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Male, US, born 1878-02-09, died 1968-09-07

Associated with the firms network

Albertson, Abraham H., and Associates, Architects; Albertson, Wilson and Richardson, Architects; Wilson, Joseph W., Architect

Professional History


A record exists indicating that Joseph Wade Wilson joined the US military on 09/12/1898. (See, Source Information U.S., Veterans Administration Master Index, 1917-1940 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT. USA: Operations, Inc., 2019., accessed 09/27/2021.)

Architect, Howells and Stokes, Architects, New York, NY, Seattle, WA, Office, 1907-1918. In this Seattle office of Howells and Stokes, Wilson worked with A.H. Albertson (1872-1964) on Metropolitan Tract commissions. R.L. Polk and Company's Seattle City Directory, 1908, indicated that two Joseph W. Wilsons lived in the city, one an architect who boarded at 1609 East Columbia Street and the other a draftsman, living at 1511 East Columbia Street. (See R.L. Polk and Company's Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1908, p. 1386)

Architectural Designer, Architectural Housing Corporation, Seattle, WA, 09/1918. During World War I, Wilson worked for this war-time housing group, with A.H. Albertson. On 09/12/1918, the Architectural Housing Corporation had its offices in Room #725 of the Henry Building in Seattle's Metropolitan Tract.

Architect, Howells and Albertson, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1920-1928.

Architect / Associate, Abraham H. Albertson and Associates, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1929-1934.

Partner, Albertson, Wilson and Richardson, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1935-1939.

Chief Architect Supervisor, Federal Housing Admininstration (FHA), Washington State Office, Seattle, WA, 1939-1949. He worked with A.H. Albertson at the Federal Housing Admininstation in the Dexter Horton Building c. 1942. (See, Source Citation The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System; Record Group Number: 147; Box or Roll Number: 220, accessed 09/23/2021.)

Designer, John W. Mahoney, Architect, Seattle, WA, c. 1950-1953.

Architect, Boeing Company, Seattle, WA, c. 1953-1963.

Professional Activities

Member, Seattle Architectural Club, Exhibition Committee, 1910.



B.S. in Engineering, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL, 1903.

M.Arch., University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL, 1904.



Joseph Wade Wilson was born in Western, IL, in Henry County, located in the northwest part of the state, east of Moline, IL. (The town had been called "Orion" until 1857.) In 1880, his parents operated a farm there, raising six children, Mary, Inger, Clara, Camby, Kearney and Joseph Wilson.

By 1900, Ellen E. Wilson, listed in the US Census as a widow, lived with three of her children--Kearney, Joseph and Abigail-- at 1530 25th Avenue in Chicago. Kearney worked as an electric lineman, Abigail as a teacher, and Joseph was a student. Six of Ellen's nine children survived in that year. (See Source Citation Year: 1900; Census Place: Moline Ward 6, Rock Island, Illinois; Page: 15; Enumeration District: 0104; FHL microfilm: 1240339, accessed 09/23/2021.)

Wilson traveled to Washington State searching for his brother, a logger, who was lost c. 1906. He would not have been looking for his brothers Waldo (who died in infancy) or Camby (who died in 1888), so by process of elimination he had to be looking for Kearney. By 1908, Wilson worked as a draftsman for Howell and Stokes's Seattle office. and boarded with a family at 1511 East Columbia Street. The 1910 US Census identified his boarders as Nathan Brown (born c. 1866 in IA), a cement contractor, and Jessie May Phillips Brown (born c. 1869 in IA), who had a daughter, Hazel (born c. 1895 in IL). It is possible that he knew Nathan as both worked in building industry.. (See Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Seattle Ward 3, King, Washington; Roll: T624_1658; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0081; FHL microfilm: 1375671, accessed 09/23/2021.)

For many years, from at least 1918 until 1940, and probably longer, Wilson lived with his family in West Seattle, at 9006 Fauntleroy Avenue. By 1940, only Mary Stuart Wilson, his youngest daughter, remained living at home. Mary would become an accomplished interior designer, who would marry the Seattle architect Frederick Forde Bassetti(1917-2013). (See, Source Citation Year: 1940; Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Roll: m-t0627-04383; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 40-332, accessed 09/24/2021.)

He passed away in Seattle, WA, on 09/07/1968.


His parents, William C. Wilson (born 1839 in Norway-d. 02/27/1891 in Henry County, IL) and Ellen E. Showalter (born 07/02/1845 in Edwardsville, IL-d-08/08/1935) married on 12/06/1866 in Henry County, IL. Together, they operated a farm in Henry County, IL. Another Wilson, likely a relative, Joseph S. Wilson, lived with his wife and three children nearby, and worked as a carpenter.

