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Male, born 1858-03-26, died 1933-08-29

Associated with the firm network

Whidden and Lewis, Architects

Professional History


Ion Lewis attended architectural school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then found employment with Peabody and Stearns, one of the foremost architectural firms working in Boston at the time.

Draftsman, [Robert Swain] Peabody and [John Goddard, Jr.] Stearns, Architects, Boston, MA.

Draftsman, [Edward Clark] Cabot and [Francis W.] Chandler, Architects, Boston, MA.

Partner, [William M.] Whidden and Lewis, Architects, Portland, OR, 1889-1933. Whidden and Lewis was one of the most productive and important architectural firms in Portland, OR, during its existence.

Professional Activities

Founding Member, American Institute of Architects, Oregon Chapter, Portland, OR;

Professional Awards

Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA), 1916.


The University of Oregon Libraries has preserved "Ion Lewis Collection of Detached Plates and Photographs of Architectural Features, Buildings, and Designs," a 41-volume of printed plates and photographs removed from contemporary magazines including TheAmerican Archtiect, the American Architect and Building News, The Brickbuilder, and the Inland Architect and News Record between c. 1898 and 1908. From the UW Libraries Catalog (accessed 09/21/2022): "Contents: [1] Apartment houses -- [2] Art Galleries -- [3] Banks -- [4] Bridges -- [5] Churches. [pt. 1] Church exteriors. [pt. 2] Small churches. [pt. 3] Church interiors -- [6] City and town halls -- [7] City houses. [pt. 1] City houses. [pt. 2] Small city houses -- [8] Club houses -- [9] Colleges -- [10] Country buildings [11] Country houses. [pt. 1] Country houses. [pt. 2] Small country houses. [pt. 3] Large country houses. [pt. 4] Country houses. -- [12] Custom houses -- [13] Details -- [14] Dutch and German architecture -- [15] Exposition buildings -- [16] Fountains -- [17] Hospitals -- [18] Hotels -- [19] Interiors: furniture -- [20] Interiors of dwellings -- [21] Iron work -- [22] Italian and German Renaissance -- [23] Landscape accessories -- [24] Libraries -- [25] Monuments -- [26] Moorish and Indian architecture -- [27] Office buildings -- [28] Palace of Versailles -- [29] Palaces -- [30] Post offices -- [31] Public buildings (3 v. ) -- [32] Schools -- [33] Sketches -- [34] Stables -- [35] State buildings -- [36] Store fronts -- [37] Theatres -- [38-39] Town houses -- [40] Ware houses, etc."


B.S. Arch., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA;



Lewis was born in Lynn, MA, in 1858 and attended school at MIT in Cambridge. He traveled west in 1889 to visit his college friend, William Whidden, and decided to form an architectural partnership with him. They worked in tandem until 1920, when Whidden retired. Lewis continued to work under the firm name until at least the late 1920s. The 1930 US Census indicated that Ion Lewis was a retired architect at this time. (See, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Portland, Multnomah, Oregon; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0061; FHL microfilm: 2341683, accessed 09/21/2022.)

The 1860 US Census listed Ion's family living in Lynn, MA. His father was considerably older than his mother, Alonzo Lewis being 65, and Ann Lewis being only 27. The household included a half-brother Llewellyn Lewis, who worked as a cordwainer, and Ion's younger sister, Inez Lewis. The Lewis household had modest means, as the census recorded Alonzo Lewis owning $1,000 worth of real estate and having personal assets of $300. The family had enough money, however, to pay a live-in domestic servant, Celia McGuire (born c. 1844 in MA). (See, Source Citation Year: 1860; Census Place: Lynn Ward 4, Essex, Massachusetts; Roll: M653_495; Page: 641; Family History Library Film: 803495, accessed 09/21/2022.) Alonzo Lewis died the next year, plunging Annie into some financial uncertainty.

By 1865, Annie Lewis was a widow, according to the Massachusetts Census of that year. She lived with "Ion Lee Lewis" in Lynn, MA, Inez Lewis was not listed in this census. (See, Source Information Massachusetts, U.S., State Census, 1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014, accessed 09/21/2022.)

At 12 years of age in 1870, Lewis lived with his mother and his maternal grandmother, Annie E. Nickerson (born c. 1807 in ME) in Essex, MA. Early in Ion's life, his father died, leaving his mother to provide for him and her mother.

