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Male, US, born 1889-09-09, died 1961-07-22

Associated with the firms network

Aitken, William, Architect; Bassetti, Morse and Aitken, Architects


Professional History

Résumé

Engineer, Pacific Coast Company, Seattle, WA, c. 1917. According to his World War I draft registration card of 06/05/1917, Aitken worked as an engineer designing "wharves and docks." This firm was located at 77 Washington Street in 1918. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation: Registration State: Washington; Registration County: King; Roll: 1991892; Draft Board: 06. Source Information: U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005, accessed 06/11/2019.)

On his declaration of intention to apply for citizenship signed 07/29/1921 he called himself an "architectural engineer." (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, 1890-1957; Microfilm Roll: 20; Microfilm Serial: M1542, accessed 06/11/2019.

Principal, William Aitken, Architect, Seattle, WA, 1920-c. 1960. Aitken operated an office in Room #409 of the Lyon Building (1920-1924), Lyon Building, Room #326 (1925-1927), Lyon Building, Room #330 (1928-1932), and spent a longer period in Room #202 of the office building at 408 Marion Street (from 1933 until after 1959). Aitken seems to have curtailed his activity in about 1960, but did not stop designing altogether. He, for example, designed The Captain's Table Restaurant on 5th Avenue in Seattle for restaurateur Ivar Haglund (1905-1985) in 1960.

Professional Activities

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Washington Chapter, Seattle, WA.

Registered Architect #4, State of Washington, registered 11/29/1919.

Education

College

The 1940 US Census indicated that Aitken finished four years of high school. His obituary indicated that he attended fhe "Glasgow Technical College." He likely attended the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, established in 1887.

Personal

Relocation

William Aitken was born to William Robertson Aitken and Margaret Faulds Stewart in Glasgow, Scotland on 09/09/1889. As a one-year-old in 1891, the Scottish Census recorded that William lived with his parents at 4 Eastburne Place in the Eastwood neighborhood of Glasgow. His father worked as a builder. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Parish: Eastwood; ED: 12; Page: 34; Line: 14; Roll: CSSCT1891_178 Source Information Ancestry.com. 1891 Scotland Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007, accessed 12/15/2021.)

Ten years later, the Scottish Census of 1901 noted that he resided with his family in the Eastwood neighborhood of Glasgow, at 16 Trefoil Avenue. The large Aitken household included six children and a niece, Isabella Lapsley (born c. 1886 in Scotland). the Aitkens were prosperous and could afford two household servants, Catherine Gallagher (born c. 1879) and Elizabeth O' Hagan (born c. 1882). (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Parish: Eastwood; ED: 3; Page: 26; Line: 19; Roll: CSSCT1901_191 Source Information Ancestry.com. 1901 Scotland Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007, accessed 10/07/2021.)

He migrated to Canada by 1911, where he became a citizen. He lived and worked in Vancouver, BC, Canada, before coming to Seattle, WA, as per his declaration of intention to apply for citizenship signed 07/29/1921. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, 1890-1957; Microfilm Roll: 20; Microfilm Serial: M1542, accessed 06/11/2019.)

On his US citizenship petition of 12/05/1960, Aitken indicated that he entered the US for permanent residence in the US at Blaine, WA, via the Great Northern Railway on 09/14/1914. (The earlier citizenship document of 07/29/1921 stated that he arrived in the US on 09/06/1915.) When he filled out a World War I draft registration card he was still a citizen of Canada, and, according to the document, "physically unfit" for service. This document indicated that he was single, although this was not the case, as he had a wife and a six-year-old daughter by this time. Aitken resided at the Leamington Hotel and worked as an engineer for the Pacific Coast Company when he filled out his draft card on 06/05/1917. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation: Registration State: Washington; Registration County: King; Roll: 1991892; Draft Board: 06. Source Information: U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005, accessed 06/11/2019.)

The 1920 US Census noted that he had a wife and two children, and the family dwelled at 3834 36th Avenue SW in Seattle. He listed his occupation as an architect. This 1920 US Census form stated that he entered the US in 1915 and that he had submitted paperwork to obtain US citizenship. His wife and daugher were still aliens. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1920; Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Roll: T625_1931; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 332, accessed 12/15/2021.) The family continued to live at this address in 1924 and 1925. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1924, p. 248 and Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1925, p. 218.) Aitken did not actually get US citizenship until 1960, about a year before his death.

Aitken lived in an apartment in the Claibourne Apartments at 714 Madison Street in Seattle in 1940. (See Ancestry.com, Source CitationYear: 1940; Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Roll: m-t0627-04380; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 40-220, accessed 06/11/2019.)

His World War II draft registration card noted that he lived at the Madison Hotel, 8th Avenue and Madison Street, Seattle, on 04/26/1942. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation: The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Box or Roll Number: 2. Source Information: U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010, accessed 06/11/2019.)

He moved to Mercer Island, WA, in 1943, and resided here until his death. Between 1950 and 1961, at least, Aitken and his second wife, Helen, lived at 2735 69th Avenue SE, Mercer Island.