In 1880, the US Census indicated that William and his parents had been born in Norway, and that he suffered from rheumatism. (See, Source Citation Year: 1880; Census Place: Western, Henry, Illinois; Roll: 213; Page: 476D; Enumeration District: 122, accessed 09/23/2021.) His health may not have been good from this point on, as he died in 1891 at the age of 52.

By 1910. Ellen lived in Chicago with all of her daughters in a house at 113 Seeley Avenue in what is now the West Jackson Boulevard District of Chicago. Ellen and Mary had no occupations listed in the census, but Inger and Abagail worked as bookkeepers and Clara as a sculptor. (See, Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Chicago Ward 20, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_262; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0862; FHL microfilm: 1374275, accessed 09/23/2021.) All five women continued to live with one another as recorded in the US Censuses of 1920 and 1930.

Joseph W. Wilson had eight sisters and brothers, who included: Mary Elizabeth Wilson (1867-1951), Inger Adele Wilson (born 09/20/1868 in Genesseo, IL-d. 10/19/1934 in Chicago, IL), Clara A. Wilson (born c. 1870-died after 1930), Waldo E. Wilson (born 1871 in IL-d. 1872 in IL), Camby Wilson (born 1873-1888 in KS), Kearney Ralph Wilson (born c. 04/1875 in IL) and Abigail Wilson (born c. 11/1880 in IL).


At age 32, he married Marjorie D. Forbes (born 04/04/1882 in IL-d. 03/26/1985 in Seattle, WA) on 07/02/1910 in Ashford, WA. Marjorie was 28 at the time of her wedding. (See, Source Citation Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington; Washington, Marriage Records, PS327-2-0-4, accessed 09/27/2021.) Her parents were Henry Clinton Forbes (born 05/19/1833 in Preble Corners, NY-d. 01/05/1903 in Champaign, iL) and Laura Jane Gorham (born 1835 in VT-d. 12/01/1914 in Seattle, WA). The Forbes Family emphaszied education. Henry Forbes worked as a high school principal in various towns in IL and Laura Gorham attended the Rockford Female Seminary in 1856. It was still unusual for a young, middle-class woman to attend college at this time. (See the Catalogue of the Officers and Pupils of Rockford Female Seminary for the Academical Year 1855-6, [Rockford, IL: E.C. Daugherty Printer, 1856], p. 7.)


Marjorie and Joseph had four children: Jane Wilson MacGowan (born 09/24/1911 in Seattle, WA-d. 07/15/2005 in Clackamas County, OR), Forbes Wilson (born 03/30/1915 in Seattle, WA-d. 04/29/1999 in Houston, TX), John Robert Wilson (born 09/15/1916 in Seattle, WA-d. 07/16/2006 in San Bernardino, CA) and Mary Stuart Wilson Bassetti (born 06/28/1922 in Seattle, WA-d. 07/08/2020 in Seattle, WA).

Biographical Notes

At age forty, his World War I draft registration card indicated that Wilson was Caucasian, tall and had a medium build. His eyes and hair were brown. (See, Source Citation Registration State: Washington; Registration County: King Source Information, U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005, 09/23/2021.) His draft card for World War II, indicated that he stood 6-feet, 1-inch tall and weighed 220 pounds.

Associated Locations

  • Seattle, WA (Architect's Death)
    Seattle, WA

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  • Morristown, IL (Architect's Birth)
    Morristown, IL

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PCAD id: 2620

"Color Gradation of Brickwork in Northern Life Tower Inspired by Nature", American Architect, CXXXVII: 2580, 34-35, 94, 96, 1930-02. Johnston, Norman J., "Gowen and Smith Halls", Campus Guide University of Washington, 29-30, 2001. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "YMCA", Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 124, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "Wilson House, 1908", Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 194, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 122, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 1932", Guide to Architecture in Washington State: An Environmental Perspective, 164-165, 1980. Kreisman, Lawrence, Historic Preservation in Seattle, 34, 1985. Upchurch, Michael, "History set in stone", Seattle Times, C1-C2, 07/22/2008. Veith, Thomas, "Albertson, Wilson, and Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 164, 1994. Veith, Thomas, "Albertson, Wilson, and Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 166-167, 1994. Veith, Thomas, "Albertson, Wilson & Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 163, 1994. Veith, Thomas, "Albertson, Wilson, and Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 165, 1994. Arena Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA, "Albertson, Wilson & Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 163, 1994. Veith, Thomas, "Albertson, Wilson, and Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 165, 1994. Andersen, Dennis A., "Édouard Frère Champney", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 135, 164, 1994. Viladas, Pilar, "Albertson, Wilson, and Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 164, 1994. Veith, Thomas, "Albertson, Wilson, and Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 167, 1994. "The New Souvenir Tower Policy", Town Crier, XXIII: 50, 86, 12/15/1928. "Stained Glass: An Ancient Art", Town Crier, XXIII: 50, 52, 55, 12/15/1928.