year, Doris worked as a teacher in the L & C High School in Spokane. Doris lived in IL and Portland, OR, before 1935, but had moved back to Spokane, WA, following the death of her husband. She lived in Spokane according to the US Census of 1940, and again worked as a teacher.

Biographical Notes

The US Census of 1900 indicated that Dow was born in 09/1860, while WA State Architectural Historian Michael Houser indicated it to have been 1862. (See Michael Houser, "John K. Dow 1862-1961,"Accessed 08/05/2014.) Both of these appear incorrect. Find a located John K. Dow's grave in the Hillcrest Burial Park, Dow Family Plot, in Kent, WA, and it recorded his dates as 09/21/1861-06/02/1961.

PCAD id: 1911