His mother married a retired blacksmith, Josiah M. Nichols (born 1804-d. 09/15/1881 in Lynn, MA), sometime between 1870 and 1880. In the latter year, the family lived on Essex Street in Lynn, MA, The household consisted of Ion, his mother, Annie Nickerson and Josiah Nichols. Josiah was 75, Ion's mother, 48, and his grandmother was 73.

In 1930, Lewis lived in an apartment house at 365 Salmon Street in Portland. According to the 1930 US Census, other inhabitants of this buildings included lumber executives, bankers, lawyers and other businessmen. (See, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Portland, Multnomah, Oregon; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0061; FHL microfilm: 2341683, accessed 09/21/2022.)

He died at the Arlington Club in Portland, in an apartment he had long occupied.


His mother was Annie I. Hanson (born c. 1833 in Portland, ME-d. 05/19/1894 in Lynn, MA). Her father was Robert Cutts, her mother, Ann I. Cutts.

She married the architect's father Alonzo Lewis (born 08/28/1794 in Lynn, MA-d. 01/21/1861 in Lynn, MA), then of Lynn, MA, on 08/30/1855 in Portland, ME.(See, Source Citation Maine State Archives; Cultural Building, 84 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0084; Pre 1892 Delayed Returns; Roll Number: 65, accessed 09/21/2022.) The 1860 US Census indicated that Alonza was 38 years older than his mother and that he worked as a surveyor and engineer. (See, Source Citation Year: 1860; Census Place: Lynn Ward 4, Essex, Massachusetts; Roll: M653_495; Page: 641; Family History Library Film: 803495, accessed 09/21/2022.)

Alonzo had many talents and held a number of jobs. His brief biographical entry in Appletons' Cyclopedia of American Biography, 1600-1889 stated: "He was educated at the school and academy of his native town, where he was a teacher. For many years he was a justice of the peace, and also a civil engineer. He edited a newspaper, constructed a map and directory of the town, and wrote several poems, whose subjects were drawn from ocean scenery and Indian legends. He was known as 'The Lynn Bard," and Nathaniel P. Willis said: 'He is a poet in all his lookings, doings, sayings, and dreamings.' He was the author of 'Forest Flowers and Sea-Shells,' which went through ten editions (Boston, 18310, and 'History of Lynn,' (1829; 2d ed., including Nahant, 1844; new ed., with additions by James R. Newhall, Boston, 1865)." (See D. Appleton and Company, "Lewis, Alonzo," Appletons' Cyclopedia of American Biography, 1600-1889, Vol. III, [New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1889], p. 701,)

Alonzo Lewis married at least three women. The first was Frances Maria Swan, whom he wed on 01/07/1822 in Lynn, MA. (See, Source Citation Family History Library; Salt Lake City, UT; Film # 0877736-0877737 Source Information Massachusetts, U.S., Compiled Marriages, 1633-1850 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005, accessed 09/21/2022.) He had six children with Frances: Alonzo Lewis, Jr., Frances Maria Lewis, Aurelius Lewis, Llewellyn Lewis (born c. 1836 in MA), Arthur Lewis and Lynnworth Lewis. (See "Lewis, Alonzo," New England Historical & Genealogical Register, for the Year 1861, vol. XV, [Boston: Samuel G. Drake, Publisher, 1861], pp. 186-187.)

Alonzo also married Mary Field Williams Gibson (born 01/25/1835 in Windsor, VT-d. 06/02/1905 in Maspeth, NY) on 07/28/1852 in Lynn, MA, although this union appears to have ended in divorce, as he wed Annie Hanson three years later. (See, Source Citation New England Historic Genealogical Society; Boston, Massachusetts; Massachusetts Vital Records, 1911–1915, accessed 09/21/2022.) Mary Gibson married William Dixon on 01/24/1857 in New York, NY. (See, Source Information New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, U.S., United Methodist Church Records, 1775-1949 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2016. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors, accessed 09/21/2022.)

Annie Hanson and Alonzo Lewis appear to have had two children, Ion and a younger sister Inez Lewis (born c. 1859 in Lynn, MA).


Lewis never married.

Associated Locations

  • Lynn, WA (Architect's Birth)
    Lynn, WA

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PCAD id: 5042