Male, US, born 1868-12-20, died 1927-06-15

Associated with the firms network

Dodge and Dolliver, Architects; Reid Brothers, Architects

Professional History


Draftsman, [George C.] Wales and [Henry C.] Holt, Architects, Boston, MA; (Wales and Holt existed between 1893-1906).

Architectural work in Milwaukee, WI.

Designer, Reid Brothers, Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1898. (See Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1898, p. 536.) The Reid Brothers designed the Spreckels Building (aka the San Francisco Call Building #2) at 703 Market Street, completed in 1898. Again, this was a common occurence that architects would obtain office space in buildings that they had recently designed.

Principal, J. Walter Dolliver, Architect, San Francisco, CA, c. 1899-1903.

Partner, [George A.] Dodge and Dolliver, Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1903-1919. The actual work partnership had dissolved by 1918, when Dodge took another job as Assistant General Manager (and, by 1919, Manager) of the Building Material Exhibit, San Francisco, CA.


Professional Activities

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), San Francisco Chapter, San Francisco, CA. 1916-1927.



John Walter Dolliver, Sr., was born in San Francisco, CA, and lived in that city according the US Censuses of 1870 and 1880. His parents resided in Ward #2 of San Francisco, CA, in 1870. At that time, the household also included a 19-year-old, Louis P. Brackett, (born c. 1851 in MA). Ten years later, they had a dwelling at 1616 Bush Street. The family consisted of John Walter's father and step-mother, Mary R. Dolliver, his older sister, Mary E. Dolliver, a younger brother, Charles A. Dolliver, and a household employee with the surname Hing (born c. 1863 in China).

In 1897, Dolliver and his family resided at 880 Humboldt Avenue in Milwaukee, the home of Gustave Fernekes, Martha's father.

In 1898, Dolliver resided at 915 Eddy Street in San Francisco. (See Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1898, p. 536.) Voting records of the same year, also listed a residence at 2110 Baker Street in San Francisco. (See, Source Citation: California State Library; Sacramento, California; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4-2A; CSL Roll Number: 116; FHL Roll Number: 977277, accessed 04/09/2020.)

By 12/1917, at least, John Walter Dolliver resided in Kentfield, CA. He continued to live here in 1925. (See R.L. Polk and Company's San Rafael, California, City Directory, 1925, p. 237.)

He died on 06/11/1927 in Ross, CA, and was buried in the San Francisco Columbarium.


His mother was Rosa Elizabeth Paul, (born c. 1840 in either Virginia or Jamaica, West Indies-d. 1872 in San Francisco, CA), his father, John S. Dolliver (born c. 1833 in MA). The US Census of 1870 recorded that John S. Dolliver worked as a shipping merchant. In 1880, he was listed as a 'barg pilot," presumably barge pilot.

In 1880, his mother was listed as Mary R. Dolliver, (born c. 1837 in ME), indicating that John S. Dolliver had remarried.

Dolliver also had a sister, Mary E. Dolliver Doble, (born 09/18/1865 in CA-d. 02/23/1953, San Francisco, CA), and a brother, Charles A. Dolliver, (born c. 1872 in CA). Rosa Dolliver died giving birth to Charles. (See, Source Information: California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1849-1980 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2017. Original data: California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1830-1980. California Department of Public Health, courtesy of Digital Images, accessed 04/21/2020.)


He wed Martha Fernekes, (born 05/28/1876 in Milwaukee, WI-d. 1903 in San Francisco, CA) on 09/09/1896 in Milwaukee, WI. She passed away young, at age 30, and was interred at the San Francisco Columbarium, like her husband.


He and Martha five children. They included: Emmerson Dolliver (born in 03/27/1897 in Milwaukee, WI). John Walter Dolliver, Jr., (born 10/14/1898 in San Francisco, CA-d. 10/22/1957 in Los Angeles, CA), Ruth Dolliver, Louis Dolliver and Paul Dolliver.

John Walter served as a Private, First Class, in the US Army's 11th Aero Squadron during World War I.(See, Source Citation: The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 518, accessed 04/20/2020.)

Biographical Notes

A previous iteration of this record erroneously called the architect, "James Walter Dolliver." (Corrected 04/09/2020.)

A birth record of son Emerson Dolliver listed John Walter Dolliver, Sr.'s borthplace as Saint Francis, WI. This appears to have been in error.

At age 30, Dolliver stood 5-feet, 11-and ½-inches tall. He had a fair Caucasian complexion, and had brown eyes and light hair. (See, Source Citation: California State Library; Sacramento, California; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4-2A; CSL Roll Number: 116; FHL Roll Number: 977277, accessed 04/09/2020.)

Associated Locations

  • Boston, MA (Architect's Birth)
    Boston, MA

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PCAD id: 2127