Aitken passed away after an extended struggle with cancer at age 71. He died in Seattle, WA, and his body cremated.

Parents

His father was William Robertson Aitken (born 01/04/1860 in Tradeston,Glasgow, Scotland-d. 01/14/1926 in Vancouver, BC, Canada), who worked as a brickbuilder in Glasgow. W.R. Aitken's parents, Agnes Robertson (born 04/13/1837 in Hutchesontown Relief, Glasgow, Scotland) and William Aitken (born c. 1838 in Glasgow, Scotland), married in Cathcart, Scotland on 01/30/1857. (See Ancestry.com, Source Information Ancestry.com. Scotland, Select Marriages, 1561-1910 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014, accessed 10/06/2021.)

Because the name "William Aitken" was quite common in Scotland at the time, it is hard to say for certain, but it appears that the architect's father may have become an indentured apprentice in the Scottish merchant marine on 01/19/1876, at the age of 16. The term of indentured apprenticeship was set to end in 1880. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Collection: Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Index of Apprentices; Class: BT 150; Piece Number: 41, accessed 10/06/2021.)

The architect's mother was Margaret Faulds Stewart (may have been spelled "Stuart," born in Scotland-d. 07/19/1926 in Vancouver, BC, Canada). Margaret wed

Spouse

William Aitken married twice. He wed Mary R. Walker (born c. 1895 in Scotland-d. 01/15/1977 in Prince George, BC). William and Mary divorced before 1935.

He then married Helen Mary Stauber, a fashion designer, (born 02/14/1904 in Streator, IL) on 06/26/1943 in Seattle, WA.

Traveling on her own, Helen booked a tourist class cabin on the Cunard liner Queen Mary, departing on 04/22/1950 bound for Cherbourg, France. She would be abroad for 10 weeks. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels and Airplanes Departing from New York, New York, 07/01/1948-12/31/1956; NAI Number: 3335533; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: A4169; NARA Roll Number: 72, accessed 06/11/2019.) She returned on the Queen Mary traveling from Southampton, England, to New York, NY, between 07/01/1950 and 07/06/1950. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1950; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 72, accessed 12/15/2021.)

Children

He and Mary had two children, Ethel Aitken Hunter (born 07/13/1913 in Canada) and William Robertson Aitken (born 08/21//1919 in Seattle, WA-d. 02/10/2007).

Ethel remained living in Seattle in 1935, working as a theatre usher and living in Apartment #104 at 519 West Roy Street in Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood. She married Lloyd Albert Hunter (born c. 1914-d. 03/26/1975 in Prince George, BC, Canada) on 03/29/1939 in Whatcom County, WA. (Source Citation: Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington, accessed 06/11/2019.) In 1972, Ethel lived in Prince George, BC.

On his 1961 US citizenship document, he acknowledged that he had had one child, William Robertson Aitken, but didn't mention his daughter, Ethel.

In 1961, William Robertson Aitken resided in Carmel, CA.

Biographical Notes

The name "William Aitken" was quite common in both Scotland and the US, and was shared by several WA men of this era, sometimes complicatiing identification of the architect. A "William J. Aitken" lived in the Seattle W8P4 U.S. Census Precinct in 1910. It listed him as being 24 years old and having been born in Scotland. The Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1924, (p. 248) listed two other William Aitkens, one William A. and the other William B., who resided in the city at the time. No middle name has been found for the Scottish-born architect.

To confuse matters further, the Ohio-born architect, William Cleveland Aiken (born 1859), also lived in Seattle in 1910.

The number of William Aitkens has confused efforts to pinpoint his death date, which the Seattle Times of 07/23/1961 gave as the day before, 07/22/1961. (See "William Aitken, Sicks' Stadium Designer, Dies," Seattle TImes, 07/23/1961, p. 34.)

His World War I draft registration card listed him as tall and slender with blue eyes and dark brown hair. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation: Registration State: Washington; Registration County: King; Roll: 1991892; Draft Board: 06. Source Information: U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005, accessed 06/11/2019.) At age 53, Aitken stood 5-feet, 10-and-1/2-inches tall, and weighed 168 pounds. He had a light Caucasian complexion, blue eyes and gray hair. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation: The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Box or Roll Number: 2. Source Information: U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010, accessed 06/11/2019.) A naturalization document of 12/05/1960, however, listed his height at 6-foot, 1-inches tall and his weight, 170 pounds.

Aitken first filed a declaration of intention to obtain US citizenship on 09/06/1915. This was not followed through with, and he finally filed final citizenship paperwork on12/05/1960 in Seattle. This was granted on 03/06/1961. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation The National Archives at Seattle; Seattle, Washington; ARC Title: Petitions for Naturalization, 1890 - 1991; NAI Number: 592779; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685 - 2009; Record Group Number: 21, accessed 10/05/2021.)

Member, Free and Accepted Masons (F & AM), Alki Lodge #152, West Seattle, Seattle, WA.


PCAD id: 2679