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Male, born 1858-12-28, died 1915-09-22

Associated with the firm network

Hefty, Henry J., Architect

Professional History


Principal, Henry J. Hefty, Building Contractor, Portland, OR, c. 1881-1883.

Principal, Henry J. Hefty, Architect, Portland, OR, c. 1884-1912. In 1885, Henry J. Hefty had an office in Room #6 of the builiding at 232 1/2 1st Avenue in Portland. (See R.L. Polk and Company's Portland, Oregon, City Directory, 1885, p. 521.)

The Henry J. Hefty Architectural Papers, circa 1890-1895, Mss 3029, are held at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library, Oregon Historical Society Davies Family Research Library, Portland, OR; the collection included "Plans, specifications and drawings for buildings, primarily in Portland, Oregon, circa 1890-1895." (See Oregon Historical Society, "Henry J. Hefty Architectural Papers, circa 1890-1895,Accessed 07/23/2014.) The papers were contained in four over-sized folders.



Heinrich Hefti was born in the town of Schwanden in the Swiss Canton of Glarus. (Schwanden was incorporated into the municipality of Glarus Süd in 2011.) He made his way to Portland, OR, by 1881. In 1910, the family lived at 402 Park Street in a residence Hefty designed. In 1910, a widowed aunt, Regula Zettner (born c. 1830 in German-speaking Switzerland), lived with the family. (See, Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Portland Ward 5, Multnomah, Oregon; Roll: T624_1286; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0167; FHL microfilm: 1375299, accessed 11/26/2018.)

He remained in Portland until 1913, when he made a trip back to the city where his mother lived, Weesen, in the Canton of Saint Gallen and to other sites in Southern Europe. He died in Switzerland during this extended trip, with his wife and daughter accompanying him.


He married Agatha Durst Hefty (born 06/20/1860 in Linthal, Switzerland-d. 1922 in Portland, OR) c. 1881, who was also born in German-speaking Canton of Glarus in Switzerland.

In 1918, Agatha, three years after Henry's death, operated the Clayton Hotel in Portland. She lived in the hotel at 105 1/2 12th Street at the time. (See Portland, Oregon, City Directory, 1918, p. 572.)


He and Agatha had, according to the US Census of 1900, five children (three surviving), while that of 1910 said six children, four of whom survived in that year. They included Henry J., Jr.,(died at two months of age in early 1883.) Bessie (born 10/1881 in OR), Edward (born 10/1885 in OR) Alfred E. (born 11/1886 in OR), Marguerite Rosa (born 08/12/1900 in Portland, OR), and perhaps one other. According to Colleen Fettig, a great-granddaughter of Henry Hefty, only four survived to adulthood.

Alfred, in 1910, worked as a clerk in a hardware store.

Biographical Notes

When Hefty first arrived in Portland, he was known as "Heinrich Hefti," but this spelling was "Americanized" by the early/mid-1880s. According to Colleen Fettig, the family in Switzerland still spells the surname, "Hefti." (Thank you to Ms. Fettig for her information sent in an email to the author on 11/24/2018.) Both Henry and Agatha came to the US in 1881 and had been naturalized before 1910.

PCAD id: 4303